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Education
Feb 18, 2020

UNCW School Of Social Work Hosts Child Welfare Simulations

Sponsored Content provided by Charles Hardy - Founding Dean and Professor, UNCW College of Health and Human Services

In an effort to train students and community partners on mandated reporting procedures for suspected child neglect and abuse, UNC Wilmington’s School of Social Work is hosting two interprofessional events this spring.
 
On March 6th, the School of Social Work (SSW) and School of Nursing will facilitate the “Child Welfare Response Training and Simulation Experience.” Operating in its sixth year, this simulation works closely with New Hanover County Department of Social Services (DSS) to train social work students on how to conduct child welfare investigations in the home and hospital setting.
 
The SSW uses customized hospital and apartment simulation labs on UNCW’s campus to recreate the setting and situation in which a new mother’s infant tests positive for opioids. The simulation demonstrates in real time the roles, responsibilities, and potential reactions from a nurse and investigative social worker working with patient actors.
 
Students in the College of Health and Human Services participate in the simulation and practice skills learned from their classes. This simulation will be livestreamed to an audience of students and community partners located in a nearby meeting space. After the simulation, representatives from community agencies that specialize in working with child survivors of abuse and neglect will conduct a debriefing session with the students, faculty, and patient actors. In the past, representatives from DSS, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the Carousel Center, and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office have assisted in debriefing.
 
The event is co-sponsored by the North Carolina Child Welfare Education Network, who will provide a lunch-time training on trauma-informed care practices. Faculty liaisons from affiliated universities are invited to attend in order to learn how to replicate this training for social work students and community partners across the state. This particular simulation exercise has been successful, drawing in more than 140 attendees last year.
 
While the simulation experience is intended to train students, it also impacts the learning and development of community professionals who participate. Students share feedback with their instructor and community partners about the experience. One participant wrote the following about her experience with the students, “The (student) quotes helped reaffirm our work matters, not only to the clients we work with every day, but also to a ‘younger’ generation. I truly enjoyed participating in the simulation and can't wait for the next one. I think having the students get an idea of the multi-disciplinary team concept early on is valuable to their success once out in the ‘real world’.”
 
While the event in March is an opportunity to train students, the School of Social Work will host an event on April 1st that will seek to train social work students alongside community partners on mandated reporting and Title IX policies in New Hanover County Schools. Mandated reporting is both a legal and ethical responsibility for social workers in North Carolina. Representatives from New Hanover County Department of Social Services, The Carousel Center, Open Gate Domestic Violence Shelter and Services, and the Rape Crisis Center of Coastal Horizons Center, Inc. will be present on the panel.
 
Interprofessional simulation events represent experiential teaching-learning strategies that vary in terms of their intensity and level of real-world application. This strategy enables learners to employ critical thinking skills and reflective practice in order to gain an understanding of how to implement skills learned in the classroom. The Simulation Learning Center (SLC) in the College of Health and Human Services conducts low, medium and high fidelity (relates to the realism) simulations from basic role playing role playing strategies all the way to high fidelity manikins which are manipulated in real time in order to simulate varying medical crises. The SLC also has a group of trained community volunteers that participate in simulation scenarios as simulated patient actors across the courses for interprofessional education and the nursing curriculum.
 
The College of Health and Human Services consists of three professional schools - School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, School of Nursing and School of Social Work - and employs more than 250 full and part-time staff and faculty and enrolls more than 4,000 students in 16 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Hardy serves as chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer of the college, which is responsible for educating students across the health and human services programs. To learn more about the UNCW College of Health and Human Services, visit www.uncw.edu/chhs. Questions and comments can be directed to [email protected]

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