The Field Advisor (FA) provides a connection between campus and practicum learning for the intern and practicum setting. The FA is a social worker who has worked in the field for a minimum of 5 years, and has experience working with students.
The Field Advisor is assigned to a group of students, and provides a connection between campus and practicum learning for both the intern and the practicum setting.
Field Advisor are responsible to:
• Assist agencies and instructors to feel positively connected with the Faculty of Social Work.
• Establish and maintain an atmosphere of trust, supportiveness and openness with Practicum Instructor and intern.
• Ensure early in the placement those practicum goals as required by the curriculum will be met.
• Ensure that specific intern educational needs and/or problems in learning are being dealt with.
• Act as a contact person from the Faculty of Social Work for agencies, instructors, and interns to address questions, procedures,
and possible problems, should they occur, in a collaborative manner.
• Provide students with an individual resource person (if needed); and offer students a regular support group experience
throughout the placement.
• Review interns’ written evaluation reports and, if required, address problems when identified (with instructor and student).
• Initiate and implement ‘intern in difficulty’ procedures in situations where the Practicum Instructor has identified that the
intern is not meeting expectations, in collaboration with the Practicum Coordinator.
• As well, the Field Advisor will assist with and monitor the placement as to whether it meets the student’s learning needs and
expectations of the FSW.
• Provide relevant support for practicum instructors and other agency personnel.
• Conduct field visits and group seminars.
Field Advisors are expected to connect with students as well as Practicum Instructors via email or phone within the first three weeks of placement. Regular communication with students and Practicum Instructors prior to each evaluation is also expected in order to provide any support needed towards the student’s practicum.
At least one field visit is required for any new agencies, full-time and part-time first year students, new Practicum Instructors, advanced standing students, or any other agencies indicated by the Practicum Office. Please ensure that the first field visit for new agencies, full-time & part-time first year students and new Practicum Instructors takes place during the first six weeks of placement. Field visits for advanced standing students take place within the first term.
Field Advisors are expected to conduct two to three group seminars with all full-time students in the two year program who are completing their first placement. The seminars are intended to bring the students together to address any concerns, such as ethical dilemmas, and issues around their learning needs.
Year One Interns: The Field Advisor holds regularly scheduled
seminars throughout the practice term with his/her cohort of interns in order
to discuss any practicum issues which are of interest to the group. One visit
is made to the agency to assist with such issues as developing intern
assignments, evaluation concerns and generally to provide any needed
information and support. Early visits are planned in the case of a new agency
and/or instructor in order to assist and support this new setting. Further
visits may be made at the request of the instructor or intern.
Year Two Interns: For this shorter placement, Field Advisors develop a telephone relationship with the agency and are available to visit with the intern and instructor on any issues that may arise. A visit is expected in the case of a new agency and/or instructor. The visit will take place earlier in the term in order to assist and support this new setting.
Advanced Standing Interns: Advisors will normally schedule one visit supplemented by a telephone relationship.
Part-time Interns: Advisors will normally schedule one visit. This will vary depending on the individualized practicum plan each intern will devise.
Any interns who are assigned a faculty member as their Off-Site Practicum Instructor will be assigned a Field Advisor as well. This Field Advisor will act in a consultative role only and intervene only at the request of the intern or Off-Site Practicum Instructor.
It is most important that the Practicum Instructor initiate discussion with the Field Advisor as soon as he/she feels an intern is experiencing problems. This makes it possible for the Field Advisor and Practicum Instructor to work together to assist the intern early in the practicum placement while there is still enough time to resolve the difficulty. Special procedures have been established to address Student-in-Difficulty in the practicum placement.
Should there be an issue while you are in placement that you are not able to resolve with your Practicum Instructor, please contact your assigned Field Advisor.
Field Advisors initiate and implement ‘Student-in-difficulty’ procedures in situations where the Practicum Instructor has identified that the intern is not meeting expectations. This is also done to report any conflict that arises between a student and the Practicum Instructor, or when an intern identifies learning issues within the placement.
Please follow this procedure to inform the Practicum Office of any "student-in-difficulty" issues:
1. Initiate a conversation with the student or Practicum Instructor to discuss the issue.
2. If appropriate, and if the issue is not resolved, initiate a meeting with the Practicum Instructor and student to discuss the
3. Document all notes in a detailed report that outlines any conflict or student in difficulty situations. The report must include:
a. Declaration of student-in-difficulty;
b. Identification of issues;
c. Outcome of meeting & shared understanding of how the issue will be resolved;
d. Goals to be achieved for successful placement completion;
e. Timeframe for follow up, and timeframe for student’s placement.
4. Please contact the Practicum Coordinator via email and include an attached copy of the report.