MOCSA, MOCSA, MOCSA (marsha, marsha, marsha?)

Yesterday was my first day of practicum–pretty much the one thing every social work student thinks about consistently during their entire degree. it’s a pretty important facet of the social work education–a good practicum facilitates your social work experience and really prepares you for the professional market. A bad practicum? Well, talk about demoralizing, difficult and inadequate to the learning experience.

But I was lucky; I’m pretty sure that I have a great practicum. As mentioned in many previous entries, I am going to be an intern at MOCSA (Metropolitan Organization to Counteract Sexual Assault). I will be doing a variety of things (so far as I know right now), and I would like to give you an overview of these things (taken directly from the MOCSA website).

• Participating in Community Education & Outreach: Presentations to children in grades ranging from pre-kindergarten to 5th grade concerning subjects such as good, bad and confusing touch, having someone safe to talk to, and how a child should always say no, get away and tell someone if they are experiencing confusing touch.

• Answering the 24-Hour Crisis Line Thursday from 1pm – 5 pm: A crisis line that covers both Kansas and Missouri where I will provide crisis intervention, information and referral services to victims of sexual assault and abuse, as well as their significant others. Often nurses or law enforcement will call us when a survivor is in need of immediate medical attention, and then I will go to the hospital in the metropolitan area (5 counties, 3 on the MO side, 2 on the KS) to help in advocacy during the ensuing medical evidence collection and the reporting process.

• Leading (eventually) the MIST Project (Mapping Individual Solutions to Trauma): This program offers a new curriculum  to address the impact of sexual violence across the life cycle of women and their families. In a 6-session therapeutic psycho-educational format delivered on-site in the community, the MIST Project helps women give voice to their concerns about sexual violence in their own lives; addresses the effects of sexual violence in the lives of their children and other family members; and empowers women to serve as resources to prevent and respond to sexual violence issues in their own communities. The MIST Project reaches women in their own neighborhoods to provide them with information, support, and a forum to discuss concerns about sexual violence and crimes such as stranger rape, acquaintance rape, stalking, traumatic sexual harassment, and the effects of child sexual abuse. In a small group setting, participants learn about the occurrence, prevention, effects, and treatment of these crimes. (I am SO excited about this).

• Attending meetings of the SART Team (Sexual Assault Response Team)

I’m not sure what else I’ll be doing yet. I have a variety of options and I can pretty much do whatever I wish in the agency. I’d like to see more of the therapy side of MOCSA since I plan on doing clinical social work next year. I have my own office (largish cubicle), my own phone number, and my own e-mail address (mchakrabarti@mocsa.org). Most of the people that work there are extremely friendly and excited to be doing the work they do (and not burnt out, which is so surprising/relieving). Oh, I’m so so excited!

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