A Pandemic Road Map
Creating Social Work Student Wellness Plans in Field Placement
Keywords:self-care, wellness, field placement, social work
During the unprecedented early stages of COVID-19, few protocols were established to support overall student wellness in social work field placements. In response to the overwhelming need for a contextual framework to promote wellness and determine the next steps in mitigating health risks, faculty developed a unique solution in a dynamic situation. Rooted in the university-sponsored dimensions of wellness, BSW and MSW students developed wellness plans that were integrated into the field placement course. These plans were intended to enhance students' ability to evaluate their well-being and encourage them to plan wellness activities. The wellness plan was critical in determining a student's ability to continue their planned learning activities amidst broad systemic factors, which impacted their social work field placement experiences. Developing the wellness plan encouraged students to articulate unmet needs and provided a mechanism for faculty to offer relevant university-sponsored resources. This model provides a framework with implications for social work education. The prioritization of student wellness during field placement creates a road map for the future. Given that wellness is an essential component of social work practice, social work students must have the tools to evaluate and implement wellness strategies, which can be applied throughout the student's social work career.
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