MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY

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1 MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY FIELD EDUCATION MANUAL 2013/2014 1

2 Table of Contents Introduction.. 3 MSW Program Faculty 3 Mission of the SCSU Department of Social Work. 3 Administrative Structure and General Information. 4 Goals and Objectives of the MSW Program... 4 Conceptual Model of Advanced Generalist Social Work 9 Field Education Within Advanced Generalist Social Justice MSW Plan Of Study. Policies for all Department of Social Work Courses. 15 Field Placement Policies Process for Selection of Field Agencies Criteria for Selection of MSW Field Instructors and Task Supervisors. 22 Code of Ethics 23 Roles and Responsibilities of Practicum Participants Field Student Field Placement Agency Field Instructors and Task Supervisors.. 27 Faculty Liaison Field Education Director MSW Advisory Committee. 30 Additional Field Placement Policies 31 Field Placement Selection Procedures Guidelines to set up Field placement Orientation Field Instructors Field Forms MSW Program Field Agency Contract. 44 Agreement to Place Contract Learning Contract Directions. 47 Field Evaluation and Learning Contract-Foundation Year.. 50 Field Evaluation and Learning Contract-Concentration/Advanced Standing Year.. 57 Number of Field Hours Completed Form.. 64 Student Evaluation of Field Placement. 65 Field Agency Evaluation of Field Placement.. 69 Application for Developing a Field Placement New to the Department of Social Work.. 74 Field Agency Application/Update Internship at Place of Employment Application 80 Student Choice of Placement Form. 82 Agency Choice for MSW Student Placements Form. 83 Request to Change Field Placement Form

3 Introduction Welcome to the edition of the St. Cloud State University Department of Social Work MSW Field Manual. This manual has been designed to assist all persons involved in field instruction including students, field instructors, task supervisors, and other field agency staff. It is your primary guide for field-related information including policies and procedures, roles and responsibilities, and forms used in field. MSW course information can be found in the Student Handbook. It is the responsibility of all persons involved in field instruction to be familiar with the manual, keep it handy as a reference and direct any questions to the MSW Field Education Director. The Field Program is a partnership between the faculty and staff in the St. Cloud State Department of Social Work, the MSW student, the field placement agency and staff, and the larger social service community. By working together in this dynamic The Field Education Manual and forms may be accessed electronically at the Social Work website: MSW Social Work Faculty: Deola Brumbaugh-Johnson, Ph.D., MSW, LGSW Sylvester Lamin, Ph.D., MSW, MSoc.Sc. Consoler Teboh, Ph.D., MSW, LGSW Anna Yeo, Ph.D., MSW, LGSW Gary Whitford Holey, Ph.D., MSW, LGSW Sara DeVos, Ph.D., MSW, LGSW Mission of the SCSU Department of Social Work The mission of the Department of Social Work at St. Cloud State University is to use an anti-oppression lens, with a focus on race, class and gender, to inform both its educational environment and educational programs. Faculty, staff and students commit to an experiential and transformative educational process that will challenge them to think critically and analyze systemic inequalities in the United States and the world. This process will prepare professional social workers to work as change agents in a diverse world. 3

4 Mission of the MSW Program Our Mission is to prepare social work professionals at the advanced generalist level who can practice across a variety of social service settings. Students will be prepared to work effectively and collaboratively as professional social workers to enhance human wellbeing and promote economic, political, and social justice in a diverse and global society. Using anti-oppressive, justice centered, and community based practice approaches, the MSW Program will engage students in an educational Program that prepares them to think critically and evaluate practice and programs and contribute to the body of social work knowledge through active research. Administrative Structure and General Information The Department of Social Work is administratively located in the School of Health and Human Services, which is under the direction of Dean Monica Devers, PhD. The Administrative Office for the college is located in Stewart Hall 365. The Department of Social Work Administrative Office is located in 226 Stewart Hall. All faculty and staff use and voic for communication and contact information can be located on the Department s website ( Goals Goals and Practice Behaviors of the MSW Program 1. To educate advanced generalist social workers who are grounded in the liberal arts and in the values and ethics, theories and practice interventions of the social work profession. 2. To prepare highly skilled and culturally competent advanced generalist social workers who actively seek to create change, promote social justice and human wellbeing at all system levels. 3. To educate advanced generalist social workers to think critically, conduct research, and to analyze social welfare policies, practice, and research, in order to advocate for social justice at all levels. 4. Prepare advanced generalist social workers to assume leadership positions in public and private sectors to effect social change and influence public policy. 4

5 Master in Social Work Competencies & Practice Behaviors Educational Policy Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Advocate for client access to the services of social work; 2. Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development; 3. Attend to professional roles and boundaries; 4. Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication; 5. Engage in career-long learning; 6. Use supervision and consultation. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Identify and teach professional skills through a strengths perspective, areas for growth and self-assessment, while focusing on anti-oppressive relationships. 2. Demonstrate knowledge of skills for supervising workers and improving professional knowledge. Educational Policy Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice; 2. Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics2 and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles; 3. Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts; 4. Analyze and apply multiple strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Employ strategies of ethical reasoning to manage ethical dilemmas involving practice issues, ethical conflicts, and personal values. 2. Apply multiple decision-making strategies (such as the NASW Code of Ethics and other ethical decision making models) in practice situations. 3. Recognize the importance of consultation in ethical decision-making. Educational Policy Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom; 2. Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation; 5

6 3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Critically evaluate theory and evidence-based knowledge when applying it to various (micro, mezzo, macro) client systems situations. 2. Demonstrate flexibility by applying perspectives and interventions to suit the needs of clients. 3. Communicate professional judgments to individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues, in both verbal and written form. Educational Policy Engage diversity and difference in practice. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Recognize the extent to which a culture s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power; 2. Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups; 3. Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences; 4. View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the interaction of a culture s structures and values, personal biases and values, and life difference in practicing through an anti-oppressive lens. 2. Demonstrate an understanding of culturally competent practices with diverse populations through an anti-oppressive lens. 3. Develop and maintain a network of cultural consultants and utilize them appropriately. 4. Advocate at multiple levels to reduce disparities for oppressed groups. Educational Policy Advance human rights and social and economic justice. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination; 2. Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice; 3. Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Use anti-oppressive practice skills set to eliminate oppression within micro, mezzo, and macro social work settings. 2. Design practice delivery policies that promote social and economic justice and equity for individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues. 6

7 Educational Policy Engage in research-informed practice and practiceinformed research. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry; 2. Use research evidence to inform practice. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Critically appraise and apply empirical evidence and practice experience to create strategies for systemic change. 2. Design, implement, and interpret evidence-based research that meets practice needs and contributes to practice dialogue. 3. Understand the importance of literature pertinent to research especially, and use qualitative and quantitative research designs to inform practice. Educational Policy Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation; 2. Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Synthesize and select HBSE theories in all aspects of practice, such as assessment, intervention, and evaluation. 2. Explain how HBSE theories inform social work practice. Educational Policy Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; 2. Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Evaluate the impact of policies and regulations for their effectiveness in advancing social well-being in a local and/or global context. 2. Provide leadership that promotes social policies and program practices that advance social welfare and enhance service delivery. Educational Policy Respond to contexts that shape practice. Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services; 2. Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 7

8 1. Assess and develop services that reflect a cognizance of overall societal and community change and context. 2. Lead collaborative community efforts to effect innovative change in social services. Educational Policy (a) (d) Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Educational Policy (a) Engagement Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Substantively and affectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; 2. Use empathy and other interpersonal skills; 3. Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Develop culturally responsive relationships for practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues. 2. Integrate theory-based relational skills in all areas of client engagement. 3. Develop contracts with individuals, groups, community members and other stakeholders to be equal partners in change efforts. Educational Policy (b) Assessment Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Collect, organize, and interpret client data; 2. Assess client strengths and limitations; 3. Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives; 4. Select appropriate intervention strategies. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Assess and utilize multi-level, strengths-based assessment data to inform a systematic and conceptually driven intervention process. 2. Assess complex data to inform the selection of intervention strategies. Educational Policy (c) Intervention Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals; 2. Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities; 3. Help clients resolve problems; 4. Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients; 5. Facilitate transitions and endings. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Critically evaluate, select, and apply partnership interventions for all system levels utilizing an anti-oppressive perspective. 2. Collaborate with multi-level systems. 8

9 3. Develop, coordinate and implement culturally appropriate mechanisms and strategies for prevention and resolution of issues. Educational Policy (d) Evaluation Foundational social work education prepares students to: 1. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions. Concentration social work education prepares students to: 1. Analyze, monitor, evaluate, and document intervention outcomes and effectiveness to ensure sustained changes. 2. Formulate assessment and evaluation tools. 3. Utilize such tools to measure the effectiveness of intervention outcomes. A Conceptual Model of Advanced Generalist Social Work The Advanced Generalist worker possesses a broad and multi-faceted theoretical understanding of client systems with a focus on person-situation-environment. Social workers with an Advanced Generalist degree integrate the social contexts of practice including the psychological, socio-cultural and political environments that impact approaches, methods and means to enhance human well-being and to achieve social justice. Interventions may occur at the micro, mezzo or macro level. To that end, Advanced Generalist social workers develop a wide range of knowledge and skills that enable comprehensive social work practice that is especially pertinent in rural settings and to serve in leadership positions. Social workers with a Generalist background are capable of serving clients in various roles such as social broker, advocate, mediator, educator, active listener, reflector, conflict resolution expert, initiator and community organizer. Advanced Generalist social workers integrate these roles performing many simultaneously and possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to address higher degrees of complexity experienced in client systems. Advanced Generalist social workers draw on and integrate their knowledge of multiple theories for assessment and intervention on behalf of client systems. They possess the ability to apply their knowledge and skill to effect change within organizations and communities. Critical analysis skills guide identification of the most appropriate interventions an ascertaining where the intervention ensues with client, client group, agency, community, or policy. Advanced Generalist social workers integrate the values and ethics of the social work profession. They identify a responsibility to explore social justice issues and effect change for the client systems they serve as well as greater society. Direct practice, policy practice, and research practice are synthesized to assure short and long term transformations of the environment. In their date-to-day practice, Advanced Generalist social workers apply the scientific research method to inform and evaluate the effectiveness of social work practice. 9

10 Field Education within an Advanced Generalist Field education is a vital and critical component in the training of Advanced Generalist social workers. Many students say it is the most meaningful learning experience. For example, students share that this is where they can integrate direct practice skills with clients while understanding the relationship of these individual situations with knowledge of the policy and funding issues that might influence the client s situation. Field Instructors are the vital link in helping students apply and integrate classroom learning to social work practice with client systems. Because of the Advanced Generalist focus of our program, Field Agencies will provide a variety of learning activities at micro, mezzo and macro levels including working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Our program takes an empowerment based approach to social justice. During their Field Placement, our students are expected to develop their ability to apply theory to practice, analyze their environment, and synthesize their theoretical knowledge with information acquired in the field. Further, students are expected to develop as leaders in assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation of effective practice grounded in social work values and ethics. They must demonstrate the ability to affect change at all levels within their communities, especially as these communities change and become more diverse. We ask the Field Instructors collaborate with us to provide learning activities to address the knowledge, values and skills incorporated in the learning objectives of our Advanced Generalist program including those that involve issues of social justice. MSW Plan of Study Foundation Year Courses designated for students entering without a Bachelor s degree in Social Work. Fall Semester Foundation Year Credits 611 Generalist Social Work Practice I Social Work with Marginalized Populations Human Behavior and the Social Environment Field Placement I (150 hours) Integrated Practice Seminar I 2 Total Semester Credits 12 Spring Foundation Year Semester 612 Generalist Social Work Practice II Social Welfare Policy Research I Field Placement II (150 Hours) 1 10

11 626 Integrated Social Work Practice Seminar 2 Total Semester Credits 12 Total Credits for Foundation Year 24 11

12 MSW Plan of Study Concentration/Advanced Standing Program Plan A Advanced Standing students have BSW within last seven years & are exempt from Foundation courses. Summer Session Concentration/Advanced Standing Credit s 632 Research II 3 Total Summer Session Credits 3 Fall Concentration Year Semester 630 Advanced Generalist Practice in Changing Communities Advanced Generalist Practice with Individuals and Families Field Placement III (300 hours) Integrated Practice Seminar III Advanced Policy Practice Thesis (fall) 3 Total Semester Credits 15 Spring Semester 641 Advanced Generalist Practice with Organizations Field Placement IV (300 hours) Integrative Practice Seminar IV Social Work in Mental Health Thesis (spring) 3 Total Semester Credits 12 Foundatio n and Concentra tion Advanced Standing Total Program Credits 54 Total Program Credits 30 12

13 MSW Plan of Study Concentration/Advanced Standing Program Plan B Advanced Standing students have BSW within last seven years & are exempt from Foundation courses. Summer Session Concentration/Advanced Standing Credit s 632 Research II 3 Total Summer Session Credits 3 Fall Concentration Year Semester 630 Advanced Generalist Practice in Changing Communities Advanced Generalist Practice with Individuals and Families Field Placement III (300 hours) Integrated Practice Seminar III Advanced Policy Practice 3 Elective 3 Total Semester Credits 15 Spring Semester 641 Advanced Generalist Practice with Organizations Field Placement IV (300 hours) Integrative Practice Seminar IV Social Work in Mental Health Culminating Project 3 Elective 3 Total Semester Credits 15 Foundation and Concentrati on Advanced Standing Total Program Credits 57 Total Program Credits 33 13

14 MSW Program Part-time Option School of Health and Human Services St. Cloud State University Foundation Students (individuals who do not hold BSW within last 7 years) Year One Semester Courses Day Offered Fall SW 613 Social Work with Marginalized Wednesday Populations SW 614 HBSE Spring SW 621 Social Welfare Policy SW 622 Research Wednesday Year Two Semester Courses Day Offered Fall SW 611* Generalist Practice I Thursday SW 615* Field Placement I SW 616* Integrated Field Seminar I Spring SW 612* Generalist Practice II SW 625* Field Placement II SW 626* Integrated Field Seminar II Thursday Year Three Semester Day Offered Summer SW 632** Research II TBD Fall SW 630 Adv. Gen Practice - Changing Wednesday Communities SW 631 Adv. Gen Practice Individuals & Families Spring SW 641 Adv. Gen Practice with Organizations SW 650 Mental Health & Social Work Wednesday Year Four Option A Semester Courses Day Offered Fall Spring SW 642 Adv. Policy Practice SW 635* Field Placement III SW 636* Integrated Field Seminar III SW 699* Thesis SW 645* Field Placement IV SW 646* Integrated Field Seminar IV SW 699* Thesis Thursday TBD with Thesis Chair Thursday TBD with Thesis Chair 14

15 Year Four Option B Semester Courses Day Offered Summer SW 632** Research II TBD Fall SW 642 Adv. Policy Practice Thursday SW 635* Field Placement III SW 636* Integrated Field Seminar III Spring SW 645* Field Placement IV Thursday SW 646* Integrated Field Seminar IV SW 670* Culminating Project Students selecting Option B will need to take 2 elective courses (3-credits) prior to graduation. Students with advisement and approval will determine which courses and when these will be taken. * Courses that have pre or co-requisites ** SW 632 could be taken in either summer session based on student choice MSW Program Part-time Option School of Health and Human Services St. Cloud State University Advanced Standing (individuals with BSW obtained within last 7 years) Year One Semester Day Offered Summer SW 632** Research II TBD Fall SW 630 Adv. Gen Practice - Changing Wednesday Communities SW 631 Adv. Gen Practice Individuals & Families Spring SW 641 Adv. Gen Practice with Organizations SW 650 Mental Health & Social Work Wednesday Year Two Option A Semester Courses Day Offered Fall Spring SW 642 Adv. Policy Practice SW 635* Field Placement III SW 636* Integrated Field Seminar III SW 699* Thesis SW 645* Field Placement IV SW 646* Integrated Field Seminar IV SW 699* Thesis Thursday TBD with Thesis Chair Thursday TBD with Thesis Chair 15

16 Year Two Option B Semester Courses Day Offered Summer SW 632** Research II TBD Fall SW 642 Adv. Policy Practice Thursday SW 635* Field Placement III SW 636* Integrated Field Seminar III Spring SW 645* Field Placement IV Thursday SW 646* Integrated Field Seminar IV SW 670* Culminating Project Students selecting Option B will need to take 2 elective courses (3-credits) prior to graduation. Students with advisement and approval will determine which courses and when these will be taken. * Courses that have pre or co-requisites ** SW 632 could be taken in either summer session based on student choice Policies for All Department of Social Work Courses Students should be aware of the following expectations, rights and responsibilities related to Social Work coursework. As a student in any Social Work course you have a right to be treated with dignity and respect by the professor and by the other students in the room. As a student in any social work course you have the right and responsibility to grow as a critical thinker. That is, to apply the critical reasoning skills to reflect on possible bias and conflicts with social work ethics and values in your thinking, to critically evaluate the sources of information that you make use of, and to value feedback from others to enhance your critical thinking skills. As a student in any Social Work course you have the right to have your academic efforts supported by other students and by your professor and a responsibility to support the academic efforts of others. At times, support will mean being challenged. As a student with a disability you have the right to accommodation to enable you to satisfy course objectives in this class. Express your needs privately to the faculty person and / or to Student Disability Services in Centennial Hall, Room 202. As a student in any course you must abide by the University s Code of Conduct. This is available in the University Student Handbook and on line at As a student in any course you must not intentionally or knowingly participate in academic dishonesty in the form of cheating, plagiarism or fabrication of work. This is described more fully as the first example of Prohibited Conduct in the 16

17 University Student Handbook. Engaging in academic dishonesty will have negative consequences on the grade earned. If you need to communicate with the professor, try all of these alternatives: visit the professor during the office hours; a message to the address on page one of the syllabus; phone or FAX the professor at the numbers listed on page one of this syllabus. If you are dissatisfied with your final grade in this class, consult the University Student Handbook for the Grade Appeals Process. If you have other concerns about this class, please communicate them to the professor in person. You also should consult the University Student Handbook for the Student Complaint Process. The Department Office has forms on which you can document a concern to begin a resolution process. Social Work professors expect assignments to be completed on time; this is consistent with professional responsibility. Your assignments will be graded down for lateness. Social Work professors expect you to be pro-active in informing them beforehand if some unusual circumstance will cause you to be absent, miss an exam, or delay turning in an assignment. Any changes must be negotiated with the professor. Failure to do so will likely prevent you from being able to make up the work. Social work professors also expect that you will not be absent from class. Social work is an interactive profession that is mirrored in the academic environment through conversations about the assignment reading material, lectures, class activities, guest speakers, etc. Therefore an attendance policy has been implemented that allows for only one absence without affecting the final grade. School closure notifications can be found on the SCSU website. Radio station KVSC (88.1) announces when University classes have been cancelled due to dangerous weather or conditions necessitating school closure. Students may also receive notification of school closings through the Star Alert system. Classes will be held and faculty will be on campus until the University closes. Academic integrity is expected. The Social Work Department adheres to the SCSU policy on cheating and plagiarism, which is located in the University student handbook. Students in any course must not intentionally or knowingly participate in academic dishonesty in the form of cheating, plagiarism or fabrication of work. This is described more fully as the first example of prohibited conduct in the University Student handbook. Furthermore, students are expected to know, understand, and apply academic standards in use of source information. Engaging in academic dishonesty will have negative consequences for your grade in the course and academic discipline including dismissal from the Program and Graduate education at SCSU. It is expected that SCSU students are familiar with and utilize 17

18 proper citing of sources to avoid issues of plagiarism. Students may view the SCSU code of conduct at: The Husky-Net system is the official form of communication with students at SCSU. All communications between students and faculty will occur via the SCSU system. Students are responsible for checking their SCSU in a timely manner. Students are expected to turn off or silence cell phones before the class begins. Leaving class to answer a call disrupts the class and distracts from everyone s classroom participation as does sending or receiving text messages. Students may use laptop computers for note taking and as an additional class resource but accessing the Internet in any fashion for recreational or non-class purposes should be reserved for outside of class. Students are expected to turn off or silence cell phones before the class begins. Leaving class to answer a call disrupts the class and distracts from everyone s classroom participation as does sending or receiving text messages. Students may use laptop computers for note taking and as an additional class resource but accessing the Internet in any fashion for recreational or non-class purposes should be reserved for outside of class. Student work must follow the most current standards set by the American Psychological Association (APA) - Citations and bibliographies in written texts must comply with these standards. An APA manual can be purchased at the University Book Store or online at (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, 2010). The library has APA standards online to assist students and has a program called Ref works that is helpful when writing and developing bibliographies. However, this is not the definitive source for APA standards. This information may be found at The Write Place located in Building 51 Room 117, , is open daily during the academic year and reduced hours during summer sessions to help students improve writing skills ( The Write Place maintains writing assistants that can be accessed on-line in real time for short answers. To make the most of this service, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment to seek advice well in advance of assignment due dates. Appointments can be scheduled by phone at or Grammatical advice and the APA citation style can also be found on at the Write Place website and as an ongoing reference for writing Writing with Style: APA Style for Social Work (2011). This book is available in the University book store. 18

19 Students are strongly encouraged to purchase the most current version of the APA Writing Manual. Students will utilize the APA style for citations in papers and for the thesis. Students should review all of the writing standards in the APA manual including how to submit papers, font size, page numbers, and use of gender inclusive language. 19

20 Field Placement Information Purpose of Field Experience for MSW Students Field I - SW 615 and Field II SW 625 The purpose of the foundation field placement is to provide students with practical experience in supervised direct practice activities across all client systems, including micro practice with individuals and families, group practice, and work with organizations and communities at the macro practice level. This initial field experience gives Foundation students the opportunity to apply generalist knowledge and skills learned in the classroom while developing a critical, self-reflective professional identity and applying social work values and ethics. A student in the Foundation Practicum will learn how to critically assess, implement and evaluate agency policies and practices. The Foundation Practicum requires 150 hours in both the fall and spring semesters which is approximately 10 hours per week in one field site, per CSWE standards. Academic credit is never given for life experience or prior work experience. The Practicum runs concurrently with MSW classes. Field III - SW 635 and Field IV - SW 645 The purpose of the field placement in the concentration year is to continue the practical application of practice values, ethics, knowledge and skills, and competency relevant to social justice-centered advanced generalist practice. In the concentration year field placement, students have the opportunity to select a field site that supports the students preferred area of interest and to apply the principles of integrated practice. Students will learn how to work with client systems to improve their level of functioning in the social environment. They will also learn how to evaluate and improve practice and policies that will enhance the well-being of client systems, that will create social change, and that will lead to improved social and economic justice. The Concentration Practicum requires 300 hours each semester for a total of 600 hours within one field site, which is approximately 20 hours per week, per CSWE standards. Academic credit is never given for life experience or prior work experience. The Practicum runs concurrently with MSW classes. Field Placements Sites The Department of Social Work has developed a number of field placement sites to meet the learning needs and interests of individual MSW students. These agencies and organizations have agreed to interview students for possible field placement. Field placement sites are available in St. Cloud and greater Minnesota as well as in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The next sections outline the policies, procedures and protocols in selecting and making the most from a field placement experience, including criteria for a new field placement site. 20

21 Field Placement Policies The following section outlines the policies that inform and guide field placements. If you have a question about a policy that is not contained in this section, please contact the MSW Field Education Director. Selection of Field Placement Sites Field sites are an integral part of the MSW student s graduate education. The criteria listed below are consistent with guidelines from the Council on Social Work Education and with the mission of the St. Cloud State University Department of Social Work. The MSW Program seeks formal affiliations with public and private non-profit agencies whose policies and programs are consistent with the mission of the MSW Social Work Department. In addition, community agencies and organizations are selected based on their ability to provide learning opportunities in which students can gain practice experience through guided instruction and supervision in activities and settings that reflect the learning needs of either Foundation or Advanced Standing students. The following criteria are used to assess an organization s capacity to provide appropriate field placements: 1. Commitment to actively participate as a community partner with St. Cloud State University Department of Social Work in providing an advanced generalist learning experience in which students have opportunities to gain practice experience with individuals, families, groups, communities, other organizations, and policy making bodies. 2. The agency s mission, purpose and practices are compatible with the NASW Code of Ethics. 3. The agency adheres to a non-discrimination policy with respect to race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability. 4. Willingness to assign activities to students that meet the educational objectives and goals of the St. Cloud State University MSW Program and the Field Practicum course. 5. The agency, or the department within the agency in which a student is assigned, has a social work focus. 6. Provides an on-site MSW Field Instructor with a minimum of two years of post MSW experience in a social work position and has expertise in the areas of practice in which the student requires in order to develop competence. There may be exceptional situations in which an on-site MSW Field Instructor is not available, but unique learning opportunities are available within an agency. In those situations, the SCSU MSW Field Director will work with an agency to locate an off-site supervisor, preferably affiliated with the agency in some way, who can provide the necessary MSW supervision. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. In situations where the MSW supervisor does not meet the two year requirement, the field liaison will supplement the supervision of the student as needed through more 21

22 frequent meetings with the student and the supervisor if an off site supervisor is not available. The department will continue to develop and expand the supervision resources available for field placements in consultation with the MSW Advisory Committee. 7. The agency allows time for the Field Instructor to provide a minimum of one hour per week individual supervision, to read and evaluate student progress, and to participate in SCSU sponsored orientation and trainings. Participation in any orientation and training activities sponsored by the MSW field program is required. 8. The field agency completes and renews the necessary paperwork and documentation required of all field agencies. 9. Willingness and time to devote to students. 10. Ability to serve in a teaching, mentoring and modeling role with students and organize learning tasks. 11. As available, provides opportunities for students to learn about and practice with persons from marginalized populations including persons of color, people with disabilities, LGBT persons, and persons living in poverty. 12. Provides the necessary structure and supports to enhance student learning such as administrative support help, a desk, phone, private space to see clients, etc. 13. Be free of any NASW sanctions and any licensing sanctions if applicable. Process for Selection of Field Agencies The potential field agency s capability to provide the necessary learning experiences and supervision is assessed and approved by the Department of Social Work field faculty and Field Advisory Committee in the following process: 1. Potential field placement agencies can be identified by community members, social work faculty, students, and members of the MSW Advisory Committee. 2. Identified agencies are sent information about the MSW Program along with criteria for selection of field placement sites. 3. Potential field placement sites complete the Field Agency Application and return this to the MSW Field Education Director. 4. The application is reviewed and a copy of the Field Instructor s resume documenting graduation from a CSWE accredited MSW Program is requested. 5. The MSW Field Education Director contacts the potential placement agency, preferably in person, or by phone to review the application material and the required CSWE standards for field sites. An important determination is the agency s ability to provide the necessary learning experiences, time, and resources to meet the educational needs of students. A determination is made concerning the appropriateness of the learning experiences. 22

23 6. If this determination is mutually acceptable to the agency and the Field faculty and Advisory, then a Field Agency Contract is completed by the agency and returned to the Field Education Director. Included in this contract is the commitment to notify the Field Education Director of any changes that could potentially impact their ability to be a field site (E.g. No longer having an on-site MSW supervisor, NASW sanctions are placed upon the agency, etc.). 7. Students can then interview and be placed in this field placement agency. An Agreement to Place Contract is completed and signed by the student, the specific MSW field instructor and the Field Education Director. 8. Field faculty assess and evaluate the match between the placement agency and the MSW Program formally once a year and have regular informal contact more frequently in a variety of ways. Criteria for Selection of MSW Field Instructors and Task Supervisors Field Instructors The MSW field instructor is the social worker who has contracted to teach and monitor learning processes and practice in the field agency and in the community. It is essential that they have sanction of the placement agency and the Department of Social Work to serve in this capacity. Additional criteria for selection of field instructors include: An interest, willingness and availability to work with students. Ability to organize learning tasks and serve in a teaching role in advanced generalist social work practice. Hold a MSW degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program. Have a minimum of two years post MSW social work practice experience. Have experience and expertise in the type of social work practice(s) in which they are providing supervision. If possible, have at least one year of supervision, field instruction, or task supervision experience. Support the educational objectives of the Department of Social Work s MSW Program. Have the capacity to stimulate and support students in the learning process. Be free of any NASW sanctions and social work licensing standards if applicable. Task Supervisors In some situations, a task supervisor may be assigned to work alongside a MSW field instructor to provide support and task supervision for the MSW student. This may occur when the task supervisor has expertise in a certain area related to the student s learning goals, but they may not have the degree or qualifications to provide sole field instruction. In other instances, a task supervisor may work in coordination with an off-site MSW field instructor (see policy for selection of an off-site MSW field instructor). If there is an off- 23

24 site MSW Field Instructor, the task supervisor serves as the day-to-day supervisor, mentor and teacher. The MSW Field Instructor and the Task Supervisor should meet regularly (at least once a month). The student is primarily responsible to the MSW Field Instructor for completion of their Learning Contract and it is important for the Task Supervisor and the Field Instructor to work together closely to ensure that learning objectives are being monitored and met. Criteria for selection of task supervisors include: An interest and willingness to work with the student and field instructor in developing learning activities and monitoring student progress toward these goals. Experience and expertise in areas of practice designated within the learning contract. Skill in teaching. Ability to conceptualize and apply advanced generalist social work practice skills. Completion of the required University paperwork is mandatory to provide documentation of field instructor s credentials. This paperwork is renewed annually. Code of Ethics All practicum participants are expected to adhere to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. The Code outlines the values and ethical principles that are required of all social workers and social work students. All practicum participants are expected to be familiar with the Code of Ethics and use it as a guide for ethical social work practice. Violations of the Code could result in disciplinary action, lower performance grade, and possibly removal from the Practicum and the MSW Program. Certain violations of the Code of Ethics could place the student or other practicum participants at risk for civil or criminal action. The following values and ethical principles are contained in the NASW Code of Ethics, and were approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 1999 Delegate Assembly. These principles set forth ideals to which all social workers should aspire. The complete NASW Code of Ethics can be found online at Value: Service Ethical Principle: Social workers' primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems. Social workers elevate service to others above self-interest. Social workers draw on their knowledge, values, and skills to help people in need and to address social problems. Social workers are encouraged to volunteer some portion of their professional skills with no expectation of significant financial return (pro bono service). Value: Social Justice Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice. Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers' social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about 24

25 oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people. Value: Dignity and Worth of the Person Ethical Principle: Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person. Social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers promote clients' socially responsible self-determination. Social workers seek to enhance clients' capacity and opportunity to change and to address their own needs. Social workers are cognizant of their dual responsibility to clients and to the broader society. They seek to resolve conflicts between clients' interests and the broader society's interests in a socially responsible manner consistent with the values, ethical principles, and ethical standards of the profession. Value: Importance of Human Relationships Ethical Principle: Social workers recognize the central importance of human relationships. Social workers understand that relationships between and among people are an important vehicle for change. Social workers engage people as partners in the helping process. Social workers seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities. Value: Integrity Ethical Principle: Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner. Social workers are continually aware of the profession's mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards and practice in a manner consistent with them. Social workers act honestly and responsibly and promote ethical practices on the part of the organizations with which they are affiliated. Value: Competence Ethical Principle: Social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise. Social workers continually strive to increase their professional knowledge and skills and to apply them in practice. Social workers should aspire to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession. 25

26 Roles and Responsibilities of Practicum Participants The MSW Program has developed roles and responsibilities for all participants involved in field practice in order to enhance the student field experience and to provide clarity and direction to practicum participants. Field Student The student, as an adult learner, is the central person in the field placement experience and is expected to play an active role in planning and implementing her/his learning experiences in the field practicum. They are expected to actively seek out the types of learning experiences that will help them integrate their classroom learning and enable them to develop and expand their professional skills. The student is expected to mutually engage in this process with their Field Instructor. The following specific student responsibilities are important for creating optimal learning conditions in the field placement: 1. Familiarity with the MSW Field Manual. 2. Following the Department of Social Work s timelines in completion of all requirements of the field instruction process including, but not limited to, the following forms: a. Field Placement Application in the semester prior to beginning the field placement. b. Agreement to Place Contract signed by the student, the field placement agency, and the MSW Field Coordinator. c. Learning Contract is generally completed after 2 weeks for the Foundation Year and 3 weeks for the Concentration Year. d. Midterm Evaluation after 150 hours for the Foundation Year and after 300 hours for the Concentration Year. e. Evaluation after 300 hours for the Foundation Year and 600 hours for the Concentration Year. f. Hours Completed at the end of each semester. g. Student Evaluation of Placement at the completion of the field placement. 3. Actively participates in the field placement process by identifying her/his learning needs and preferences. 4. Scheduling interviews with potential placement sites and obtaining any additional information that will facilitate the selection process of a field agency. 5. Takes responsibility for arranging two in-person meetings and one conference call between the student, the agency field instructor and the faculty field liaison per placement. 6. Conducts oneself in a manner that demonstrates respect for and accountability to the field placement agency, client systems, the community, and professional and student colleagues. 7. Abides by field agency policies and procedures. 26

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