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Field Instruction: A Guide for Social Work Students, Updated Edition, 6th Edition

By David Royse, Surjit Singh Dhooper, Elizabeth Lewis Rompf

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jun 30, 2011

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A field manual organized around 100+ of the most common questions students ask in their field placements.


This book is part of the Connecting Core Competencies Series. This series helps students understand and master CSWE’s core competencies with a variety of pedagogy highlighted competency content and critical thinking questions for the competencies throughout.


For those beginning their first social work field experience, Field Instruction: A Guide for Social Work Students addresses the most common questions, concerns, and problems students encounter and provides them with essential information for completing the field experience successfully. 


Field Instruction: A Guide for Social Work Students is structured so that "early" questions about preparing for the first interview are presented ahead of more complicated issues such as resolving ethical dilemmas. This edition provides instructors with already designed exercises that they can select and tailor to students’ specific learning needs. These exercises are designed to promote involvement with the content of the text and to develop critical thinking and self-reflection.


Teaching & Learning Experience

  • Personalize Learning — MySocialWorkLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.
  • Improve Critical Thinking — Exercises within the text promote critical thinking and critical thinking questions tied to CSWE’s core competencies are included throughout (in margins).
  • Engage Students — Case examples and questions prepare students for the field. Exercises help students work through questions they have. Videos and cases in MySocialWorkLab engage students and help them apply theory to practice.
  • Explore Current Issues — Inclusion of contemporary topics, such as safety, child abuse, diversity, legal issues, and stress.
  • Apply CSWE Core Competencies — Integrates the 2008 CSWE EPAS throughout — highlights competencies and practice behaviors and includes expensive pedagogy. MySocialWorkLab adds value with core competency videos and hundreds of competency-based questions.
  • Support Instructors — AnInstructor’s Manual and MySocialWorkLab with Pearson eText are included in the outstanding supplements package.

Note: MySocialWorkLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySocialWorkLab, please visit: or you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MySocialWorkLab (at no additional cost). VP: 0205042481

Table of Contents







Chapter 1: Field Instruction and the Social Work Curriculum    

Chapter 2: The Partnership with Social Service Agencies    

Chapter 3: Getting Started    

Chapter 4: The Intern: Learning New Roles and Practicing Safety   

Chapter 5: Contexts in Which Social Workers Operate

Chapter 6: Client Systems: The Recipients of Service

Chapter 7: Acquiring Needed Skills

Chapter 8: Legal and Ethical Concerns    

Chapter 9: Pragmatic Concerns    

Appendix A: Problem-Oriented Recording    

Appendix B: Example of a Student Intern Evaluation Form    






Chapter 1: Field Instruction and the Social Work Curriculum   


Why Field Instruction?    

What Is the Role of the Faculty Field Liaison?    

What Is the History of Field Instruction in Social Work?    

What Are the Current Standards for Field Instruction?    

Are There Different Types of Field Placements?    

How Are Students Prepared for Field Instruction?    

How Are Students in Field Placement Supervised?    

How Are Classroom Learning and Field Instruction Integrated?    

What Is the Purpose of Field Seminars?    

Do Students with Undergraduate Field Instruction Get Credit When They Work toward a Master’s Degree in Social Work? 

Is It Possible for a Student to Have a Field Placement Where He or She Is Also Employed?    



Chapter 2: The Partnership with Social Service Agencies    


Why Do Agencies Accept Student Interns?    

How Are Field Agencies Chosen?    

How Are Field Instructors Selected?    

How Are Agencies and Students Matched?    

What Specifically Are Social Service Agencies Looking for in Student Interns?    

What is the Difference between Public and Private Agencies?

How Do I Gather Information on Possible Practicum Agencies Ahead of Time?    



Chapter 3: Getting Started    


How Do I Find an Agency That Meets My Needs?    

How Do I Prepare for the Practicum Interview?    

What Can I Do to Deemphasize Little or No Work Experience?    

Is It Wise to Admit My Weaknesses?    

How Should I Respond to Questions about My Educational Preparation?    

Getting Oriented—What Can I Expect on the First Day?    

How Do I Develop a Learning Contract?    

Points to Remember about the Learning Contract    

How Will the Agency Evaluate My Performance as a Student Intern?    

What Do I Do if the Field Instructor Becomes Incapacitated?    



Chapter 4: The Intern: Learning New Roles and Practicing Safety   


How Much Will I Be Given to Do?    

How Much Will I Be Supervised, and by Whom?    

How Do I Make Supervision Work for Me?     

How Will My Faculty Field Liaison Evaluate Me?    

How Do I Juggle All My Roles Simultaneously?    

Do I Need to Worry About My Personal Safety in the Field Practicum?

What is a Risk of Harm Scan?

What are Risk Assessments?

How Do I Manage Angry and Hostile Clients?

What Other Precautions Can I Take?

What Should I Keep In Mind When Making a Home Visit?

How Do I Know If I’m Stressed Out?    

How Can I Effectively Manage the Stress in My Life?    

The Student Intern’s “Bill of Rights”    

Myths I Can Do Without    



Chapter 5: Contexts in Which Social Workers Operate


What Are the Differences among Volunteer, Student, and Employee Roles?    

What Do I Need to Know about Interdisciplinary Team Meetings?    

Can a Friend Supervise Me?    

Should I Contract with Clients?    

What Do I Need to Know about Agency Recording?    

How Do I Refer a Client to Another Agency or Professional?    

What Is Managed Care?    

How Does Managed Care Affect Social Work Practice?    

What Specialized Knowledge and Skills Are Important in a Managed Care Environment?    

Should I Share Personal Information with Clients?    

How Do I Work with Difficult Office Staff and Supervisors?    

What Is Evidence-based Practice?    

Why Is Evidence-based Practice Essential for Social Workers?    

How Do I Prepare for Evidence-based Practice in My Own Work?    

What Is HIPAA?    

How Does HIPAA Affect Social Work and Social Workers?    



Chapter 6: Client Systems: The Recipients of Service


Who Are Clients?    

What Is It Like to Be a Client?    

What Do Clients Expect from Me?    

Should I Inform Clients That I Am a Student?    

How Do I Know If I Am Helping My Clients?    

What Do I Do When a Client Won’t Talk?    

What Do I Do When the Client Who Won’t Talk Is a Child?    

Why Do I Need to Work with Clients Who Are Different from Me?    

What Opportunities Do Social Workers Have to Work with Diverse Clients?

What Are the Most Important Practice Principles for Working with Clients Who Are Different from Me?    

What Do I Need to Know to Work with People with Disabilities?    

How Do I Work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People?    

What Is It Like to Work with Small Groups of Clients?    

Will I Be Working with Families?    

What are the Common Characteristics of Minority Families?

How Should These Commonalities Inform My Practice With Minority Families?

What Is Macro Practice?    



Chapter 7: Acquiring Needed Skills    


Do Most Student Interns Feel Nervous and Inadequate?    

What Skills Might I Be Expected to Develop?    

How Do I Start Interviewing a Client?    

How Do I Begin to Help the Clients Who Are Assigned to Me?    

What Is Process Recording?    

I’m Self-Conscious about My Ability to Write Well. Will This Be a Problem?    

What Should I Keep in Mind When Making a Home Visit?    

What Do I Need to Know About Child Abuse?

How Does One Assess for Child Abuse?

How Do I Report Child Abuse?

How Do Recognize a Client Who Is Suicidal?    

How Can I Prepare to Deal with Suicidal Clients?    

What Do I Do If I Suspect My Client Plans to Attempt Suicide?    

How Do I Transfer a Case?    

How Do I Terminate Services with a Client?    



Chapter 8: Legal and Ethical Concerns    


What Legal Terms Should Social Work Students Know?

What Should Social Work Students Know About Testifying In Court? 

What Happens If I Make a Mistake in My Practicum?    

What Is Malpractice?    

Do I Need Liability Insurance?    

Can Confidential Client Material Ever Be Shared?    

May I Audio- or Videotape Clients?    

What Is an Ethical Dilemma?    

Can Ethical Dilemmas Be Avoided?    

How Do I Avoid Rushing into Ethical Dilemmas?    

How Do I Resolve Ethical Dilemmas?    

May I Accept a Gift from a Client?    

Is It Ever Permissible to Date Clients or Coworkers?    

What Do I Do if I Observe Something Illegal or Unethical?    

How Do I Handle Agency Secrets?    

How Do I Handle Sexual Harassment?    



Chapter 9: Pragmatic Concerns    


What Do I Do If I Get Sick or Am Running Late and Miss My Appointments?    

Will I Be Asked to Share a Desk or Office?    

How Do I Keep Track of Time in the Practicum?    

Am I Permitted to Accumulate Overtime or Compensatory Time?    

How Do I Learn to Leave My Work at the Agency?    

What Do I Do If I Am Given Too Much or Too Little Responsibility?    

What Do I Do When I Am Having a “Down” Day?    

What Do I Do When Things Are Not Going Well?    

How Do I Plan for My Next Practicum?    

Should I Consider Doing a Practicum Abroad?

Am I Cut Out for Social Work?    



Appendix A: Problem-Oriented Recording    

Appendix B: Example of a Student Intern Evaluation Form    

This title is also sold in the various packages listed below. Before purchasing one of these packages, speak with your professor about which one will help you be successful in your course.

Package ISBN-13: 9780205913831

Includes this title packaged with:

  • MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Standalone Access Card -- for E-Field Program: A Competency-Based System for the Social Work Practicum
    Jeanne Matich-Maroney

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