Field Education in Social Work refers to agency-based learning experiences, which involve client-centered practice with individuals, families, groups, and community client systems.
The Social Work program’s Field Education experience requires a 500-hour supervised field experience during the final semester of the Social Work curriculum.
Field Education reinforces the student’s identification with the purposes, values, and ethics of the profession, fosters the integration of empirical and practice-based knowledge, and promotes the development of professional competence at the generalist level of practice. It is designed to give the student the opportunity to apply his or her knowledge base and skills under supervision.
In all field experiences, the student is expected to abide by the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics (1996) and work within the participating agency’s mission and practice protocols.
Additional details regarding the Field Education experience can be obtained from the Field Education Manual, available at the Campus Bookstore and on-line on the Forms & Manuals page.
I am interning at It Takes A Village, Inc. in Towanda, PA. The purpose of this agency is to surround families with the deepest sense of care and commitment. It Takes A Village offers two different services; Family Group Decision Making and Family Finding. Family Group Decision Making is a process where the staff at ITAV coordinates with families and their natural supports to come up with a plan that best suits their specific need(s). Family Finding is a process required by law in the state of Pennsylvania that states anytime a child enters the child welfare system, research must be done to find any fit and willing relatives who may be able to be a connection or even a permanency option for the child.
I chose this agency because I have always been passionate about working with children and this was a great way for me to do that without getting as intensely involved as in an agency such as Children & Youth Services. In addition to working alongside the social workers here on the Family Finding and Family Group Decision Making processes, my responsibilities included training, advocating for the children served by the agency, compiling data for a state report, attending a state conference, documenting client interaction, answering phones, writing letters and making phone calls to families. I loved my internship here so much that I accepted a job as an administrative assistant/facilitator. My role will stay similar to what it was when I interned but will slowly become more involved as I train to be a facilitator. A facilitator is a neutral party that guides the family through the Family Group Decision Making process. I have already co-facilitated two conferences and both were great experiences. I am really excited about my career here!
I am interning at the Milton Area School District in Milton, PA, with the school social worker. The purpose of the school social worker is to help the students who have behavioral problems or lack social skills. The school social worker teaches her students coping skills, feelings, social skills, and appropriate ways to deal with their emotions.
I chose to intern here because I love working with children and love being in the school environment. I have a passion to help children who are less fortunate than I am. I chose this area because it is close to home. My responsibilities were collecting date for Functional Behavioral Assessment's and writing behavioral plans. I observed students in their classes and supported many of the students who needed social work support. I also tallied many strength and difficulties questionnaires, and administered them to some students. I had my own case load and ran a fifth grade girls group. I loved my internship and will seek employment at a school district in a few years when I have more experience.
I'm interning at Child Protective Services (CPS) in Elmira, Chemung County, NY. It is located in the Department of Social Services. The specific unit of CPS that I'm interning with is the Child Advocacy Center (CAC). This sector of CPS deals with hotline calls that were made regarding sex abuse, domestic violence, child fatalities, drug and alcohol concerns as well as any hotline calls that deal with police contact.
The purpose of the Child Advocacy Center is to have a multi-disciplinary approach to solving these more "difficult and sensitive" investigations. The case worker works hand in hand with other professionals including; mental health providers, doctors, school personnel, foster care workers, police officers/investigators (from all local agencies) and victim advocates for abuse. The main purpose of using a multi-disciplinary approach is so that the children are not interviewed multiple times by different people, thus lessening their trauma. The children go through Forensic Interviews with a caseworker or investigator to gather information surrounding the allegations and the care within the home. These interviews take place at the Child Advocacy Center, which has very child friendly interview rooms. The interviews are recorded and disbursed to the appropriate individuals (case workers, law enforcement, etc.). The appropriate people get their questions answered without the child having to be interviewed by all parties.
I chose the Child Advocacy Center because Child Welfare has always been the most appealing part of Social Work to me. I grew up reading books such as "The Child Called It," and that's when my passion for "saving children" began.
My responsibilities are quite heavy. I am a secondary caseworker on ten different cases. This means that I assist with any, and mostly all, parts of the traditional CPS investigation. I do home visits, interview all parties on the report, watch forensic interviews, contact the source of the report, call different collaterals to gain information on the families, get mental health & medical records, refer them to services they are in need of, obtain criminal records, do background checks, contact the children's schools and write an extensive amount of case notes that properly document the above. A big part of my job is referring the clients to services that best fit their family's need. Some of the referrals that I provide include; counseling, Domestic Abuse Treatment Program (DATP), drug & alcohol screening, Chemung County Sheriff's Victim Advocate and Safe House, Sexual Abuse Resource Center (SARC), and Parenting Education Programs.
The work is challenging but it is very worth it. Now that I've spent time here, I can't imagine working elsewhere.
I am interning at Bradford County Children and Youth Services (CYS) in Towanda, PA. This agency deals with children and their families. I am also a CWEB (Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates) student. CWEB requires me to intern in a child welfare agency in Pennsylvania and after graduation, to work in state in a child welfare setting for at least one year. It has always been a dream of mine to work in a children and youth agency. This agency provides parenting skills, forensic interviewing through the Children's Advocacy Center, case management, and direct care & supervision of children until the age of 18. This agency helps children and families that are facing challenges
As an intern I have been observing how to do ongoing casework, family group decision making conferences, family service plans, child permanency plans, foster care, court, CPS and GPS investigations, and supervision. I have also attended training's that are required before a caseworker can have their own case load. While interning, I have been able to observe the different styles each of the caseworker's use. It has helped me improve my own style. This is a great agency and I have definitely learned a lot.
I am interning at the Area Agency on Aging in Wellsboro, PA. The agency serves adults aged 60 and older. The services provided by this agency are home-delivered meals, personal care, home support, Link to Life buttons, and many volunteer programs. The agency is both state and federally funded and serves over 600 rural older adults. The main reason I chose this agency for my internship is because I want to work with older adults after graduation. There is a growing number of aging adults and I enjoy the lessons and stories I am able to take from working closely with this population.
As an intern I am responsible for my own personal case load of between 10-15 consumers in Tioga County. I have a single system consumer whom I meet with once a week. I use the Agenet program to enter data on all consumers within Bradford, Susquehanna, Sullivan and Tioga counties. This is a program developed by the PA Department of Aging and the PA Department of Welfare. I travel to consumer's homes where I conduct home visits and return to the office to document changes in medications and needs. I visit senior community centers all over Tioga County and enjoy being a part of them. I have been active within the agency and feel that I am finally able to put all of the information I have learned in the past four years of classes to use.
I am interning at the Falck Cancer Center in Elmira, NY. The center is an outpatient facility which treats cancer patients aged 18 and older, from across the area. The facility offers both radiation and chemotherapy treatments to those in need, as well as a Cancer Care Team which consists of a registered dietitian for nutritional needs, a social worker for emotional support, and a financial coordinator for overwhelming medical expenses. The FCC also has van drivers on staff in order to meet a possible transportation need.
I chose this facility for my internship because of my mother's experience as a patient here. Our family was treated with the utmost care while were were here and I want to be able to provide that to other families who must face cancer.
As an intern, I am responsible for doing a variety of tasks. One is to assist patients who become unable to work due to their cancer, apply for Social Security Disability benefits. I also make phone calls to cancer patients to check in on how they are doing and to see if they have any needs our facility can help with. I report these findings in our weekly Cancer Care Team meetings and document the reports into our medical charting system called QuadraMed. Finally, I provide a listening ear to some patients who are simply having a hard time coping with their diagnosis or just want to talk. I truly enjoy coming to Falck every day and feel as through I am helping to make a difference in the lives of my patients.