Another unarmed Black man murdered by police. Shot eight times in the back. His name was Walter Scott. Sickened by this news, I sat down to write. But the words didn’t come. Instead, it was that feeling of sickness that prevailed, along with the haunting question, “Who am I to address this?” I posed the question directly to my colleague, Professor Gary Bailey. His response was simply, “If not you, then who?”
The Field Educator, an online journal produced by the Simmons School of Social Work, promotes knowledge exchange among the social work field education community.
Building Confidence in Social Work Interns Through an Evidence-Based Practice Seminar During Field Education
Abstract: This paper seeks to evaluate the effects of an evidence-based practice (EBP) seminar for MSW interns in building confidence in their application of clinical skills. Interns participated in an EBP seminar during their field placements and completed a therapeutic skills self-assessment form pre-post seminar, and a post-seminar impressions survey upon completion. Results indicate that following the seminar interns felt more confident in their ability to evaluate research supporting specific treatments and in using specific therapeutic techniques. Providing MSW interns with an EBP seminar during field placement is a feasible and effective way for interns to build self-confidence and learn practice-based therapeutic techniques.
Evaluating Social Work Education Outcomes: The SWEAP Field Practicum Placement Assessment Instrument (FPPAI)
Abstract: This manuscript reports on the development, piloting and validation of the Field Placement/Practicum Assessment Instrument (FPPAI). The FPPAI is a measure of student attainment in social work field practicum/placement under the 2008 Education Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of the Council on Social Work Education. The tool is designed for use by field instructors in undergraduate and foundation year graduate social work programs. Competency of 457 students from 19 undergraduate social work programs, across 18 states, was measured over three years. Analysis supports the reliability, validity, and utility of the FPPAI as an outcome measure of the 2008 EPAS competencies, and related practice behaviors.
The Indispensable Faculty Liaison Within the Signature Pedagogy: the Integrated Field/Classroom Model (IFCM) as an Example
An examination of the social work literature on the topic of the liaison role in field education reveals some discussion with regard to role, function and impact (Bennett & Coe, 1992; Ligon & Ward, 2005; Liley, 2006; Raskin, Wayne, & Bogo, 2008; Wayne, Bogo, & Raskin, 2010). The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) first designated the term ‘liaison’ in their documents (CSWE, 1967), indicating that programs should assign particular faculty members with explicit field responsibilities to “provide liaison between agency supervisors and faculty and have ultimate responsibility for evaluating and grading the students’ learning experiences” (p. 15).
Academic teaching hospitals provide some of the most competitive, challenging and also rewarding internships for MSW students. Patient acuity, increased caseloads and hospital fiscal pressures all shape a demanding work environment where social workers play a pivotal role. Interns are given an opportunity to work with vulnerable, medically complex, and culturally diverse patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings representing different medical and surgical specialty areas. Some interns may work exclusively with veterans while others work with clients receiving psychiatric and domestic violence services within the medical setting. Social work interns are expected to provide a strong clinical presence and to fully participate in patient care and interdisciplinary team collaboration.
Social workers have struggled to eliminate the 20-year science-to-service gap. Western Michigan University has employed a four-step method for getting started on research in field, which has helped students with efficiently researching best practice in their field placement. The proposed method includes: the “I wonder” question, the keyword find, the one-hour literature review, and the final research question. This method can get field stakeholders, students and agencies started in implementing and publicizing research on best practices.
Last September, as a new semester of classes and field placement commenced, the ugly realities of structural racism were front and center for all of us as social work educators, and especially for the faculty, students and social workers professionals in the St. Louis area. This issue’s Conversation features an interview of Cynthia Williams, Assistant Dean for Field Education and Community Partnerships at the Washington University’s Brown School in St Louis, by Gary Bailey, Professor of Practice at the Simmons School of Social Work about the immediate aftermath of the events in Ferguson. With Field Education’s singular focus on hands-on practice, field educators possess unique opportunities to engage with students and local communities to address the persistence of institutional racism and injustice. —Editor’s Note Read more…
What We're Reading
Hunter, C., Moen, J., & Raskin, M. (Eds.). (2015). Social work field directors. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.
I approached Social Work Field Directors with some trepidation. A collection of distinguished field educators compiled a book devoted entirely to the function of the complex role of field director. Still relatively new to the field director role myself, I feared that the book might overwhelm me as much as the job sometimes does. In fact, it did. But once I stepped back, I realized the immense value of having such rich information compiled in one place. Read more…
Staying current with scholarship enriches the work of field educators: it teaches us innovative ways to solve perennial field problems, suggests new readings for field seminars, keeps us abreast of current debates in social work education, and even inspires us in our own writing on theory and research. “What We’re Reading” presents our brief summaries of the findings of recent publications in field education. Our emphasis is on implications for practice. Readers are encouraged to suggest articles or books for future review.
News & Notes
Social work field education has been in the national spotlight in recent months. The Field Summit at the 2014 CSWE Annual Program Meeting brought together 100 field directors and deans in an event designed to explore current issues in field education.
- January 24, 2004. Timothy Stansbury, 24. Brooklyn, New York. Unarmed.
- November 25, 2006. Sean Bell, 23. Queens, NY. Unarmed.
- January 1, 2009. Oscar Grant, 22. Oakland, California. Unarmed.
- March 20, 2010. Steve Eugene Washington, 27. Los Angeles, California. Unarmed.
- February 2, 2012. Ramarley Graham, 18. Bronx, New York. Unarmed.
It was a Thursday in mid-August, yet the air had the slightly crisp quality of a cool autumn morning. After spending the summer outside as a camp counselor wearing flip-flops and shorts, it felt strange to be heading toward an air-conditioned conference room dressed in business casual attire. As I found my seat at the Healthcare Orientation for Social Work Students, I came to two realizations. My first thought was that the famous “last summer off ever” between the two years of graduate school was quickly winding down. My second realization was how excited I was to begin my next field placement in a hospital.
It is all right to be vulnerable. What’s necessary is to realize our vulnerabilities and be rowdy and fearless anyway. If we recognize that as humans we’re connected by vulnerability, we stay present and honor the mission of social work: to improve the well-being of others.
This speech was delivered by Eileen McKee, Assistant Dean Field Education, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto at the 2014 CSWE APM in Tampa, Florida. In it, Ms. McKee honors Illana Perlman, MSW, field instructor, director of education and trauma social worker at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. Ms. Perlman is the recipient of NANFED’S 2014 Heart of Social Work Award. – Editor’s Note
As the signature pedagogy of social work education, the Heart of Social Work Award is a meaningful way to recognize, not just the passion and experience that social workers share with their students, but also those field instructors who go beyond, who exemplify a theoretical basis and structure to their teaching, and who are capable of articulating their strategies while also meaningfully advocating for field education. The Heart of Social Work Award is an excellent forum to recognize these qualities, and I am delighted to speak about the 2014 recipient, Illana Perlman.
Field Educator is made possible by the Arnold & Irma Bloom '51SW Fund for SSW.