Staff collaborations with students from the University of Missouri and Columbia College is a great opportunity to provide awareness about developmental disabilities, community resources and careers at Boone County Family Resources (BCFR). Family Support Supervisor Shireen Razavi is the liaison between the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and first-year Master of Social Work (MSW) students who are looking to gain experience in the human service field and BCFR. Shireen enjoyed a practicum experience during her college years and wants to provide a similar experience to local students.
Shireen said, “I enjoy opportunities to promote the services provided by BCFR as well as all the great things about working here.”
While Shireen meets with students for required weekly supervision meetings, helps with learning plan development and implementation, student evaluations, and facilitating communication with University faculty – she relies on Support Coordinator’s Lisa Bailey and Krista Forck to assist the practicum program students in their day-to-day activities and ensure student goals are met. Lisa and Krista’s efforts go above and beyond their busy daily job duties, including providing supervision and opportunities for students to observe the role of a support coordinator, including client interactions, service requests, and service monitoring. Students are then provided opportunities to put their observations into practice with support and supervision.
Shireen said, “Our biggest success stories are former students that have ended up being valued long-term employees. Jake Rodemann, a Supervisor in our Family Support Program, was my MSW practicum student in 2005. Support Coordinator Tina Rowe started as a MSW practicum student in 2010. We recently hired Justice Boyes after his BSW practicum ended and he graduated in December 2022.”
Justice has already proved to be an asset to the Family Support Program on Team 5 which works to link adults with supports and services in their community.
Justice said, “I knew prior to starting Mizzou’s Social Work program that I wanted to work with individuals with developmental disabilities. My professors were very receptive towards getting each student in a practicum placement that was geared towards their post-graduation goals. Through various practicum plan meetings my professors and I decided BCFR would be a good fit. I was very fortunate to get accepted at BCFR for my practicum and begin my journey walking alongside those we serve.”
Thanks to the efforts of staff like Shireen, Lisa, and Krista – this initiative continues to be a positive, rewarding experience for students and our Agency.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the daily activities of working with clients and taking for granted the difference we’re truly making,” said Krista. “This opportunity to work with students has provided me with the opportunity to share my love of this field and working with individuals with disabilities.”