Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do Students Complete Their Field Education Placement?
BSW field education teaching centres consist of social agencies and organizations approved by the Field Education Office. These centres are mostly located in towns/cities within a 125-kilometre range of Brantford. Most agencies require students to have access to a car. Subsequently, it is the students’ responsibility to demonstrate flexibility regarding the geographical area in which they are assigned a placement.
How are Students Assigned a Placement Opportunity?
Students are matched to a placement for an interview based on the requirements of the BSW program. The interest of students in particular agencies is also taken into consideration when matching students with an agency for an interview; however, this is not guaranteed as placements are competitive and limited. Students can rank the agencies in order of interest by filling out the Ranking Placements Form. The Field Education Office also considers new placement opportunities that are proposed by students within the appropriate time frame.
Can I arrange my own placement?
Students cannot contact agencies to inquire about new or existing placement opportunities or arrange their own placements. Students interested in a particular placement that is not offered on the portal are encouraged to fill out a Placement Proposal Form prior to the posted deadline. The Field Education Office negotiates all placements. Students who propose a new placement opportunity with an agency that the faculty has not worked with in the past will be given priority for a placement interview.
Can I request a placement opportunity with an agency I am currently working at (workplace placement)?
A workplace placement is when students complete a placement opportunity with an agency they are, or have been, employed with.
Students can request a "workplace placement" in a department they have not worked in, under the supervision of a field instructor who was/is not their employer. This request can only be considered for one placement. Placements are intended to provide students with new learning opportunities that they have not been exposed to during previous placements or employment.
Workplace placements are unpaid placements.
Can I be considered for a placement opportunity with an agency I worked with in the past, or previously completed a placement?
Students can request a placement in a department they have not worked in, under the supervision of a field instructor who was/is not their employer. Placements are intended to provide students with new learning opportunities that they have not been exposed to during previous placements or employment.
Can I complete two placements in the same type of social work setting (e.g. two child welfare placements)?
Field placements are provided in diverse settings in order for students to acquire the necessary tools to practice in a variety of social work environments. As such, students cannot complete two BSW placements within the same type of social work learning environment (e.g. two hospital placements, two government placements, or two workplace placements).
My career goal is to work with Agency ABC, do I have priority to complete a placement with that agency?
The Field Education Office does not prioritize placements based on students’ career interests. Students are provided with opportunities to complete their placement in diverse settings in order to acquire the necessary tools to work in a variety of social work settings.
How does the Field Education Office match students to placements?
The priority of the Field Education Office is to provide students with placements that meet the requirements of their BSW program and to ensure an equitable and fair process for all students. Decisions on placing students with an agency for an interview take into consideration many factors including:
- Accessible Learning plans;
- Placement proposals for new placements;
- Requirements that agencies communicate to the Field Education Office (this may include an initial meeting of practicum coordinators with students prior to a referral for an interview);
- Students' interests and experiences; and
- Requirements of the student's BSW program.
Placement decisions are not done randomly through a lottery system or on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Can I complete two BSW placements with the same agency?
Students cannot complete two placements with the same agency. This includes workplace placements.
My placement is supposed to start in September, but I would like to start my placement in January instead. How can I make that happen?
The schedule of the field placement course for all years is provided to students prior to their admission into the program and is also made available after entry to the program. Students are required to start placement within the timeline of their year.
Can I attend a placement where I received service?
Students will not be placed in settings where they or immediate members of their families have received service. In addition, students who utilize Laurier's Counselling Services for personal use will not be able to complete their placement there or be eligible for future employment at Laurier's Counselling Services.
Do students compete with other students for a placement?
Placements are competitive, and there are limited opportunities for students from various universities. Students may compete with students from their cohort and/or students from other universities. However, whenever possible, the Field Education Office does not send multiple students to interview for one position at an agency unless an agency requires to interview two students for one placement. In such cases, students are informed of this requirement via the "Placement Requirements" section on the portal.
Will I be able to complete my placement in my geographical area?
Prior to their admission to the program, all students are informed that the Field Education Office does not guarantee placements within a student’s geographical area. The Field Education Office will consider students’ interest and geographical preference, but cannot make any guarantees.
Can I decline a placement opportunity?
All field placement matches are final. The placement matching process is a thoughtful process that takes into account various factors and ensures an equitable process for all students. In the event there are extenuating circumstances that arise and prevent a student from accepting the placement opportunity, the student must immediately contact the Field Education Office, and arrange to meet with Accessible Learning, if appropriate. The Field Education Office will consider critical events and the accommodation plan provided by Accessible Learning.
Does the Field Education Office cover any fees associated with a placement?
No, it is the responsibility of the student to cover any fees associated with a placement (e.g. parking, police checks, immunizations, etc.).
Can the placement start dates and end dates be changed?
The field program is a structured program with pre-defined start and end dates in line with the students’ course requirements and academic terms. Students cannot change their start or end dates. Liability requirements prevent students from starting a placement early, and placement requirements prevent students from shortening the length of the placement. In the event of an extenuating circumstance, students must contact the Field Education Office immediately.
Can a placement be shortened?
No. Overtime hours/days and attending placement during reading week will not be considered to shorten the span of a placement. See Field Education Policies and Procedures.
Are students entitled to any days off from placement?
Students are not required to attend placement during Reading Week. See Field Education Policies and Procedures.
If I participate in Faculty of Social Work committees, can I use this time towards my practicum hours?
Yes, participation in school committees counts as placement hours. This must be negotiated with the field instructor and they must be provided adequate notice – prior to the beginning of your placement if possible.
Do I have to register for field placement?
Yes. Field placement is a course with a Satisfactory (pass) or Unsatisfactory (fail) grade. Students cannot attend placement without registering for the appropriate field course.
Students that do not register in the required field placement course will not be informed of their upcoming placement and will thus be unable to start the interview process. In the event that a student is in placement but did not register, their placement will be suspended until they register for the course.
What happens if I did not submit a completed WSIB form?
Placements will be temporarily suspended for students who do not submit their WSIB form within the first eight (8) days after the start of their placement (e.g. if a student starts their placement on Tuesday, Sept. 4, his or her WSIB will be due Tuesday, Sept. 11). Students are informed of this requirement prior to the start of their placement and must take the necessary steps to complete the WSIB form prior to the deadline. The form is considered incomplete without the field instructor’s signature.