Field Spotlight: JoAnn and Kara, Luke-Dorf Hillsboro
Are you interested in preparing the next generation of social workers in your community? Hosting a social work student for a field placement is your opportunity! As the School of Social Work at Portland State University continues to grow and opportunities for social workers in the community expand, we're always on the lookout for agencies who'd like to host our qualified students for educational field placements. Our students can bring knowledge and experience into your organization.
At the basis of every successful field placement is the relationship between the social work student and field instructor. The field instructor is the student’s supervisor, helping the student integrate theory into practice. Meet JoAnn Dohn and Kara Radecki, student and field instructor partners at Luke-Dorf Hillsboro.
Role plays were fun and challenging for me as a field instructor and they really helped JoAnn explore ways to have uncomfortable conversations with clients.
JoAnn is a student in the Master of Social Work program, having spent the last year in her field placement at the Luke-Dorf Hillsboro Clinical Office, a non-profit, community-based mental health agency. JoAnn provided strengths-based crisis intervention, support, skills training, and case management to adults with severe and persistent mental health challenges and co-occurring disorders.
Learning how to create and facilitate groups was one of JoAnn’s most valuable learning opportunities. “I started off as a co-facilitator in order to observe and learn and by Spring term, I had researched, designed, and facilitated a group on my own!” JoAnn credits her field instructor for guiding her in recognizing how personal beliefs, values, and thoughts impact her social work practice.
Kara Radecki, JoAnn’s field instructor, is the clinical program manager at Luke-Dorf. She recalls how JoAnn used supervision to develop her clinical skills. “Role plays were fun and challenging for me as a field instructor and they really helped JoAnn explore ways to have uncomfortable conversations with clients.” Kara encourages her students to explore their vulnerabilities during supervision and values the role she plays in preparing students for their social work practice.
Kara acknowledges the significant impact JoAnn has had on the agency in such a short time. Specifically, Kara recalls, “JoAnn helped to create an Amazon Wish List as a means of coordinating donations for individuals sleeping outside; she also organized the life skills group that Luke-Dorf will continue to offer after JoAnn’s field placement ends." A highlight for Kara, as a field instructor, is observing JoAnn’s self-awareness and confidence grow throughout the year.
Would you like to be featured in a Spotlight? If so, please contact Adrienne Graf.