"Work on supporting people is guaranteed to us for many, many years": as part of the practice, students of the specialty "Social work" met with employers

23 червня 2022 року


On June 21, as part of the internship by 1st year students specialty "Social work" an online meeting was held with a leading specialist psychologist and head of the dpartment of the Kyiv city center for social services Lyubov Loriashvili.


      Having a very busy employment schedule, because Lyubov Semenivna is a curator of the charity foundation "Change one life of Ukraine" and deals with the adoption and placement of orphaned children deprived of parental care, as well as trains specialists working with families in difficult life circumstances and foster parents on the basis of the "International center for development and leadership"  (Kyiv), despite the schedule of meetings scheduled for the week ahead, she found time for students of NULES of Ukraine.


     After all, there is a significant range of issues and skills that should be possessed not so much by psychologists as by social workers who are the first to communicate with recipients of social services, and therefore should perfectly possess the skills to diagnose and sometimes stabilize their condition. This is especially true when working with children.

    So the topic "First psychological assistance and stabilization of the psychological state of children in critical situations", selected for discussion by the leading psychologist of the center Lyubov Loriashvili together with the head of the department of social work and rehabilitation Iryna Sopivnyk and the head of the students ' practice Alyona Altanova, is extremely relevant.


     Our students, having worked for only a week in practice so far, have already felt this, because in war conditions, the lion's share of social workers ' activities is working with displaced persons and their children, with people who have experienced psychological trauma. As one of the students noted, "At the moment, perhaps, only such problems will occur, unfortunately."


     Lyubov Loriashvili was happy to share not only valuable information on this issue, but also sincerely told about her personal practical experience and interesting cases of her professional life.


    The communication was interactive. In such a "non-boring" format, students, for example, learned:

  • how to distinguish a child who primarily needs social and psychological help from others;

  • how to create your own social network of specialists who will create a multidisciplinary team of specialists who can solve problems of any complexity and urgency;

  • what role do personal contact and trust of different specialists to each other play in professional relationships;

  • we heard about the interpenetration of two specialties – "social worker " and psychologist";

  • we were able to use examples to realize that an adult is the main psychological and emotional sense of security for a child, that parting with parents-even if because of moving children to a safe territory-turns into a serious psychological trauma for children;

  • how to help your child over-live separation from their parents and the grieving process;

  • what are" stress pinches " and how to avoid them;

  • what types of memory exist and what mechanisms are triggered when a firefighter can't smell fried meat on a picnic without vomiting;

  • why do migrants from war zones flinch or instinctively fall to the floor when they hear some vowel sounds;

  • how to deal with a child who is experiencing a panic attack, tantrum, or depression;

  • how to accept and respond to emotions, among which, it turns out, there are no good or bad ones;

  • how to reflect your emotional state;

  • how to professionally build contact with your child, using the ability to actively listen and taboo criticism of any actions or people;

  • how to collect complete information about your child's history.

      The students asked a lot of questions. And all of them had a practical focus and raised very serious problems. For example, such:
  1. How can you bring a child out of a state of hysteria or shock when a traumatic situation has just happened?

  2. Is it possible to bring a child to senses, distract him/her? How should parents and the environment of a suicidal child behave?

  3. There is a war going on in our country and there are children who lived in cities where there were military operations and lost their parents. Have you worked with such children? If so, what are their thoughts? What psychological assistance should be provided?

  4. How to behave, and what to say to a person who has left hot spots and is safe, but at the same time reproaches himself for being safe, and his relatives or friends are in danger and he feels guilty?

  5. What to do if a child's parents died due to the war, and then it becomes clear that the child begins to withdraw into himself, how to help him return to a normal psychological state?

  6. What should I do if the child was near a dangerous event (arrival) and has frequent panic attacks?

  7. We all know that the work of a social worker is quite resource-intensive. Perhaps you have your own secret on how to restore your strength, as well as find a desire to help people in the future?

  8. How do you think the future of our country will be affected by the unprocessed psychological traumas of people and children caused by the war, because not everyone applies for first aid and probably not the entire percentage of the population will be covered and rehabilitated?

     The conversation was so dynamic and caused so many questions from the first-year students that time passed unnoticed and Iryna Vitaliivna almost for the first time in her teaching career, she asked students not to ask any more questions. However Lyubov Loriashvili she assured that despite the interest and concern of our students, she is ready to periodically meet with them both online and at guest lectures, whenever they feel ready and in need of such a meeting.
     It should be noted that the practice managers of first-year students Alyona Altanova and Iryna Sopivnyk proposed the idea to hold a whole series of meetings of students with leading practitioners. Such close cooperation with employers is one of the main priorities of the department of social work and rehabilitation today and is already bearing fruit.

    For example, probably not everyone who is mastering social work only in dry theoretical paragraphs is familiar with the Israeli ambulance protocol for children who have experienced a severe stressful event; or, for example, can easily perform five grounding techniques from anxiety; or, for example, distinguish anxiety from pre-holiday nervousness by certain markers; or analyze their own combination of resources to deal with adverse circumstances so as not to burn out to the ground, supporting others. And our first-year students can already! Therefore, we have concrete results of practice and communication with employers.

     The main thing that brought this meeting with Lyubov Loriashvili who has actually already become a" professional "mother of many former students who have gone through communication with her and" infected " for life with the profession of a social worker – this is not only enriching the professional outlook of our first-year students and adopting the spirit of this profession, something extremely important and intangible that you will not find on the pages of textbooks, but can only learn from experienced professional practitioners, but also a mutual desire to continue such communication and plans and prospects for the future. And this sequel promises to be interesting.


Alyona Altanova,
senior lecturer
of the department of social work and rehabilitation,
head of practice for 1st year students


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