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Practicum courses offer the student educational opportunities where:

  1. Knowledge can be integrated and applied to practice.
  2. Competence in performing practice skills can be developed.

Practicum (a.k.a. field education) is an experiential form of teaching and learning that takes place in a service setting. Learning is achieved through the provision and/or development of services to clients, communities, organizations, or society. Social service, health, and educational organizations voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to social work education through offering practicums. Experienced social workers provide field education to students.

Social work practice competencies provide the foundation for the practicum. These competencies defines those behaviours believed to be necessary for social work practice. Social Work Values and Ethics informs field settings in developing their practicum program and assists students and Field Instructors to describe learning opportunities, define how social work competencies will be addressed, and evaluate the student’s performance.

This manual contains information for use by, and developed from the experiences and feedback of, students, Field Instructors, and Faculty-Field Liaisons (FFLs) in carrying out their respective roles in the field. It is expected that students will be actively engaged in their own learning in the practicum and will take responsibility, with their Field Instructors, for designing a practicum that will meet FIFSW’s competency expectations.  FIFSW is committed to ongoing feedback and redesign of the practicum course so that the goal of providing a high standard of excellence in teaching and learning may be achieved.