Report: We’re Ready! Plus Report A Practicum on Community Disaster Preparedness Workshop in Inglewood community, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The We’re Ready! (WR!) Community Disaster Preparedness© approach1 was co-developed with community members from High River following the 2013 Alberta flood. Three in-person workshops and one online workshop have been successfully implemented between 2016-2019 (described further below).
In 2022, as part of her postdoctoral research, Dr. Evalyna Bogdan and her supervisor Dr. Julie Drolet (both field instructors for this practicum), transformed WR! to We’re Ready! Plus (WR!+) as a practicum and research assistantship (RA) opportunity for students. WR!+ is part of the Transforming the Field Education Landscape (TFEL) Project2 (2019-2025) at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary (UC). A major aspect of TFEL is to identify sustainable field education models, especially those that address practicum shortages, interprofessional practice, research-based practice, use of technology and simulation, and anti-racist and decolonizing perspectives. New models of social work (SW) practicums are needed because SW field education is in crisis , in part due to a shortage of quality practicum placements and insufficient integration of research and practice. Additionally, even though SW practitioners in Alberta are increasingly involved in all phases of disaster management, Dr. Drolet and colleagues found that SW practitioners lack the necessary education and training to reflect the complexities of community disaster management and lack field education in disaster contexts. The WR!+ practicum training aims to address these challenges in SW education.
In the WR!+ model, students from social work programs and emergency management (EM) programs work with community members to adapt and implement the WR! activities under the guidance and close supervision of Dr. Bogdan and other field instructors or practicum coordinators. During the 2022 iteration of the newly adapted model, only SW students took part in the WR!+ training and workshop facilitation. Read the report here.