Dispatches from the Field is a monthly feature at Innovate@BCSW designed to showcase the school’s commitment to field education, and to fostering fruitful relationships with organizations, both in Boston and around the world, who are providing critical services to those living at the margins of society.
Agency partner: Craig Keefe, Clinical Director, MSW ‘99
Organization: The Academy of Physical and Social Development in Newton, Massachusetts.
Services: The Academy, which has been in existence for over 50 years, offers both school-based and on site services to children with autism, ADHD, social anxiety, developmental delays, and who may have difficulty navigating their social environments emotionally.
The three principal types of services provided by the Academy include:
- Schoolyear activity groups, which are held at the center, and are designed to help children between the ages of 5-16 to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and improve their social skills.
- A parent education and resource center which addresses families’ needs through individual counseling, parent consultations, discussion groups, and workshops.
- Elementary school-based services whereby Academy staffers offer observation, consultation, training, plan development and support, and individual and group counseling.
In addition to supervising all of the Academy’s services, Keefe is tasked with overseeing 14 interns. This semester, the 14 include two students from BCSSW.
Relationship with BCSSW:
Keefe is both a supervisor in the field, and a field education advisor at BC.
“I may be biased since I graduated from BCSSW myself, but I find that BC students bring to the table a high level of professionalism and a strong work ethic. They treat their internship as a job, and this is important, since we expect our interns to be working as professional counselors along with our full-fledged staff members.
“BC students are independent starters who have a genuine passion to help and provide services to the children and families we meet with. I also find that they’re willing and able to adapt to a wide range of responsibilities – on any given day we may ask them to do anything from provide lunch support for a child to counsel a child who has lost a parent. It’s not always easy to have to think on your feet and take on tasks that may be new to you, but I find that the BC students are nimble and able to be very successful.
It’s been a rich opportunity for me to be able to be a mentor to these students, to empower them to take educated risks to create positive change, and to give back to the profession that has given so much to me. I look forward to ongoing positive partnerships and opportunities between BC and the Academy. “