End of Placement Analytical Reflection Essay Example

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End of Placement Analytical Reflection

End of Placement Analytical Reflection


Placement has become a recommended approach among social work practitioners over the years as it forms a fundamental part of phase of the evidence-based practice (Payne, 2014, p.98). Doel (2010, p.4) pointed out that placement does not just provide social work students with an opportunity for learning, but they also present a broader philosophy, connecting academic learning to practice, professional development and research. My placement at St Teresa’s School was an exciting one, but not without challenges. At this coeducational school, I spent my time with children in year 4/5 promoting their mental health, building resilience and good relationships. Therefore, in this paper, the paper will analytically reflect on my social work placement and link the learnt theory learnt in class to the real practice and personal life experience.

What caught my attention?

It was a pleasure to be accepted at St Teresa’s School and to help promote mental health, wellbeing, inclusion, respectful relationships and belonging among children. On the first day at the school, I was introduced to a group of 30 pupils who were 4 and 5years old. What caught my attention is that, when I entered the class, some pupils were laughing and others were very happy as if they have known me for quite sometime. However, i learned that the pupils were laughing at my poor English. I come from a country (China) where English is a second language. Furthermore, the children were happy because they knew that I was not a teacher. Again, I have this smiley face which people interpret as friendly. While there, I learnt that their class teacher was very strict and sometimes threatened them with punishment to make them remain attentive in class. I also learnt that strategy was important because when you always laugh with children, they will hurt you and even ignore your instruction. Therefore, some seriousness is also needed to make them learn.

What did I think about my practice?

When I applied for a placement at this company, I thought would be working with few children with minor challenges. Having no much experience required to handle children with mental and emotional problems, I felt more anxious regarding my placement, particularly with young children. I also did not have adequate confidence to handle these children because my English was poor. At some point, I thought I would be working as assistant social worker. However, the school assigned me the class and was responsible for imparting social life skills, wellbeing and mental health. The school did not have a social worker but just teachers who have little knowledge on social work. Based on stories from other former classmates, I tend to think that did put my placement under intense pressure of handling several pupils, counseling and teaching. It taught me one thing; the approach to becoming a professional social worker is similar to a marathon and one has to sometimes push himself to the limits. Thus, a social worker needs to have the ability to pull through when under intense pressure (Payne, 2014, p.93). Furthermore, back in my mind, I knew I had found a placement which gave me a chance to get out of my comfort zone and face fears of my abilities and skills.

What knowledge, theories, values, social policies and environmental factors have influenced my practice?

Several factors influenced my placement. The fact that I was dealing with children who had emotional and mental challenges in an education environment impacted that approach I was going to use in solving the problem. Knowledge on social psychology was very important in understanding the behaviour and why the children relate with others as they do (Payne, 2014, p.307). I used theory of social psychology to get the attention of pupils and bring them together as a class. Social psychology analyzes how people often interact in a social group and how such interaction helps them uphold social identity. Social psychology puts more consideration into the impacts of communication particularly speech and language on the social interactions. Payne (2014, p.308) argued that social workers apply language or communication to influence their clients; in other words, communication offer them command over their clientele. After bringing the attention of different pupils together and created “one class”, I introduced some games which everyone could participate. Taking part in games creates or builds good relation among students and teachers. Games are form of a play therapy where children are made to create a sense out of situations (Payne, 2014, p.71). Play therapy is strongly described as type psychotherapy or counseling which applies games to communicate with children and enable them expresses their hidden feelings. In this way, a social worker can use the opportunity to solve psychosocial problems.

On the other hand, I cannot conclude that my placement was perfect. It was marred with challenges too of handling several children with different mental, emotional and behavioral problems. As such, it appeared that I was focusing on some children more than others. Such practices violate that ethical code of social workers, particularly on social justice perspective. AASW Code of Ethics (2010, p.13) provides that a social worker should act fairly to the disadvantaged. However, I had good and professional supervisors both internal and external who could correct me wherever procedure is not followed. Payne (2014, p.111) supported this statement by arguing that professional supervision provides feedback to a social worker making him or her to think critically. When giving feedback, my supervisor used his communication and emotional intelligence to correct the mistake without hurting my feelings and reputation.

Have these thoughts reinforced or challenged my views?

When starting my placement, I thought that theory is very different from practical. However, using professional development and supervisor theory, I realized that my instructions were slowly changing the children wellbeing, mental and behavioral challenges. The children who had antisocial behaviors started relating with others and even playing together. The results challenged my views that training on Kids Matter, group supervision, play therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy can actually change relationship and children’s behaviour.Furthermore, I had the view that attending classes could change my English. However, after interaction with kids and staff who speak better English, my professional speaking is improving.

What will I do differently in future?

First, I would improve my English for better communication. As I learnt, language is very important in influencing clients in social work environment, as such, it is vital for a social worker to have effective communication skills (Payne, 014, p.308). Similarly, I would prepare well in supervision to make sure that everyone is treated fairly based on the ethical codes of a social worker (AASW Code of Ethics, 2010, p.13).


As I concluded my placement, I was very proud of what I have achieved in my endeavors to become a professional worker. I gained immense knowledge about professional development and supervision and intend to use such skills to improve myself in future. The practice and knowledge gained gave me the confidence to go out there and contribute positively to the field of social work.


AASW Code of Ethics. (2010). Australian Association of Social Workers 2010. Retrieved 10th

May 2017 from www.aasw.asn.au

Payne, M. (2014). Modern Social Work Theory, 4th Ed. Palgrave Macmillan.