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Practicum 1 Competencies

In Practicum 1, the student is expected to demonstrate that they can competently:

  • function within the professional context: to develop and demonstrate his/her professional identity as a social worker in respect to commitment to and the provision of service to people;
  • function within an organizational context: to develop and demonstrate the ability to function within an organizational context;
  • identify/assess issues;
  • develop a purposeful intervention/plan;
  • implement intervention/plan; and
  • use effective communication skills.

In order to achieve a sufficient and broad knowledge base in Practicum 1, the student will demonstrate core knowledge and beginner competence in direct practice with a client system and on behalf of client systems in the context of programs and organizations for the delivery of social work services.

The competency framework provides the basis for evaluation and is reflected on the midterm and final evaluations under the six domain headings:

  • Learning and Growth
  • Behaviour in the Organization
  • Conceptualize Practice
  • Clinical Relationships
  • Assessment and Intervention
  • Professional Communication

Practicum 1 practicums are designed to offer students direct-service learning opportunities. Upon completion of the practicum, students will emerge with a beginning conceptual understanding of the key elements informing social work practice, which includes:

  • the organizational context – agency mandate, social work purpose and role;
  • the professional context – values, code of ethics, regulation;
  • the inter-professional context – working collaboratively in teams;
  • an understanding of the importance of self-awareness and reflection in social work practice;
  • an understanding of the beginning stage of direct practice with diverse clients and client systems; and
  • an ability to develop a collaborative professional relationship with a client.

At the beginning of the practicum, Practicum 1 students will submit to their Field Instructor(s) a copy of their Lab Summary from the fall term. The purpose is to ensure that any identified “areas for development” are included in the Learning Contract.

The Learning Contract will include a plan for direct service. By the mid-term evaluation (half- way point), students are expected to be engaged in direct service with clients.

In order to evaluate students based on the competencies, it is required that Field Instructors directly observe students’ interventions. This may include observation of:

  • the student’s work with individuals, groups and families;
  • attending and contributing to team, community or inter-professional meetings; and
  • preparing and (co-)leading workshops and training.

Self-reflective journals and process recordings can also serve as important tools through which to assess the student’s activities.