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Team Member Roles and Responsibilities

Practicum courses and processes are made possible by the cooperative involvement of each MSW student, Field Instructor(s), Faculty-Field Liaison, Education Coordinator (where applicable), and the Practicum Office.

Each student has a teaching team comprised of the following:

  • Field Instructor(s)
  • Faculty-Field Liaison
  • Education Coordinator (where applicable)

Below is an overview of team member roles and responsibilities.

Practicum Students

Practicum Students are Master of Social Work students enrolled in a practicum course (Practicum 1 or Practicum 2). It is expected that they will:

  • Become familiar with the MSW Practicum Manual.
  • Read, understand, and adhere to the CASW Code of Ethics (2005), and all relevant U of T codes of behaviour, ethics, and professional practice.
  • Participate in the practicum selection process.
  • Complete all documentation required for the practicum.
  • Meet the practicum course time requirements
  • Register with U of T Accessibility Services if accommodations are required; communicate with the Practicum Office, and practicum site where applicable, when accommodations may be required in their practicum course.
  • Prepare the Learning Contract in consultation with the Field Instructor(s).
  • Submit a copy of the completed Learning Contract electronically to the Faculty-Field Liaison (FFL), and Education Coordinator, if applicable.
  • Attend the FFL-Student meetings held at FIFSW or online.
  • Prepare for and actively participate in supervision with the Field Instructor(s).
  • Contact the FFL with any concerns regarding their practicum course.
  • Complete the mid-term and final self-evaluations on the Practicum Administration System (PAS).
  • Provide feedback to the Practicum Office (voluntary) through surveys/questionnaires and other venues available.

Field Instructors

Field Instructors oversee and guide students in the provision of services to clients, organizations, and/or communities. They are required to:

  • Adhere to FIFSW policies, procedures, and practicum course expectations.
  • Become knowledgeable about FIFSW’s practicum competency domains.
  • Orient the student to the practicum setting, including:
    • safety and workplace policies and procedures (for rotational practicums, this will be provided at the start of each rotation),
    • the overall organization (agency programs and services), and
    • social work role expectations.
  • Ensure the student is provided with a comprehensive orientation that includes introduction to a place to put their personal belongings, a computer and telephone, and a private space for recording.
  • Complete all required FIFSW documentation, including Checklists 1 and 2.
  • Ensure the practicum profile on the Practicum Administration System (PAS) is accurate and current.
  • Provide social work supervision and ensure the student is provided opportunities to develop FIFSW competencies (see Practicum 1 Competencies and Practicum 2 Competencies). Note that:
    • Regular direct observation of a student’s work is essential for teaching and evaluation.
    • Supervision is a protected confidential time during which the student can engage in critical self-reflection, question and analyze their interventions and progress, question and develop their identity as a future practitioner, and develop understanding of their relationship with colleagues.
    • Supervision provides an opportunity for students and Field Instructors to develop mutually respectful relationships.
  • Demonstrate and encourage the integration of social work theory and practice.
  • Contact the Faculty-Field Liaison (FFL) with any questions or concerns regarding the student in the practicum, and supports needed.
  • Complete the mid-term and final student evaluations on the Practicum Administration System (PAS).
  • Attend the FIFSW Professional Development Workshop Series (recommended).

Faculty-Field Liaisons (FFLs)

Faculty-Field Liaisons (FFLs) are the link between FIFSW, the student, the Field Instructor, and (where applicable) the Education Coordinator. Their role is to:

  • Liaise with Field Instructors regarding the school’s academic curriculum.
  • Receive the students’ Learning Contracts and contribute to their development.
  • Review the midterm and final evaluations and submit the course credit documentation to the Practicum Office.
  • Consult and support the students and Field Instructor(s) when requested.
  • Facilitate group meetings with students at FIFSW or online.
  • Select and make available educational resources upon request.

Students will be informed of their FFL before the start of their practicum.

Education Coordinator (where applicable)

Education Coordinators coordinate practicum opportunities and Field Instructors at large organizations where multiple practicums are offered.

Education Coordinators:

  • Ensure that the student is provided with the necessary tools for the practicum course (orientation, technical support, space, accommodations, etc.).
  • Are available to Field Instructor(s) and students in their organization for consultation and problem solving.
  • Ensure the practicum descriptions and requirements on the PAS practicum profile are current and complete.
  • Review student Learning Contracts, and mid-term and final student evaluations.

Practicum Office

With offices on the fourth floor of FIFSW’s building, Practicum Office staff oversee the administration of practicum courses and opportunities. They are responsible for:

  • Recruiting, securing, and monitoring practicum opportunities.
  • Matching students with practicums.
  • Organizing professional development workshops for Field Instructors.
  • Designing and delivering information sessions and fora for students.
  • Responding to feedback from stakeholders to facilitate quality standards by implementing ongoing improvements.
  • Overseeing all administrative tasks associated with FIFSW practicums.
  • Meeting with students, Field Instructors, and Faculty-Field Liaisons to discuss private concerns.