Field Education

 

 

BASW and MSW Field Education Information

 

Field is the heart of Social Work education. The internships create the opportunity to experience social work practice in all of its various forms, and to apply the theoretical learning of the classroom to real agency situations with clients, programs, colleagues, and communities. At SFSU School of Social Work, we are committed to serving historically oppressed and disadvantaged populations utilizing a strengths perspective based in a systems framework. With that basic philosophy in mind, students are supported in choosing individually tailored internships and in the communities in which the students live. Therefore, our placement process is student-driven and student- centered. We have internships in over 300 public and private non-profit social service and human service agencies throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Due to the fact that we have many agencies seeking students, MSW and BASW students have a wide range of choices. All agencies approved by the School must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics and ground the student’s field learning experience on the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards Core competencies. All Field Education policies, procedures, and calendars are listed on the following pages. All information about the Field Education program is included in the Field Manual, which is also attached.  Other questions about the Field Education program can be directed to fielded@sfsu.edu or call the School of Social Work Field Education office at 415-405-3479.

The Field Education experience offered by social service and human service agencies in the Bay Area is a critical component of the School of Social Work's educational program. Before becoming a participant in our Field Education Program, agencies are required to complete the Field Education Application, the Program Information Form and the Non-Discrimination Form. The requested information tells us the services of the agency, the characteristics of constituencies served, the profile of prospective field instructors, the educational opportunities the agency offers, and the qualities agencies seek in interns.

Please review our website for the School's curriculum and mission, as well as the Field Manual, before applying. We have a BASW and first-year MSW program supporting the Urban Generalist model; and a second-year MSW program that supports specific concentrations and programs. During the first year, students apply and are accepted into the Title IV-E program or the Individual, Families and Groups (IFG) emphasis.  During the second year, they continue in these concentrations. However, some IFG students may apply and are selected into the Mental Health Stipend program.

We encourage agencies to develop student units of two or more students. Multiple student field units provide a richer field experience for most students. If approved as a Field Education site, agencies are listed in the Directory of Agencies for review by our students and faculty as placement decisions are made. Approval as a potential internship site does not guarantee interns, since there are many more agencies than students. Approval only guarantees that agencies will be available for student review and choice. Agencies should ensure that their contact information is up to date with the School to ensure students are able to contact the appropriate individual during their search. Agencies are also urged to return student inquiries in a timely basis as students are usually working within a limited time frame to secure an internship.

 General Information

Agency Requirements

The agency must be a legal entity with legitimate entitlement to provide the services which it is offering. The agency must be a public agency or designated as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public benefit corporation.

·         Agencies must certify a policy on non-discrimination as related to students, staff and clients based on gender, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, marital status, physical ability, political persuasion, country of origin, or religious affiliation as a prerequisite for placement of students. The agency must be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or be making reasonable efforts to do so.

·         The agency is required to identify the specific disadvantaged/oppressed constituencies it serves and offer services consistent with the mission of the School.

·         The agency, the Board, the Executive, and the staff are willing to accept students for field based learning. This acceptance includes an understanding that the emphasis will be on the learning process and not only the completion of agency tasks. As interns, students are expected to learn all the tasks and responsibilities assigned to employees.  However, students should not be treated as paid employees.

·         The agency should have a Field Education policy which includes both the designated field instructor(s) and general outline of the educational process to be followed in the student's training. Agencies accept the responsibility for submitting a qualifications statement for field instructors being considered as additions or replacements for originally designated field instructors.

·         The agency agrees to provide regular supervision by an approved field instructor for a minimum of one hour a week of individual supervision per student. Group supervision is also encouraged in addition to the individual supervision.

·         The Field Instructor is provided the necessary administrative support for supervising a student. This includes administrative time for preparation and follow-up of each intern's assignment, administration related to supervision, time to meet with the faculty liaison, time to prepare evaluation statements, and time to attend meetings on campus.

·         The agency has a wide enough variety of services to provide the student with opportunities to learn with individuals and/or groups in a variety of roles (counselor, advocate, broker, case manager, administrator, etc.)

·         The agency must practice according to the values and standards of the NASW Code of Ethics and designed learning agreements based on the CSWE Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards Core Competencies. 

Agency Application Procedure

The field education experience offered by social service agencies in the Bay Area is a critical component of the School of Social Work's educational program. Before becoming a participant in our Field Education Program, agencies are urged to read the Field Manual and become acquainted with the requirements. Agencies are required to complete the Field Education Application Forms. The requested information tells us the services of the agency, the characteristics of constituencies served, the profile of prospective field instructors, and the qualities that the organization would value in students. Please feel free to provide addition information you consider pertinent to the placement process.

 

After reviewing program materials, please describe on the Agency Information Form the agency preferences for undergraduate, first or second-year graduate students. We encourage agencies to develop student units of two or more students. Multiple students provide a richer field experience for most students.

 

Upon approval of the agency as a Field Education site, your agency will be listed in our directory for students and faculty to review as placement decisions are made. The agency will be contacted as students become interested in the agency as a placement. To obtain an application and for more information about the process, please contact fielded@sfsu.edu, or call the School of Social Work Field Education office at 415-405-3479.

 

Field Instructor Requirements

In order to be considered qualified to supervise social work interns in the SFSU SSW program, the prospective field instructor must have the following:

·         An MSW degree from an accredited graduate school of social work with a minimum of three years post-Master's experience in urban oriented practice with oppressed and disadvantaged populations, and a minimum of one year of experience in the agency in which the intern is to be placed.  

·         Demonstrated ability and competence in the relevant area of social work practice.

·         Demonstrated ability to be a Field Instructor in motivating, supporting, and stimulating the student's learning experiences. Interest in field education and commitment to regular weekly supervisory conferences, plus additional informal availability, including time to observe students directly. Interest in and willingness to participate in selected campus based events relating to the field education experience.

Field Instructor Responsibilities

Field Instructors are expected to carry out the following responsibilities in assuring the educational program for the intern agency.

·         Learning Agreement: Develop a learning agreement based on the CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) Core Competencies and including any specifying educational objectives to be accomplished during the internship with the student and Faculty Field Liaison

·         Supervision: Provide an opportunity for individual and group supervision conferences with students on a weekly basis. Students are required to receive at least one hour of individual supervision per week, which can be supplemented by group supervision.

·         Workspace: Create and maintain appropriate space and facilities within the agency for the student to carry out assigned learning objectives.

·         Teamwork with the Faculty Field Liaison: Hold periodic conferences with the Liaison for discussion of the student learning process and other pertinent concerns. Alert the faculty liaison as early as possible about any potential problems facing the student. Consult with the faculty liaison and/or the Field Director before taking action against a student (e.g. dismissing a student from the agency without consultation).

·         Keep the School Current: Inform the Liaison and/or Field Director in writing of changes to assignments. Notify the Field Director if there is a lack of communication or visits to the agency during the semesters.

·         Evaluations: Submit semester student performance and progress reports and final evaluations to the School by the designated due date, after consultation with the student and the faculty liaison.

·         Participation in School Activities: Attend periodic group meetings, workshops, committee meetings, etc.

·         Code of Ethics: The Field Instructor must practice according to these standards.