Overview of Field Education

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.

Social Work Interns, Summer of 2011

Molly Wilson

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.

Ashley Sargent

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.

Allison Gee

I am interning at Bradford County Children and Youth Services (CYS) in Towanda, PA. The agency deals with children and their families. I like working with children and helping families who need it. That is why I chose to intern at CYS. I am also a CWEB student which requires me to intern and later work for a county agency in Pennsylvania. The agency provides housing assistance, homemaker skills, parenting skills, forensic interviewing through the Children's Advocacy Center, case management and direct care and supervision of children until the age of 18. There are a lot of children who need help from CYS and every day is a different challenge.

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. It was a little overwhelming to me at first but I am learning so much. I will be starting trainings that are required in order to be a certified child welfare worker. The training is called Charting the Course toward Child Permanency in Pennsylvania. I have also been working with different caseworkers and have been able to observe different styles that are used when working a case. It has been a major learning experience for me and I look forward to learning more.

Krystal Williams

I am interning at Susquehanna Health, Williamsport Hospital. I mainly work on the oncology and surgical floor. I help patients with discharge planning; such as home care supplies, home care agencies, hospice and nursing home placement. This agency provide the patients with care for when they leave the hospital whether they return home or need continued care.

I chose to do my internship at Susquehanna Health because I want to work as a medical social worker when I graduate. Being able to help people in situations that they might not have predicted being in can be very rewarding. I have learned how to communicate effectively, not only with patients but with their families as well. I feel that the most exciting thing is being able to practice everything I have learned at Mansfield University and make a positive impact on patients and families lives. Even though working in the medical field does not allow much time to develop long-term patient relationships, I find it very rewarding.

Kyle Manikowski

I am interning with Lycoming County Children and Youth Services in Williamsport, PA. I decided to intern with this agency after working for Tioga County Department of Human Services for four years. I wanted to gain some urban experience. The population that is served in Lycoming County is much different than in Tioga County in that there is prevalent gang activity and much higher racial diversity. The way that services are delivered in Lycoming County is different as well as their having different types of services and specialized services.

Lycoming County provides many services to children, families, and individuals. The agency provides in-home services, evening children's services, permanency services, specialized services, assessment, community support services, emergency/crisis services, health choice services, children targeted mental health, adult targeted mental health, housing development services, forensics unit, mental retardation services, and early intervention services. The agency also operates a day treatment facility and shelter care facility for youth.

Daily in my internship I'm learning new and exciting things that will be a foundation for my social work career. I get to go out into the field with caseworkers or probation officers. I've been to court several times and have been in tense but exciting situations with clients to ultimately make differences in the lives of others. My internship has been an awesome learning experience and the people that have worked with me and helped me along the way have been great.