Alumna Spotlight: School Adjustment Counselor

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Lichelle Bradshaw, Wheelock alumna, is a full time school adjustment counselor/school social worker in the Medford public school district and a part time clinical social worker in the emergency department at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Tell us about your work.

In the school setting, I interact with both general and special education students with social-emotional, behavioral, and social concerns. I consistently collaborate with school staff and parents/guardians and develop and maintain partnerships with external agencies.  I facilitate social skills groups and provide dirbradshawfinalect counseling intervention services to students according to the requirements of Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) and 504 Accommodation Plans or as needed. I participate as an Individualized Education Plan member for developing appropriate services and goals for students academically, emotionally, and socially and monitor student progress.  I attend weekly consultations with teachers, administration and other service providers to discuss student concerns and school-based needs. I also document direct service sessions for Mass Health eligible students on an online program for Shore Collaborative, complete progress reports, behavioral intervention plans, safety contracts, treatment plans, and Functional Behavioral Assessments on identified students.

In the hospital setting, I support patients and families by providing resources, completing psychosocial assessments to gather more information, discharge planning, and consulting with the Child Protection Team when a case is more concerning and to determine whether or not a 51A should be filed. As an emergency department social worker, there are also times to speak to doctors, nurses, patients and families on the inpatient floors.  I provide clinical interventions that include care coordination/case management, crisis intervention, and referral and safety planning.   I document every interaction regarding the patient or family and ensure that I send the information to other social workers or providers involved with the patient and family to follow-up on another shift.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment is working in a public school system as a School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker. I enjoy building relationships with students, parents/guardians and providing resources and clinical interventions to help the students make effective progress academically and socially.

What specifically you have utilized from your academics at Wheelock to help you succeed in your position?

I specifically utilized the practicum experience during graduate school. I ensured that I took the initiative at my placements and asked questions to get a better understanding of certain things or to learn something new.

What was your favorite experience/moment at Wheelock College?

My favorite experience at Wheelock was a group project in HBSE II. All of the groups were assigned a different neighborhood throughout the state and my group had Chinatown.  My group members and I went to the restaurants and tried new food, met members in the community, and we learned new information about Chinatown.  As a group, we made the assignment fun and we were engaged.

What advice do you have for current or prospective students who want to make the most of their experience at Wheelock?

The advice that I have for students is to be comfortable asking a lot of questions to their classmates, professors and field placement supervisors. I think that connecting and networking with classmates who are already working in the field can be helpful because they can share different experiences. I also think that students should identify what their learning style is and utilize the skills to help them during their experience at Wheelock.

What advice do you have for people pursuing work similar to yours in school social work/adjustment counselor?

The advice that I have to people pursuing work similar to mine is to ensure to keep an open mind and to be self-aware of what their strengths and weaknesses are. I would also advise individuals to have a balance in their life and make time for self-care.  The social work field is rewarding, but there are times where you need to take care of yourself before taking care of others.

How do you feel that you have embraced Wheelock’s mission statement, “to improve the lives of children and families”?

I feel that I have embraced Wheelock’s mission by meeting children and families where they are at and ensuring that they feel safe and comfortable in a supportive environment. I consistently communicate with families in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page, as well as providing them with clear and concise expectations.

Interested in pursuing a career as a school social worker or an adjustment counselor? Find more information at:

http://www.wheelock.edu/academics/graduate-programs/social-work/social-work-careers

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