Roles and Responsibilities in Field Education
As adult learners students are expected to:
- Meet with the field instructor at least once each week for a minimum of one hour of supervision.
- Be responsible for the content of the supervisory sessions and attend sessions with a prepared agenda.
- Make an initial appointment with their supervisor for the first week of field education. One of the first assignments will be the development of the learning plan. Although this contract may be adjusted as the year progresses, this initial plan (see Appendix D) will establish a solid beginning for your relationship with your field supervisor and your experience with the agency and its clients/consumers.
- Write process recordings, summaries, logs, chart notes, referral letters, etc. as part of their professional training. Exposure to a variety of recording formats will facilitate learning (see Appendix H). Recordings should cover both direct and indirect service contacts.
- Meet at least once each semester with the faculty liaison and field supervisor to assess the progress in meeting the learning goals and objectives.
- Attend and actively participate in the integrative seminar.
- Complete assignments, meet deadlines and request assistance when needed.
- Provide proof of professional liability coverage and child abuse training.
- Bring any concerns or questions about ethical behavior or safety issues, areas of confusion or disagreement to the attention of the field supervisor, or to the faculty liaison or Director of Field Education.
- Engage in evaluations at various levels including but not limited to agency (see Appendix K), field supervisor, and faculty liaison.
- Be conscientious in attendance by maintaining a record of attendance (see Appendix G).
- Represent themselves as social work professionals by maintaining appropriate standards of dress and behavior.
Financial hardship - On rare occasions, a student may be confronted with financial obligations related to the field internship that may create hardship. In these unique cases, the student is directed to discuss the issues with the Director of Field Education for problem solving.
2. Field Supervisor
In choosing to become a field instructor, a social worker is accepting responsibility for the professional instruction of the student within the structure of their agency. Field supervisors need to be familiar with the culture of the school and be comfortable with ongoing communication with the school representatives in order to maximize the relationship that is critical for learning. The minimum requirements for field instructors at Molloy College or the Department include three-year post master's experience and completion of, or current enrollment in, the Seminar for Field Instruction (SIFI) course.
Agency - Through a formal agreement with the school (see Appendix B) an agency formally contracts to serve as a training site for the social work intern(s).
The field supervisor and/or the agency are expected to:
- Fully describe the expectations for learning experiences during the placement. The learning plan (See Appendix D), provides an opportunity for the student and field supervisor to collaborate on learning objectives and related assignments/tasks. This document must be completed and returned to the faculty liaison by mid-October, or at the first supervisors' meeting (see the Field Education Calendar for the exact date).
- Provide a thorough orientation to the agency, policies, procedures, structure and mission.
- Provide weekly supervisory sessions for a minimum of one hour utilizing process recordings as a learning tool. The format for process recordings is left to the discretion of the field supervisor (see Appendix H for suggested formats). The Department of Social Work requires a minimum of two process recordings per week in the fall semester and one per week in the spring semester. Field supervisors are expected to select process recordings, which can be reviewed by the faculty liaison at the field site visits.
- Keep a log of supervisory sessions including a record of cases assigned and discussed each week. (See Appendix E)
- Provide the student with appropriate space, equipment, and necessary support to complete assigned responsibilities.
- Include the student in regular meetings, in-service trainings, community or macro level assignments where possible.
- Provide duties and responsibilities that are appropriate for learning needs and that become increasingly demanding and challenging to promote growth.
- Evaluate the student in a thorough and objective manner.
- Meet with the faculty liaison to review and evaluate progress.
- Complete the field evaluation each semester.
- Attend supervisors' meeting(s) that gather field supervisors at the school for focused discussion on matters pertaining to field education.
- Model best practice and ethical professional behavior.
Task supervisor - In some settings direct service work is delivered by professionals of other disciplines or paraprofessionals. Students may be supervised in their task assignments by these qualified workers. However, overall supervision including regular weekly conferences and evaluation must be completed by a qualified social work supervisor. Any exceptions to this policy must meet the guidelines of CSWE, risk management procedures, and be approved by the Director of Field Education.
3. Faculty Liaison
At Molloy College the faculty liaison is also the integrative seminar instructor. The weekly opportunity to instruct, monitor and facilitate the development of the student in the seminar is coordinated with site visits and evaluation at the field placement. The faculty liaison is responsible for submitting the final grade each semester. The faculty liaison is expected to:
- Facilitate the relationship of the field supervisor with the department, the curriculum, and expectations for learning.
- Assist in the development of a learning plan for the field placement and integrating the learning needs of the seminar group into the agenda.
- Evaluate student's seminar performance and incorporate the field placement grade into a final grade.
- Monitor the overall placement experience and provide consultation and intervention assistance with any difficulties.
- Evaluate the agency and the field supervisor. (see Appendix M)
- Regularly meet to coordinate and communicate with other liaisons and the Director of Field Education in order to address and facilitate the goals and objectives for field education.
4. Field Director
The Director of Field Education is a full-time faculty member with the primary responsibility for coordinating the field placement process and the field education curriculum. In conjunction with department faculty, the director establishes the policies and procedures that are consistent with the standards of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Field Director is expected to:
- Orient the students to field education through presentations, programs, assessment instruments and interviews throughout the junior year.
- Screen all applicants and assume the responsibility for assessing overall readiness for field education.
- Facilitate the placement process and ensure the qualifications of field supervisors.
- Coordinate with Molloy College and agency administration to acquire and maintain current contractual agreements.
- Provide information and support to field supervisors through formal meetings and informal communication throughout the academic year.
- Develop and maintain field education sites that offer the maximum opportunity for generalist learning.
- Communicate with all faculty on the status of the field and the progress of the students.