POLICIES AND PROCEDURES IN FIELD PRACTICUM A. Life Experience/Work Experience Policy: No Field Practicum academic credit is given for life experience or previous work experience. Procedure: None. B. Employed Social Worker Field Practicum Option Policy: Students may have a practicum placement at the agency that employs them. The Field Practicum Learning Agreement defines the practicum experience. This practicum experience must provide the student with new educational experiences knowledge, skills and values. The expectation is that the role of supervisor/administrator is clearly identified from that of field instructor. Procedure: The student discusses an employed social worker field practicum option with the Field Practicum Coordinator. This learning is to be clearly reflected in a detailed educational plan involving the integration of content specific, goal oriented and clearly measurable objectives pertaining to the student’s chosen field of practice. The time spent in preparation, performance of activities, supervision and evaluation is counted toward the required hours for the field practicum. C. Student Statement of Understanding Policy: Students are expected to read and understand designated components of the MSW Field Practicum Manual. Procedure: Students are to sign the Statement of Understanding agreement prior to beginning field practicum and to submit the form (see Appendix E) to the Field Practicum Coordinator. D. Attendance in Field Practicum Policy: Students are expected to be in attendance in the agency on days designated for the field and to observe agency hours and schedules. Absences other than illness or family emergencies are to be prearranged. Procedure: Students must promptly report absences to the field instructor and the time must be made up to meet the required number of clock hours in field practicum. Extended absences must be discussed by the field instructor with the student’s faculty field liaison. E. Clock Hours in Field Practicum Policy: The quarterly Learning Agreement must be completed with the field instructor by the first three weeks in the placement in order for the clock hours for those three weeks to be counted. Unsupervised clock hours are not counted for field practicum. Procedure: Student and field instructor draft and revise the Learning Agreement during the first three weeks each quarter. The student records the clock hours on time sheets to be submitted with the evaluation packet at the end of the quarter. Policy: Routine home-to-practicum-site commuting time is not counted for field practicum clock hours. Procedure: None. F. Grade Assignment Policy: The awarding of a grade is recommended by the field instructor and assigned by the faculty field liaison at the end of each quarter, but must be approved and submitted by the Field Practicum Coordinator. Procedure: The field instructor writes a written evaluation based upon the content of the Learning Agreement with input either orally or in writing from task supervisor(s). During the end-of-quarter liaison visit, the student, field instructor, faculty field liaison, and task supervisor(s), if requested, meet to review the evaluation and grade. All participants sign the evaluation sheet. The liaison’s signature indicates that the grade was assigned. The faculty field liaison transmits the evaluation packet complete with time sheets to the Field Practicum Coordinator who approves and submits the grade to the Academic Records office. Policy: Students must earn a grade no lower than B in their last three credits of Field Practicum. Procedure: If the student has received a grade lower than B h/she must repeat those clock hours for a new acceptable grade. An IP grade is assigned in the meantime. G. In-Progress Grade Policy: Student may not have an IP on record more than two consecutive quarters. Procedure: In-Progress (IP) grades are awarded when the student has not completed the required clock hours for the number of credits they have registered for that particular quarter. Students must complete the first IP grade prior to registering for field practicum before they are eligible to register for the third quarter of field practicum. H. Sharing Sensitive Student Information Policy: Students are expected to share all personal information having direct impact on field placement, i.e., affecting clients, field instructors, agency or the learning process, with the Field Practicum Coordinator and faculty field liaison. Students who choose not to share relevant personal information with field faculty may be dismissed from the social work program. Procedure: Students are to share oral/written personal information with the Field Practicum Coordinator prior to agency field placement. At the time of an agency interview, the student shares the information with the potential field instructor. When the faculty field liaison is assigned, the student shares relevant personal information with them. Examples of relevant student information to be shared: 1. If student wants to be placed in a sexual assault program and has or a member of the family has been sexually assaulted / abused the information should be shared. 2. If student or a family member has been hospitalized for a psychiatric illness and student wants to be placed in a psychiatric hospital, the information should be shared. 3. If student has a personal problem, psycho-social distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties that interfere with their professional judgment and performance (NASW Code of Ethics Appendix R section 4.05) in their field placement responsibilities, student should share what will be done to carry out the tasks in the placement and what accommodations the agency will need to make, i.e., if student has chronic fatigue syndrome and needs to spend shorter periods of time in the agency or spread the placement out over a longer time period. 4. If a background check will reveal a felony or other conviction student will need to share this information. I. Authorized Field Placements Policy: Students must have authorized field placements. Procedure: Students discuss all practicum options with the Field Practicum Coordinator prior to interviewing at agencies to ensure the approval of the agency for a practicum site. Student and field instructor sign a Field Practicum Confirmation form which is submitted to the Field Practicum Coordinator prior to beginning a field practicum. Students who begin field practicum without knowledge and authorization may not count those clock hours until the authorization process is completed. The student may be requested to leave the agency if it is not approved by the Field Practicum Coordinator or Field Practicum Coordinating Committee. J. Student Request to Change a Field Placement Policy: Any student enrolled in the M.S.W. program may seek a change in his/her field practicum when problems unrelated to the student's performance make the continuation in the field practicum an issue. It is the function of the student's faculty field liaison to determine the source of the need for reassignment. Procedure: The following steps are followed for student request in agency reassignment: 1. Faculty field liaison and student discuss the problem. The student may request another faculty member present at the meeting if the matter is delicate. 2. Faculty field liaison, student, and field instructor discuss problem and explore alternative solutions. At this point, it is the faculty field liaison's responsibility to inform the Field Practicum Coordinator of the difficulties. If a solution is not found within the agency, a decision to terminate the placement is then made by the field instructor and faculty field liaison in consultation with the Field Practicum Coordinator. 3. The student is expected to complete the termination process in the initial placement which includes administrative requirements of the agency as well as termination contacts with assigned clients. The original field instructor is also expected to submit a summary of the student's field experience to date, which is shared with the student and becomes part of the school record. The student may submit a response to the field instructor's evaluation. In rare situations, an agency may unilaterally request that a student be terminated from the placement. If this is due to concern about the student's suitability for that particular setting, then the faculty field liaison must be involved in order to review the situation, to provide the student with due process and to develop further plans. If the request is due to some severe or drastic failure on the part of the student, then it will be necessary to proceed with formal administrative measures. 4. Student and Field Practicum Coordinator determine whether or not reassignment is advisable and if so, they explore options of other placements and a decision to replace the student is made. 5. The faculty field liaison function will continue to rest with the student's current faculty field liaison until such time that reassignment in a new field agency is completed. At such time, the faculty field liaison associated with this new agency will assume the liaison responsibility for the student. Procedure for replacements: Replacement is initiated by the Field Practicum Coordinator who selects and facilitates the most suitable agency. An interview with the new field instructor and agency is required, and information about the previous situation be shared and discussed, if appropriate. It may be necessary for the student to put in additional or extended time in the new placement to make up for earlier time and teaching missed. These arrangements are negotiated by the student, the faculty field liaison and the new field instructor. Examples of non-performance problems are: 1. Inadequate agency resources to support field placement. For example, lack of student office space, lack of clients for student cases, insufficient supervisory time, loss of field instructor due to illness, change of jobs, and others. 2. Learning experiences in agency are too narrow. For example, with direct service students, lack of opportunities to work with individuals, families, and groups or to assume multiple intervention roles: counselor, broker, advocate. 3. Misplacement error based on paper credentials of students and field placement. For example, agency learning experiences are too advanced for the student or the converse. It is more of a problem of an unanticipated mismatch than a difficulty in student performance. 4. Agency reorganization. For example, during the academic year the agency substantially changes its administrative structure which creates a chaotic situation for the student and adversely affects available learning opportunities. 5. Personality or ideological clash between field instructor and student. K. Agency Termination of Student Policy: The field placement agency may terminate a student deemed unsuitable for the client population, work arena, or due to personal behaviors detrimental to the agency, or agency discretion. Procedure: The field instructor discusses the termination with the student and contacts the faculty field liaison for a meeting. The student is given an opportunity to represent him/herself. If there is no possible resolve, then the field instructor writes an evaluation with recommended grade and reason for termination providing a copy to the student and faculty field liaison. The liaison contacts the Field Practicum Coordinator to recommend whether or not the student should be placed elsewhere at this time. If the student is to be placed in another setting, regular procedures are followed. If the recommendation is not to place the student in another agency, the student may appeal the decision (see appeals policy and procedure). Upon the filing of an appeal, the written evaluations from field instructor and faculty field liaison and student appeal are taken to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee for final decision L. Violation of Ethics Policy: Students must comply with the professional standards as outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics (see Appendix R) while in the field practicum. Procedure: When the practicum student has violated a professional ethical standard or engaged in behavior that is detrimental to the welfare of the student’s client(s), colleagues, the student will be subject to dismissal from the MSW Program. Student may appeal the dismissal by writing a formal request to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee. This Committee will review the request and make a recommendation to the graduate faculty who will make the final decision. M. School Discontinuance Policy: Students will be subject to discontinuance from the MSW Program if they: (a) are unable to secure a satisfactory field placement for reasons relating to their inappropriate behavior or their lack of readiness for placement, (b) are in violation of the NASW Code of Ethics. Procedure: The student will be subject to review by the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee. Student may appeal discontinuance by writing a formal request to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee. This Committee will review the request and make a recommendation to the graduate faculty; final action is taken by the Graduate Council. N. Student Field Practicum Appeals Policy: Students have the right to appeal in writing any action taken regarding them in their field practicum. Procedure: All student field practicum appeals requests are given in writing to the Field Practicum Coordinator who takes the appeal request to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee. When there is a discrepancy between faculty field liaison and student perception of appropriate quarter grade the following two-step process is used for the student's protection: the student (1) appeals the grade in writing to the Field Practicum Coordinator, and (2) the Field Practicum Coordinator takes the appeal to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee which determines the final grade based on all the evidence by the field instructor, faculty field liaison, and student. O. Agency / Field Instructor Review Policy: Field practicum agencies are subject to review for contracted student learning experiences and supervision. Procedure: Three evaluation methods are used for agency review: (1) faculty field liaison recommendation, (2) student evaluation of practicum, (3) agency contract with the Walla Walla College School of Social Work. Field Practicum Coordinator takes the agency / field instructor under review to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee for further discussion. If the Committee recommends to terminate the agency or field instructor for a practicum site, the Coordinator contacts the field instructor / agency representative to discuss the issues of concern followed by a letter explaining which standards were not met at this time. The agency may respond in writing. At a time when the School is satisfied that the standards will be met, the agency will be notified that students may once again be placed there. P. Non-Agency Based Field Instructors Policy: Walla Walla College School of Social Work may approve non-agency based field instructors to supervise students in the absence of an approved social worker at the practicum agency. The educational and supervisory expectations for the contract field instructor are the same as for agency-based field instructors. The agency director or designee is expected to have the knowledge of and approve that a contract field instructor supervises a student at their agency. Procedure: The potential off-site field instructor completes a contract (Appendix N) and submits it with their resume to the Field Practicum Coordinator. At the end of each quarter the off-site field instructor completes the Reimbursement form (Appendix O) and sends it to the Field Practicum Coordinator for processing the request through the College. Q. Free Tuition for Field Instructors Policy: Free tuition is provided for full-time, agency based and contract field instructors supervising Walla Walla College social work field practicum students (Appendix Q). Procedure: The procedures below are to be followed for receiving tuition free credits: 1. Field instructor contacts the MSW Program Assistant to request the course enrollment form 2. Field instructor completes free tuition request/enrollment form 3. School of Social Work keeps original free tuition enrollment form and gives the instructor a copy to take with them to register. If they are seeking a graduate degree they need to register at the Office of the Graduate Dean; all others need to register in the Academic Records Office. 4. The Academic Records Office and Office of the Graduate Dean will add new people to the database and sign an ID number. 5. A copy of the free tuition enrollment form is sent to the Human Resources Office after the beginning of each quarter. The names will be added to the list sent to the Accounting Office where the 1099 form will be prepared. R. Malpractice Insurance / Professional Liability Coverage Policy: All Walla Walla College social work students whose field practicum is necessary in order to meet degree requirements are covered by liability insurance carried by the College. The School of Social Work faculty and contracted field placement instructors are included in this coverage. Procedure: A certificate of insurance will be provided to the participating organization upon request through the Walla Walla College School of Social Work to Risk and Safety Management. The minimum processing time is 14 days. Health Insurance: All Walla Walla College students are covered with the student accident insurance. If the student does not have their own medical insurance, Risk and Safety Management suggests that they consider purchasing the optional accident and medical insurance offered through the Walla Walla College Campus Health Services. S. Students with Disabilities Policy: Students with disabilities may receive services from the Walla Walla College Disability Support Services. (Appendix S). Procedure: The following process is established for students requesting reasonable accommodation in field practicum settings: 1. Student must declare a disability and request for reasonable accommodation from the Disability Support Services Coordinator, 2. Student is to provide documentation from a physician regarding their disability, 3. Student and Disability Support Services Coordinator determine the accommodation needs of the student, 4. A confidential letter is sent to the Field Practicum Coordinator and hand- carried by the student to the field instructor explaining the accommodation needs. 5. School has the right to set behavioral standards for class and field. 6. Behavioral standards may be based on the NASW Code of Ethics. 7. If behavior contradicts ethical standards, the student may be terminated T. Sexual Harassment Policy Policy: Sexual harassment of students is not tolerated by the School of Social Work or Walla Walla College (Appendix U). Procedure: The Walla Walla College sexual harassment procedures are used by the School of Social Work (Appendix U). U. Grievance Policy: Students have the right to lodge a formal grievance with Walla Walla College after all School of Social Work efforts to resolve the issues have been exhausted (Appendix V). Procedure: The Walla Walla College grievance process is used by the School of Social Work (Appendix V). V. Background Checks Policy: Walla Walla College does not mandate background checks for social work students; however, individual checks may be required by some agencies. Procedure: Students are to inquire from the agency at the time of their practicum interview for information regarding background checks prior to the time they begin their practicum. Conducting these checks is the responsibility of the student and agency. W. Safety Policy: Student physical and psychological safety is paramount for optimal educational functioning at the agency. Procedure: Students and agencies must together consider creating a safe field practicum environment. These issues are to be addressed in the agency orientation as well as in supervision. It is important to discuss guidelines for prevention, risk taking, and crisis/safety plans. Examples of safety issues are: 1. Transporting clients alone, especially children 2. Working alone at agency after dark 3. Making home visits alone, especially in dangerous neighborhoods.
Pages to are hidden for
"POLICIES AND PROCEDURES IN FIELD PRACTICUM"Please download to view full document