Engaging older adults in walk-in counselling: a field practicum report
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This paper examines a unique MSW field practicum experience at CFS Saskatoon, a counselling agency that provides programs and services to residents of all ages in the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. One objective of this practicum was to strengthen program development skills by researching, designing, developing, and implementing a pilot project walk-in counselling clinic specifically for adults 55 and older. Another objective was to enhance clinical skill development by completing literature reviews and providing general walk-in counselling at the Saskatoon Foodbank for clients of all ages. This practicum took place from September 5, 2018 to December 13, 2018 on a full-time basis. The 55 and older walk-in counselling pilot project was offered to residents of Saskatoon, and general walk-in counselling was also provided at the Saskatoon Foodbank. An evaluation of the counselling services provided at the Saskatoon Foodbank for one year prior to this writer’s practicum was completed, and although no clients attended to the walk-in counselling clinic pilot (focused on adults aged 55 and older), important data was gathered for CFS Saskatoon. This information will be shared with CFS Saskatoon to use in their development and implementation of future programming. Recommendations are made for the agency to work more effectively with the older adult population. Such recommendations focus on building and maintaining partnerships within the community, ways to engage older adults in counselling services, as well as considerations for future research and training.