My Student Placement in the FDYS, Francis Street, Wexford!

My name is Emma and I have just completed my third year in Applied Social Studies in Professional Social Care in Wexford Campus, IT Carlow. A huge component of the course is to complete student placement for a duration of 400 hours in second and third year. This year I decided I wanted to challenge myself and work in an area I previously had no experience with. From the moment I was interviewed I knew I would love it! Working with youth groups of various ages, each with their own unique and wonderful personalities and talents was the experience of a lifetime and one I will be eternally grateful for. I have learned tools for life that I can apply to any job and established a great relationship with each group that attend the FDYS.

Prior to commencing my time here, I was incredibly nervous, it was an area I had never considered delving into, I was unsure of what area of social care I wanted to have a career in despite proceeding to my final year of college. Working as part of a fantastic team of youth workers, I now know for sure that youth work is what I aspire to do. The diversity and variety of services offered by the organisation, from the music group, to the drop-in Youth Café, means that you will never be bored. There is a very good induction programme when beginning placement where I got a very detailed introduction to the organisation and takes a huge amount of time to deliver so to all those involved, thank you for that. Also, another challenge in social care and a topic that has been considered at length is the risk of burn-out for workers as the nature of the work sometimes hinders the possibility for supervision and support. However being on student placement here has proved that assumption wrong. The ongoing support and kindness displayed by each worker from day one ensured I was always comfortable.

I am one of the lucky people that got to experience the FDYS, and I cannot thank everyone enough. Each and every young person I have engaged with has made me realise that doing this degree is worth every second. The staff were incredible. They welcomed me and ensured I got the learning and training required to be a youth worker. It is the most open and comfortable environment I have ever worked in and I am so glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone and took a chance, despite my worries and concerns. I would like to thank every staff member for being so lovely and helpful, they make the FDYS what it is and there was not a day that went by that I did not enjoy here because of them. And I would like to extend a sincere thanks to Carolyn, my supervisor. Carolyn has taught me more things than a classroom ever could. Her determination and willingness to support me throughout this experience ensured that I got the best from my time here and I will never be able to thank her enough. Her knowledge and skills are tools that I will use for life, in any setting, thank you so much Carolyn.

To the young people I have had the pleasure of meeting, every single one of you are wonderful and unique and will all go incredibly far in life. Ye are all smart, kind and talented. You have made my experience here so enjoyable. Thank you so much J J J

’Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip-toe if you must, but take the step’’