The Lourdes College Department of Social Work has a strong tradition of collaborating with agencies and organizations whose main goal is to help those in need. Through countless partnerships, Lourdes students are touching lives and increasing awareness of key social service issues throughout the region.
This year, students are joining forces with more than a dozen area agencies as part of their field education experience. “The scope of our program covers a wide range of specializations including domestic relations, elderly care, mental illness, homelessness and substance abuse,” offers Mark Robinson, Field Education Coordinator for Lourdes College.
Mark also notes that “agencies enjoy working with Lourdes students because they are mature, professional individuals. They incorporate the College's Franciscan values of reverence and service into their work.”
Social work student Susan Peth is conducting her field education with the Lucas County Domestic Relations Court. She says that her field education is helping her become a better social worker. “As someone who is interested in the policy end of social work, I am very thankful for this partnership and have already learned a great deal about the field including valuable information about Ohio domestic relations law.”
Raquel Green, who is also working with the Lucas County Domestic Relations Court, said that she too is improving her skill as a social worker. “I learn something new every day and have the joy of working with several different professionals who demonstrate the variety of ways in which social work can be achieved.”
Margarita Dobbins is assisting the Area Office on Aging through her field education. She helps case managers with assessments and reassessments of clients, enters case notes and composes service care plans.
“Working with the Area Office on Aging truly inspires me. It has shown me that while I might not be able to save the world, I can certainly help one person at a time,” notes Margarita.
Joyce Litten, Ph.D., Chairperson of Lourdes Social Work Department, stresses that “the College's field education partnerships are powerful because they lend aid to the agencies that are directly impacting the lives of others. At the same time, these partnerships help our students learn what the field is like outside of the classroom.”
Jeni Mills works with Allies in Mental Health for her field education. “Through my work at Allies, I have gained confidence in myself and my work. This partnership has also allowed me to see which area of social work fits me best.”
The Zepf Center is also partnering with Lourdes College and is working with student Katalyn Lemle. “The Zepf Center has given me hands on experiences that I can learn and build from in order to become an effective social worker,” says Katalyn.
She also notes that “agencies partner with Lourdes students because they know that we are accountable and ready to go above and beyond in order to finish a task.”
While students and agencies both benefit from the College's field education partnerships, the most important benefit goes to those who receive assistance. “At Lourdes, we believe that social workers are instruments of change” notes Mark. “Through coursework and our field education partnerships, our students learn how to create change that improves the lives of others – and there is nothing more powerful than that.”
Lourdes Field Education partnerships include:
The Ability Center of Northwest Ohio
Allies in Mental Health
Area Office on Aging
Compass Corporation for Recovery Services
Lucas County Domestic Relations Court
Mercy Health Systems Senior Outreach
St. Luke's Hospital
St. Vincent's Hospital
The Toledo Hospital
The Zepf Center