An internship collaborates between the intern, the internship placement agency and the Department of Social Work. Each party has its roles and responsibilities.
Responsibilities of The Department of Social Work and the Field Director
- To facilitate the placement of students in agencies for the internship experience.
- To reduce the development of an internship contract negotiated with the field instructor.
- To provide a liaison between the school and the agency. 2 to 3 site visits or teleconferences will be made. The purpose of the first visit is to review the intern’s contract and address any questions about the Department of Social Work and the internship that might arise. During the second and third visits, the faculty liaison, with the intern and the field instructor, will facilitate the midterm and final evaluations.
- To provide orientation for field instructors and agency directors each term.
- To facilitate the two internship seminars, providing feedback to interns on presentations and papers.
- To provide ongoing consultation with the placement agencies as needed.
- To maintain a continuous Practitioners Advisory Council that reviews and evaluates the overall Social Work Department, particularly the internship component.
- To carry liability insurance for the Social Work interns.
Responsibilities of the Agency
- Establish a process to interview and select prospective interns.
- To demonstrate an interest and commitment to student education, shown by a willingness to assign staff time and energy to intern supervision, attend workshops for field instructors and consult with faculty liaison.
- To set one specific agency worker, a licensed BSW//MSW, known as a field instructor, to supervise the intern.
- In conjunction with the prospective intern and Field Director, develop an internship contract to guide students during the internship.
- To complete, sign and return the Agency Data form (Appendix F).
- To provide the student with a detailed orientation to the agency- policies, services, goals, purposes and clientele during the early weeks of the internship. This orientation will include:
- Orientation Schedule
- “Nitty Gritty” info includes: parking, bathrooms, dining facilities, dress requirements, break times, holidays, telephone instructions, signing in and out, introductions to staff and how an intern should identify themselves.
- Instructions regarding technology.
- Specific recording instructions.
- Specific confidentiality instructions.
- Access intra-agency and community phone directories, procedure manuals, human resources are within the community and any special reference books.
- Information on any special security precautions.
- Discuss the human elements of the work, stress, fears, anxieties, frustrations, failures and the need to process with someone. What can be processed with persons outside the agency.
- Describe supervisory approach. What the agency expects from the student.
- Provide the student with a glossary of acronyms, symbols, jargon and technical terms unique to the agency.
- Review the student’s coursework and discuss the knowledge and skills acquired in consideration of that required to perform the social work duties within the agency. Note the emphasis on the systems approach.
- To provide a minimum of one hour per week of scheduled individual supervision that includes a review of the intern’s assignments with constructive feedback and creates an opportunity to integrate theory with practice experience.
Responsibilities of the Intern
- To obtain at least an 80% grade on written and oral assignments in the internship.
- To negotiate the internship contract with the Field Instructor and the Field Director.
- To follow agency policies about time schedules, regulations and matters of dress.
- To prepare agendas for discussions with the Field Director and Field Instructor.
- To leave word with the agency secretary and or supervisor as to where you are and when you will return.
- To report absences and reasons for absences immediately to the Field Instructor.
- To participate in her/his midterm and final evaluations with the Field Instructor.
- To participate in an assessment of the Social Work Department.
- To write a short evaluation of the internship placement at the end of her/his internship (Appendix I).
- To evaluate the Field Instructor (Appendix J).
- To complete assignments for the internship seminar.
- Participate in an end-of-term discussion and complete the Skills and Services Feedback form (Appendix K).
- To evaluate the Field Director / Course Evaluation (Appendix L).
- To provide evidence of having completed the 480 hours, including attendance at a minimum of one workshop or conference and two agency visits.
Problem Solving Expectations
- Suppose the agency site supervisor or the student experiences a problem during the internships. In that case, the first step is to talk about it. The most common problems related to job duties, relationships with co-workers or misunderstandings between the supervisor and the intern.
- If the problem is not resolved promptly, the Faculty Liaison should be notified as soon as possible.
- The Faculty Liaison will collaborate with the Field Instructor, site supervisor and intern to resolve the problem professionally and expediently.