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Hello All-

I'm in need of some suggestions on what to do about a strained field instructor relationship. 

Some background: I'm a Children and Families concentration for Masters of Social Welfare. Specifically, I am a Title IV-E student, meaning I will become a child welfare social worker upon graduation. I'm in my second year field placement at a county office that serves children and family (including CPS). I'm currently working alongside and shadowing a child welfare social worker.

Our relationship is a tad strained and I don't know what to do to improve it. My field instructor (FI) has been stressed lately as she's under investigation for misusing county property (examples of this include cell phone, car etc.) Today she was really stressed because she had a court report due by the end of the day. Before she could work on her court report, we had to go to another trial. While we were waiting for court, she asked me to watch her purse while she went to the bathroom. I scooted over on the bench we were sitting on to be next to her purse and she went to the restroom. She came back and resumed her conversation that we were having with 4 or so attorneys. The only other people in our circle were county reps (coworkers) and attorneys. About an hour later she looked for her phone in her purse and couldn't find it. We realized it had been stolen. I feel super bad that her phone was taken, but she spent the entire rest of the day telling anyone that would listen that, "my phone was stolen while I went to the bathroom'. Logic and reason would say that it's highly unlikely that the phone was stolen during the few minutes where someone was assigned to watching over it. There were many other opportunities for the phone to be taken that morning - like when she went through security and took the phone out of her bag....She says she remembers the phone being in a particular pocket right before she went to the restroom but I simply do not see how it's possible that someone wedged their way into a group of attorneys to reach into a bag that was being monitored without anyone noticing!

My FI was super upset for the remainder of the day. After court she said she would meet me back at the office - we usually walk together. When I checked in with her later that afternoon at the office she said, "I'm going to give you a very difficult talk" , which she did. 

What do you think I should do? Looking for positive suggestions.

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