Mentoring Students for professional social work practice Pamela Long, ACSW, LCSW Director of Field EducationSt. Ambrose University School of Social Work Field Orientation for Agency Field Instructors August 21, 2012~ 54th St Building
This Morning’s Content • Mission of St. Ambrose University School of Social Work • The Central Importance of Field Education • Competency Based Education • The Learning Agreement and Evaluation of Learning • Applications, Practical Matters and Discussion
Purpose of Social Work • The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work’s purpose is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons (CSWE).
Goals of Social Work • To enhance social functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities • To link client systems with needed resources • To improve the operation of the social service delivery network • To promote social justice through development of social policy
St Ambrose University School of Social Work Mission and Goals To prepare competent and ethical social work professionals who enrich lives and advocate a just society.
Empowerment: What it is *Not* • Entitlement • Something one bestows or receives from someone….we do not “empower” clients. • Necessarily easy for students to understand and to practice
The Empowerment Method • Empowerment practice directs social workers to address challenges at all system levels • Empowerment is achieved through synchronized efforts that work with - not on - people, their relationships, and the impinging social and political environment. • An empowering approach reveals the worker's unwavering commitment to social justice.
Empowerment Method • The empowerment method focuses on the achievement of goals and change of systems by utilizing available strengths, resilience, and resources. • By focusing on competence rather than deficits in individual or social functioning, the empowerment model supports resourcefulness and the development of skills to remove social barriers for individuals and communities.
The Central Importance of Field Education in the Curriculum Signature Pedagogy
Field as Signature Pedagogy “Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated on the basis of criteria by which a student demonstrates the achievement of program competencies” (EPAS, 2008, Section 2.3).
Competency Based Education • A defined set of specific skill competencies • Establishment of individual learning goals based on these competencies • Assessment of student skill level based on these competencies at beginning and completion of field • Integration of classroom and fieldwork
Traits and Characteristics • Personal Qualities • Approach to Learning • Ability to Conceptualize Practice • Relational Abilities • Behavior in the Organization (Bogo and Powers)
From the Conceptual to the Practical…. Turning to your folder.
The Competency-Based Learning Agreement • Competency Areas • Practice Behaviors • Indicators • Evaluation
The Learning Agreement and other Tools • Knowledge, Values and Skill Indicators for Practice Behaviors • Learning Agreement • Attendance Log • Field Instruction Student Competency Portfolio • Mid Semester Evaluation (student) • Semester End Evaluation Form (agency field supervisor)
Core Competencies - CSWE • 2.1.1 Identify with the social work profession and behave professionally. • 2.1.2 Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice. • 2.1.3 Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
Core Competencies, Continued • 2.1.4 Engage in diversity and difference in practice. • 2.1.5 Promote human rights and social justice. • 2.1.6 Engage in research informed practice and practice informed research. • 2.1.7 Apply knowledge of human behavior in the social environment.
Core Competencies – cont’d • 2.1.8 Engage in policy practice to deliver effective social work services. • 2.1.9 Respond to and shape an ever changing professional context. • 2.1.10 Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Preparing for your StudentOrientation to AgencyGeneral Supervision IssuesFeedback from the Field
Prior to Intern’s Arrival • Inform staff of intern • Educate staff • Identify tasks and assignment • Formal and informal supervision • Physical space • Orientation • Training needs and materials
Agency Orientation • Multiple purposes • Welcomes a student • Reduce student anxiety • Saves student from seeking out information • Enhances the learning process • Socialization to the Profession • Information on the placement site • Builds relationship
Agency Orientation • Physical Space and Office Procedures • Description of the organizational culture • Parking facilities and rules • Dress requirements • Security/Risk Management
Agency Orientation • Mission statement/goals • Annual report • Brochures, public information literature • Website • Organizational Chart • Job descriptions • Policy and Procedures Manuals • Reporting lines—staffing hierarchy • Funding Sources • Personnel Manual
Practicum Orientation • Discuss confidentiality policies and procedures, including social networking • Orient student to documentation used in the agency • Discuss intern’s role and expectations • Describe expectations for supervision and establish a set weekly supervision time • Formulate a plan to develop the learning agreement
Practicum Orientation, Cont'd • Provide relevant reading materials • Discuss a plan for student to become familiar with community resources • Discuss opportunities where student can observe the work of the agency • State clearly how the student should identify themselves in writing and orally • Discuss teaching and learning style issues
Nuts and Bolts • Office procedures • Phone usage • Signing in and out • Lunch breaks • Parking • Travel reimbursement • Scheduling clients • Office machines • Insurance • Agency hours • Computer system • Culture • Parking • Dress requirements • Special security precautions
Field Instructor Behaviors Valued by Students • Emotionally Supportive Behaviors • Designed to convey acceptance of the student and encourage her/his accurate self awareness • Autonomy-giving Behaviors • Designed to encourage student independence • Evaluative Behaviors • Designed to give formal and informal feedback on performance • Cognitive Structuring Behaviors • Designed to support student in linking theory and practice
Wrap Up • Discussion • Folder Material • Final Thoughts/Questions