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Field Education

Field Education Overview

Field education is a vital aspect of your Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Field education provides you with:

  • An opportunity to apply the values, knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a practical setting.
  • Practice and integrate foundational and advancd level social work theories and practice.
  • Develop a professional "self" and professional identity as a social worker.

The objectives for the field education program are set to meet the standards set by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) as outlined in the CASWE-ACFTS Standards for Accreditation.

As part of your field education, you will complete courses with approved agencies that provide micro, macro, or integrated learning opportunities. A qualified agency-based field instructor will provide supervision to help you to develop social work practice skills that reflect your foundational or advanced field education course.

Field Education Placements

The field education requirements vary between foundational and advanced placements. Foundational placements provide an integrated learning opportunity with a focus on both micro and macro social work practice. Advanced placements can focus on micro, macro or integrated social work practice areas.

Placement options also include:

  • Workplace Placements - available for foundational or advanced placement.
  • International Social Work Program Placements: This opportunity is open to students in the two year full-time program, three year part-time program, or advanced standing part-time program.

Practice Assignments

In the foundational field placement, students will be exposed to a variety of integrated learning opportunities. Students will be required to employ a range of social work theories and interventions, practice methods, and models applicable to small and large systems. These placements may or may not include direct practice with individuals and groups. Placements include: grassroots community agencies, child welfare, women's organizations, community mental health projects.

In the advanced field placement, students have the opportunity to further develop their skills in micro, macro or integrated settings. Micro practice refers to direct practice with individuals, families and groups. Placements include: counselling agencies, hospitals, mental health clinics, nursing homes, school boards. Macro practice refers to community practice, policies and planning. Placements include: government ministries and services, social planning councils, research groups.

As part of your field education, you will complete courses with approved agencies that provide micro, macro, or integrated learning opportunities. A qualified agency-based field instructor will provide supervision to help you to develop social work practice skills that reflect your foundational or advanced field education course.

Field Placement Agencies

MSW field education placement agencies consist of social agencies/organizations selected and approved by the Field Education Coordinator with input from staff, faculty, and students. These centres are (usually) located in towns/cities within a 125-150 km range of Kitchener-Waterloo. Many agencies require you to have a car. Students are expected to be flexible regarding the geographical area in which you complete your placement.

Placements are competitive and a successful interview with the agency to determine your suitability is a prerequisite for participation in the placement.

Field Instructors

The role of the field instructor is crucial, as the instructor attempts to teach complex skills within the respective concentrations, model professional behaviours, and facilitate the growth and development of values and ethics in the student.

Field instructors are employed by agencies and normally have a Masters of Social Work (MSW) for advanced or foundational placements, or a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) for foundational placements.

Contact Us:

MSW Field Education Office

E: mswfield@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x5269
Office Location: 120 Duke St. W., Kitchener, ON

MSW Field Education Coordinator (Acting)

E: Nancy Schwindt, MSW
T: 519.884.0710 x5230

MSW Associate Field Education Coordinator (Acting)

E: Sue Turner, MSW, RSW
T: 519.884.0710 x5274

MSW Field Education Assistant

E: Meghan Horton, MA
T: 519.884.0710 x5269