Our partner organizations make crucial and invaluable contributions to our students’ professional development by bridging the gap between classroom and practice and demonstrating the impact of social workers.
We consider the following criteria for selecting an organization as a setting for student field placement:
- Availability of necessary learning experiences that will help students achieve competencies in accordance with the Council on Social Work Education for each level (BSW, MSW foundation or MSW advanced) of social work instruction.
- Providing a learning or educational experience for the student, rather than a “work” experience.
- Entering a legal agreement with College of Social Work for the practice of interns, stipulating the internship arrangement, responsibilities and roles.
- Providing a field instructor with a Master of Social Work (or bachelor’s if BSW Field Placement) from a CSWE-accredited university. A minimum two years of post-degree social work experience is also required.
- Availability of appropriate supervision by the appointed field instructor.
- Support the placement and allow sufficient release time for the field instructor to provide educational supervision to the student.
- The organization cannot engage in discriminatory practices in either the hiring of personnel or the acceptance of students or clientele.
- Commitment to the educational goals of the college as demonstrated by the field instructor’s participation in the college’s educational program. The activities include, but are not limited to, completion of mandatory first-time field instructor training, attendance at field instructor workshops and guest lectures, participation in College of Social Work committees, and meeting with the assigned field liaison for field placements.
- Providing necessary measures to protect students’ safety. This may minimally include training in policies and procedures for conducting home visits, interacting with potentially difficult clients, dealing with blood-borne pathogens and handling emergencies, as well as appropriate screening of student assignments by field Instructors.
- Necessary administrative capacity to sustain student activities, such as space, phones, privacy when needed and administrative support.
- Communication of supervision changes to the director of field education as soon as possible to make the necessary arrangements for student supervision.
- The organization must agree to introduce and orient students to the organization’s objectives, structure, policies and procedures. This includes identifying specific policies that must be adhered to and the types of information or incidents that must be reported immediately to their field instructor or other organization representative. In addition, the organization agrees to inform the students of any physical dangers inherent in the field placement and provide reasonable training to prevent injuries.
- No patient-billing activities by students. This ensures the activities of students
will be solely an educational nature and not result in any patient billing by the
organization or its representatives.
The BSW and MSW foundation practice field placement for each student is chosen with the following goals:
- The placement will support the generalist perspective in social work.
- The organization will be able to provide the student with opportunities to practice
along the micro, mezzo and macro level practice: individual cases, intake/assessment,
a group experience and an administrative, policy or planning experience.
The MSW advanced practice placement for each student is chosen with the following goals:
- The placement will support advanced practice with an opportunity to work within one’s area of specialization along the micro, mezzo and macro advanced of level practice: individual cases, intake/assessment, a group experience and an administrative, policy and/or planning experience.
- The organization will respect the advanced student status and provide educational
challenges sufficient (increased autonomy) to their standing as an advanced practicing
Approved field placements hosting field students are responsible for the following:
- Negotiating with the director of field education regarding the number of students to be accepted.
- Designating qualified individuals holding a BSW or MSW degree at an organization or offsite as field instructors who agree to the College of Social Work credentialing process.
- Providing an educationally sound field placement within the structure of the organization.
- Assuring each field instructor adequate time within their work schedule to ensure provision of high-quality field education to social work students.
- Incorporating students into the overall organization operation, including various organization programs and activities in a manner deemed appropriate by the College of Social Work.
- Providing opportunities for student contact with and exposure to other organization personnel who might be able to provide additional learning opportunities and experiences consistent with college expectations.
- Providing assigned students access to clients and community partners and permitting
students’ use of organization in classroom assignments.
If you are interested in becoming a field agency, contact Melissa Reitmeier, director of field education.