Posts Tagged ‘BSW’

In The Middle of Things: Reflections on Becoming a Social Worker

January 5, 2015

Today, I am pleased to share a guest blog from Michael Hackbusch, and two of the BSW students we have on placement at the Food Hamper Program, the Sunnydale Community Centre and the Courtland Shelley community Centre.

House of Friendship believes strongly in housing as a right

My name is Michael Hackbusch, and at House of Friendship (HOF) I have the task (privilege, really), of providing practicum supervision to burgeoning social work students. These students are in the Bachelor and Master of Social Work programs and come mostly from Renison University College at the University of Waterloo but also Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Windsor and, this year, Carleton University.

We appreciate the partnership with the students on placement at HOF for causing us to reflect on our own practices, and to make explicit those things we assume are known. Further, by this act of mindfulness, we individually pay attention to our own reasons for serving through House of Friendship, how our service is needed, and why. They also give us cause to reflect on conversations we might have with our neighbours about systemic problems, which are often the reason for House of Friendship programs.

To that end, I posed a number of questions to two of our current practicum students, Lindsay and Dannika. Their answers reflect the students’ understanding of social work before and during their placement; how they have been challenged by both the program but also the people served; how they find a balance between classroom and practicum; and what advice they would offer to anyone considering a career in social work. Finally, I asked them what they know now, that they wish they had known months ago? (more…)

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“This will get us through till next week”

December 1, 2011

Working at the Emergency Food Hamper one day, I had the opportunity to briefly talk with a mother and her young daughter who were in need of a food hamper. When she had waited her turn and had reached the front desk, “this will get us through till next week,” was one of the first things she said to me.

Lots of people have come through our Food Hamper doors hoping that the food they receive here will carry them through their food shortage crisis, whatever that might involve. Last year alone, there were 32,042 hampers given out. Not having the ability to feed her own children was shocking to her. As she worriedly gazed at the far wall, I could literally see the thoughts that must have been swirling through her head. How long will this food emergency last for my family? Will I be able to pay this month’s rent and daycare costs while carefully balancing other necessities like food?

“My pay is coming at the end of the week, so we can make it through till then,” she hesitantly said to me while glancing down at the floor.

A lot of the people who walk into our lobby each day share similar stories with the staff here at Food Hamper.  To this day, I wonder how that woman and her daughter are doing. Did they make it through till next week? For many, lacking food is a temporary, yet potentially chronic, problem.  This is where the Food Hamper program steps in and tries to bridge this dangerous gap at least till next week’s pay comes in.