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Statement Task

My placement at migrant center presented an opportunity for me to offer social services to the needy as well as improve by capabilities and skills in the area of social work. Despite my theoretical knowledge on social work as a general profession, I knew that the placement would give me a chance to enhance my practical skills in dealing with people from diverse background. Being an organization that receives migrants from different regions of the world, I was ready to embrace the various cultural beliefs and values presented so as to form good relationship with the migrants as well as other colleagues. As much as the diverse cultural background may be seen as a barrier to effective communication, I took it as an opportunity to improve my communication skills and not as a barrier to my effective participation in the organization.
The desire to meet new people and learn about their origin has been the driving force towards my wish to interact and develop good relationship with people from different backgrounds. Since my work at the center did not entail direct interaction with the clients, I was ready to take up any opportunity within the organization that will give me a chance to interact with the various immigrants and other stakeholders. This opportunity came knocking when I was requested to take part in the Harmony Day of Tafe celebrations on the 17th March. Despite the challenges presented in terms of communication barrier and different beliefs, I managed to interact with more than 20% of the immigrants during this festivity. I focused on using the most suitable interpersonal communication medium to ensure that the information being conveyed is understood by all. As Knapp, Vangelisti and Caughlin (2014) points out an effective communication medium will go beyond the communication barriers and eliminate any form of biases to support a smooth communication process between any parties. My capability to communicate and interact effectively with the immigrants was evident with the number of friends I managed to make and keep during and after the festivity.
My ability to interact freely with other students assigned to the placement also evident my capability in forming and maintaining good relationships within the workplace. My main role at the migrant center was to develop a logo and brochures for the company. This role did not just require knowledge in graphic designs and creativity, but also needed one to have effective interpersonal skills to engage properly with the other team members in a way that the stated goals will be accomplished. Having been assigned a team leader role, I had to portray effective communication skills that will enable me lead the other members towards the achievement of the set aim. Based on my past knowledge in team management, and as reported by Wheelan (2014) engaging the team in a brainstorming session is one of the most effective approaching in enhancing their capability to effectively execute their roles. I therefore engaged the team in a brainstorming session where every individual participated fully in the design of the company logo. Apart from assisting in accomplishing the assigned role, this approach also supported my desire of building good relationship with the other student that impacted positively towards our working relations throughout the placement period.
Apart from the basic information about my placement organization, that I researched, my engagement in the development of the organization’s brochures further enhanced my understanding on the practices undertaken by the company. In order to come up with an appropriate logo and comprehensive brochures, a proper understanding of the company’s settings, legislation and the diverse cultures it deals with. As Lupton and Phillips (2015) reports a proper logo should reflect the purpose and values of the organization as well as the needs and expectations of the clients that the company serves. As such, we were involved in the analysis of the organizational setting to clearly understand its purpose, policies and the chain of command on task execution. I was also able to learn more on the various companies that work in collaboration with the migrant center to ensure that the needs of the refugees in Australia are met. The organization received most of its funding from the Australian government and respective states government grants. The organization also works in collaboration with other companies such as CARE Australia, ASRC Community and Refugee Council of Australia to ensure that the needs of the migrants in Australia are met and that they are fully integrated in the society.
Ethical social work practice is one thing that was every evident at my placement. All the staff and any other individuals dealing with the client were expected to adhere to the profession’s integrity and uphold respect to all persons their interacted with as stated in the AASW practice standard (AASW, 2013). Having learnt about the AASW code of conduct and ethics, I did not have a problem adhering to the code of conduct recommended by the organization. In fact, the situation presented an opportunity for me to exercise my theoretical understanding of the accepted ethics for any social worker in a practical setting. The resulting good relationship that I made with my colleagues and the clients all justify my ability to effectively put the learnt social work ethical standards into practice.

Besides learning how to interact and communicate effectively with people from diverse culture, my placement at migrant center also enhanced my skills in leading others. By taking up leadership roles at the team levels, I managed to improve my supervision skills in social work by engaging the team of students into accomplishing the goal of developing a suitable logo and brochure for the organization. As documented by Matthews and McLees (2015) team work is likely to lead to the attainment of better results in any project if the said team is well managed. The author had also documented the challenges involved in the effective management of teams, stating the vital requirement of a robust team leader to ensure that the desired outcome is attained. I was not sure of having what it takes to be effective leaders, however, having taken up the role; I did my best to ensure the team accomplishes its goal. This role did not only enable be polish my leadership skills but equally gave me confidence of being able to manage a diverse team regardless of the challenges involved. In deed out ability to adequately accomplish the team roles vindicate my ability to manage a diverse team dealing with social works.
Despite the challenges that I sometime faced at my placement, the experience did more good than harm to me. I did not only learn how to communicate and interact with people from diverse culture, but I also had a grasp of the difference values and beliefs of individuals from different nations of the world. I also manage to interact and develop good working relationship with my colleagues as well as improve my leadership and supervisory skills that will still guide my future actions when involved in any social work activity.

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