All articles

Clinical Is as Clinical Does: Thinking Differently about Social Work Internships

Published November 2016

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW
Field Educator, Editor-in-Chief

[Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published in the October 2016 edition of the NASW-MA Chapter’s FOCUS newspaper. FOCUS is only available to NASW members and can be accessed through http://www.naswma.org/?page=195.]

Conversation about the range of foundation year field placements has created a “buzz” in social work education, and it has to do with the range of field placements available for social work students – particularly those in clinical programs. As a clinical social worker and field instructor of many years, and now field director, it has become a topic of much interest, and one around which I hope we can find common ground.

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To Educate Students or not to Educate Students, That is no Longer the Question: An Innovative Approach to Building Professional Commitment to Social Work Field Education

Published November 2016

by Illana Perlman, MSW, RSW
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
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The author would like to acknowledge the generous financial support received from the Bertha Rosenstadt Trust Fund in Health Research, administered through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, to carry out this research. She would also like to thank the social workers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center for participating in this research.

Introduction

Field education is considered the “signature pedagogy” of the social work profession (Council on Social Work Education, 2008) and has been identified as the most significant component of the social work curriculum in preparing competent, effective and ethical social workers (Bogo, 2015). However, despite its primacy, field education continues to face considerable challenges, especially in terms of how to encourage professional commitment to training and to generate sufficient numbers of student placements. This has been a long-standing issue for universities and the field alike. This paper describes an innovative and highly effective approach that was developed and implemented by the social work service at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, to ensure that every social worker is regularly involved in offering student placements. This strategy has widespread relevance and application for all agencies employing social workers, as well as for other professions.

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Innovating with GRACE: Workforce Development in Geriatric Social Work

Published November 2016

by Sarah Swords, MSW
University of Texas

Stephanie Smiley, MSSW Candidate
University of Texas
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The field of social work faces an urgent need to prepare its workforce for the upcoming surge in the population of Americans over the age of 65. Current predictions state that by 2060 the United States alone will have 98 million older adults, nearly double the current figure (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014). With greater longevity comes a greater need for specialized health and mental health services, such as those provided by social workers. By as soon as 2020, an estimated 70,000 additional social workers will be needed to provide services to the older adult population (Pace, 2014). Despite the growing demand, literature has repeatedly cited a shortage of social work professionals who choose to work with older adults (Bures, Toseland & Fortune, 2003; Lee, Damron-Rodriguez, Lawrance, & Volland, 2009; Wang & Chonody, 2013). While 5,000 new geriatric social workers are needed each year, only 1,071 master’s level social work students select gerontology as their concentration (Wang & Chonody, 2013). Furthermore, only 12% of licensed social workers identify aging as their primary area of practice (Lee et al., 2009).

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Employment Interview Simulation Project: Evaluation and Application to Social Work Field Education

Published May 2016

by Mary-Katherine Lowes, MSW, RSW
Mount Sinai Hospital

Danielle Omrin, MSW, RSW
Mount Sinai Hospital

Andrea Moore, BSW, MSW, RSW
Mount Sinai Hospital

Joanne Sulman, MSW, RSW
University of Toronto

Jill Pascoe, MSW, RSW
Mount Sinai Hospital

Eileen McKee, MSW, RSW
University of Toronto

Sabrina Gaon, MSW, RSW
Mount Sinai Hospital
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This project was made possible through funding from the Bertha Rosenstadt Trust Fund in Health Research, administered through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.

Abstract: The transition from student to professional is challenging and often filled with pressure to secure relevant employment in a competitive market. We provided MSW students with employment interview simulations during their final practicum to evaluate the application and utility of this training to social work field education. A participatory action research model was utilized. Primary themes were identified as fundamental to interviews, including: managing anxiety, self-reflection, and effective communication. Overall, students found the process and feedback to be invaluable to their learning. We suggest ways in which interview training can be integrated into field education to strengthen students’ postgraduate employability.

Keywords: Simulation interviews, interview training, MSW students, field education, managing anxiety
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My Second Date of Birth: Learning Limits in a Helping Profession

Published May 2016

by Janae Kinn, MSW Candidate
University of Michigan
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On my first day as a first year MSW graduate student, a faculty speaker told the story of how she was “bitten” by a case experience and fell in love with social work not long after she began her career. My field advisor calls driving events like these “aha!” moments. The same week, I had the opportunity to hear an MSW graduate attempt to prove that “social workers are not made; they’re born.” These two thoughts began to tumble around in my brain, and I wondered anxiously when I would come to experience both of these notions. I was standing on the brink of a wonderful adventure as I began my first field placement two short weeks later.

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Engaging Field Instructors to Develop Measurements of Student Learning Outcomes in School Social Work Settings

Published May 2016

by Robert H. Ayasse, LCSW PPSC
University of California, Berkeley
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Abstract: The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has a distinct emphasis on the development of student competencies and has made a strong declaration that field education is the “signature pedagogy” of the social work profession (CSWE, 2008).  This has required professional preparation programs to examine whether MSW students have acquired social work skills in field settings. Since the social work code of ethics encourages practitioners to engage community stakeholders in the decision making processes, we advocate for partnering with field instructors to develop rating scales and a formative process by which those skills will be taught and evaluated. This article describes the process of developing an evaluation tool and initial outcomes that resulted from its utilization.

Key words: field instructor partnership; field evaluation tool; formative evaluation; social work skills rating scale; school social work
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Utilizing Student/Peer-Facilitators to Create a Dynamic Field Seminar Learning Environment

Published May 2016

by Elizabeth Harbeck Voshel, LMSW, ACSW
University of Michigan

Shoshana Hurand, LMSW

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Introduction: Schools of social work are training grounds for professionals who, on the whole, will continue on to practice in the community, as opposed to residing within “the ivory towers” of academia. In order to support students in bridging the gap between the academy and the practice world, integrative seminars are structured to connect course content to the students’ goals and experiences. The nature of the integrative classroom format enables students to make the connection between the theory of the profession and their practice in the field. As a result, the integrative seminar is the ideal classroom companion to field education.
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Balance is a Four-Letter Word

Published May 2016

by Kelly Palmquist, MSW Candidate
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Thomas Merton once said, “Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.” So often in the hustle and bustle of life, we lose sight of our happiness in favor of intensity; the intensity of our schedules, the demands placed upon us, our expectations of ourselves, and our constant drive towards our ambitions. Never has this been truer for me as it is right now, in the very throes of my last semester of graduate school.
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Developing a Successful Social Work Practicum in a Private Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Published May 2016

by Sandra Brackenridge, LCSW, BCD
Texas Woman's University

Brittany McPherson, LBSW
Texas Woman's University
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Social workers have worked in veterinary settings in the United States since the early 1980’s. Beginning in 1982, Susan Cohen, DSW directed one of the earliest client support programs at Animal Medical Center in New York City training numerous social work interns. By the early 1990’s, only a handful of helping professionals were employed by schools of veterinary medicine around the country.  Today, the majority of schools of veterinary medicine employ social workers or counselors with other degrees, but their roles in the schools vary.  Some work with bereaved animal owners (clients) exclusively; some only offer counseling for veterinary students, and others teach communication skills to the students.  There are only thirty schools of veterinary medicine in the United States, and few of the schools, even when they employ degreed social workers, offer internship opportunities to students of social work. Some veterinary private practitioners throughout the country, especially those with large or specialty practices, have recognized the value of adding professional social work services to their practice. This unique area of social work demands some specialized training, and social work students hoping to concentrate in the area of veterinary medicine desire more internship opportunities.
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The Logistics of Practicum: Implications for Field Education

Published May 2016

by Page Walker Buck, PhD, MSSW
West Chester University

Lynda Sowbel, PhD, LCSW
Hood College
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Abstract: The logistics of field practicum in social work education, specifically the number of hours that students are able to complete, have yet to be reported in the literature. Survey results of 199 BSW and 507 MSW students from U.S. and Canadian Schools of Social Work shed light on the extent to which students are meeting hourly field education requirements. Findings indicate that one quarter of students do not anticipate being able to complete the required number of field hours by the end of the semester, and another quarter report not accurately logging their hours. These findings raise important questions about ethical standards and current models of field practicum.
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Recent Articles of Note

Published May 2016

by Rebecca Dessertine, MSW Candidate
Simmons College

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.
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From the Editor: “Moving the Needle” in Field Education

Published May 2016

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW
Editor

How apropos it is, and what an honor for the Field Educator, to have Dr. Darla Spence Coffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Social Work Education, engaged in an interview by Dr. Bill Fisher, Director of Field Education and professor at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, and a leader of the task force that developed a first ever-survey of field directors in the United States for the purpose of learning about the state of field education.
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The Future of Field Education: A Conversation with Darla Spence Coffey

Published May 2016

by Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, MSW
Council on Social Work Education

William T. Fisher, Jr, EdD, MSW
Springfield College
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[Editor’s Note: In this issue’s Conversation, Dr. Darla Spence Coffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Social Work Education, is interviewed by Springfield College’s Director of Field Education and Professor, Dr. Bill Fisher. In a wide-ranging interview we learn about Dr. Coffey’s thoughts on the preliminary findings of the recent national Commission on Field Education (COFE) survey, and her impressive efforts to better link Field Education to federal workforce development initiatives. CSWE’s new affiliation with The National Center for Interprofessional Practice in Education is also discussed. Preliminary findings of the COFE survey of Field Directors on Models, Staffing and Resources can be found at CSWE]   

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The Resurgence of Moral Basis in Social Work Field Education: The Experience of Field Instructors in Hong Kong

Published May 2016

by Sandra Oi-Ngor Cheung, RSW, PhD
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
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Abstract: A reflective paradigm, practice wisdom (a kind of moral engagement practice), represents a challenge to the dominant paradigm of technical rationality when dealing with human interactions in the context of social work practice. The author developed a theoretical framework of four features of practice wisdom, a practical moral knowledge, and explored how field instructors exercise this pedagogical practice wisdom in social work field instruction in Hong Kong. This article evaluates concerns about field instructors’ role in reviving the moral basis in their teaching. Implications for field instructors are discussed.

Keywords: field instructors, moral engagement, practice wisdom
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2015 Heart of Social Work Award Winner: Carol Heinisch

Published May 2016

by Kathryn Ross, MSW
University of Denver
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[Carol Heinisch was named winner of the 2015 Heart of Social Work Award at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting in Denver, CO on October 17, 2015. The award is presented annually by the North American Network of Field Educators and Directors in recognition of an agency-based field instructor that has made exemplary contributions to field education and the social work profession. What follows is taken from the nomination submitted by Kathryn Ross, Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, in support of Carol Heinisch as an excellent candidate for the award. – Editor’s Note]

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Book Review – Finding Your Way Through Field Work

Published May 2016

by Judith Perlstein, MSW
Boston University
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Glassman, U. E. (2016). Finding your way through field work: A social work student’s guide. Washington, DC: Sage Publications, Inc.
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Field Education With External Supervision: Supporting Student Learning

Published October 2015

by Ines Zuchowski, PhD
James Cook University
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Abstract: The importance of field education in preparing social work students for professional practice is globally acknowledged. At times considered less desirable than placements with internal supervision, current workplace and tertiary education contexts see an increase in field education with external supervision. This paper reports on qualitative research that explored the experiences of key stakeholders in social work field education with external supervision in Australia. Findings highlight that field education with external supervision, like other social work practice learning opportunities, is focused on learning about practicing social work. Potential and inherent challenges of placements with external supervision are discussed.

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Conversation With Gary Bailey On Social Workers’ Commitment to Social Justice

Published October 2015

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW
Editor
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[Editor’s Note: In our Spring 2015 Issue, the Conversation featured an interview between Gary Bailey, Professor of Practice at the Simmons School of Social Work, and Cynthia Williams, Assistant Dean for Field Education and Community Partnerships at Washington University’s Brown School, about the events in Ferguson, MO in the Summer of 2014. More than a year has passed since Ferguson, and the issues of police brutality and the killing of unarmed people of color remain ever present. We’ve asked Gary Bailey back, to be interviewed by Field Educator Editor Kim Harriman. Kim is also the Field Director at the Simmons School of Social Work. In this interview, Gary looks back over a tumultuous year and also discusses his ideas about how field educators can leverage their unique perspectives to help their schools be more responsive to the community.]

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Students Today, Educators Tomorrow: Shaping the Social Work Curriculum to Enhance Field Education

Published October 2015

by Eileen McKee, MSW
University of Toronto

Tammy Muskat, MSW
North York General Hospital

Illana Perlman, MSW, RSW
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto
Adjunct Lecturer: Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
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The development of competence in the professional practice of social work is a primary objective of all social work programs. Field education is the “signature pedagogy” of the profession (Council on Social Work Education, 2008). It offers students pivotal learning opportunities through which knowledge can be integrated and applied to practice, and competence in practice skills can be developed. Indeed, it has been identified as the most significant component of the social work curriculum in preparing competent, effective, and ethical social workers (Bogo, 2006). However, field education faces a significant challenge in finding supervisors and internships for students. This paper describes the efforts of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto to encourage students to make a commitment to the training of future generations of social workers.

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Changing Systems: Integrating Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in Social Work Practice

Published October 2015

by Jill Russett, PhD
Christopher Newport University
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According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), among persons 17 and older, one in eleven or 8.6% of the population has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder (Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality [CBHSQ], 2013). Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive and integrated public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with, and at risk of developing, substance use disorders (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2015). The use of screening and brief intervention for alcohol use, specifically SBIRT, has been well established in the literature as a primary means in helping individuals recognize and change unhealthy patterns of use (SAMHSA, 2015). This article will suggest ways that SBIRT training can be integrated into the curriculum of social work classroom and field education.

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Creating an Integrative Model of Education and Support for Field Instructors

Published October 2015

by Beth Massaro, Ed.D
Longwood University

Mary Stebbins, LCSW
Longwood University
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Field education for social work students is one of the most critical components of their training and educational experience. In fact, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has identified field education as the “signature pedagogy” of social work (CSWE, 2008; Wayne, Bogo, & Raskin, 2010). Inherent in the training of students is the expectation that students will receive professional and appropriate supervision and guidance from field instructors (Knight, 2001). It is important for social work programs to provide support and training for all field instructors to ensure the success of the students, retain outstanding field instructors and continue to create high quality practicum experiences (Globerman & Bogo, 2003; Murdock, Ward, Ligon, & Jindani, 2006).

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Thinking Inside the Box: Mining Field Placements within the College Infrastructure

Published October 2015

by Jennifer Meade, PhD
Rhode Island College

Mary McLaughlin, MSW
Rhode Island College

Laura Woods, MSW Candidate
Rhode Island College
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The Council on Social Work Education has referred to the field experience as the “signature pedagogy” of social work education (Wayne, Bogo, & Raskin, 2010). Traditionally, social work field placements have been located off-campus at community agencies and facilities. However, this traditional arrangement has been challenged on two fronts. Schools of social work have increasingly large enrollments of students, a number of whom have life demands that affect their education, and some who have disabilities. Agencies find it difficult to train interns because of fiscal constraints and concerns about productivity and liability. This article describes the ways in which the Rhode Island College (RIC) School of Social Work has taken a step back and, instead of identifying a “perfect fit” for social work students within various agencies, began to discover where social workers can be matched within existing structures in the college.

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Integrating Research and Practice in Baccalaureate Field Education Through Collaborative Student/Faculty Research

Published October 2015

by Michael J. Lyman, PhD
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Sarah Meisenhelter Strayer, MSW
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Alumni

Virginia Z. Koser, MSW
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Alumni

Stephen Stoeffler, PhD
Kutztown University

Emily Kephart, MSW
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Alumni
Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)
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Social work students are expected to learn to be both consumers and creators of research. This article will describe the efforts of the Shippensburg University Department of Social Work and Gerontology BSW program to integrate research and practice in field education. In 2004, a large number of students had their final semester internships at child welfare agencies in the counties surrounding Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Four students also participated in the Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates (CWEB) program, and collaborated with faculty to conduct qualitative and quantitative research at their placement sites. Benefits and dilemmas of the CWEB program are presented.

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The Devil is in the Details: A Content Analysis of Field Manuals

Published October 2015

by Elisa M. Martin, PhD
Siena College

Toni-Marie Ciarfella, LCSWR
Marist College
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Abstract: The study is a content analysis of twenty undergraduate field education manuals from one northeast state using NVIVO, a qualitative data analysis software. The authors examined how the manuals’ content supports program transparency in gatekeeping into the profession and the roles of faculty field liaisons and agency field supervisors. In the transition to the 2015 Council on Social Work Education Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (CSWE EPAS), the authors also examined the incorporation of the EPAS competencies. The manuals showed some consistency but also variation of content and detail.
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News from NANFED

Published October 2015

by Lisa Richardson
President and Treasurer, NANFED

We are pleased to share several organizational developments at the North American Network of Field Educators and Directors (NANFED). In August, we gained federal non-profit status as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. We also expanded our board of directors.

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Job Postings

Published October 2015

by

A list of current job openings in Field Education around the country.
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A Tribute to Jo Ann McFall

Published October 2015

by Lisa Richardson, MSS
St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas
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Editor’s Note: In July 2015 Jo Ann McFall completed her term as Chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s Council on Field Education and simultaneously retired from 23 years at the School of Social Work at Michigan State University. Jo Ann is the 2015 recipient of NANFED’s Dean Schneck Memorial Award for Distinction in Social Work Field Education. Field Educator invited Lisa Richardson to pay tribute to Jo Ann’s contributions as a leader in field education.

I still remember the first time I was in a meeting with Jo Ann McFall. It was in Philadelphia, at the 2008 Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting, when I was just slightly over a year into my position as MSW Field Director. Like many social work field directors, I came from direct practice into the role. Probably also like many, I spent most of the first year discovering what I didn’t know about field education. The early morning meeting was for Consortium Chairs of the North American Network of Field Educators and Directors (NANFED). Like so many other occasions in that first year, it was accelerating my sense of what I did not know. But I was struck by Jo Ann’s contributions: insightful, direct, pragmatic, and credible. I was relieved to identify someone who I could reach out to as a mentor.

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From the Editor, October 2015: On “Doing” Justice in the Field: An Invitation

Published October 2015

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW
Editor

People with mental illness are blamed for misuse of guns and mass shootings; people of color are targeted in countless and violent ways; and those who are poor face overwhelming inequities and lack of access at all turns. Sadly and outrageously, oppression and injustice surround us.

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Recent Articles of Note

Published October 2015

by Jane Farrell, MSW Candidate
Simmons College

Nicole Fordey, MSW
Simmons College

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.

Read more »


Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: A Reflection of Present Day Racism and A Strive to Change

Published April 2015

by Justin Marotta, MSW Candidate
Simmons School of Social Work
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  • 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.

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The Indispensable Faculty Liaison Within the Signature Pedagogy: the Integrated Field/Classroom Model (IFCM) as an Example

Published April 2015

by Kathleen F. Armenta, MSW
The University of Texas at Austin

Tamera B. Linseisen, MSW
The University of Texas at Austin
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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).

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Healthcare Orientation Program for MSW Interns

Published April 2015

by Noelle Dimitri, MSW
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Nancy Blumberg, MSW
Simmons School of Social Work

Ellen Goodman, MSW
Boston Children's Hospital

Carolyn Masshardt, MSW
Bridgewater State University

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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.

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Best Practice Research in Field in Four “Easy” Steps

Published April 2015

by Jennifer Harrison, MSW
Western Michigan University
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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.

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Book Review – Social Work Field Directors

Published April 2015

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW
Editor

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 »


Heart of Social Work Award Winner: Illana Perlman

Published April 2015

by Eileen McKee, MSW
University of Toronto
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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.

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A Conversation About Ferguson and Social Work Education

Published April 2015

by Suzanne Sankar, MSW
Editor
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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 »


News from NANFED

Published April 2015

by Lisa Richardson
President and Treasurer, NANFED

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.

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Job Postings

Published April 2015

by

A list of current job openings in Field Education around the country.
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Recent Articles of Note

Published April 2015

by Sandra Rago, MSW Candidate
Simmons College

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.

Read more »


Building Confidence in Social Work Interns Through an Evidence-Based Practice Seminar During Field Education

Published April 2015

by Peter Ducharme, MSW
Children's Hospital Boston

Ashley Rober, BS
Children's Hospital Boston

Elizabeth Wharff, PhD
Children's Hospital Boston

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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.
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Evaluating Social Work Education Outcomes: The SWEAP Field Practicum Placement Assessment Instrument (FPPAI)

Published April 2015

by Brian Christenson, PhD
Capella University

Tobi Delong-Hamilton, PhD
University of Utah

Patrick Panos, PhD
University of Utah

Kathryn Krase, PhD
Long Island University, Brooklyn

Victoria Buchan, PhD
Colorado State University

Dorothy Farrel, PhD
Colorado State University

Tameca Harris-Jackson, PhD
Texas A&M University

Ruth Gerritsen-McKane, PhD
University of Utah

Roy Rodenhiser, EdD
Boise State University
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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.
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From the Editor, April 2015: “If Not You, Then Who?”

Published April 2015

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW
Editor

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?”

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Healthcare Student Social Work Orientation

Published April 2015

by Sandra Rago, MSW Candidate
Simmons School of Social Work
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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.

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Field Work: Embracing Vulnerability and Trusting Process

Published April 2015

by Michele Lubowsky, MSW Candidate
Simmons School of Social Work
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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.

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From the Editor, October 2014

Published October 2014

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW
Editor

I recently sat at a table with colleagues: fellow field directors, training directors, and healthcare administrators – all social workers – reflecting on a project we shared over the period of a year. When we began, some of us knew one another a little, some were quite connected, and others virtual strangers. One year later, we reflected on the connected and collaborative group we had become. We shared a common focus, brought our ideas, watched them evolve, and managed to produce something together that excited us, inspired us, and united us.  I always marvel at the power of creative conversation born of a common language and a shared worldview; and of the learning that occurs (as we will eternally teach our students) in relationship with one another.

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Winners of the 2014 Excellence in Field Scholarship Prize Announced

Published October 2014

by Nicole Frankel, MSW
Simmons School of Social Work

The Simmons School of Social Work and the Field Educator sponsor an annual award to promote excellence in field education scholarship. A $1,000 prize is awarded for an outstanding paper on social work field education. We are pleased to announce this year’s winners are Paul P. Freddolino, Sheryl Groden, Julie Navarre, Jo Ann McFall, Amanda T. Woodward, and Alison Jahr from Michigan State University School of Social Work.
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It All Started with a Tweet…Thoughts on Incorporating Twitter into Field Education

Published October 2014

by Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, PhD
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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Abstract: The author, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Social Work, shares her experience of assigning social media projects to her social work students, including the use of micro-blogging site Twitter. She shares resources and stories of Twitter in her classroom and seeks to continue the conversation about Twitter in social work through the social media platform.

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Are Students’ Rights Violated in Field Practicums?: A Review of the Fair Labor Standards Act in Social Work Field Education

Published October 2014

by Rachel Slaymaker, LMSW
Abilene Christian University
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Abstract: In recent years, there has been much confusion over whether or not internships violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This article discusses the catalyst leading to the media coverage of internships as a “hot button issue” in higher education. The author distinguishes between traditional internships and the nature of the social work field practicum. The article also outlines the importance of field education programs remaining structured, organized, and well-staffed to provide the significant oversight needed to ensure educational opportunities are afforded to students and to protect students, staff, faculty, and universities from potential litigation.

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Field Instruction in Mandated Reporting Laws for Abuse and Neglect

Published October 2014

by Cynthia H. Dickman, MSW
University of Washington
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Abstract: The excitement social work graduates experience in finding initial employment or paid practice speaks to their confidence in applying social work knowledge, values, and skills toward social justice. However, an area of expertise that may cause anxiety and temper that confidence is graduates’ vague comprehension of legal mandates to report suspected abuse or neglect. It is imperative that schools and colleges of social work assume responsibility for preparing students for this aspect of social service. Students may attempt to fill the gaps in their knowledge with their own biases, in terms of their subjective experiences and culture. Evidence of over-reporting or under-reporting of some ethnic or social groups exposes the slant of professionals’ perceptions and perspectives in reporting. Social work field instruction in this area of practice could contribute to mitigating the impact of bias and privilege in the social work profession, while increasing graduates’ confidence to address a disclosure or observation of abuse or neglect. In order to achieve these goals, the University of Washington School of Social Work included in its introductory course on field education specific instruction on mandated reporting of neglect and abuse.

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Using Field Evaluation Data for Continuous Quality Improvement: A Policy Competency Example

Published October 2014

by Paul Freddolino, PhD
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Sheryl Groden, LCSW
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Julie Navarre, LMSW
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Jo Ann McFall, LMSW
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Amanda Toler Woodward, PhD
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Alisson Jahr, BASW
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Download a PDF of this article

Abstract: Although many programs utilize field education outcomes in their overall assessment plan, there are few models for how to use these data for continuous quality improvement, especially when benchmarks have been met. This article presents a model for developing a field-based intervention to improve the incorporation of policy-related content in field. It is grounded in one school’s experience with the 2008 EPAS policy competency, which outcome data showed to be among the lowest competencies over several years in this school’s BASW and MSW programs. Implications for enhancing curriculum content and improving the connection between classroom and field are considered.
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Back to Basics: A Skill-Based Approach to Assessing Social Work Students within Directly-Observed Practice

Published October 2014

by Mark Irwin
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
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Abstract: This article is based on a piece of research completed with final-year social work students and practice teachers (educators/assessors) within Northern Ireland. The work was concerned with the assessment of students via direct observations of “live” practice, and captured the views, perceptions, and experiences of students and practice teachers.

The findings highlighted the complexity of the direct observation process and the need for effective skills in preparation, assessment, planning, communication, evaluation, and intervention/participation. The outcome challenges current thinking, as there was a high level of support for the use of professional discretion to intervene by practice teachers during an observation.
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Integrated Primary Care: Practice and Training Implications

Published October 2014

by Suzanne Sankar, MSW
Editor
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The Affordable Care Act is changing the nature of social work practice in healthcare. One exciting area of innovation is the integration of primary care and behavioral healthcare. Schools of social work should anticipate developing more placements in integrated care settings, such as medical homes, community health centers, and health clinics co-located with mental health clinics. This issue’s Conversation addresses the skills and knowledge base necessary for integrated care practice. Do students need a new skillset or are the skills similar to traditional social work practice? Sandra Bailly, M.S.W., Associate Professor of Practice and Assistant Director of the Simmons School of Social Work Field Department interviews Alexander Blount, Ed.D.,  Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry and Director of The Center for Integrated Primary Care at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. —Editor’s Note

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Field Learning in Social Work Education: Implications for Educators and Instructors

Published October 2014

by Eleni Papouli, PhD
Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Athens
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Abstract: Field learning plays a leading role in social work education, and as such, social work educators and field instructors need to know how their students learn and develop during the field education experience; by being aware of the ways in which students learn and develop in social work agencies, educators and instructors can better understand students’ educational needs and find ways to best support them through the learning process in practice. In this spirit, the article examines field learning in social work education in relation to the two dominant learning approaches for students as adult learners [individual approaches (adult learning theory) and sociocultural learning approaches] and looks at their application in field placement settings. The article highlights the multifaceted nature of field learning while suggesting that sociocultural approaches are closely associated with the nature of learning in field settings, and as such, they are particularly important for understanding the process of students’ learning in social work field education.
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A Program Evaluation of Block and Concurrent Practicum Formats

Published October 2014

by Angela Curl, PhD
University of Missouri

Suzanne Cary, MSW
University of Missouri
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Abstract: This study investigates issues related to block versus concurrent formats for the advanced MSW field placement. Quantitative and qualitative survey data were collected from current MSW students (N = 103) and field instructors (N = 84). Each group identified the advantages of both block and concurrent formats for field education. Educational outcomes, the needs and preferences of students and field placement sites, and institutional perspectives should be taken into account when developing field curriculum and policies. Offering both types of practicum formats may be one way to maximize student choice and field placement options.

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Introducing FIELD: Field Instructors Extending EBP Learning in Dyads

Published October 2014

by Julie Tennille, PhD
West Chester University

Phyllis Solomon, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Joretha Bourjolly, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Andrea Doyle, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
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Abstract: Field Instructors Extending EBP Learning in Dyads (FIELD) has been crafted in consideration of the social work profession’s need for innovative and collaborative models with field education that further evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation efforts. FIELD is driven by the continuing education interests of field instructors and the availability of local expertise, and it embraces the complementary strengths of students and field instructors. Herein, we provide the background for the development of such a curricula model and delineate model components. FIELD may offer a viable curricula option for synchronizing academic and field efforts toward sustainable social work workforce improvements.
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The Dean Schneck Memorial Award for Distinction in Social Work Field Education Winner: Emeline Homonoff

Published October 2014

by Nicole Frankel, MSW
Simmons School of Social Work
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Fierce. Compassionate. Inspiring. Welcoming. Artful. Imaginative. Encouraging. Supportive. Joyful. A true visionary with the scholarship and sensitivity to back it up.

These are just a few of the words used to describe Emeline Homonoff, or Emmie as she is affectionately known, by her students, colleagues, and counterparts in field education throughout the country and beyond.

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News from NANFED

Published October 2014

by Lisa Richardson
President and Treasurer, NANFED

The North American Network of Field Educators and Directors (NANFED) is pleased to announce several events at the 2014 CSWE Annual Program Meeting (APM), in Tampa, FL.  All are welcome as we consider best practices in field education and celebrate exemplars of the signature pedagogy of social work education.

Read more »


Recent Articles of Note

Published October 2014

by Nicole Frankel, MSW
Production and Editorial Assistant

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.

Read more »


Talking about My Generation, But Not Necessarily about Me: Working with Older Adults in a Community Setting

Published October 2014

by Natasha Naim, MSW
Simmons School of Social Work
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The author is a newly graduated student of the Simmons School of Social work. In this article, she touches upon the lessons she has learned from working in the field with older adults and discusses the greater cultural and societal factors that she has observed that have impacted the older adult population.

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University of Buffalo Self-Care Photo Contest for Social Workers

Published October 2014

by

inSocialWork®, the podcast series of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, is hosting a Self-Care Photo Contest on Facebook.

Entering is easy! Just follow these three easy steps:

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Job Postings

Published October 2014

by

A list of current job openings in Field Education around the country.
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MSW Student Perception of Evaluation Research as a Capstone Project: A Pilot Study

Published October 2014

by Marcie Fisher-Borne, PhD
North Carolina State University

Jodi K. Hall, PhD
North Carolina State University

Willa Casstevens, PhD
North Carolina State University
Download a PDF of this article

Abstract: This article presents initial results of an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved case study exploring ways students may benefit from completing a capstone project within field practicum and research course sequences. The capstone project consists of an evaluation research project developed and completed during the final two semesters of a student’s MSW program. To assess perceived benefits, the authors surveyed graduating students (N = 59) at the end of their year-long project (n = 39 respondents; response rate 66%). In addition, qualitative data was obtained from written self-assessment exercises (n = 14). Lessons learned can contribute to improving pedagogy and enriching students’ field experiences.
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The Heart of Social Work Winner: Nancy Jefferson Mance

Published April 2014

by Deborah L. Winters, LCSW
USC School of Social Work
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This speech was delivered by Deborah Winters of the University of Southern California, at the 2013 CSWE Annual Program Meeting in Dallas, Texas. In it, Ms. Winters honors her colleague, Nancy Jefferson Mance, recipient of NANFED’s 2013 Heart of Social Work Award. –Editor’s Note

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From the Editor, April 2014

Published April 2014

by Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Editor

Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of the Field Educator! This will be our fifth issue since the journal’s inception in 2011. We are pleased to report that we now have 1316 active subscribers, and the journal’s webpage had almost 25,000 visits last year. Furthermore, we’re broadening the reach of the journal by spreading it in new formats; in response to popular demand for multiple ways to access Field Educator articles, we have created PDFs of all of our Field Educator articles in order to make it easier for you to share individual articles with students and colleagues. Thank you to the Field Educator community of scholars, educators, field instructors, and students.

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Charge to the Field Brigade

Published April 2014

by Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Editor
Download this poem as a PDF

Armed with their mission—the teaching of social work—

Into this new world go field educators.

Update your syllabus: EPAS[1] are still with us;

Develop more internships—now and not later!
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2014 Prize for Excellence in Field Education Scholarship

Published April 2014

by

The Simmons School of Social Work and the Field Educator sponsor an annual award to promote excellence in field education scholarship. A $1,000 prize will be awarded for an outstanding paper on social work field education. The winning paper will be announced at the 2014 Annual Program Meeting (APM) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and will be published in the Fall or Spring issue of the Field Educator. All entries must meet the submission guidelines for the Field Scholar section of the Field Educator.

Read more »


Recent Articles of Note

Published April 2014

by Nicole Frankel
Student Editorial Assistant

Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Editor

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. Whenever possible, we have provided links to freely available full-text articles.

Read more »


News from the Field Council

Published April 2014

by Jo Ann McFall, Chair
Council on Field Education

First, many thanks to Emmie Homonoff, Editor of the Field Educator, for inviting me to share information regarding the CSWE Council on Field Education (COFE) through this important electronic venue!  My goal is to help inform readers of Field Council and related CSWE activities.
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Feedback Sought on Draft 2: 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS)

Published April 2014

by Suzanne Sankar, MSW
Editor

CSWE’s Commission on Educational Policy (COEP) and Commission on Accreditation (COA) has released the second draft of the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) for public review, comment, and feedback. Feedback on Draft 2  opens on March 14, 2014 and will close on May 16, 2014.
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Interprofessional Education and Social Work

Published April 2014

by Suzanne Sankar, MSW
Editor
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In this issue’s Conversation, we turn our attention to interprofessional education and explore the implications of this framework for social work education. The goal of interprofessional education is to promote collaborative team-based practice with the aim of improving patient care and health outcomes, while also reducing health care costs. Betsy Voshel, Director of Field Education at the University of Michigan, interviews Shelley Cohen Conrad, Director of the University of New England’s Center for Interprofessional Education in Biddeford Maine (http://www.une.edu/ceipe/). The center promotes educational programming and collaborative practice across health professions, including social work, nursing, and pharmacy.  —Editor’s Note
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Reflections of a Career Changer

Published April 2014

by Nicole Frankel, MSW Candidate
Simmons College
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I was an English major for my undergraduate studies at a large private college in the Boston area. I had two internships in different sections of the publishing industry. After graduating with a BA in English in 2009, I was hired for my first “real world” job as an editorial assistant for a nationally recognized medical journal. I stayed at this job for three years and fine-tuned my proofreading, editing, project management, and organizational skills. However, I felt trapped by the gray walls of my cubicle and an endless barrage of emails being my only contact with the outside world. I craved face-to-face connection. I dreamed of using my dedication, determination, and studiousness to create real change in our society. I was a psychology minor during undergrad but never thought it would go anywhere because I only enjoyed the “people side” of psychology and not the “science side” of the inner workings of the brain and pathologizing diagnoses. I mentioned to my therapist at the time that I was considering a career change. She suggested that I look into the social work field.

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Compassion Fatigue in Social Work Students

Published April 2014

by Miranda Smith, MSW Candidate
University of Nevada, Reno
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In my first year of field placement as a master’s of social work student, I interned at a local hospital. In the second semester, I stayed specifically in the trauma ICU, and to some extent, the ER, places of high emotional stress for social workers and nurses due to the near-constant exposure to the effects of trauma and death (Adams & Riggs, 2008; Badger et al., 2008; Bride, Jones, & Macmaster, 2007; Dane & Chachkes, 2003; Dominguez-Gomez & Ruteledge, 2009). I was concerned that I would be negatively affected by this experience, so I started researching the negative effects of working in a helping capacity with traumatized individuals for one of my classes. This is when I first discovered the concept of compassion fatigue, which is related to burnout and to secondary traumatic stress as well as vicarious trauma (Dane & Chachkes, 2003; Figley, 1999; Noushadd, 2008; Stamm, 2010). According to Stamm (2010), compassion fatigue consists of both burnout and secondary traumatic stress, and thus has symptoms of exhaustion, frustration, anger, and depression, as well as negative feelings driven by fear and work‐related trauma. Signs of compassion fatigue can include insomnia, physical/emotional exhaustion, a diminished sense of enjoyment, irritability, and avoidance (Figley, 1995).

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Field Placement as an Ethnographic Opportunity

Published April 2014

by Naomi Rush Olson, MSW Candidate
Simmons School of Social Work
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Abstract: This essay argues that social work field curricula should encourage students to view their placement settings as sites of culture and should adapt tools and insights from anthropology to improve the educational value of the field experience. Students in the field occupy an insider-outsider role in their placement sites that fosters a distinctive and valuable point of view. Unfortunately, many resulting experiences and insights are not adequately processed in assigned reflective writing and supervision contexts. Anthropologists record their field impressions in ethnographic field notes, which subsequently become data for reflective and analytic processing, a method that can be usefully adapted to social work education.

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Should End-Measures for Every Competency and Practice Behavior Come from Field Practicum Evaluation?

Published April 2014

by Dianna Cooper-Bolinskey, MSW
Indiana State University

Angela M. Napier, PhD
Indiana State University
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Abstract: Field education is recognized as the signature pedagogy in social work education. In this article, we acknowledge the inherent support for using the competencies and practice behaviors set forth by the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) for evaluating student performance as well as social work curriculum. However, we propose challenges to adopting field education ratings from field instructors as one of two means for evaluating the social work curriculum at both the individual and programmatic levels. With the 2015 EPAS currently in draft stages toward adoption in June 2015, this article underscores points of consideration.

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Gimme That Old-time Reflection: Process Recording

Published April 2014

by Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Simmons College
Download a PDF of this article

Process recording is a time-honored vehicle for reflection in schools of social work, especially in the United States (Urdang, 1975). Process recording calls upon interns’ capacity for observation and recall, requiring verbatim reporting of an interview with a client or clients. It also encourages analysis: it begins with a description of the purpose and goals of the intervention, as well as the setting and participants; it allows for a description of the rationale for intervention and the skills utilized; and it ends with impressions, plans for the future, and questions for the student’s supervisors. Most importantly for reflection, the process recording has space for interns to record their thoughts and feelings in a column or columns parallel to the dialogue of the transcript (Fox & Gutheil, 2000; Graybeal & Ruff, 1995; Neuman & Friedman, 1997; Urdang, 1979).
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Field Placements: Are Our Students with Disabilities the Pearls of the School of Social Work?

Published April 2014

by Naomi White, MSW
University of Akron

Sandra Morales, MSW Candidate
University of Akron

Daniel Wright, III, MSW Candidate
University of Akron
Download a PDF of this article

Starting in 2011, the University of Akron School of Social Work has developed internships for social work students within various departments of the University. Ensuring that these internships meet the expectations set forth by the Council on Social Work is challenging in itself. This year, additional complications arose when a student with physical disabilities was placed at the School of Social Work. This paper will describe how the field department and the student collaborated to overcome obstacles and make the internship a success. Narratives are included from the student and from a fellow social work student, who helped him and was helped by him in turn.
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Inside/Outside Training: A Campus-Based Field Unit Approach for Working with Veterans

Published April 2014

by Katherine Selber, PhD
Texas State University, San Marcos

Nancy Chavkin, PhD
Texas State University, San Marcos
Download a PDF of this article

Abstract: This article reports on the development and implementation of a campus-based, faculty-supervised field unit used to train Bachelor’s and Master’s-level social work students to work with military personnel, veterans, and their families. The model starts with working inside the campus environment by using services to student veterans to both respond to needs of the student veteran population and to teach competencies for serving the veteran population outside of the campus in community veteran service organizations. It discusses the lessons learned from student outcomes and program outcomes over the past three years and implications.
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The Affordable Care Act and Social Work Field Education: A Shifting Landscape

Published April 2014

by Kim Kelly Harriman, MSW, LICSW
Simmons College

Carlin Blount, MSW Candidate
Simmons College
Download a PDF of this article

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) is a critical milestone in healthcare reform, though our country still struggles towards healthcare equality. It follows the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, which requires that health insurance benefits for mental health conditions are no more restrictive than benefits for medical conditions (“Mental Health Parity,” 2014). This legislation laid a foundation for mental health awareness and parity that is fundamental in the Affordable Care Act. This article describes one school’s exploration of the effects of the ACA – especially “medical homes” – on social work field education.
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New Book for Social Work Field Directors Now Available

Published April 2014

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Field educators Cindy Hunter, Julia Moen and Miriam Raskin are coeditors of Social Work Field Directors: Foundations for Excellence, published by Lyceum Books.
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Conferences and Calls for Papers

Published April 2014

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A list of upcoming Field Education conferences/symposia and calls for papers around the country.
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Job Postings

Published April 2014

by

A list of current job openings in Field Education around the country.
Read more »


From the Editor, October 2013

Published October 2013

by Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Editor

Welcome to the Fall 2013 issue of the Field Educator! We are entering our third year with a growing list of readers and subscribers. With the launch of this new issue, we are pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Excellence in Field Scholarship Award: Robin Ringstad of California State University, Stanislaus. Dr. Ringstad’s article, “Competency level versus level of competency: The field evaluation dilemma,” opens the Field Scholar section.

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NANFED: Revamped and Reinvigorated

Published October 2013

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The leadership of the North American Network of Field Educators and Directors (NANFED) is pleased to announce the group’s 2013 reincorporation. Having been originally founded in 1987 to promote the interests of social work field education, NANFED continues pursuing this mission through a range of activities that promote the interests of field education. With renewed focus and dedication, and in collaboration with a nationwide network of consortia and field educators, NANFED will continue its critical work representing an independent voice on behalf of field educators, supporting best practices through field education scholarship, and promoting and celebrating quality field education. A 24/7 resource, the newly-launched NANFED Web site provides up-to-date information and networking opportunities for current and prospective members.

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Competency Level versus Level of Competency: The Field Evaluation Dilemma

Published October 2013

by Robin L. Ringstad, PhD
California State University, Stanislaus
Download a PDF of this article

Abstract: This study examines the use of a competency-based scoring rubric to measure students’ field practicum performance and competency development. Rubrics were used to complete mid-year and final evaluations for 56 MSW students in their foundation field practicum. Results indicate that students scored higher than expected on competency development measures, appearing to provide evidence of good overall program outcomes in terms of competency levels achieved by students. Results also appear to provide evidence of grade inflation by field instructors, however, calling into question whether students have actually gained adequate skills to engage in competent social work practice.

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Social Attitudes of Field Instructors

Published October 2013

by Bronwyn Cross-Denny, PhD
Sacred Heart University

Janna C. Heyman, PhD
Fordham University

Yvette M. Sealy, PhD, MPH
Fordham University

Dana B. Marlowe, PhD
Fordham University

Jill Cretella, MSW
Fordham University
Download a PDF of this article

Abstract: In both the classroom setting and field practicum, social work students begin to develop competence in practice with diverse populations. Field instructors play a critical role in educating students on diversity issues and preparing students to practice without bias. A cross-sectional study was conducted to better understand social attitudes of field instructors participating in a Seminar in Field Instructor (SIFI) training (N=88). The field instructors had generally positive attitudes. Results indicated that field instructors’ comfort level and demographic variables were predictors of social attitudes. Implications for social work field instruction are discussed.
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2014 Prize for Excellence in Field Education Scholarship

Published October 2013

by

The Simmons School of Social Work and the Field Educator sponsor an annual award to promote excellence in field education scholarship. A $1,000 prize will be awarded for an outstanding paper on social work field education. The winning paper will be announced at the 2014 Annual Program Meeting (APM) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and will be published in the Fall or Spring issue of the Field Educator. All entries must meet the submission guidelines for the Field Scholar section of the Field Educator.

Read more »


Empowering Students to Promote Social Justice: A Qualitative Study of Field Instructors’ Perceptions and Strategies

Published October 2013

by Kirsten Havig, PhD
University of Oklahoma - Tulsa
Download a PDF of this article

Abstract: This qualitative study examines field instructors’ perceptions of social work practice that promotes social justice. The author conducted 17 in-depth interviews with qualified field instructors using grounded theory methods to elicit perceptions of the meaning of social justice among field instructors and pedagogical strategies related to empowering students in the promotion of social justice. Findings reflect field instruction goals and tasks based on the lived experiences of social work practitioners providing the practicum experience. This study offers a framework for social work field instruction that employs exposure to diverse clients and manifestations of injustice, focused discussion, and role modeling as educational strategies. It also provides a theoretical frame, rooted in empowerment, for field instruction that centers on student values socialization, validation through experience, building critical thinking skills, and emphasis on the reflexive action.

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The Behavior Change Project: A Field Assignment in Empathy Building, Self-Awareness, and Direct Clinical Practice

Published October 2013

by Susan Elswick, EdD, MSSW
University of Memphis
Download a PDF of this article

Abstract: The author describes the use of a behavior change project implemented in a social work field seminar at the University of Memphis. Students select one of their own behaviors to change and implement an empirical study of their progress in changing the behavior. The project provides the students with an opportunity to put themselves in the client’s place in a way that also assists them with understanding direct practice and evaluating clinical outcomes.

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Call for Papers, October 2013

Published October 2013

by Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Editor

The Field Scholar is the section of the Field Educator devoted to the publication of formal, scholarly articles on theory and research in field education. Field Scholar is issuing a call for theory and research papers on a variety of subjects. These subjects include best practices in field instruction, measures of competencies in field, school-agency collaborations and innovative approaches to challenges in field education. These articles will be reviewed for rigor and relevance by members of a panel of noted field educators from the US and abroad; the list of consulting editors can be found in About Us.

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Job Openings

Published October 2013

by

A list of current job openings in Field Education around the country.
Read more »


Recent Articles of Note

Published October 2013

by Nicole Frankel
Student Editorial Assistant

Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Editor

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. Whenever possible, we have provided links to freely available fulltext articles.

Read more »


An Intern’s Experience of Clinical Supervision in Group Work with Substance Abusers

Published October 2013

by Nickia Miller, MSW Candidate
Springfield College School of Social Work
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Abstract: The author examines the role of clinical supervision, specifically supervision through Cognitive-Analytic Therapy (CAT), for social workers in understanding and managing countertransference and transference in their work with groups and individuals. By relating her own experience as a group work facilitator without CAT supervision and then under CAT supervision, the author concludes that CAT supervision benefits clinicians and facilitators by allowing them to identify their own countertransference and transference as well as that of their clients, helping them to avoid burnout and be more effective in their roles as clinicians.
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The Heart of Social Work Winner: Michael Herskovitz

Published October 2013

by Anne Marie Montijo, MSW
Adelphi University
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The Heart of Social Work Award, presented annually by the North American Network of Field Educators and Directors, is the ultimate award that can be given to a field instructor for excellence in field education. There is no one more deserving of this award than Michael Herskovitz. Mike, as he is affectionately called, is a dedicated educator who has committed a good portion of his professional career to educating future social workers, serving as a field instructor for over 30 years for Adelphi University social work students.

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Marion Bogo on Field Education

Published October 2013

by Suzanne Sankar, MSW
Editor

Participants:
Marion Bogo, MSW
University of Toronto

Trudy Zimmerman, MSW
Boston University School of Social Work
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In this issue’s Conversation, Trudy Zimmerman, Assistant Dean of Field Education at the Boston University School of Social Work, talks with Marion Bogo about the current state of field education. Marion Bogo is a Professor of Social Work in the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She is also the Associate Editor of Social Work Education: The International Journal and the author of several books, book chapters and journal articles on social work education. In 2013, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) presented her with their Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award. —Editor’s Note

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A Poetic Appreciation of Social Work Field Instruction

Published October 2013

by Nai Ming Tsang, PhD
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
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The following is an address that was delivered by Dr. Nai Ming Tsang, a leading Chinese field educator, to a group of approximately 45 social work field instructors at the Department of Applied Social Sciences (APSS) at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. —Editor’s note.

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Inaugurating a Remote Field Review: A Preliminary Report and Reflections

Published October 2013

by Wendy Emory, MSW
Simmons College

Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Simmons College
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Abstract: Simmons School of Social Work inaugurated a remote field review during the spring of 2012 to replace one traditional face-to-face (F2F) field visit. The field education department surveyed its field instructors and liaisons and some students to ascertain their response to this change; this article reports the findings of these surveys.

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The Graduate Field Program and Capstone Evaluation Project

Published October 2013

by Jodi K. Hall, PhD
North Carolina State University

W.J. Casstevens, PhD
North Carolina State University

Marcie Fisher-Borne, PhD
North Carolina State University
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Abstract: This paper describes collaboration between advanced-year MSW students and field agencies of the North Carolina State University Department of Social Work. In an evaluation research course, students work with field instructors to design an evaluation research proposal. During a second course, the students conduct the evaluation and present a final report. This article describes the project, including guidelines for design and implementation of the proposal, protection of client rights through the Institutional Review Board, and facing challenges.

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Culturally Competent Field Education Practice with Guatemalans

Published October 2013

by Steven Granich, DSW
Lock Haven University
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Abstract: Over a million Guatemalans have immigrated to the United States; they are the sixth largest Hispanic group in the country (Motel & Patten, 2012). This article seeks to provide a background for social work students so that they can be culturally competent in engaging with Guatemalan clients. The author examines the violence and poverty that drive Guatemalans to emigrate, as well as the pressures and trauma of immigration into the U.S.A. and the unique strengths of Guatemalan culture, including their traditions and religious beliefs.

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Relational Cultural Theory and Field Education

Published October 2013

by Janice Berry Edwards, PhD
Howard University School of Social Work

Janice M. Davis, MSW
Howard University School of Social Work

Cynthia E. Harris, DHA, MBPA
Howard University School of Social Work
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Abstract: The authors examine the potential uses of Relational Cultural Theory for strengthening the many relationships inherent in field education, pointing to three main elements of Relational Cultural Theory: mutual engagement, mutual empathy, and mutual empowerment. The authors give examples of field education situations in which each of these elements plays a role.

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Recent Articles of Note

Published April 2013

by Nicole Frankel
Student Editorial Assistant

Emeline Homonoff, PhD
Editor

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. Whenever possible, we have provided links to freely available fulltext articles.

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