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Baptist Care SA News

Pandemic creates employment opportunities for social work students 

Pandemic creates employment opportunities for social work students 

A new partnership between Baptist Care SA and Flinders University has seen record numbers of social work students completing placements with the organisation – and almost a quarter of those completing placements have secured employment in the organisation. 

The outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020 caused major social and economic disruptions. Restrictions prevented the volunteers we rely on from fulfilling their roles. They also made it difficult for social work students to complete their practical work placements. 

By the end of 2020 however, a solution was found. A new agreement between Baptist Care SA and Flinders University saw student placement numbers increase 300% as social work students filled crucial roles in our emergency relief, homelessness, and food insecure services. 

The students gained unique fieldwork experience and their support meant we could continue to serve the most vulnerable people in our community! 

We have since set up a student learning hub at our InnerCity site where students can enjoy group supervision sessions with our new Onsite Social Work Supervisor and complete theory work when not working with clients.

“The students inject energy into the team – they enthusiastically engage in conversations around creating change, embrace novel experiences and are keen to grow and learn,” says Wardli-Ana Team Leader Rebecca Atwood. 

Today, we’re better able to mobilise the strength and knowledge of social work students, recognise the value of their diverse educational and cultural backgrounds and fully utilise this valuable workforce! 

The full article can be found In Vol 35, No 1, March 2022 of Parity Magazine.