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Funding – The Bertha Rosenstadt Trust

Strengthening Field Education

Field education is the cornerstone of the MSW educational experience – practicum placements provide our students with exceptional learning opportunities. As a Faculty, we are committed to strengthening the all-important ties we have with partner organizations who offer placements to our students. The Bertha Rosenstadt Trust Fund in Health Research – which is available to our Faculty, as well as to all other Health Sciences Faculties at U of T – is an important way we accomplish this.

For the FIFSW Practicum Office, this fund is a valuable way to secure long-term commitments for MSW student placements, while also promoting cutting-edge research in field education. How does it work? An organization agrees to take a pre-negotiated number of practicum students for three consecutive years. In return, the organization receives a three-year grant to conduct research, developed in consultation with our Faculty, that expands social work field education knowledge. Special consideration will be given to proposals that offer innovative ideas, and models that expand field education capacity.

Below are brief descriptions of the three-year projects that were funded between 2015 and 2020.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Title: Teach to Learn, Learn to Teach
Goal: to enhance the social work student education strategy and build further capacity among the SHSC social workers related to education; expand knowledge and skill in students and practitioners, and; ignite commitment and passion for ‘passing on the torch’ for successive generations of social workers

Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health
Title: Developing a formalized staff-based “train the trainer” model concerning supervisor/supervisee support as well as peer to peer support around student supervision
Goal: to answer the call for increased support to social workers in their roles as field supervisors in an ever-changing and complex healthcare environment and promote skill-building and confidence in those considering taking on students.

SickKids – The Hospital for Sick Children
Title: Supporting social work students in relation to working with traumatic and emotionally-complex situations.Goal: to support development and delivery of: 1) a needs assessment of staff and students related to knowledge of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, formal debriefing and self-care; 2) education, training and support for staff around coping with traumatic and emotionally charged case situations; 3) education and support for students around coping with traumatic and emotionally charged case situations through seminars, field instruction as well as through group sessions devoted to this topic.

Title: Using simulation to teach social work students how to conduct either a Mental Status Examination (MSE) or a Suicide Risk Assessment (SRA)
Goal: to investigate using simulation to teach social work students how to conduct either a Mental Status Examination (MSE) or a Suicide Risk Assessment (SRA).

Title: Evaluating interprofessional education seminars
Goal: to develop and implement an evaluation tool for the IPE seminars; to determine the impact of these seminars on social work student education.

Women’s College Hospital
Title: Increasing capacity for student Social Work learners through implementation of a new teaching model at Women’s College Hospital Academic Family Health Team
Goal: to assign students a “touch down space” where they will have access to computers for the purpose of research, charting and accessing necessary documents

Unity Health
Title: Preparing students for a successful placement
Goal: to identify key content that is essential to clinical practice and deliver content in a series of education sessions during placement to prepare the student with necessary knowledge and skills to work with patients and families and explore whether Social Work Seminars improve student transition from classroom to placement

The George Hull Centre for Children and Families
Title: Developing a support system for field instructors
Goal: to create an orientation process and support system for Field Instructors, by matching evidence-based practices with organizational culture needs

North York General Hospital
Title: Comparing attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions around offering a field placement
Goal: to study attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions around offering a field placement in a hospital setting at two moments – at the start of these new educational supports being introduced for social work, and again when supports have been in place for a period of one year.

The Scarborough Hospital
Title: Student perception of online counseling in comparison to in-person counseling
Goal: to contribute to the growing body of knowledge and literature on the use of technology in social work education and practice and determine social work students’ perceptions of online counseling, pre and post their practicum

Get more information about leading-edge research funded from the Bertha Rosenstadt Trust in Spring 2013 Reach

On February 6, 2015, the FIFSW Practicum Office hosted the Bertha Rosenstadt Trust – FIFSW Showcase to hightlight current research initiatives funded by the Bertha Rosenstadt Trust. To learn more about this event click here.