Am I required to have a police check done for my practicum?
Agencies that offer a practicum(s) will likely require a current Vulnerable Persons Criminal Record check prior to commencing the Practicum. Failure to pass this check may jeopardize your entry to practicum.
There is a cost and time factor associated with the Vulnerable Persons Criminal Record check. A delay in obtaining the results can impact the start time of your practicum. The agency determines how current the results need to be.
In anticipation of this requirement for your practicum, it is strongly recommended that you begin this process early. (For information about a vulnerable sector reference, including recent changes, see the Toronto Police website.
Is it necessary that my practicum complies with my declared field of study?
As stated in the Program Description booklet, and on the FIFSW website Program Description, Practicum II “must comply with the student’s declared field of study”. Course instructors may design assignments to integrate with the field experience. Field instructors expect that the theory obtained in your courses will be applied in the practicum. One of the six competency domains on which students are evaluated is “Conceptualizing Practice”.
How do I become a Field Instructor?
All students are encouraged to be a field instructor after graduation. Students are asked to:
• provide their personal e-mail address to the Practicum Office with the intention that they will be e-mailed an invitation to be a field instructor in the future
• attend the annual February noon-hour Panel of Field Instructors to have their questions answered.
• view two videos about becoming a field instructor: Rob McFadden video, Blair Audet video
How can I give feedback about practicum-related issues?
Your feedback is important to us. Students and field instructors have several avenues to provide feedback about the practicum course. These include:
• Practicum Advisory Committee (PAC); (contact the GSA to become a rep, or the Practicum Office for the meeting schedule)
• Ad hoc committees to address issues / projects arising
• Practicum Information Sessions
• Year 1 Monday noon-hour drop-in (after Practicum Information Sessions to end of December)
• Year 1 Forum (4 weeks after Year 1 practicum commences)
• Year 2/Advanced standing Forum (4 weeks after Year 2 practicum commences)
• Open door policy in Practicum Office – 4th Floor
• Dean, Assistant Dean Field Education, Associate Dean Academic
• Field Instructor(s)
• Education Coordinator
• Faculty-Field Liaison (FFL)
• Online FFL / student meeting feedback form (after each meeting)
• Online practicum exit feedback form (end of practicum)
What is an FFL?
Your assigned FFL, or Faculty Field Liaison, is your “go-to person” during your practicum. The FFL bridges your practicum with your work at the Faculty. As well as being available to support your success and for questions and consultation, your FFL is available to discuss concerns and challenges in your practicum. The FFL also provides support for the field instructor and education coordinator.
Why is my work/volunteer experience not considered when I am matched for an interview?
The FIFSW acknowledges that many students bring a wealth of personal/volunteer/work experience. The social work practicum will provide students with transferable social work skills and universal competencies for social work practice with diverse client systems, integrating social work theory with practice.
I was confirmed to start practicum at a particular organization, and it is now cancelled. What happened?
Occasionally organizations withdraw their availability because of restructuring in the organization, the resignation/illness/position change of a field instructor, etc. Should a practicum be withdrawn, the Practicum Office will work with students to find an alternate practicum.
Can I trade practicums with a classmate after I have been assigned?
In Year 1, students may trade practicums before any contact with field instructors is made. Contact the Practicum Office to make a trade.
In Year 2/Advanced Standing, practicum trades are not permitted.
Do you offer practicums outside of Toronto?
Yes. Although most practicums are Toronto-based, there are some options outside the GTA. The Practicum Office has approved these practicums and the list of out-of-town practicums is on the website. The locations of out-of-town practicums are indicated in the title. The interview matching process is the same as for Toronto practicums.
The FIFSW has partnerships with three international Social Work schools: Hebrew University (Israel) and Melbourne University (Australia) and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). Information and an application is on the FIFSW website.
Are all practicums reserved for FIFSW students?
Some practicum opportunities are available to students of different disciplines and / or schools of social work. Interviews may take place on a different schedule than that of FIFSW. The Practicum Office posts these “competitions” on the FIFSW website with details on how FIFSW students may apply.