My name is Jacquelyn, I was lucky enough to have my first placement at The Link in Middlesbrough at the beginning of 2021. In all honesty, I did not have a clue what I would be walking into as things were pretty much up in the air due to Covid-19. As well as this, although I have children of my own, I had never worked with young people before. I had always been focused on the fact that I wanted to work with vulnerable adults in our local area, but open-minded. On my first day at The Link, I was amazed by the positive atmosphere; everyone was just so helpful and supportive. My practice educator had supported me throughout my placement and had such a catalogue of experience and knowledge that I was able to utilise, not only for my placement but for other aspects of social work that interests me. I had spent the first few weeks getting to know the team and was blown away by the skill set. No matter what I was doing, I could always turn to someone for advice and there was no such thing as a stupid question. I have spent many hours in lectures and seminars learning about evidence and research-based practice, I was now seeing this being put into action, and it was amazing.
Throughout my time on placement, I had many different supervision sessions. I was given the names of some books to read as well as some research. This was the turning point for me with regards to therapeutic social work. I thought about children, families and adults in my local area who may not be accessing the support they may need. I felt like more people needed to know about The Link and the services they provide. My whole view and expectations as to what I thought I wanted to do changed. In fact, it changed my life so much that I quit my job! I found work in the homeless sector, took a voluntary job at a food bank, and registered to run as a local counsellor at the 2023 elections with The Labour Party, with the aim to highlight the need for services such as The Link.
I can never thank the team at The Link enough, their professionalism and passion for the work they do has inspired me and supported my professional development in ways I had never expected when I walked through those doors. In the future, I am hoping to complete a master’s degree in Social Work and become a trauma Social Worker. Before this, I aim to gather more experience, skills and knowledge surrounding the role of a therapeutic Social Worker. I am now in my final year as a student social worker and awaiting my final placement. I have to say, if it is anything like my time at The Link, then bring it on!
For more information about placement opportunities at The Link, contact our office on 01642 505580
or email firstname.lastname@example.org