“More than I ever imagined”


This week we said thank you & good luck to university student Kathryn. She has been on social work placement with us here at SSFS for the last few months and we will be sad to see her go. We asked Kathryn to share some reflections on her time here with us. 


My placement experience at Sutherland Shire Family Services has been absolutely amazing and more than I ever imagined. I remember sitting outside anxiously waiting for 9 o’clock and not knowing what to expect, would they be nice? Would I like the work? Would I fit in? Is this what I want to do?

Yes, yes, yes and yes! My placement has been such an amazing and enriching experience. I felt so welcomed right from the very beginning and have been opened up to so many amazing opportunities.

I have been able to sit in on every group that is offered at SSFS as well as attend every playgroup session since the beginning of my placement. I have heard many clients’ stories and really been able to watch them grow and change into such strong individuals in the short time I have been here. I have been able to experience groups such as art therapy that even the workers have not yet been able to.

I have attended court with the women from the Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service, I have attended and observed the Love Bites program in action at Cronulla high school, and I have met a range of new people at various interagency meetings held on site and off.

I can honestly say that my placement at Sutherland Shire Family Services has confirmed the passion and love that I have for social work and I cannot wait to be qualified in this in the near future.

My placement has helped me grow so much as a person, not only as a student but as an individual. It has taught me so much about working in a positive way to empower women and to support them through challenges in their lives.

I have learnt so much from all the workers at SSFS. I have observed different worker styles, including task centered, goal setting and narrative therapy along with trauma informed practice. I have been able to follow them along the pathway of change journey with some of their clients which has been such a privilege.

I’ve found myself sitting at inter-agencies, meeting all the wider connections from different organisations with common goals and purposes.

After my time here at Sutherland Shire Family survives it has really made me realize that I have a passion for working with those impacted by domestic violence that I did not have before and that this is something that I want to continue in the future. Whether it is following the path of casework or working with a domestic violence court advocacy service. The passion that Sutherland Shire Family Services has for domestic violence in supporting and empowering these women to find their missing voice has truly inspired me to want to make a change.