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University of Calgary developing a new social work program

(PHOTO: Chelsey Harms/660 NEWS)

Students planning on studying social work at the University of Calgary will be getting some life-like experience.

Wood’s Homes have teamed up with the university to develop a new simulation program for the school, the major focus will be children’s mental health.

Research Chair Angelique Jenney said a simulated client actor will play out certain scenarios for students to teach them things like interviewing, supervising and how to deal with withdrawal and aggression.

“They might also look at some of the child abuse disclosure work and things like that where lots of students are quite worried about the first time that a child discloses something to them and how are they going to be able to handle it,” she said. “It would be great if we could develop means to practice those skills.”

Jenney adds this also gives students a chance to ask questions in the middle of a simulation and gain the confidence to act in real-life situations.

She said she will build upon similar programs that are offered in Toronto and British Columbia to help make the one in Calgary.

It is expected to be available to students in fall of 2019.