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Responsibilities - Agency

Agencies whose social work goals, services and policies are compatible with the values of social work, who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to student education, and who have licensed social workers with degrees in the field, are selected as placement sites for social work interns.

This assumes a willingness to work closely with interns and the faculty liaison to develop learning practice experiences and to provide, at a minimum, weekly supervision. It is important that helping professionals with degrees in social work provide supervision for social work interns. The process for this selection includes completion of an agency data form by a representative of the agency and discussions between the internship coordinator and a representative of the prospective placement agency.

The overall responsibility of the agency is to provide a climate in which the intern can integrate theoretical concepts with beginning practice experience.

  • To establish a process to interview and select prospective interns
  • To demonstrate an interest in and commitment to student education, demonstrated by a willingness to assign staff time and energy to intern supervision, attendance at workshops for field instructors and consultation with the faculty liaison.
  • To assign one specific agency worker, a licensed MSW, known as a field instructor, to supervise the intern.
  • In conjunction with the prospective intern and Internship Coordinator develop an internship contract, to guide students to the internship.
  • To complete, sign and return the Agency Data form and the Placement Agreement.
  • To provide the student with a detailed orientation to the agency - policies, services, goals, purposes and clientele during the early weeks of the internship that includes:
    1. Orientation schedule
    2. "Nitty-gritty" info: parking, bathrooms, eating facilities, dress requirements, break times, holidays, telephone instructions, signing in and out, introductions to staff, how intern should identify herself/himself.
    3. Specific recording instructions.
    4. Access to intra-agency and community phone directories, procedure manuals, human resources within the community, any special reference books, i.e., DSM IV, federal privacy act and any other reference material that is likely used on a regular basis.
    5. Information on any special security precautions.
    6. Discuss the human elements to the work, stress, fears, anxieties, frustrations, failures and the need to process with someone. What can be processed with persons outside of the agency.
    7. Describe supervisory approach. What agency expects from the student.
    8. Provide the student with a glossary of acronyms, symbols, jargon and technical terms unique to the agency.
    9. 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 systems approach.
  • To provide a minimum of one hour per week of scheduled individual supervision that includes review of the intern's assignments with constructive feedback and creates an opportunity to integrate theory with practice experience.
  • To allow the student to attend and participate in staff meetings as well as in team meetings, if the agency normally provides group supervision.
  • To provide the student with opportunities to work with various client systems; individuals, families, groups, etc.- receiving service from the agency.
  • To provide opportunities for the intern to become familiar with community resources and services and to have the experience of coordinating these services within the scope of the student's agency based assignments
  • To allow the student space in which to work.
  • To provide reimbursement for agency-related travel.
  • To provide the student with meals, lodging and / or stipend when these are available.
  • To complete a faculty liaison evaluation form.
  • To complete with the intern, a midterm and final evaluation of the intern's performance