Social work

experience and methods

Peculiarities of interaction between social work students – volunteers and agency


Volunteers are persons who share their time, knowledge and skills with people in need. Most NGOs rely on volunteers in order to conduct activities. Both organization and volunteers cooperation is a source of experience for a person entering to voluntary work.
While working on a voluntary basis a person receives a social reward: approval, prestige, respect, social acceptance (cognitive, 2006) and gains the experience (Bussell and Forbes, 2002). According Gedvilienė, Karasevičiūtė, Trečiokienė (2008), volunteering time in the sense of social efficiency sense is full of possibilities of improving their personal, professional and social competencies. According to Bussell and Forbes (2002), the volunteers are politically active, better integrated in society. Volunteering can be chosen as an alternative to paid employment or as an opportunity to gain job skills.
The study goal is to reveal the social work students – volunteers and organization interaction peculiarities. The research sample included eight social work students who took part in voluntary work at the same non-governmental organization. Study participants have chosen particular NGOs because of organization's clients (children), according other volunteer's recommendations, physical location. The study revealed that the volunteer activities are affected by so called "honeymoon". Social work students – volunteers during voluntary work are able to apply theoretical knowledge, to acquire vocational skills, creates own social work model.
The role change is one of the interaction peculiarities. First volunteers identified themselves with children. After spending some time in the position of volunteer they change attitude to the social worker's.
In summary, the organization - volunteer cooperation is mutually beneficial. Students form their own model of social work based on the observation in organization during voluntary activities.


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