In 2008, the Council on Social Work Education outlined the new Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, stating field education is the “signature pedagogy” of social work education and the “the central form of instruction and learning in which a profession socializes its students to perform the role of practitioner.” We agree the practicum experience is the most important influence in the development of a student’s social work practice skills.
The importance of the role of the Field Instructor as teacher, guide, challenger, and role model to the student cannot be underestimated. Field Instructors perform these responsibilities on a voluntary basis, often to give back what they were given and to continue to remain current and challenged in their thinking about the practice role they perform and the social issues they face in their work with individuals, families, groups, neighborhoods, communities, and organizations. No two Field Instructor or student experiences are identical, but there are threads of commonality in all field placement experiences. As you help students learn to be social work practitioners through teaching and mentoring, our program will serve as your resource, liaison, and support in the field instruction process.
Thank you for your valuable contributions to our students, our program, and the social work profession. Without you, our mission to educate our students could not be fulfilled. We appreciate your dedication, your time, and your understanding of the importance of being a Field Instructor.