All Practice Digest

Comprehensive Training for Field Liaisons: A Necessity for Evaluating Student Performance

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Introduction

Field education provides students the opportunity to learn at their own pace and to focus on practitioner skill development, with the liaison being the lynchpin in the student’s learning (Patrick & Sturgis, 2011). The 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) does not explicitly provide expectations for training field liaisons. EPAS 2.2.7 should be expanded to provide guidance on the minimum level of training that should be provided to field liaisons to “evaluat[e] student learning and field setting effectiveness congruent with the social work competencies” (Council on Social Work Education, 2015, p. 13). A standard level of training establishes collective expectations for achievement and addresses equity in preparedness for social work practice.

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Advancing Social Justice in Field Settings: What Social Work Can Learn from Allied Health Professions

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Overview

The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (2019) has described the Grand Challenges for Social Work as representing “a dynamic social agenda, focused on improving individual and family well-being, strengthening the social fabric, and helping create a more just society” (para. 1). To meet the Grand Challenges, the social work profession must critically analyze field education programs to ensure that students are receiving training that meets the core values of promoting social justice and social change. Critics of the current model of agency-based field placements encourage social work educators to foster students’ commitment to promoting social justice by thinking outside the existing structure of field education programs (Dominelli, 1996; George, Silver, & Preston, 2013; Preston, George, & Silver, 2014). Moreover, prodding field education programs to evolve has become essential given the numerous service delivery models that are shifting to an interdisciplinary team approach. Therefore, hastening changes in field education models is critical to ensuring social work students are well prepared to apply a team approach to addressing the problems faced by clients.

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Achieving Field Education Competence through an Integrative Syllabus: Bringing the Field to Class

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Introduction

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), in its Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards for Baccalaureate and Master’s Social Work Programs, has designated field education as the signature pedagogy of social work education. As the signature pedagogy, field education provides the environment and platform in which students integrate the concepts and frameworks learned in the classroom in a practice setting (CSWE, 2015). This paper will outline the current models for integrating the field education practicum experience with course work. The authors will then propose and outline an aspirational model with an integrative common syllabus as the core connection between the core curriculum areas of policy, research, practice, social justice, and theory.

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