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Does anyone else do placements as part of their course? How do you juggle?

(14 Posts)
katedan Mon 04-Mar-13 16:55:16

A large part of my BSc Social work is placements and although I was aware of this from the first week I am now getting really scared about how I will juggle working fulltime with childcare, kids etc. It is 8 hours a day for 6 weeks which is not too bad but will be 6 months in year 2 and 4 months in yr 3 and with childminder being £13.50 per hour for three kids and not seeing them all week I am getting really scared that I have made a big mistake. Please talk sense into me and tell me it will not be too bad. I should point out I am not paid for being on placement so a year of unpaid work which may not even def lead to a job!!!

newyearnewattitude Tue 05-Mar-13 13:04:12

do you receive a bursary? you may be able to claim for childcare costs that way (plus travel) or apply to your universities access to learning fund....

lagoonhaze Tue 05-Mar-13 19:34:54

Marking place to reply

katedan Wed 06-Mar-13 10:55:13

newyearnewattitude - I do get a bursary but no help with childcare etc. Up to now I have been using the bursary to pay for travel, childcare, books etc and I don't object the money if I knew it was going to land me a well paid job at the end or that I am guaranteed to pass which I am not and I am scared that I am putting me and the kids through this possibly for nothing. I have got to get stronger if I am to survive working fulltime as before starting uni I was at home for 8 years and I got so used to seeing my kids all the time that I am struggling with the idea of not seeing them for more than a couple of hours a day. I am finding hard to get my head round working fulltime for no money!!! I knew it was coming and it will give me valuable work experience but everytime I think about it I want to cry!

niceupthedance Wed 06-Mar-13 14:17:14

I can't comment on the finance side of things but I think it might help if you started thinking more positively about the placement(s). Social work is such a competitive degree, I would have loved to have got on a course but couldn't. Therefore you obviously have the right stuff to complete the course in the university's eyes.

Will you find the work placement interesting and challenging? If so, the hours will fly by. Your children will no doubt be proud of you for what you are undertaking (not easy). And as for the no money aspect, yes it's crap - but most people have done unpaid work at some point in their career. Rather six weeks than six months?

Hope it all goes ok for you.

katedan Wed 06-Mar-13 14:49:13

niceupthedance - You are right a good PMA is in need. It is 6 months in yr 2 and 4 months in yr 3 so that is why I need to get my head around it.

As you say hopefully the work will be interesting at least in yrs 2 and 3 you are working as a SW on a LA team.

MrsSham Wed 06-Mar-13 15:12:33

I'm on 2nd year placement just now. It's hard but I'm just about managing, have had a bit of a break as on IPL this week. But my practice educator has not been very understanding about my childcare and travel and this has tainted my placement if I'm honest, but then I know others who are enjoying much more flexibility. The problem I'm finding is that in reality flexible working annual leave don't apply to us and who works 6 months strait 8 hrs a day with no days off.

You will get through it as I am but be prepared to sacrifice time for your family. My dd is just 7 and she has adjusted well from being taken and collected from school every day to being dropped off at CM 7am and being picked up between 6 and 7pm. I keep remaining her and my self we will have the whole of the summer together and most working parents don't get that. The portfolio work is manageable but is easier to forget about other assignments so just be organised use your diary and try to prioritise deadlines over house work etc.

MrsSham Wed 06-Mar-13 15:14:25

It won't necessarily be as a SW in LA team im in a primary school and its not terrible SW related I'm afraid.

katedan Wed 06-Mar-13 16:25:21

Thanks for the reply Mrs Sham, it does sound exhausting. Did you get told in advance there was no leave. I think we get 2 weeks over Christmas and 2 weeks over Easter in year 2 but it sounds like the reality may not be the same. If you are in a school did you not get school holidays off?

well done for surviving.

MrsSham Wed 06-Mar-13 16:51:12

I'm not on placement this year over Christmas but next year I will be and I think the time off is the week between Xmas and new year and BH but I'm on placement over Easter and I only get the bank BH off, my PE is off for a week at Easter and I need to find somewhere else to go and do some shadowing. I had to go in over the February half term and help update files etc and we did a trip for some of the children who are carers or CIN.

Any time off needs to be made up as it must be 100 days. So of I have a week of sick or need a break then I need to make it up at the end.

I think you will be OK if you know it will be hard work and could be problematic as I had not considered that my PE would be less than understanding and so basically I had the stress of managing this as well as the demands. It is looking better now those issues have been ironed out.

I just remind myself I knew it wasn't going to be an easy option degree and that it will be worth it in the end.

Are you uni based or Open University?

katedan Thu 07-Mar-13 18:08:45

You sound like you have juggled well but it is a total headache juggling it all. I am uni based and have placements in all 3 years which I know is different to other uni's. The lecture time has mainly fitted in nicely with school hours and not many hours in since Christmas so it will be a shock to the system to do placements but I need to get back into work mode instead of mummy and student mode!

MrsSham Thu 07-Mar-13 18:17:04

Oh it is a shock but you will mange it. Good luck! You are always welcome to PM if you want.

lagoonhaze Thu 07-Mar-13 22:08:44

In second year we have to do 60 days placements from when they are given mid oct and complete by end of april ish. We also attend uni 2 days a week 9-4. Most of us live at least an hours drive from the campus.

In year 3 we work 100 days and attend uni 1 day a week.

We have reading weeks which coincide with school hols but you still need to work to get placement days and they often arrange workshops/events/conferences which you need to attend.

I did get christmas off this year as nursery closed between christmas and new year.

Its hard work but think it is preparing us for the world of Social Work

lagoonhaze Thu 07-Mar-13 22:16:03

I also claim childcare grant. My bill is huge!

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