The purpose of field education is to provide you with the opportunity to practice and integrate advanced-level social work values, knowledge and skills, including the development of a professional “self” and professional identity as a social worker.
The field education placements are conceptualized as an educational course rather than a work term. That is, courses are graded (pass/fail) by an agency-based qualified field instructor assigned to teach each student, and a field advisor assigned to support each student and instructor. The workload of field education is controlled to facilitate an emphasis on learning.
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) placement agencies or teaching centres consist of social agencies/organizations selected and approved by our Field Education office. These centres are mostly located in towns/cities within a 150-kilometre range of Brantford. Commuting to placement is expected and, as a result, flexibility regarding the geographical location of a placement is required. Many agencies require that you have access to a car while on placement.
You are assigned to a placement for an interview based on the requirements of your BSW program and of the agency. Your interests in particular types of work or agencies are also taken into consideration when matching you with an agency for an interview; however, this is not guaranteed because placements are competitive. The Field Education office also considers new placement opportunities that you propose within the appropriate time frame.
The timelines for field education courses are structured and sequenced to reflect course requirements and program progression. The following timelines also ensure that you attend the required seminars and workshops that are part of the field education course, and that you complete your program requirements in a timely manner.
Professional and qualified instructors teach you in the field. Field education instructors typically hold a minimum of a BSW degree and are recognized as “our faculty in the field.” Instructors have a minimum of two-years post-degree experience as well as formal training.
Field education courses are covered under student fees. There are no extra charges through the university. However, while on placement, you are usually expected to pay for expenses such as police checks, mileage and parking. Students and instructors are not paid. Placement agencies may cover your mileage costs while on agency business; however, this varies with agencies.
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