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Editor Gracious Thomas

School of Social Work Indira Gandhi National Open University Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068

July, 2010

© Indira Gandhi National Open University, 2010

ISBN: 978-81-266-5474-9

Print Production : Shri Kulwant Singh, Section Officer, School of Social Work. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form, by mimeograph or any other means, without permission in writing from the copyright holder. Further information on the Indira Gandhi National Open University courses may be obtained from the University’s office at Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110 068 or the official website of IGNOU at Printed and published on behalf of Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi by Director, School of Social Work, IGNOU. Lasertypesetted at Graphic Printers, 204, Pankaj Tower, Mayur Vihar, Phase-I, Delhi-110091. Printed at :

The programmes of study in Social work developed and launched by IGNOU is timely and much needed when globalization is in full swing and the untrained workers, who are involved in welfare activities and looking for social work training programmes through distance mode as well as specific areas of specializations in philanthropy, counseling and criminal justice system. This volume gives an overview on theoretical understanding about social work practicum. This courses is very unique as compared to the courses offered under MSW programmes across the country. We have presented the basic information on social work practicum i.e. its concepts, importance, models national as well as international scenario, and its applicability in the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system. It also focuses on roles and expectations of various stakeholders involved in social work practicum. It has been extremely difficult for the social work profession to establish itself in developing countries like India due to the problems associated with voluntary work versus paid work. The most important task, therefore, for the professional is to make sure that clients understand the services they receive from professional social workers and not confuse it with services of other people. Thus, and expectations of people involved in social work process are important. “Field Work Supervision” is part of educational

practicum. It is generally defined as the relationship between a student or subordinate and supervisor where the later overseas the development of the student throughout the practicum experience. Some of the chapter have articulated various issues such as models, environmental aspects in social work supervision, supportive functions in supervision, and field practicum supervision in distance learning mode. We have also discussed social work practicum in various settings. It has incorporated specific roles of social workers in individual, family and community setting, medical and psychiatric setting, corporate sector, door agencies and NGO sector. The first chapter on “Social Work Practicum concept: meaning, nature, importance and scope” clarifies the term, field work practice. Then, it explains the various models such as medical, ecological, generalist practice etc. of social work practicum. Later on the chapter includes central themes in social work practicum, field work approaches, competencies for social work practice, and ethical as well as legal issues in social work practicum. The narration of the ‘History of social work Practicum’ is based on US experience. It has first differentiated volunteering from the social work which is a profession. Gradually the chapter has comprehended the emergence of social work as a profession in the US compared earlier elitist model to the present situation examined the importance of interprofessional practice and related the practicum followed in USA to India context. “Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario” describes the methods of providing field education,

highlighting the difference and similarities between practices in India and other parts of the world. This chapter covers global standards for field education and training, field education in a developing country, problems in conceptualizing field training and field applications in Indian context. The chapter on “Social Work Practicum in open and Distance Learning” provide designs and strategies of field practicum in social work education offered in distance learning mode. It has first compared field practicum approach between the conventional and distance education systems, then incorporates field practicum in social work education in distance mode outside India, as well as the IGNOU model. IGNOU’s field practicum for BSW 1st year has been illustrated as an example in this context. The chapter on “Orientation for social work practicum” describe the importance of practicum experience, relevance of practicum to the educational process of preparing you for an advanced level of social work practice, identify ways in which you can orient yourself to the client population, the agency, and the community in which you will be working, and to expand your knowledge base about the value of student exchange programmes and the practice of social work through a global perspective. The student will act as an agency staff member under a supervisor and, as time progresses in the agency, he/she will be given more responsibility as a member of the agency team. The on “Roles and expectations in social work practicum highlights initially the specific roles and expectations of the supervisor as an educator in this facilitation process. This chapter also discusses

the administrative tasks of the agency in providing a structured environment in which you will learn how to apply the knowledge you have acquired. Lastly it explains your learning expectations while working with individuals, families and groups in a multi-disciplinary practice based setting. The chapter on ‘Roles and Expectation of the social work Training Institute’ is a unique chapter in the entire social work curriculum of IGNOU. It has articulated issues like minimum criteria for becoming an agency to provide practical training in social work, role of training institutes, expectations of the learners, university-agency partnership and so on. Towards the end, the chapter has provided knowledge on international accreditation standards for social work programmes based on the International Association of Schools of social Work (IASSW) and International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) International Code of Ethics and academic standards for international social work education. Every profession has certain principles to be followed and several skills to be acquired by the professionals. These are applicable in most practice situations regardless of client’s characteristics or practice setting or roles assumed by the professionals. The chapter on “Principles and skills for social work and agency practice” is designed to discuss these principles and skills. The chapter on ‘Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision’ deals with the definition and general functions involved in supervision, developmental and

task models of supervision, modes of supervision, and culture as well as administrative context of supervision,. This chapter ends with the additional information on the role of supervision in professional development and within the administrative structure of a human service agency. ‘Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision’ provides a detailed discussion about the need to have knowledge on organizational structure of the field work agency; roles and expectations of supervisor, how to develop a positive supervisory relationship based on an identified style of supervision; performance issues relating to decision making, appropriate use of authority, professional boundaries, role constraints, etc; and how to deal with the conflicts in supervision. ‘Supportive Function in Supervision’ relates to the process of developing essential skills that will be helpful in dealing with a variety of stress often associated with social work practice. By and large, this chapter discusses about common stressors leading to burnout, compassion, fatigue, impact of stress on professional functioning, using supervision to deal with stress, and dealing with conflict in supervision. The chapter on “Field Practicum supervision in Distance Learning Mode” focuses on nature, functions, roles and qualities of supervisors of field practicum in social work programme offered through open and distance learning mode. At the end, it reflects certain issues which are inherent in the supervisory process i.e. culture and perceptual disparity between student and supervisor, getting training to perform supervisory role, and

dealing with role conflicts which are inevitable components of the complex process of supervision. The Chapter on ‘Individuals, Family and Community’ describes field work practice with individuals, field work practice with families, and field work practice with communities. It is aimed at helping you to practice social work with family by gaining certain amount of maturity before you attempt to apply skills as family problems are complex in nature. In the community setting, you should be sensitive to the value systems of community as it may differ from your own value system. The chapter on ‘Medical, Psychiatry and Child Care’ explains the nature of social work practice in health care setting, mental health setting, and child care setting. This chapter makes the student aware that there is diversity as well as constant change in the field and therefore he/she should be prepared to deal with the changing scenario. The description on ‘Education and Research’ examines avenues for field work intervention in the schools. Colleges and universities where students and youths are the targets. This chapter has also provided a glimpse on social work research and evaluation rsearch that assess the utility of social intervention and human service programmes. Correction is one segment of criminal justice system by which the society seeks to protect the public, punish offenders, change behaviour and in some cases compensate victims. The chapter on ‘correctional Services’ is designed in this direction. It deals with the definition and philosophy of having correctional

The chapter on ‘Corporate Sector. enthusiasm. Professor P. Dr. In the recent years we find that several social workers are being employed in corporate. Ms. Mr. The academic exercise to prepare this volume extended over a period of two years. Nita Kumari. Sangeeta Dhaor and Mr. Patricia Lager of the college of social work at Florida State University (FSU). Mr. field work in NGO sector and field work in donor agencies. New Delhi . commitment and this valuable Gracious Thomas Director School of Social Work. Ashomore from FSU.K. donor agencies and NGOs. Manju Gupta. Josheph Varghese for their hard work. Dr. Lobo. and Professor M. Manju Kumar. Prof. The Social work faculty at FSU were extremely helpful to me in getting several of the very important chapters included in this book. I had several rounds of dissension and radio conferencing with Professor Neil Abell and Prof. Sushma Murthy. Hamann. IGNOU. Hemlata. settings. Donor Agencies and NGOs explains the scope of field work in corporate sector. administration and correctional social work. I am thankful to Professor Neil Abell. Ms. Ms. B. Gurupada Saren. Mrs. history of development of correctional services. Professor Patricia Lager. K. Ms. JoselynT. Gandhi. Professor Asok Sarkar.

Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 65 Manju Kumar 5. History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education Patricia Lager. Hamann 23 3. Hamann 9 2. Orientation for Social Work Practicum Patricia Lager. B. Ashmore 94 Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum Patricia Lager. Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice Gracious Thomas. B. Hamann. B. Hamann. M. B. Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario Neil Abell. Hamann. Neil Abell 129 8. Ashmore 111 7. M. Nita Kumari 150 9. Nature. Bamann 45 4.Contents 1. Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision Patricia Lager 191 . Meaning. Importance and Scope Patricia Lager. B. 6. B. Social Work Practicum: Concept. Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute Patricia Lager.

Supportive Functions in Supervision Patricia Lager 12. Medical. Corporate Sector. Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode Manju Kumar 236 263 13. Individuals. Family and Community K. Correctional Services Sangeeta Dhaor 17. Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision Patricia Lager 206 220 11. Lobo and Roshini Nilaya 16. Psychiatry and Child Care Manju Gupta 286 320 350 15. Education and Research Joselyn T.10. Donor Agencies and NGOs Joseph Verghese 376 . Sushma Murthy 14. Hemlata.

B. Importance and Scope *Patricia Lager. Studying about the developmental stages may seem simple in class but dealing with issues associated with * Prof. skills and knowledge of social work. FSU. Hamann. The skills will get honed only with practice. regardless of the amount of knowledge acquired. but there is a positive learning process as the student gets more comfortable applying the values. It is only by doing that the student can comprehend the nuances of working with clients. Patricia Lager. Hamann Introduction It is important for social workers to have a strong theoretical base. It may have seemed abstract while learning about skills and values in the classroom and this can be clarified when put into practice. There is a necessity to provide opportunities for students to apply the knowledge acquired in the classroom. Some things learned in the classroom may seem very different in the real world. B.1 Social Work Practicum: Concept. In the beginning there may be anxiety and inhibition to work with people. USA . Nature. USA & Dr. Meaning.

Some placements in the field of shorter duration or which are less intense may be called field work or practicum. Arrangements are usually made with the agency regarding what practical experience the student is required to achieve. field work. intake. Still other schools may allow the students to freely choose the setting or supervisor and coordinate with the agency. Some professions have a year long internship for the doctoral degree.2 Social Work Practicum and Supervision adolescence may be quite different. There are some agencies which have a specific practicum program and if the school finds that is acceptable then the agency . Definition of Social Work Practice Various professions use different words to describe the practical use of classroom learning. Social work practicum programs vary in different schools. and case recording and reporting. internships. the terms used for practical training is field work. Practicum gives an opportunity to work with supervision. Some may be structured and placements may be made by fitting the students’ interests and aptitude to the agency. field placement or practicum. legal and communication issues. Social work practicum helps students deal with administrative. Different terms used are practicum. In graduate or undergraduate social work. A student is usually made aware of what is expected in practicum. This is not true in all cases. It is an integral part of the social work curriculum at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Some schools may define what the student is expected to learn in a particular setting while other schools may leave the decision to the agency supervisor. or field experience.

Models of Social Work Practicum According to Zastrow (1995). to help individuals. the diagnosis of clients’ problems. the causes of which were believed to be in the client. however. In India. These problems were regarded as mental illnesses and given medical labels. groups and communities overcome personal and social problems. social workers in the 1920’s to the 1960’s. social development. agencies would sometimes get the students placed to complete jobs that are pending in the agency (updating files. learning. environmental effects (on individuals) and impact of individual behaviour on society. . techniques.Social Work Practicum 3 determines the practicum program. In a complex network of social. home visits). Social workers professionally apply skills. Emotional and behavioural problems were supposed to be affected by genetics. political. School field work liaisons usually work with the field agency supervisor to plan the students’ placement program. The medical model was humane and treated those (with such problems) as persons in need of help and amenable to treatment. values. early trauma. This medical model was used to assess and treat problems. and conflicts within the individual or the defenses used to combat them. In social work practicum. and principles.S. diseases. social workers perform various roles to promote social development. metabolic disorders. economic. is secondary to the central objective of student. this. was the model adopted by U. cultural. Social work practicum uses theoretical knowledge of human behaviour. and geographical factors.

The interaction between people. death. In India. families and small groups to help them cope better with regular changes in life like growing up. The ecological model focused on the interaction between the individual and the environment that may not be conducive to a healthy balance. The social worker sees to it that the persons’ needs are met by the environment. Balwadis were established in areas that did not have it. social workers reemphasized the view that the environment affected the individual and was likely to contribute to causes of clients’ problems. A snack or a mid-day meal was provided to enhance their nutrition. and groups with their environment is also an area where social workers deal with. another area of social work is to see that the environment reciprocates with the . These are examples of efforts to change the systems to improve clients’ well-being. The person is helped to adjust better to the environment. to ensure that children were educated. Health care centers were set up to motivate clients to take care of themselves. The ecological model seeks to work with individuals. like the family and community. birth. The maladaptive patterns are identified and dealt with using appropriate approaches. marriage. empty nest.4 Social Work Practicum and Supervision In the 1960’s U. In this model. Family planning centers tried to motivate families to limit the number of children so that the quality of life would improve and reduce stress. and other life cycle transitions. families. The people are not considered to be separate entities but rather as systems that actively reciprocate energy through their boundary with other existing systems.S. divorce. A reform approach that attempted to change the clients’ system brought needed services to clients. sickness.

the family blames her. the environment and the interaction or relationship between the two. The social worker would work with the individual girl’s self esteem and emotional problem. If possible the social worker may educate families in the lower caste about their constitutional. social. The student can either accompany or observe the supervisor in action or can approach (escorted) with caution. Often. and legal rights and help them communicate with the landlord or the media if that does not work. Working with the community (government. . When a young girl from the lower caste is raped in the rice fields by the landlord’s son.Social Work Practicum 5 individual to meet the needs. The families in the lower caste gradually stop sending their girls to school or to even work on the field to keep them safe. It might be a good learning experience for the student to approach activist groups working for particular causes or media group with suggestions. local leaders or upper class members) would be more difficult even for the social worker. it would be more difficult for a female student to confront dominant male members in the community. The student may find it easier to work at the individual and family level. through services and accessibility to the resources. They try to keep the matter concealed. This shows the social worker using the ecological model to work at three levels – individual and group. The social worker helps the family deal with their helplessness to fight against the higher class victimization. On the other hand the social worker would work with the local government (Panchayat Raj) and see that laws against rape are upheld and the perpetrators are punished.

supervisor and what one expects to learn. It is important to acknowledge what one expects of the field placement. Even though there may be areas that cannot be foreseen. weaknesses and emotions that could help or impede field work. Some of them are as follows:  Building relationships with field instructor. staff and the clients Finding and accepting ones role and position in the agency Identifying and getting to know the agency and social work programs staff that will help answer questions.    . 2007): Preparing for a Social Work Practicum A student considering field work placement should accept personal strengths. It is divided under the following paragraphs (Birkenmaier and BergWeger. there are others that can be anticipated and the student can prepare for the upcoming events. deal with problems and crisis situation. Chalking out a plan of action and managing time to avoid stress and overload.6 Social Work Practicum and Supervision The Central Themes in Social Work Practicum The process starts from the initial arrangements made for practicum through the final understanding of integrating theory into field work. – Identifying personal learning styles and roles to take on.

group worker. It is not an end as social workers keep growing and changing as skills are honed and knowledge gets wider. and expectations that social workers will solve violent cases (Berkenmaier & Berg-Weger. student. Field work is an opportunity to adjust to transitions (of course work. The level of danger has increased over the years along with the new child safety laws that need to be enforced. professional social worker). and stresses. In preparing to be a professional social worker. Social work practicum helps the student identify with the profession and establish personal and professional boundaries. social workers are second only to police officers in that they are at risk of having work related violence directed towards them (Landers. attending workshops to train for defense against violence) are necessary for effective functioning. the decision to become a social worker is the first step. community organizer. graduation. working in teams. emotional and mental safety and taking reasonable precautions (client restraints. 1993). practicum. Practicum is an important phase in this process. . involvement of families in court cases. Safety issues in the field: In United States of America. To establish a professional identity and get affiliated to the professional group is a long process. locks. Students may be threatened by clients. staff and other professionals. Identifying threats to physical.Social Work Practicum 7 – Deciding how much personal information should be shared with field staff. supervision. variety of roles (case worker. supervisee). 2007). standard precautions against medical risks.

unwanted touching. sexist and homophobic comments. consulting. This is because even though laws exist against sexual harassment it would be near impossible to prove or get the laws to be enforced. Supervisors usually see to it that the student does not work late into the night or work alone with a client or professional. understanding and helping. comments about body. If this fails. work accomplishments. it is best to speak to the agency supervisor and also to the school field work liaison. Students may not know where exactly their home visits would take them. Other resources should be contacted if these steps fail. prevention works better than taking steps after the fact. A student is not expected to know everything . the agency or field work instructor should be able to address this issue. Supervision: is a form of teaching by a seasoned social work practitioner who imparts training and education with some level of authority. seek out other victims and directly approach the harasser to put an end to the harassment. ranging from sexual jokes to sexual intercourse. It is different from the job supervision because practicum supervision involves a teacher-learner relationship and not to oversee if the job is performed well. Students need to document details of the harassment. If sexual harassment does take place. The mentoring relationship would include advising. sexual boasting. It can include asking for unwanted dates.8 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Student may confront sexual harassment which may be verbal or nonverbal. pressure for sexual activity. In India. Here too it is wise to go in pairs or decide to speak to the client outside the house.

Organization of the agency: Expectations differ from one organization to another. It is important that the student maintains open communication with the supervisor and is truthful about his/her actions. feelings. Governmental agencies are complex. The student works within the organizations’ values. A student also comes in with expectation of the organization. The size of the agency also determines what or how much and quality of treatment. termination and application of appropriate treatment. philosophies and resources. It could be based on a religion which could decide some policy. A student also learns from mistakes made. Knowledge of the organization is important to offer the best possible service to clients and for work with staff and other agencies. Non-profit organizations rely on government for partial funding and use a lot of volunteers. feelings and inhibitions to minimize the mistakes or its impact on the client. conservative philosophy and larger salary. the salary is higher and so are the expectations. objectives. In for-profit organizations. more flexibility to change in body and use of cutting edge technology.Social Work Practicum 9 during practicum. There may be more resources. Critical thinking or conceptual understanding required . A supervisor may provide consultation or feedback. Skills required in this are to explore the problem. with loads of paper work. Practicum with individuals and families (micro social work): This requires systems theory knowledge and development of skills and techniques. goal setting. rigid structure. However. the student should understand that a mistake could be costly and may really hurt a client.

 Social goals model is based on problem-focused interests and goals. administrative and professional skills can be learnt during practicum. Skills of communication. generalist social workers may very well use group work for education or therapy at some time or the other. Practicum with groups (mezzo social work): Intervention using groups can be cost effective and an efficient use of time. mediation and negotiation are useful in group work. Self directed learning of professional competency requiring flexibility. Social work administrators use skills in conducting groups when they facilitate committees. The social worker would play roles of an initiator. Even though many social workers may not primarily be group workers. Leading groups through discussions. organizer. work groups and supervise groups of staff. and advocate or be a resource person. The following are models of group work and the role of the social group worker (Berkenmaier & Berg-Weger. energy and skills. conflict or education enables the student to gain valuable skills that come in useful in intervention and at the work place with colleagues or supervisees. parent-teacher associations. education.10 Social Work Practicum and Supervision to integrate theories and treatment strategies is sharpened during field work. facilitator. convener. Interpersonal. self initiative and risk taking may be learnt over practicum and all through the work experience period. community development groups working on specific tasks. They could include safety groups. 2007). . and coalitions advocating for improved welfare laws.

organizational design. educator and a support. support. They need a broader approach that tackles social policy. marital therapy. human . computer information systems. mediator. clinician. Practicum in the community (macro social work): Some problems cannot be solved with micro and mezzo social work. caregiver and patient are examples of these groups. ideas. educator or mediator. Skills are listed for the different levels of macro social workers (Berkenmaier & Berg-Weger. solutions or their time. Remedial goals model is based on the principle that group interaction brings about change. Any practice with groups would erase some of the inhibitions and anxiety the student may have before group work practicum. Psychotherapy. The social workers’ role would be that of a facilitator. support groups for grief. trauma survivors and child abuse perpetrators group are some examples of this group. working with boards. financial management. The role played by the social worker would be that of a therapist. organizational change or community organization. development. mutual aid in which members share experiences.  During practicum the student may not have a chance to work with all models of groups. Skills required for administrative social workers could include budgeting.Social Work Practicum  11 Reciprocal goals model is based on self-help. 2007). Anonymous groups o n 12-step programs. and diagnosis.

providing mediation. smallgroup decision making techniques. organization or themselves. petitioning the court. marketing. leadership development. Many times the police would falsify investigative reports. lobbying. Community organizers. help in class action lawsuits. networking. social activists or social researchers may need skills of program development. In India. they need to be aware of the legal implications of situations and activities related to courts and the law. It could include testifying in court. Many crimes are not reported because of the belief that the higher class can buy their innocence. Legal issues in social work practicum: In the United States of America. management. coalition. Social policy analysts or lobbyists or elected officials need skills in advocacy. task force membership development and retention. social policy research and use of legal system. macro-level advocacy. and media relations.12 Social Work Practicum and Supervision resource management. the legal system works very slowly and works more for those who have money. Even though students undergoing practicum may not encounter such situations. community analysis. economic development techniques and computer information systems. citizen participation. social workers come in contact with the legal system on behalf of their clients. They have even reported . implementation and evaluation. issue analysis techniques. planned change techniques. inter-organizational planning. policy analysis. fundraising. advocating or helping draft legislation.

gives advice or may even take the role of a parent of older sibling. there are not many divorces. and note areas of learning for the future. but her children would not be allowed to go with her (unless the husband or his family doesn’t want the children). skills and values gained during practicum. the student gets ready to close cases and projects. Even though marital discord and conflict my break a family. upper class person. Law enforcers are afraid to do their duty because of repercussions on their job (transfer. co-workers and field instructor. The wife may be sent home because she did not bring enough dowry (bride price). This closure is important to realize that the supervision is ended and if the student graduates. demotion or loss of jobs) when the perpetrator is a rich. it will be going on to an independent job.Social Work Practicum 13 dowry deaths as accidents and the victims and their families have been made to suffer even more. The client needs to feel respected and the relationship should be ended to reinforce the professional role and boundaries. neglect or disease. It may be a good time to note what the student has contributed to the agency. In India the student is more direct. It is . It is important to end relationships with staff. then the father usually gets custody because of affluence or dominance in society. An evaluation of what the student has learned is useful to reinforce the gains. When there is separation because of abuse. To prepare for termination. This closure is important for the student to come to terms with the end of practicum and focus on knowledge. at the end of the practicum period.

Clients need to be made aware of their growth and encourage students to instill the confidence in the clients to carry on independently. The groups are different in rural and urban areas. In rural areas the groups are oriented to provide basic necessities and education of bank loans. Individuals are helped to develop in different ways (socially. clients with an addiction to focus on their asking for help. among many other issues. The Mahila Mandals or women’s groups offer important information to women for social and economic improvement. sex. and intellectually) through group processes. and art. The case workers’ job ranges from counseling individuals to adjust their environments to suit their needs or to adapt to changing environments. Social Work Practicum Approaches Social case work is used by practicum students to help individuals on a one-to-one basis. while reassuring that the family will always be there for them. private enterprise. Group work consists of the group worker facilitating different group activities to meet various objectives. career. women deal with joint family disputes. religion.14 Social Work Practicum and Supervision important (even if the student feels that the sessions should not end) to terminate and say specific goodbyes to all the staff. emotionally. or enable members to work with stigma of the lower caste. Caseworkers may help adolescents deal with emotional turmoil. . In urban areas. the group may provide information like marriage. child health and government programs. legal rights. men deal with problems with landlords on the agricultural field. All social agencies that provide direct services have social case workers.

develop. behavioural. or self-help groups. marital conflict. A social work administrator may lay down objectives. recruit and supervise staff to form the organizational structure. In organizing the community. schools. Most administrators work in the urban areas. the student in practicum encourages and stimulates the local residents to plan. This is used in hospitals. In the rural areas. keeping tradition and modernism are some issues that can be dealt with in family therapy. The group worker is able to comprehend the needs and feelings of the group as he/she is a facilitator of the group unlike that of a case worker. emotion and relationship. Many individuals can be helped at the same time in the group. the community organizer may enlist the help of the local Panchayat or village elders to settle disputes over building a school in the temple grounds. Family therapy is a type of group therapy that helps families deal with problems in communication. breadwinner’s loyalty to mother and wife. Individuals are helped to overcome their problems through group processes. agencies. analyze conditions to provide services. coordinate and implement programs. his wife and children may have complex problems that need help. The joint family system that includes the grandparents and siblings of the father. The community organizer is a catalyst of change. or social problems. It would be .Social Work Practicum 15 Group therapy is used for individuals with emotional. child rearing. behaviour. Problems arising between parents-in-law and daughters in law. and see to the budget and funding of the agency.

the social worker needs to be aware that the primary reason for this act is to benefit the client and not for self satisfaction. supervisors and other indirect service providers. While receiving help the client may be embarrassed. Competencies Required for Social Work Practicum Social workers undergoing practicum may primarily be direct practitioners to clients or indirect service providers. According to Morales and Sheaffor (1995).16 Social Work Practicum and Supervision very difficult for a social worker to be an administrator in a very rigid. values. knowledge in helping the client. However. supervise at times. warm. who has positive regard. Prof essional helping relationship: A po sitive relationship between the social worker and client. An understanding of the intricacies of the helping process is necessary. the direct social workers need some basic competencies. based on mutual respect and trust is important for an effective helping process. feel inadequate or find it demeaning. . empathetic social worker. The administrators. can engage the client in a successful helping relationship. have a good knowledge of the resources and be a team player. hierarchical structure. A genuine. rural. the direct practitioners have to do some administrative work. Giving and receiving help: While helping clients. on the other hand may take up some case loads working as true generalists. Use of self that is sensitive of one’s limitations and capabilities: The social worker needs to be aware of personal strengths and weaknesses and be able to use all the skills.

psychology. development and anticipated times of concern. Gathering information on clients: Conducting an interview helps focus on information about the client and the environment while identifying resources that could be used in the treatment phase. human physiology. This would help to easily determine the methods to be used in helping. growth.Social Work Practicum 17 Sensitive approach: Social workers need to be aware of differences in culture. An understanding of variations in clients would enable the social worker to see the impact of such factors on the clients’ social. Analysis of clients’ information: After the information . The social worker provides the best possible service and tries not to control damage. religion. Code of Ethics: The social worker needs to be aware of the requirements for ethical practice. and reflecting help in establishing an empathetic relationship with open communication. anatomy. age. Some of the skills that are useful in conducting an interview are listening. family and social structure. The impact of any event or situation on individuals and families is another area important knowledge required of the social worker. and disability. gender. Knowledge is garnered from biology. To earn this trust the social worker must adhere to ethical practice of social work. It is the public trust that grants professional sanction. family and individual life cycles. emotional and behavioural functioning. Understand the behaviours of individuals and families: The professional social worker needs to have a repertoire of individual and family behaviour. questioning. sociology and anthropology.

then the client is helped to resolve his problem. Once the problem is analyzed and a plan of action or a contract is drawn up. Assisting a client in clarifying a problem or resolving a conflict should not include deciding and functioning for the client. Once the strengths and limitations are assessed.18 Social Work Practicum and Supervision is gathered. At the end when the helping relationship is terminated. This would give the client confidence to handle future problems that may occur. the social worker collects data to describe the problem and identify resources and strengths that can be utilized in the helping process. Empowering the client: An important part of helping is to assist the clients understand and accept the problem and situation. Information is gathered using a variety of tools and forms. the process is evaluated to learn from the positive outcomes. Helping the client throughout: Various skills are required when the social worker builds a professional relationship from intake through termination. A proper determination of the problem situation would lead to selecting appropriate treatment methods. The client should be empowered to make decisions and actively solve the problem. It is a big step towards finding a solution. After allowing the client to reveal his or her situation. resources that need to be garnered are sought. the data is analyzed and the problem is identified. Ethical and Legal Issues in Social Work Practicum Standards for treatment or codes of ethical practice by which professionals function have existed to ensure .

Such guidelines or standards are not law by themselves. Civil action for monetary damages or criminal prosecution may be the outcome of certain violations. then sanctions may be imposed or worse still professional license may be revoked or the person may be removed from the profession.Social Work Practicum 19 that the client does not come to any harm or mishap because of the professional’s course of action. and National Association of Social Workers (1993). by the ethical standards adopted by the International Federation of Social Workers. American School Counselor Association (1984). As a result they are bound to change as existing situation may require new standards. for instance. However they are accepted by state licensing boards and practice laws. Such guidelines evolve from debates and discussions of practitioners and experts in the field. . acts in a manner that is not in line with the guidelines set by the professional organization. When a professional. Some authorities that provide such guidelines or standards in the United States of America are the American Counseling Association (1995). Association for Specialists in Group Work (1990). American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (1990). These standards are set up by professional organizations to restrict their members from committing malpractice. American Psychological Association (1992). Code of ethics is formulated according to conditions prevailing at some particular point. as represented.

It is very important to learn about the social practices and values of the community within which field practica take place. A variety of settings provide the field work experience for the students to see how the knowledge they have gleaned in the classroom actually works. values and ethical guidelines that are required for practice of social work. Clearly defining student learner roles is an important step. social policy and social action. Supervisors can be important guides to understanding the network of social services available in a particular region. so the student can benefit fully from the educational opportunity. A fruitful social work practicum would be the final shaping of the student in becoming a professional social worker. They get a chance to work with individuals. groups. students need to be aware of the skills. Faculty liaisons can help ensure that everyone’s needs are addressed and that opportunities to integrate classroom training with “real world” experiences are maximized. community and get some awareness of social administration.20 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Conclusion Any practicum experience should provide an opportunity to integrate theory into practice. . and can help orient the student to the agency context in which they will work. Along with the knowledge. while still providing appropriate service to both clients and agencies. Students usually get to practice many approaches in social work.

VA Association for Specialists in Group Work (1990). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and field work. L. R. 366-375. S.3. 256-266. (1993). American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Leslie. American Psychological Association (1992). 15. (2007). Code of ethical principles for marriage and family therapists. American Counseling Association (1995). American Psychologist. 2nd Ed. Alexandria. 46. International Social Work. & Berg-Weger. Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Cultural friendliness as a foundation for the support functions in the supervision of social work students in South Africa. M. Social workers combat on-the-job attacks. Ethical standards for school counselors. Ethical guidelines for group counselors: ASGW 1989 Revision. R. Alexandria. Berkenmaier. The working definition of social work practice: How does it work? Research on Social Work Practice. vol. pp. Landers. February. (2006). 119-126. VA. Washington. . DC. 49(2). Engelbrecht. (2003). 1597-1611.Social Work Practicum 21 References American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (1990). & Cassano. p. Allyn & Bacon: MA. J. D. 13. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work. American School Counselor Association (1984). NASW News.

International Social Work. Australian Social Work. 5th Ed. International Social Work Practicum in India. NASW code of ethics. G. & Sheridan. . The Practice of Social Work. G. 57(3). Wadsworth Inc. Pawar. R. (2004). Zastrow. 213-226. International field work experience: A survey of US schools. (2004). Silver Spring. Ca. C. Rai. Hanna.22 Social Work Practicum and Supervision National Association of Social Workers (1993). (1995). S. 472). M. MD.

lending a helping hand was instinctive. when the suffering could not be * Prof. USA . A social worker finds the work personally satisfying. It is essential for social work to be a profession so that clients can feel secure in the knowledge that they are given services by practitioners who abide by an ethical code of conduct. financially motivating and ensures a higher status along with other professions. Hamann Introduction Social work profession was not planned and thought out at the beginning. Hamann. political and professional pressures. The economic changes. B. The development of social work was influenced by social. It would make the general public and other professions respect the profession of social work. This would ensure the recruitment of qualified social work personnel. Patricia Lager. B.2 History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education *Patricia Lager. USA & Dr. It emerged in response to human needs and suffering. the wars and the rise of other helping professions have played a large part in the emergence of social work as a profession. In different parts of the world. FSU.When people could not cope up with their problems.

The history of social work led to changes in education of social workers and the practical training they underwent. political stand taken. People in India generally believe that social work . The history of US is presented as a model to show the development of social work and practical training in the field in particular. emotional. each religion held helping the poor and needy in high esteem.24 Social Work Practicum and Supervision alleviated by the social network or when there was no help forthcoming. the membership became more restrictive and exclusive. there arose the response of various helping professions. History of Social Work Practice in the US Social work developed due to various events like wars. Social workers can work both in the public and private sectors. Some of the earlier history is comparable to that of India. Whether it was the Hindus. The professional boundary became more defined. economic depression. intellectual. They responded to physical. Many organizations have existed over years that helped the underprivileged. Establishing social work as a profession has not been easy. spiritual and social needs. Muslims or Christians. Indian social work has its beginnings in voluntary helping of the underprivileged. and international conditions. As the knowledge base increased for the profession with increased theory. and practice. Social work is devoted to the individual and the environment and therefore has both public and private models of professions. concept. It was soon noticed that the intervention was more effective and efficient when the professionals had advanced knowledge and skills. To be a good person it was necessary to help the needy.

S. Flexner Is SW a profession Richmond – Social Diagnosis. Table : Events in Social Welfare and Social Work History in the US Aprox Date Founding of US 1800 Dev. Hosp.History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 25 is from the heart and should not be a paid work. Some of the important events that influenced the changes and development of social work into a profession are displayed below in Table (Morales and Sheaffor. War World War I First juvenile court Dorothea Dix’s crusade for mentally ill Natnl. SW 1910 White House conference on children US Childrens’ Bureau NAACP National Urban League 1915 Progressive era . Friendly visitors NY School of Philanthropy Introduction of medical SW Introduction of Psychiatric and School SW. History Event Agricultural society Child labour laws Civil war Social Welfare Event Orphan homes and first charitable societies. General hospital. NY MA. of S. Poorhouses Ma. House of refuge for juveniles. Assn. Board of Charities Social Work Event 1863 1877 1899 1898 Buffalo Charity Aid Society Spanish-Amer. of Trng. U. Practicum Volunteer workers helped Volunteer learned from predecessors Paid workers trained with organizers Students were trained in agency Students train in hospitals Social work students placed in psych. Practicum focus on the medical model of S. Schools for Profnl. & Correction First paid s. 1995). wrkrs.W. It has not been easy for the profession to show the people the impact of change which is not dramatic as in the medical field. of Char. W. Conf.

process (generalist focus) CSWE approves “adv. corp. Food Stamp Act. Pract. AIDS epidemic. of S. Medicare Act. crash The Great Depression F. Assembly Korean war Brown vs. Indian Child Welf. for study of comm. Medicaid. standing” for BSW graduates NASW Conceptual Framework series Expansion of pvt. S. Assn. NASW recog. Admin. Mental Hth. Facilities Act. Social Security Act World War II County and state relief agencies Freudian influence Am. is generalist focus Students get oriented to standards of S. Assn.w. Code of ethics 1963 1965 M. of all handicap. S.26 1920 Development of professional case work Social Work Practicum and Supervision Women’s suffrage. practice Natnl.Bush admn. Act. of Schools of SW 1930 1935 1941 1952 Practicum in group work Students get oriented to s. Bd. SW. practice Reagan admn. W. Am. Delinquency Act MR and Comm.iz.D. Stock mkt. Ed. of BSW’s in practicum BSW pract. of Group Workers Natnl. Of ed. Pub. and research 2-yr. US Civil Rights Act Juv.W. of Sch. Welf. Students learn to be accountable Clinton admn. education (merger of AASW & NASSA NASW (merger of Defn. Act. Admn. New Deal programs Federal Emergency Relief Act Civilian cons. Orgn. 1980 Practicum Includes skills in pvt.tion of human services Social Security Block Act. Assn. Health care reform Welfare reform 1993 SW licensure in all states Volunteering and Social Work as an Occupation It can be seen from the table above that social work practice began in a voluntary capacity. King assassin-ation Equal opportunity Act. Prevention & Treatment Act Academy of Cert. W. Tax Equity & Fiscal Resp. Act of 1982 1989 G. as a response . And Welfare estbd. Civil Rights Act-1964 1955 Am. Welf. Expansion of doctoral SW (GADE) Academy of Certified Baccalaureate SW 1977 Carter admn. Kennedy assassin-ation Vietnam war US Dept. Nixon resignation Child Abuse. research grp. Am. admn. Kennedy admn. Ed.H.W. Assn. of Health. of BSWorker as professional CSWE begins BSW Accredit. Act 1970 1972 Watergate. Assn. R. Prog for students Emphasis on knowledge & case work 2-yr supervised experie-nce & NASW membership for jobs Increase in no. of SW Milford conf. Council of S. grad. Assn. Narcotic Addict Rehab. Pvt. Child. L. of SW prac..

The early twentieth century brought about social workers who contributed to the development of children and other welfare programs. The first theory of practice was introduced by Mary Richmond with her “Friendly visiting among the poor” (1899) and “Social Diagnosis” (1917). There was no organized learning in schools. When family and mutual aid became inadequate. At this time practicum for social workers was learning at the agency. Social agencies sprang up in response to the need to relate warmly to people who asked for help. All the training was on the job and volunteers learned purely from practice and from the experience of their supervisors and predecessors. The wars gave rise to many women leaders who took it upon themselves to procure federal aid for the cause they were working for. Medical social work in hospitals changed the sphere of casework and basis . specific administrations that supported particular programs. passing of laws. social research was conducted to find out causes of poverty and suggestions for alleviating it were given. welfare programs and events and movements have all contributed to the development of social work as a profession. In the late nineteenth century. volunteers helped the poor and the infirm.History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 27 to human need. Case work in child welfare agencies and charity organizations was limited to a narrow base and economic focus. Wars. The setting up of settlement houses also brought about a change of attitude in workers who respected the clients who came to learn skills for urban living. It was soon realized that social workers needed to be paid and this made social work into an occupation.

This shows that there was concern about the development of practical work and how it should be done. This paved the way for social work practicum in specialized areas. Focused goals. It was noticed that if. values and skills were channeled properly to the appropriate target group or individual. schools and labor industry. social work was established as a distinct occupation. then. problems faced. As concepts and theories were developed and social work programs became more intense. Emergence of Social Work as a Profession in the US These ideas of channeling social work into a profession reinforced the need for formal field training. By 1914. and to study the practical work done.28 Social Work Practicum and Supervision of patients’ problems. The social and psychological aspect of patients’ illness was given importance by the medical social worker. the membership rules became more stringent and education more specific. correctional institutions. This led to the profession becoming more exclusive. To create professional field training the skills need to be better grounded in principles like a critically defensible knowledge base. Social workers were working in other areas like mental health. techniques and field . quite different from volunteers and other professions helping the most underprivileged in the society. The National Conference on Charities brought together volunteer and professional staff of social agencies to exchange ideas about the social services. the outcome was more successful. the theoretical knowledge.

the National Social Workers’ Exchange provided vocational counseling and placement and also worked towards defining and identifying professional standards. In 1917. 1919. 4) Professions work the base up to a practical and clear-cut end. 3) Professions draw their base from science and learning. American Association of Hospital Social Workers. 7) Professions become increasingly altruistic in motivation. The American Association of Social Workers tried to develop a unified professional association but at that time there were specialized groups trying to establish their own identity (1918.History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 29 training would help achieve such goals. 6) Professions generally organize themselves. The National Conference on Social Welfare initiated the proposal to draft such a code. but it did not materialize at that time. In 1921. National Association . 2) Professions are mainly intellectual operations. 5) Professions possess an educationally communicable technique. Abraham Flexner (1915) laid out the following criteria based on which he absolutely stated that social work was not a profession: 1) Professions have a large individual responsibility. Mary Richmond pointed out that social work needed a code of ethics to have a high social standing among professions.

Social Work Research Group). This further moved the profession towards other disciplines instead of furthering the professional skill. The struggle of these groups to thrust forward and maintain their identity shows the division of the wider profession of social work. Up until 1919. At this time social work education programs were offered at agencies and at universities. 1936. 1926. At the same time there was a struggle at the administrative level to instill a set of standards by which social worker would abide to protect the clients. values and knowledge base. The students were educated in specialized fields based on problem faced and the setting of the clients. American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers. These centers did not agree to the twoyear stipulation and this brought about the creation of National Association of Schools of Social Administration . Association for the Study of Community Organization. American Association for the Study of Group Work. social work training was based on agency training. This was later converted to the American Association of Schools of Social Work which stipulated that only two year graduate programs would be recognized as professional social work education. Then the Association of Training Schools for Professional social Workers was set up (to establish standards in professional social work education) of members from agency and university affiliated schools. Students were trained to work with individuals and groups. 1946. Students were trained in hospitals. psychiatric settings and communities. 1949. There was an even greater need for a single unifying professional association.30 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Visiting Teachers.

These two organizations merged into the Council of Social Work Education in 1952. This developmental surge was stumped a bit. The need to form a unified association was seen in the formation of the Temporary Inter-Association Council of Social Work Membership Organizations. The National Association of Social Workers was formed with the merger of specialist associations that strove hard to maintain their identities. Richmond compiled a variety of techniques for use by caseworkers in different settings in her book “Social Diagnosis”. The knowledge and skills in social work practice was also given due attention at that time. by the professions fascination with psychoanalytical approach and techniques.History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 31 consisting of public universities that offered baccalaureate and one-year masters program. They did not feel the need for a two year program and emphasis on professional case work. This came into being in 1952 with the merger of the American Association of Social Workers and other specialized associations. The purposes of the NASW are: 1) To streamline the administration of social work services 2) To develop research in social work . For a while there were no developments in the professional field of social work that developed methods other than casework. This came in response to the Hollis-Taylor study of social work education that suggested a two-year graduate program as minimum requirement for a professional social worker.

promulgate and enforce the Code of Ethics 9) To certify the competence to social workers 10) To aid in the development of social work in other countries 11) To recruit to the profession The Academy of Certified Social Workers required NASW membership and a two-year supervised experience. Based on these criteria he said that social work was indeed a profession. professional authority. Many jobs required the membership in the Academy. The 1950’s was a time of debating about the nature of social work and its future. A year later the NASW came up with the working definition of social work practice that clarified the professional boundaries.32 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 3) To make positive changes in social work practice 4) To advance social work education 5) To improve social conditions 6) To orient the public to social work profession 7) To enhance the salaries and working conditions 8) To develop. The Code of Ethics was the standard set up to guide the practice of ethical professional social work in 1960. They included a systematic body of knowledge. Gordon critiqued the definition which helped clarify the knowledge. Greenwood (1957) identified the attributes of a profession based on a relative approach. values and practice methodology in the definition. code of ethics and a professional culture. Social work .

a professional social worker needs to do more than follow the heart and “help”. It is important for supervisors to keep up with the changes in the profession and orient students to tie history with current events in social work and notice how the events have shaped field work over time. the political aspects of social work profession influence the nature of practice itself. Psychiatric social workers for example tend to identify more with their inter disciplinary team members. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences offers a two year post masters degree to psychiatric social workers (Master of Philosophy in PSW).History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 33 had become recognized as a profession and had a repertoire of its own jargon that made it exclusive. In India. Some states even started licensing social workers. Graduate schools were university based or affiliated to the university and they could be accredited based on specific standards. The unification of all the associations to form one single body strengthened the resolve to create one unique profession. the specialist associations strive to maintain their identity (which weakens the professional identity). Organizations that once worked for the profession are later found to be less useful and therefore can be consolidated into one unifying unit. The curriculum aims at providing a pre- . Providing service to the needy was still its main mission. This prestigious course was offered to only 12 students in the whole country after passing an entrance exam and interview. However. Professionals know that even though “helping” is the main focus of social work. All the changes in the profession and its growth do not really make the social worker deviate from keeping the client’s needs first in the field.

This may be due to administrative policy arising from need for more professionals for the large number of patients who come from all parts of India. Elitist Model to the Present At the end of the 1960’s with the movements from the women’s rights. This was fueled by the Lyndon Johnson administration and the increased federal support. there was a moving away from clinical social work and into social action and social welfare. Training does cover some social work intervention for individuals. under the Reagan and Bush administration federal funding for welfare was cut short and social workers again turned towards the clinical aspect. A baccalaureate graduate from a CSWE . Social work practice adopted a generalist approach. At the end of the two year program the student is proficient in Psychiatric disorders and even some neurological and neurosurgical terms. However. families and groups.34 Social Work Practicum and Supervision doctoral training to the social worker. and welfare rights. The training is intense and is geared more towards the field of Psychiatry (Neurology and Neurosurgery). The social work research and core professional development is somewhat diluted. making provisional diagnosis. Students spend most of their days in practicum doing intake interviews. NASW relaxed its membership rules. prognosis and treatment regimen of patients. inviting more members to join. The weekly social work conferences and supervisory meetings offer potential for the future. Controversy was created by those upholding the clinical social work view to strengthen the profession and those who believed in social change. civil rights.

problems faced by the social work profession arise from a discontinuity between rural and urban life. This shift also makes an impact on the type of field work offered to students. According to Gore (1988).History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 35 accredited undergraduate program could become a member. Gore (1988). Many of these programs were situated in urban and rural areas. The Academy of Certified Baccalaureate Social Workers in 1990 was set up focusing NASW on a multilevel social work. It may be difficult to set up universities in rural areas. . The graduates could also find jobs in smaller communities where urban graduates may have hesitated to take up jobs. The main lifestyle is agricultural. Students who want to become social workers cannot only train in urban settings and hope to work in rural areas. To bring about social change it is important to focus on the rural areas and train students in those settings. Satellite centers that help students with distance learning and offer a library would be useful. Students can be placed in small agencies in the rural areas. but distance learning can open doors to many more students from rural areas. In India this is especially important because most of the population live in rural areas. CSWE recognized many baccalaureate programs based on specific requirements. Most schools of social work are in urban centers. Many students from disadvantaged and lower income areas were given an opportunity to complete the educational requirements without needing both levels of social work degrees. They did not have to do their practicum in urban settings. This enabled many aspiring social workers who could not have attended urban schools to take advantage of the schools in their area.

Students then see how this helps the community members.36 Social Work Practicum and Supervision also suggests that social work education must find a viable link between professional function of social work and the development process. Inter-Disciplinary Practice and Education Many service agencies that helped clients employed workers from different helping professions. Still other urban area schools work with the medical and psychiatric out patient clinics that offer free check up. Schools of social work in India have part of the practicum focusing on community organizing. There were areas where professionals overlapped their function. see the balwadi (pre-school for children – usually free and offered by the government in rural areas but can be private too in urban areas) functioning and may meet the head person or persons in the community. Some urban schools offer social research opportunities for students in the rural areas. Students do get to attend a few mahila mandal (womens’ group) meetings. It is difficult for the student to see how social work intervention in the community actually works. The students do not really get to see any social work intervention at these clinics. To avoid turf disputes and trouble and for the smooth rendering of service to clients. Students learn about . Some schools sponsor free meal programs or skill based programs in the community. Many times the students get to see how these programs work and may be help in setting up the clinic and hand out free material. Often the boundaries of the different helping professions were not distinct. it was necessary for team work and interdisciplinary cooperation.

In India. it is important for the student to discuss this with the supervisor who could delegate this to another social worker.History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 37 collaboration in theory and many times they do have an opportunity to put it into practice during practicum. A hospital has a team of professionals who go on rounds discussing the problems. At the same time it is beneficial to work with other professionals to ensure that the client gets the best service. under the . The field work supervisor (may be the case manager of the cases assigned to the student) helps the student with the cases and is responsible for the client getting the best help. This would ensure that work is not duplicated or simply not done. Case managers are also in charge of individual cases and they see that the services are not duplicated and that the client gets all the required help. treatment and prognosis of patients. or patients’ attitudes and feelings. When it is not possible to carry out a particular request or job. community resources. Good administration of the team approach sees that the interdisciplinary work is carried on smoothly. This collaboration of various related professions is also important so that each professional does not falsely believe that the other is taking care of the client and then let the client fall through the cracks. The student in turn needs to make sure that the work done is reported in the case file and discussions are not missed with the field work supervisor. whether it is working with the patient’s family. The student at the practicum setting works with the team. Students learn that it is important to work within the protocol and limits set. The social worker’s role is well defined. the interdisciplinary approach is seen working best at a medical or psychiatric facility.

In the correctional setting it could mean working with the administration. A student from a high caste on the other hand may have similar feelings towards a client from the lowest . caste. Practicum in India has many challenges. listening. This sort of team work can be experienced in different settings where social work is part of a team. Showing respect for the client at the outset may not come easily for the student who feels anger with people who use money to get what they want regardless of merit. culture and different socio-economic status is not easy. In any case the student doing a practicum can get the benefit of learning how to work in a team. special education experts with whom the social worker works to aid the students. A social worker from a middle class family (who gave hard work and education high priority) may find it hard to work with an upper class or upper caste youth who has paid an enormous amount of money in donation to get into a medical college. Working with diversity of language. and/or psychologist in helping the client. religion. The school system has the school authorities. contact.38 Social Work Practicum and Supervision supervision of a field social worker. health professionals. and team work help in this process. school psychologist. The social work student gets the feel of working with the team and collaborating in harmony for the welfare of the patient. Skills of adjustment. They may be in conflict with values of social work and the values prevalent in the society. In the industrial setting it may be working with the union or management for the workers’ benefit. The student comes in with pre-existing beliefs and values. legal system.

Even the women are ingrained in a society where such injustices are considered as part of religion (Muslim and Hindu) and a way of life. et. the professional is given a higher status in the helping relationship and the client is submissive and expects to be directed towards the right path. A male student could be directive and not allow the right to individual self-determination to play a role because of the bias that the female client is not capable of making decisions. 2004).History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 39 caste (harijan or sudra) because the client got into engineering because of government policy of reservation for the backward community. Students may feel angry at such injustice and may be provoked to a confrontation where the clients are unaware of the situation to be unjust or unacceptable.. problems of girl children and attitudes of men towards women play a vital role in field work. This right is not really seen at work for another reason. It is difficult for a student who is aware that equal status should be given to both genders and see the submissiveness of girls and women when the male dominance is prevalent in the community. In India. A female student may be prejudiced and take the side of the wife while doing marital therapy. al. It is important that those feelings don’t transfer to the practicum setting where the clients’ current problem is the issue and not societal values or prejudices. Working with poverty at close quarters and at a regular basis has been difficult for students even though they encounter it daily (Pawar. Low status of women. An urban student placed in a slum to conduct an educative group session would need to walk through narrow squalid .

The student could very well transfer such feeling of disgust and make the client feel inadequate and inferior. et al. It is difficult for urban students to get used to public transport. The student could be overwhelmed with the dirt and squalor and fail to see anything positive. The supervisor needs to be sensitive to the students’ capacities and weaknesses. et al. The social work student needs to be careful not to take advantage of their warmth.The public transport could be infrequent and very slow. Students may not see them at all during peak planting and harvest time.. The farmers go to work in the fields early in the morning and usually take some rest after lunch.40 Social Work Practicum and Supervision streets into small huts and shacks. Finding a particular address in an urban slum or a village is not easy. There is a need for longer supervisory sessions and different set of communication skills (Pawar. Due to the seasonal nature of agriculture there may be times when they appear to be lazy and demanding of their wives.. 2004). Normally the supervisor may have a brief daily talk with the student about new and old cases. It is important for students to attempt to meet clients when they can spare time and not intrude when they are very busy. It could be frustrating at first but students should take the help of local people to direct them to the right place. . 2004) when problems arise. Most people in the villages are very hospitable and welcoming. et al. At the end of the week a time may be set to discuss progress or lack of it. Pawar. (2004) talk about begging that irritates the students who are not used to it. infrastructure and different concept of time in rural areas (Pawar.

If the supervisor does not do so. Even if a few clients refuse to accept social work intervention there will be many more who will realize its benefits. Clients may falsely believe that doctors are helping is areas which is actually the boundary of social work. This is not an ethical practice and should be avoided at all costs. A written set of directions may be needed by the student to carry out the responsibilities. It is not unheard of for students to imply that the research is part of the medical treatment and that they would be directly benefiting from it. . However this may not be enough for all students. it is then the students’ duty to uphold high ethical standards when working with clients. It is not uncommon for students to allow clients to call them doctors and even refer to themselves as doctors. Sometimes supervisors introduce the students to the clients as doctors. A student may require discussing the case in detail everyday. tend to feel inferior to the other interdisciplinary professions. It is the supervisor’s role to set this straight and direct the student towards maintaining proper standards of social work practice. Supervisors are under the misconception that clients may not want their services if they are not doctors. This lowers the status of social work even more. Clients should be made aware of the true nature of the research and allowed to leave anytime without negative impact on medical treatment which was their primary reason for being there.History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 41 At the end of the whole placement there would be a long feedback session. Students placed in research practicum (in medical set ups) should maintain similar ethical standards. Students placed in medical settings in India.

NASW is the national organization for social workers which clarify the knowledge. The CSWE in the U. 2002:80-90). . It is a multilevel profession with baccalaureate and masters level of education offered in colleges and universities. Its equivalent in India is the National Association of Professional Social Workers in India (NAPSWI). The open market is doing well and the large middle class is thriving. are facing deprivation and inequality. and sees that social workers function ethically and do not violate the standards set down to protect the clients. The majority of the poor though. is the authority that is responsible for setting educational standards and assuring that colleges and universities adhere to common guidelines in developing and managing professional training. The government’s priority is in industrialization. In the U.42 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Conclusion Over the years social work has grown from voluntary helping to an occupation and a recognized profession. skills and values.S. Social work in India had its beginnings in voluntary helping to the underprivileged. it is difficult to transplant the theory that is based on a different culture to India. India is now on the brink of major economic developments. Some of the history of social work is comparable to that of the beginnings of social work in India. Even though most of the knowledge of social work in India is borrowed from the West. defense and growth of the market economy. “Will the cast offs be apportioned to the care of social worker whose intentions notwithstanding.S. Social workers in agencies and private practice have the autonomy to help clients in need.. can play only a limited role in alleviating human misery arising out of structural force?” (Kumar.

(1988). Levels of Social Work Provisions in Relation to Needs in a Developing Society. Social work supervision: Assessing the past and mapping the future. Gordon. E. p. 10. (1915). “Is Social Work a Profession?) National Conference on Charities and Correction. Social Work. On the other hand would it be easier for social workers to ignore the poor and turn to other problems. p. (1962). W. & Austin. Knowledge and Values: Their Distinction and Relationship in Clarifying Social Work Practice. W. 3-13. which the rich middle class would face with the rise in new income and change in lifestyle and value system. Would social work education turn towards training the rural students and train them to empower the poor or would the focus be on training urban students to deal with new problems of multinational companies dramatically increasing the middle class income and change in life style? Social work practicum would shift accordingly. 32-39. 49 (1). J. (2000). p. Social Work. Flexner. Gore. References Bruce. . (1965). The Indian Journal of Social Work. E. Gordon. 7. S. E. Critique of the Working Definition. 19(2). vol. A. 1-9. J. The Clinical Supervisor. M. M.History of Social Work Practicum: Development of Field Education 43 This may shape the history of social work profession in India and in turn make an impact on the education and practical training of students to help the underprivileged.

Morales. Social Diagnosis. 45-55. Kumar. Social Work in India: A “Bright” Future? The Indian Journal of Social Work. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. & Taylor. & Sheaffor. International Social Work Practicum in India. p. (2005). . 80-90. E. New York: Comumbia University Press. V. 7th ed. A. Journal of Social Work Education. (1995). W. 223-236. J. A. Hanna. E. Fieldwork rotation: A model for educating social work students for geriatric social work practice. (1957). 63(1). R. Australian Social Work. (1917. Social Work: A Profession of Many Faces. 2002. (1951). F. MA: Allyn & Bacon. (Pawar. & Sheridan. L. Richmond. B. p. P. T. Attributes of a Profession. Ivry. & Lawrence. 2. E.44 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Greenwood. p. 41(3). Social Work Education in the United States. (2004). Hollis. G. 57 (3). M. Social Work.. M.

B. Bamann Introduction Field education is widely considered to be among the most important components of training for professional social work. Neil Abell. careful construction of field learning opportunities for students is among the most challenging tasks faced by social work educators. Like their students. FSU. Its diverse functions include grounding the theories and methods established in the core. teachers are required to test what they have carefully constructed in the protected atmosphere of the university against the realities of practice environments and the providers and clients who work and seek services in them. As such. B. As we will see. USA and Dr. USA . Hamann.3 Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario *Neil Abell. A major example of this is the extensive process undertaken by the IFSW and the IASSW to develop the field components of their * Prof. “classroom” curriculum in the “real world” experiences of persons providing and receiving social services. careful attention has been paid to the foundations for field education.

46 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Global Standards document. specific learning objectives required a deepened understanding not only of the nature of social problems. We consider not only students’ formal learning opportunities but also the meaningful dialogue and community development that can occur where field education takes place. relationships between academic institutions and local communities. and otherwise. and to critically assess their relevance across the diverse social and cultural settings encompassed by their organizations. but of the balance social workers collectively seek between providing remedies for people suffering from existing conditions and confronting the social circumstances. we address the selection of field settings and supervisors. supervision. economic. of social distress. Consequently. Ultimately. political. as field education pressed concerns with taking on the causes. These guidelines were not viewed as rigid mandates. To achieve these recommendations. Along the way. The result has not always been comfortable. The result was a set of guidelines covering curriculum. with special consideration for the potential that field education can provide. the authors found it necessary to address standards first generated in the West (chiefly Europe and North America). that make such problems possible. but as carefully considered recommendations to be adopted only after careful consideration of their usefulness in specific local contexts. implications for social development are introduced below. and not just the symptoms. settings. translating students’ learning goals into concrete. and the responsibilities of all parties to the exchange. and issues that help .

and provision of orientation for fieldwork supervisors or instructors. Issues in field education in India illustrate this range of concerns.    . As part of this comprehensive and carefully crafted document. 2005). Appointment of field supervisors or instructors who are qualified and experienced. the authors developed a set of specific recommendations for field education. Global Standards for Field Education and Training In 2004. the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) published their Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession (Sewpaul & Jones. Provision of orientation for fieldwork supervisors or instructors. and set the stage for making the most of your own field experiences. Planned coordination and links between the school and the agency/field placement setting. These included the recommendations that programmes should consistently aspire to achieve:  Field education (that is) sufficient in duration and complexity of tasks and learning opportunities to ensure that students are prepared for professional practice. as determined by the development status of the social work profession in any given country.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 47 or hinder development of successful social work field experiences.

are made available (2005: 220). could be acceptable field training sites. assessment standards/criteria and expectations. writing on her field education experiences in the Eastern Caribbean. noted the differences between working in some developing . Making available. the recommended links between schools and their agency/field placement settings take the form of independent student units established by schools in communities defined either by their locations. procedures. a field instruction manual that details its fieldwork standards.48   Social Work Practicum and Supervision Provision for the inclusion and participation of field instructors in curriculum development A partnership between the educational institution and the agency (where applicable) and service users in decision-making regarding field education and the evaluation of student’s fieldwork performance. These. too.   Field Education in a Developing Country Rambally (1999). The larger goal with respect to international field education standards remains achieving a balance between universal recommendations to be adopted everywhere. to fieldwork instructors or supervisors. and culturally relevant recommendations tailored to the customs and needs of specific sites. in some countries. or by their specialized interests. The authors noted that. to meet the needs of the fieldwork component of the programme. Ensuring that adequate and appropriate resources.

such as collaboration.and principles shared with social work. and in other developing countries where field settings were still being established. balanced. and social justice” (1999: 488).Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 49 countries where a network of social work agencies and trained supervisors are in place. which must be approached with the utmost respect for the cultural values and social norms of the settings involved. and unified development of society and the capacity of the social system to generate broad and favorable changes in levels of living… planned social change and economic development to promote the well-being of all…. Defining Social Development Social development is a broad concept.   Citing Falk. and represent opportunities for social work field education to contribute to the social development of the settings where it takes place. social education. she observed that most social workers have difficulty making the connections between these broad concepts and their day-to-day work. Rambally noted that it included:  “the integrated. she wrote. Such development may occur in the forms of therapy. community development. suggested an intersection between field education and the promotion of organizational change and social development. These circumstances. organizational change. cooperation. and social action. .

for instance. Where possible. meeting with agency and community representatives to ensure their concerns and goals are being included. and obtaining approvals from decision makers and authorities to increase the potential for future success (Rambally. objective supervision may be difficult. may come from the very same agencies offering field training. Clearly specifying the qualifications of potential supervisors required an understanding of agency bureaucracies. other concerns arise. including such tasks as building supportive relationships with key persons in the community. when almost everyone in a service network knows (or knows of) each other. achieving unbiased. that educational goals are not compromised while juggling the student and employee roles. and skill in avoiding giving offense or settling for less skilled instructors simply because they had worked in their environments for a longer period of time. Respecting the extra effort expected once field supervisors assumed their new responsibilities was also an important way of minimizing future problems as agencies absorbed students into their midst. Students. Further. or establishing supervision with persons .50 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Establishing Field Sites and Opportunities A “hands-on” approach is often required to establish field settings. it seems best to avoid mixing student/ employee roles. 1999). Great skill is required when educators negotiate new roles and responsibilities for the student and attempt to ensure that if he or she completes a field practicum in an agency where he or she is also employed. In small communities with relatively limited field training opportunities.

theoretically sound arguments backing up their needs and requests (Rambally. and provide students with bases for becoming more assertive and assuming greater responsibility for their own learning. creating a strategic position for field education. or group student supervision. Working with agencies to lay the foundation for field supervision can raise awareness of the scope and helping role of social work.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 51 who already have existing relationships. leading to clearer identification of social needs or problems in service delivery. guided by the formal educational objectives of a learning contract. In addition. . organizational boundaries in service delivery can begin to blur when field instructors meet for training seminars and deepen their collaborations and communication. and to form clear. supervisors and supervisees. and the agency’s field instructors. with responsibilities shared by the School’s Field Placement Coordinator. field education can become more than a medium for the integration of knowledge and values…. In some settings. may help to anchor aspects of agency practice in current theory and literature. the small number of qualified supervisors makes it necessary to establish joint. 1999). “Depending on the context. to negotiate with authority figures. and generating ideas for productive improvement.and can act as a force for organizational change and a catalyst for social development” (1999: 494). Upper level students may learn how to be assertive. These small changes can combine over time. Resolving some of the issues identified above can lead to social development in the host community. Finally.

& Raskin.) In 94% of the programs surveyed. Australia/Oceania.52 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Problems in Conceptualizing Field Training Even in the best of circumstances. Latin America. some common points of concern included:     a shortage of qualified field instructors a shortage of appropriate field settings questions regarding the role of the field liason. most field placements take place in medical hospitals. Worldwide. no outside standard-setting organization mandated guidelines for conducting field education. In a study including respondents from 67 countries and all seven regions of the world as identified by IASSW (Africa. community development. In nearly two-thirds of the countries sampled. agency employees. the Middle East. family service agencies. and North America) (Skolnik. Asia. achieving field education ideals remains challenging. but are not necessarily formally adopted and/or mandated in specific countries. 1999). highly qualified practicum instructors as the most critical problem in field education. To support this work. and how to help students integrate field and practice. families. Europe. . social planning and change. Wayne. schools provide social work methods training in specializations including practice with individuals. and groups. serve as field supervisors. most often selected by the schools. Respondents cited the lack of properly trained. and psychiatric hospitals. (Note that the IFSW/IASSW Global Standards may serve as guidelines internationally.

Challenges to a Social Development Approach Finally. Fields of practice included child welfare. Consequently. they do offer potential benefits. and associated these with the observation that less . Skolnik. et al. advantages of these options deserve consideration. with students receiving their training in as few as one and as many as four different settings. and research. “While observational experiences and rapid rotations limit the opportunity to gain practice skills by ‘doing’. et al. (1999) observe. Only one-third of schools required that practicum assignments were linked specifically to methods taught in classrooms. gerontology. with women’s issues being least frequently taught. establishing clear connections between students’ classroom learning and field educations remains problematic worldwide. As Skolnik. Rotations through a series of agencies can provide a breadth of experience to support a foundation curriculum which seeks to help students grasp the full range of social work practice and provide a context for understanding the transferability of professional skills” (1999: 479). Consistency of placements also varied widely.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 53 administration/management.’s (1999) survey highlighted the difficulties in addressing social development concerns. Practicum requirements ranged from 200 hours to 1000 hours. with some consisting of rotating through a series of observational opportunities and others involving semester or year-long placements. and about half required assignments linked to their fields of practice. and mental health.

rather than to change that society” (1999: 480). language. The governments’ priority is in industrialization. 2002) . geography. defense and growth of the market economy. can play only a limited role in alleviating human misery arising out of structural force?” (Kumar. this led social work educators to realize that “no matter how important and interesting it had become. India is now on the brink of major economic developments. The majority of the poor though. This issue was echoed by observations in South America where some schools attempted to teach an “integrated method”. in most cases.54 Social Work Practicum and Supervision widespread attention is given to macro-practice addressing the socio-political context of social problems. placing greater emphasis on changing social structures than on helping those who suffered in relation to them (Resnick. 1995). are facing deprivation and inequality. Many areas. sanction social workers primarily “to help individuals adapt within society. lifestyle. Schools teaching such approaches had serious problems finding agencies that could support related field training. class and culture. it was too idealistic an approach to be applied to the real world and that they had to return to more conservative models”(1995: 78-79). they write. castes. Ultimately. The open market is doing well and the large middle class is thriving. Illustrations and Applications in India National Scenario India is rich in diversity with regard to religion. “Will the cast offs be apportioned to the care of social workers whose intentions notwithstanding.

status of women and prevailing value system.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 55 This question may well shape the history of social work profession in India and in turn make an impact on the education and practical training of students to help the underprivileged. it is difficult to directly apply the theory that is based on a different culture to India. There is a dire need to develop indigenous social work literature. On the other hand would it be easier for social workers to ignore the poor and turn to other problems. There are major differences when one considers the family structure. medicine. Social work as an occupation is looked down upon because helping another human being is considered as a voluntary act of human nature since . legal emphasis. Social work in India had its beginnings in voluntary helping to the underprivileged. Many social workers who are qualified are attracted to western universities and jobs in the west for many reasons. which the rich middle class would face with the rise in new income and change in lifestyle and value system? Problems Faced by Student Social Workers in India There is a serious lack of literature that is of Indian or foreign origin available to the students and professionals in India. Some of the history of social work is comparable to that of the beginnings of social work in India. It is very difficult for social workers to be proud of their profession when it is generally believed that they probably ended up in social work profession because they could not get into engineering. Even though most of the knowledge of social work in India is borrowed from the West. religious beliefs. law or business. (the professions that are held high in peoples’ esteem).

Harassment of students by professors is another reason that makes students dejected and turns them to other countries or other fields. The curriculum aims at providing a pre-doctoral training to the social worker. entering data and not actually getting experience in doing analysis and writing articles also frustrates social workers. prognosis and treatment regimen of patients. This is especially seen in social work research. families and groups. and Australia.K. There is a constant need to justify social work to be an occupation and to prove that the reason for becoming a social worker was because one wanted to. Many get frustrated when they see that ethical standards that they read in theory are not really practiced. U. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences offers a two year post masters degree to psychiatric social workers (Master of Philosophy in PSW). Students spend most of their days in practicum doing intake interviews. In India.56 Social Work Practicum and Supervision centuries. making provisional diagnosis.S. The low pay scale of social workers and lack of widespread public support of this occupation has led to ‘brain drain’ to the U. .A. Psychiatric social workers for example tend to identify more with their team members from other disciplines. Another reason social workers go abroad is for higher studies. The emphasis (by some professors) of students conducting research interviews.. The training is intense and is geared more towards the field of Psychiatry (Neurology and Neurosurgery). Training does cover some social work intervention for individuals. the specialist associations strive to maintain their identity (which weakens the professional identity).

The social work research and core professional development is somewhat diluted.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 57 At the end of the two year program the student is proficient in psychiatric disorders and even some neurological and neurosurgical terms. According to Gore (1988). the students are taught the generic course content in the first year of some of the masters programs on the basic premise that a social worker needs to be able to manage various types of situations. It may be difficult to set up universities in rural areas. . problems faced by the social work profession arise from a discontinuity between rural and urban life. It is difficult for the student to see how social work intervention in the community actually works. The main lifestyle is agricultural. In India. see the balwadi (pre-school for children) functioning and may meet the head person or persons in the community. playing different roles and adopting appropriate methods. but distance learning can open doors to many more students from rural areas. The weekly social work conferences and supervisory meetings offer potential for the future. The second year would allow the students to choose their specialization area. Most of the population lives in rural areas. Schools of social work in India partly focus on community organizing. Students attend a few mahila mandal (women’s’ group) meetings. Some urban schools offer social research opportunities for students in the rural areas. Gore also suggests that social work education must find a viable link between professional function of social work and the development process. Satellite centers that help students with distance learning and offer a library would be useful.

Low status of women. . social. When a young girl from the lower caste was raped in the rice fields by the landlord’s son.58 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Problems Faced by Social Workers In India. The social worker’s role is well defined. whether it is working with the patient’s family. In a just world. listening. community resources. and team work help in this process. contact. This sort of team work can be experienced in different settings where social work is part of a team. The social worker helped the family deal with their helplessness to fight against the higher class victimization. the interdisciplinary approach is seen working best at a medical or psychiatric facility. Skills of adjustment. the family blamed her. It is difficult for a social worker who is aware that equal status should be given to both genders and see the submissiveness of girls and women when the male dominance is prevalent in the community. or patients’ attitudes and feelings. the social worker could help the client work with the local government (Panchayat Raj) and see that laws against rape are upheld and the perpetrators are punished. The social worker gets the feel of working with the team and collaborating in harmony for the welfare of the patient. The social worker worked with the individual girl’s self esteem and emotional problems. The social worker could have educated families in the lower caste about their constitutional. Families had to yield to the landlords’ unjust wishes. and legal rights but it would be dangerous to work with the landlord or the media. problems of girl children and attitudes of men towards women play vital roles.

In India. caste. They have reported dowry deaths as accidents. prevention is better than treatments because existing laws are not easy to enforce. A social worker from a middle class family (who gave hard work and . but her children would not be allowed to go with her (unless the husband or his family do not want the children). culture and different socio-economic status is not easy. neglect or disease and the father usually gets custody because of affluence or dominance in society. The right to individual self-determination is not really seen at work in India. Social workers find such injustice difficult to work with. The police have been known to falsify investigative reports.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 59 Social workers feel angry at such injustice and may be provoked to a confrontation where the clients are unaware of the unjust situation. The wife may be sent home because she did not bring enough dowry (bride price). Working with diversity of language. Law enforcers are afraid to do their duty because of repercussions on their job (transfer. Marital discords and conflicts cause stress in families. Professionals are given a higher status in the helping relationship and the client is submissive and expects to be directed towards the right path. The social worker comes in with pre-existing beliefs and values. The legal system in India works for those who have money. religion. There are not as many divorces as there are separations because of abuse. demotion or loss of jobs) when the perpetrator is rich and from the upper class. They may be in conflict with values of social work and the values prevalent in the society. Many crimes are not reported because of the belief that the higher class can buy their innocence.

2004). & Sheridan.60 Social Work Practicum and Supervision education high priority) may find it hard to work with an upper class or upper caste youth who has paid an enormous amount of money in donation to get into a medical college. The social worker would have to acknowledge personal prejudices while working in an urban slum. Hanna. A social worker from a high caste on the other hand may have similar feelings towards a client from the lowest caste (harijan or sudra) because the client got into engineering because of a government policy of reservation for the backward community. The social worker may show disgust and make the client feel inadequate . The social worker may find it easier to work at the individual and family level. It is important that those feelings do not hinder the helping process. Showing respect for the client at the outset may not come easily for the student who feels anger with people who use money to get what they want regardless of merit. A hut dweller may have different priorities (from that of the social worker) and not care for his family. The social worker understands the client’s right to determine his priorities and does not impose his/her own bias. Working with the community (government. An urban social worker placed in a slum to conduct an educative group session would need to walk through narrow squalid streets into small huts and shacks. local leaders or upper class members) would be difficult. The social worker could be overwhelmed with deplorable conditions and fail to see the positives. Working with poverty at close quarters and at a regular basis has been difficult for students even though they encounter it daily (Pawar.

Sometimes other professionals introduce the social workers to the clients as doctors. et al. 2004). It is not unheard of for social workers to imply that the research is part of the medical treatment and that they would be directly benefiting from it. They are under the misconception that clients may not want their services if they are not doctors. Even if a few clients refuse to accept social work intervention there will be many more who will realize its benefits. A generalist social worker would be sensitive to different . It is difficult for urban social workers to get used to public transport. It is important to have a basic generalist foundation and use specialized techniques where appropriate. This is not an ethical practice and should be avoided at all costs. This lowers the status of social work even more. Finding a particular address in an urban slum or a village is not easy. The public transport could be infrequent and slow.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 61 and inferior. Social workers in medical settings in India tend to feel inferior to the other interdisciplinary professions. Clients should be made aware of the true nature of the research and allowed to leave anytime without negative impact on medical treatment which was their primary reason for being there. It is not uncommon for social workers to allow clients to call them doctors and even refer to themselves as doctors. infrastructure and different concepts of time in rural areas (Pawar. Social workers in research practica (in medical set ups) should maintain similar ethical standards. Clients may falsely believe that doctors are helping is areas which are actually the domain of social work..

and careful recruitment of institutions and individuals with the right set of opportunities and skills. for conducting this critical component of professional training. thoughtful and sophisticated engagement with local communities. a social worker would serve as a social activist in promoting the rights of the girl child at the macro level. field training requires extensive advance planning. Social development opportunities naturally arise when . rather than mandates. The social worker may have to work through existing groups in the village (mahila mandal /women’s’ group and Balawadi/pre-school. Faculty liaisons must have clear understandings of both the learning objectives established in the classroom. A generalist social worker also works with the girl child at the individual level. In families where the young girl child is given up to the temple in prostitution (devadasi system).62 Social Work Practicum and Supervision cultures and be able to approach with varied skills. A social worker needs to have different skills to work with clients in urban areas and rural settings. Respect for existing bureaucratic structures and cultural practices and values are critical to development of realistic field training opportunities. and the real world possibilities available in community settings. Conclusion Global standards for social work field education have been developed as recommendations. The social worker would also have to work with the family with sensitivity to the cultural needs. A social worker from an urban setting would have to draw on a different repertoire of skills when working with clients in a village. Given its importance.

. opportunities to move beyond providing remedies and on to addressing root social. provides opportunities for applying prior training on social work methods and specializations and for critically assessing one’s strengths and weaknesses as a developing professional. to provide them with the best opportunities possible. Students are encouraged to approach these exciting opportunities with respect for the clients they will observe and serve. . The supervision process. When this is the case.Social Work Practicum: Global and National Scenario 63 the skills and talents essential for good field training converge. citing Slocombe’s experience in Australia. poor quality control. all involved are encouraged to remember the values of social justice and human dignity. whether in individual or group formats. and for the agency administrators and supervisors who work hard. economic. et al. lack of standardization. and the myriad of other frailties so prevalent in the welfare and educational climate today”(1999: 482). and to carefully consider when it is and is not useful to pursue larger rather than immediate goals. When approached with reasonable confidence and a willingness to learn from both successes and mistakes. Skolnik. the outcomes for all concerned can be great. conclude that “field work still remains the single most important factor in the preparation of social workers. In such instances. and environmental causes sometimes emerge. few resources. along with classroom instructors. yet is the most vulnerable to mediocrity.

. 42(4).. Resnick. T. Social Work in India: A ‘bright’ future? The Indian Journal of Social Work. (2005). & Sheridan. London: Greenwood Press. 471-483. Doreen. G.Mayadas. J. In T. 63(1).). (2004). M. Pawar. 223-236. Kumar. Sewpaul. International Social Work.. S. 8090. P. Australian Social Work. & Jones.. Wayne. M. V. South America. Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession. D. Levels of social work provisions in relation to needs in a developing society. 42(4). A.. R. Hanna. Skolnik. Field Education in a Developing Country: Promoting Organizational Change and Social Development. The Indian Journal of Social Work. D. 57(3). Rambally. R. International Journal of Social Welfare. (2002). 14. 485-496. International social work practicum in India. R. E. A Worldwide View of Field Education Structures and Curricula. M. L.64 Social Work Practicum and Supervision References Gore. 49(1). International Social Work. (1999). International Handbook on Social Work Education (pp. (Ed. S. (1995). 218-230. Nazneen S. & Raskin. 65-86). (1999). E. Watts. (1988). .

Delhi. The increasing complexities of life require the practitioner to intervene in a number of human systems and at different levels.4 Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning *Manju Kumar Introduction The main purpose of social work education is to prepare competent and effective professionals who can meet complex client needs within diverse public and private human service settings.R. *Manju Kumar. B. The training in social work enables the practitioners to perform a variety of roles using multiple social work practice methodologies. It is crucial that the education and preparation of budding professionals is provided at levels that are suited to their heavy responsibilities and demands of the field. Social Work Education combines scientific enquiry with the teaching of professional skills and values. Two main reasons have lead to these changes. Delhi University. Dr. Ambedkar College. You may recall that major changes have been witnessed (relatively) recently in Social Work Education System. .

This means that social work educational system has to equip professionals not only for senior and supervisory level jobs. the existing systems of higher education have not been very accessible to persons in disadvantaged positions whether socially. A number of initiatives have been adopted in the last few decades to respond to the above-mentioned developments. Second. geographically or economically. but also to produce professionals who could operate. at grass root levels in wider geographical areas. Also. Most educational programmes abroad now offer degrees at undergraduate and / or postgraduate levels. postgraduate qualified professionals find it hard to bridge the socio-cultural gap between themselves and the people in rural / tribal / remote areas. there has been a growing criticism of the elitist and urban slant in social work education. Practitioners in the field (especially in India) claim that the aspirations of students with master’s degree do not match the realities of social work practice at the grass root levels where they are needed the most.66 Social Work Practicum and Supervision First. Besides. leaving those with postgraduate qualifications for supervisory and macro level interventions. Explosion in information technology has opened diverse . with sensitivity and empathy. there has been an acknowledgement of the need of larger number of trained professionals to operate social care and social developmental programmes at different levels of intervention. Undergraduate degree is generally perceived to equip entry-level professionals for direct generalist practice.

There is also a demonstrable need for social workers in areas. which supported this observation. which lack educational opportunities and resources. were that most of the educational institutions were located in cities and the students hailed largely from the urban middle class. Most of these technologies have helped in enriching students’ learning of the theory and information contents in Social Work Courses. Like many other professional education systems. The conventional system of social work education has not proved to be responsive to social development concerns of contemporary society and to the need for trained professionals to manage social development programmes. interactive TV and so on. 1975) emphasized the need to provide a holistic framework for the development of a ladder programme of education where there were several termination points related to job functions in the country. The Second Review Committee on Social Work Education (UGC. Two of the conditions. multimedia initiatives. The committee felt that there was a need for a systematic geographical distribution of social work education. Social Work educators have experimented with online / web-based learning. Inadequate number of formally trained social work professional’s forces local organizations to employ paraprofessional and nonsocial work personnel.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 67 avenues for reaching out to potential students so far excluded from the higher education network. The UGC Committee recorded in its findings that Social Work Educational Programme in the country tended to be ‘elitist’. In India. .

the School pioneered the design of a first Three-Year Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) course programme grounded in the Distance Learning methodology. SOSW believed that Distance Education programme could help a large number of those persons who are unable to avail the benefits of the conventional.72) Provision of Field – based learning has been one of the most important concerns. The School of Social Work (SOSW) at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) recognized the need to initiate an alternate educational programme to address the training needs of large number of untrained staff already employed in the social welfare sector. expensive and full time education system. Canada and Australia offer BSW and /or MSW degrees through distance learning. A large number of educational institutions in countries like UK. that delayed considerably the acceptance of Distance Learning Mode for social work education. p. 2001. USA. Supported by a need assessment survey. however. et. particularly in India. After an extensive analysis of the published literature authors of a review concluded that “course and program outcomes achieved in social work distance education courses and programs are comparable to those achieved in traditional face-to-face programs”.68 Social Work Practicum and Supervision The alternate educational strategy in the form of Distance Learning Mode extended to social work education has been one of the most significant developments in the field of Social Education System. (Macy. Introduction of BSW course aims to meet the need for . al.

Field Instruction or Field Practicum. It is also vital that the profession reflects the wider composition of the communities it serves. videoconferencing. For those who are already employed in the social care sector. Field Practicum in Conventional and Distance Education Systems Even at the risk of repetition. economically. recording of the work done. the course offers an opportunity for upward mobility.teleconferencing. planned assignments to be undertaken by them at these placements. It is widely acknowledged among Social Work educators that Field Work is an integral and necessary component of Social Work Education.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 69 a broader based trained social care / development workforce. and utilizing supervisory guidance to . and video lectures added to study materials and face-to-face interactions with the tutors at the study centres provide effective support to the students’ learning of theory component of the BSW Course. socially and professionally by pursuing part-time educational programme. FieldBased Learning. This component of “learning by doing” in social work education is variously designated as Field Work. reflection and evaluation of experiences in the field. I will reiterate that you can ‘learn social work only by doing’. The students enrolled from across the country will be equipped to address the social service needs of the underserved indigenous populations. Extensive use of multimedia. The uniform content in all of these is a field – based placement of students.

In these placements. the students are required to draw on theoretical knowledge from their formal courses in order to place their field experiences in a broad context and to develop practical skills. Achieving minimum standards of performance in Field Work is essential for successful completion of the course in Social Work.70 Social Work Practicum and Supervision achieve specified sequential learning. “Learning by doing” has been the hallmark of social work education and the thrust of a social work practicum is to learn how to apply theoretical social work material to a hands-on situation. To make it a ‘professional learning’. how to cope with the practical limitations of a real-life environment and how to be useful to ‘real’ people with ‘real’ problems in a real setting that is less than ideal. Students are placed in one / two settings during each year of the total course period. this practical work is grounded in classroom course content (theory) and is done within an ambit of overarching ethical code. ideally an . students are required to undertake varied and challenging practice placements. In the available literature on social work education in India and abroad. Besides. ‘Practicum’ have been used to describe the content that educational institutions organize for students’ practical experience in the fields of social work practice. Each student is assigned to a qualified and social work trained Field Work supervisor who guides his / her supervisee throughout a specific placement. In pursuit of Social Work degrees. Conventionally. bulk of learning through Field Work Placements occurs concurrently with classroom teaching.

Successful completion of field instruction is essential for obtaining social work degree. attending specified number of field work days and number of hours at the social agency where the student has been placed for field practicum. The language. those joining bachelor’s course after senior secondary certificate or its equivalent.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 71 experienced social work trained professional employed at the placement agency works out assignments for the student and provides on-the-spot guidance. and those seeking admission to master’s course after graduation. social work education in India followed the western model and depended almost entirely on western literature. The evaluation process (often in formal or informal consultation with agency supervisor) is based on parameters drawn from objectives and learning outcomes stated in the Field Work Programme. Historically. and regular submission of records of experiences at the placement to the Field Work supervisor. The potential student entering the ‘conventional’ system of social work education is one who has been pursuing his/her educational career continuously without major breaks i.e. Very few of those who are already working in the social work fields manage to enter the portals of social work education institutions except when a particular institution accepts candidates sponsored by their employers. Field Work programme requires students to fulfill certain mandatory conditions like. This trend is gradually disappearing with almost all of the students being inexperienced and raw. culture and socioeconomic status of the students and the people they .

understandably. One of the main differences between a distance education student and a campus student is that many distance education students are part-time students. speak different languages and come from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. the potential students availing of the Distance Learning System present a mixed lot. Drawing a rough parallel with the conventional system. and thus tend to take their courses over a greater number of years than students in full time conventional system. students in remote areas are not able to access facilities of higher education. Social Work Educational Institutions incorporate all significant components of field-based learning in the structure of Field Work Programmes within the distance learning mode as well. While all the components of field practicum . They belong to different regions. Field Practicum in Social Work Education in the Distance Mode – Overseas In almost all the countries. Secondly. The students enrolled for Social Work Courses under the Distance Learning (DL) System present.72 Social Work Practicum and Supervision were expected to serve became increasingly divergent. a wide variety of levels of education and / or work experience. as the educational institutions have been located chiefly in urban areas. the Schools of Social Work offering BSW / MSW courses through Distance Learning have developed Field Work Manuals and guides giving detailed guidelines for students and supervisors respectively. Designing a Field Practicum Programme in Social Work within the Distance Learning Mode is indeed a challenging task. Further.

Field Work Manuals provide parameters for selection of placements as also the responsibilities of the agencies for sharing in the educational enterprise. Some of these Manuals have been listed at the end for your reference. in some cases. in the agencies where they are currently employed. (iii) focus of the learning outcomes expected to be successfully achieved. Specific guidelines have been provided to work out their assignments in field practicum. A serious and concerted effort is made to give due importance to field practicum so as not to dilute this vital component of social work education. (ii) types of social agencies specified for each successive year of the course. A large number of Courses offered through distance education in the USA have been accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). designing a Field Practicum Programme in Social Work within the Distance Learning Mode was .Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 73 as extant in the conventional system are there. Field Practicum in Social Work Education in the Distance Mode – IGNOU Model As said earlier. and (v) supervision to be provided by the faculty of the School or the Trained Agency Staff member or jointly by both. the actual patterns of field practicum differ chiefly as to (i) the number of placements in each year. The students are permitted to carry on their field practicum in their own communities and. (iv) number of hours / days to be spent by the students at their placements. Roles of the field work guides and code of conduct for students being placed for field learning are clearly delineated.

instructional study materials is supplemented by use of audio-visual media and face-to-face interaction with tutors in the study centres. use of self. designing of relevant field based learning has assumed much higher significance. The Field Practicum has to cater to the training needs of a young raw student. Field Work Program is designed to provide students with a wide range of social work learning opportunities. The School of Social Work (SOSW) at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) initiated BSW Course for a wide variety of student population. PG Diploma in Social Work. . M.Phil courses on the anvil. With the offer of MSW. The BSW students enter the course with different levels of experience and learning. Achieving minimum standards of performance in Field Work is essential for successful completion of the course in Social Work. particularly taking into account the reservations of a number of social work educators about offering social work course through distance learning medium in India. The field experience is expected to build on what the individual student already knows. coming right after completing senior secondary school as also of a much more mature student who may have been working in an agency similar to the ones selected for Field Placements. satisfactory completion of field work is mandatory to secure the award of social work degree. Keeping in view the significance of field-based learning.74 Social Work Practicum and Supervision a challenging task. As true to distance learning mode.

students will be expected to complete a small research study beside the field placement work. They belong to different regions. Supervisors are required to be trained social workers with MSW qualification. each student is assigned to a Field Work Supervisor (FWS). or they may belong to the marginalized social groups which are in need of professional interventions. Evaluation of BSW students. Recognizing the importance of personalized supervision and guidance in field practicum. therefore. speak different languages and come from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. they may have come without any prior exposure to the field situations. done both by internal and external examiners. requiring special care in arranging field-based learning in rural / remote areas. Profile of Students The students of BSW course of IGNOU present. They belong to different age-groups bringing. During PGDSW (MSW I Year). with children. This is expected to maintain objectivity in evaluation of students’ work. understandably.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 75 While students are required to put in 25 field work days during BSW course. Supervisors are given an orientation to their role and function at the beginning of each year through teleconferencing. . a wide variety of levels of education and / or work experience. They could be married. has equal weightage. varying levels of maturity. radio and face-to-face contact. A significant number of students are females. They may be returning to academics after an interval of some time. they will put in 45 to 60 full field work days during MSW.

“Within a dynamic interactional process of expectations and outcomes” (Brij Mohan. Strategies of Field Instruction The training in social work enables the practitioners to perform a variety of roles using multiple social work practice methodologies. More opportunities for critical thinking. To facilitate this learning for the widely divergent potential student population. therefore. B S W perceived both as a terminal point for entry-level professionals as well as a step to post graduate course specifies certain educational objectives which need to be achieved by each student by the end of the Course. to fulfill different set of learning objectives. The field experience has. . c) The ability to create opportunities for growth of those in need of help and.76 Social Work Practicum and Supervision The students in post graduate programmes may be drawn from among BSWs or graduates from allied disciplines. b) A confidence to apply knowledge to practice. i) Specific learning objectives and targets for achievement have been delineated. 2002) students acquire: a) A repertoire of knowledge and skills in analysis and assessment. d) Work collaboratively with other professions. a number of strategies have been adopted. reflection and analyses of micromacro linkages need to be planned.

leading to degree of MSW focuses on training in primary methods of social work like case work. .   During the first year. ii) Field learning is planned sequentially for each successive year of the Course. students develop an awareness of roles and functions of professional workers and acquire basic skills of teamwork.  Completion of First year of MSW leads to the award of Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work. Also. observation and communication skills and learn to deal with simple problems of individuals and families. These objectives associated with learning outcomes for each year reflect the sequential nature of field-based training. they are exposed to institutions carrying out development work in the community and learn how to use supervision. The final year of MSW. All the three years of BSW cover different dimensions of professional training and socialization. A different set of objectives have been worked out for Field Work for each of the three years.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 77 Appropriate learning objectives have been clearly specified for students working towards post graduate degree. civic administrative and financial institutions and the media centres. group work and community organization etc. As such field training during the first year equips professionals for generalist practice in a wide variety of fields including social and corporate sectors.

The Journal also provides space for recording their field experiences and reflections along with comments of the Supervisor. a code of conduct. The journal states clearly the do’s and dont’s in field work. Field Work supervisors are provided with Field Work Guides that include. they get opportunities for practicing case work and group work methods and get exposed to the agencies carrying out welfare functions.78 Social Work Practicum and Supervision During the second year. the learning outcomes expected to be achieved. beside the above information. Third year exposes students to agencies addressing special problems. iv) Students of each year receive their Field Work Journal. The field practicum – whether placements or supervision – takes place in their own communities. v) Learning is provided to the students at their ‘doorsteps'. . i. and the inputs of supervisor they can avail of. social or individual.e. guidelines for supervising and evaluating students. They are expected to perform professional roles. iii) Components of field practicum are clearly specified. This is in tune with the philosophy underpinning the distance learning mode as an alternate educational system to reach out to the so far inaccessible population. which acquaints them with the expectations and gives guidelines for working in the Field. work within social work ethics and begin to think critically on the problems requiring professional interventions. the structure of field work..

This is an innovation in social work education system. 1) Orientation Visits 2) Field Placement 3) Agency Client Relationship 4) Assignment of Tasks 5) Nature of Social Work Process 6) Teamwork 7) Administrative assignments 8) Recording 9) Field Instruction 1) Orientation Visits: These observational visits expose the students to a wide range of social work practice and help them find a context for understanding the transferability of professional skills. at least in India. analyze the same and reflect on their experiences . the students use the guidelines provided in the Field Work Journal for recording their observations. They are rather parts of a composite whole—the total learning experience in the field. Helped by the Supervisor. Enumeration of Components of Field Work Programme is not intended to indicate that they are independent entities.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 79 vi) Field Practicum is a mandatory component in M. Structure of Field Practicum in BSW Courses Field Practicum in BSW course consists of Nine Components. They are helped to identify different concerns that the organizations are focusing on and their responses to the same. Phil course as well.

and needs. distance to be commuted by the students. These visits. The purpose of placing students in groups is to help them learn how to adjust with each other and to acquire teamwork skills. Some of the factors influencing the placement decisions include existing experience or orientation of the students. 2) Field Placement: The aim of Field Placement is to enable the students to respond to real life situations. Groups of three to six students are placed in each agency. expectations and limits of the agencies. interest and preferences of the students. and to gain experience in reconciling different approaches towards the same problem. At the beginning of the fieldwork session the supervisor along with the student makes a learning plan based on fieldwork situation and the fieldwork objectives of the particular year. thus. and appreciation of social work interventions. Another important factor influencing the selection of the placement agency is to ensure a ‘fit’ in the mission. Agencies are the settings where students acquire essential skills. These visits further prepare them for their Placements. test professional values and learn to apply knowledge gathered through academic course work. . adjust to people from different backgrounds. enable them to develop observational skills. tackle ethical dilemmas. aims and service delivery system of the agency and the learning objectives of the field practicum. a spirit of enquiry.80 Social Work Practicum and Supervision in respective agencies.

The task may or may not directly be perceived as social work input. 4) Assignment of Tasks: Breaking down of the field work objectives into tasks and relating these to the expected learning outcomes is quite a challenging exercise. humane and empowering approaches to interventional strategies – whether in direct interaction with the clients or in referral services. The aim of doing specific tasks is to expose students to situations where the social work methods are used in rudimentary form. the Fieldwork Supervisor will help the student to get maximum exposure in practicing those skills. Students try applying the principles of relationship while assisting in the helping process of the agency. which cannot be practiced in the employing agency. groups and other agencies. It is by establishing a relationship with the client that the social worker achieves the aim of improving the client’s social function. 3) Agency-Client Relationship: The client is the center of the whole social work process and therefore the client-social worker-agency system is to be understood properly. The tasks can be chosen . but the process of its planning and execution is likely to involve interaction with individuals. The students learn to appreciate the significance of establishing positive relationship with the clients who seek help at the concerned agency.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 81 In case a student is already working in social sector and the work place is selected for field work. They learn to appreciate the value of sensitive.

it is the total experience that provides necessary learning environment. identify their strengths and areas for improvement. Working on field-based assignments. 5) Nature of Social Work Process: Field Practicum enables the students to analyze processes involved in the application of different social work methods in the field. They learn to recognize different steps involved in systematically planning and organizing various activities. gain knowledge of the needs and problems of client groups and critically review the services and service delivery systems meant for the people in need of professional intervention.82 Social Work Practicum and Supervision depending on the need of the target population and the resources available. positive worker. . and evaluating the results of the interventions. students get familiarized with different tools for assessing needs and problems of the client groups. for example interviewing.client relationship and networking. recording. Working out of assignments also requires keeping in view the differential in the experience and capabilities of the students. home visits. Planning of tasks is vital to the students’ learning as it is through the doing of these tasks that students acquire social work skills. Identifying social work processes was all the more important for those already working in social work agencies so that they and their employers could appreciate the value of professional training. planning and implementing interventions. More than the actual task.

students learn the processes involved in application of case work and group work. project proposal formulation. problemsolving at different levels of intervention. learning to keep simple accounts and budgeting. assisting in tasks like maintaining correspondence. and micromacro linkages. conducting need assessment surveys. documentation and report writing. The approach of other professionals will be very different from social workers. during 2 nd and 3rd years. processes in performing different social work roles. 6) Teamwork: Social workers have to work in teams and the team members may be other professionals like lawyers. 7) Administrative Assignments: To be able to work as efficient professionals in the social agencies students are expected to take up administrative tasks like maintaining simple service statistics of the agency. doctors. 8) Recording: Recording is one of the important tools . nurses or volunteers. execution and evaluation of different tasks. They also observe about staff of the agency working as team members. students identify processes of need assessment.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 83 While in the first year. participating in the planning of basic programmes. Students learn to work as members of the team of their co-workers. The social work in such cases has to not only take care of the psychological and social needs of the individual/s. planning. attending decisionmaking meetings etc. but also has to humanize and integrate the various approaches.

group process records and to develop community profiles. analysis and reflection in recording. and for purposes of research. Starting to write verbatim descriptive records with some analytical inputs in first year. Social work records serve to review. They learn to write process records of case work interviews and group sessions. They learn to write case studies of individual clients. to facilitate consultation. Students learn to differentiate between professional records and literary or creative writing. reports of home visits. 9) Field Instruction: This is a very crucial component of the Practicum. The records provide significant data for administrative decisions regarding clients and services. Individual Conferences enable students to process their experiences in the agency placements – linking knowledge. The Field Practicum design provides for at least five individual and five group conferences to be conducted at the Study Centre. analyze and evaluate the sessions and prepare future plans based on the same. they learn to write increasingly more professional records of their field experiences. skills and values acquired in academic course work to experiences and activities . They learn the application of processes of selection. The students are encouraged to write in vernacular so that they have comfort level in communicating their field experiences and learning from the same. and to form the basis of referral.84 Social Work Practicum and Supervision of social work practice. education and advocacy. check and monitor the progress of the case.

stress in the helping process and concerns about service delivery system at the agency.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 85 in the field. Students learn to present their view points logically and convincingly. students may share their personal problems which are impinging on the their performance in the placement. Group Conferences: Group sessions have proved to be very important medium for students getting peer support. which may inhibit learning. However. and discussion of common problems in working with clients could be dealt more effectively and economically in the group conferences. Guided Field Learning a Component of Field Practicum Field Work Supervisor is the hub of all field work learning and professional socialization of social work . the Supervisors have to be cautious about potential rivalry. They are encouraged to discuss workplace issues such as self-care. Group conferences help students to appreciate effectiveness of alternative solutions to similar situations as they are exposed to a range of opinions and viewpoints. In these group sessions an increased variety of learning experiences become available. skills of recording. Sometimes. Negative feedback from peers could expose individuals to ridicule. It has been found that common areas of teaching like induction. The Supervisors help students to be supportive rather than overly critical of each other. presentation skills. field questions and receive feedback.

Most of those employed were engaged in social care and community work. dynamic and perceptive. 2005) Students’ Profile: of 17 students enrolled in the BSW Course. The students employed . innovative. The students’ profile.86 Social Work Practicum and Supervision students. Those employed perceived the course as an opportunity for enhancing their professional skills and for improving their job profiles. Field Practicum for BSW I Year: An Illustration To illustrate some of the components of the Field Practicum design here is a brief description of Field Practicum as organized for students of BSW I year (IGNOU) at a Study Center in Delhi (Kumar & Thakur. Supervisor’s liaison with the Agencies is an important form of educational support for the Practicum. more than half were females. Barring two. all the students (15) were working. sensitive and committed professionals require the Supervisor to be creative. It is the Field Work Supervisor who is responsible to achieve a degree of ‘fit’ between the field work programme’s objectives and expectations and the bureaucratic arrangements of the agencies. The students demonstrated high degree of motivation and commitment to their own learning. His role has been envisaged as a crucial link between the students and the field-based learning. the selfstudy mode of the course and the goal of developing competent. This conforms to the students’ profile anticipated in the designing of the course. Administrative. teaching and helping – the three basic inputs by the supervisor – are put to a tougher test here than in the conventional system.

Groups of three to six students were placed in each agency. The students were helped by the Supervisor to use the guidelines provided in the Field Work Journal for recording their observations. Some of the factors influencing the placement decisions included existing experience or orientation of the students. close to where students lived or worked. analysis of the same and reflection on their experiences in respective agencies. and needs. Gandhi Smarak Nidhi. They identified different concerns that the organizations were focusing on.Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 87 in non-social work jobs had wished to join this field because it offered them both a career and a sense of worth. The Supervisor arranged field placements. These observational visits provided the students a wide range of social work practice and helped them find a context for understanding the transferability of professional skills. distance to be commuted by the students. as far as possible. . Orientation Visits: Students visited five social service agencies such as AVARD. Placements: Students put in at least 25 full working days at the agency selected for placement. interest and preferences of the students. Promotion of Employment for Disabled People and Prayas Observation Home for Boys. expectations and limits of the agencies. The purpose of placing students in groups was to help them learn how to adjust with each other and to acquire teamwork skills. Project Concern International. Their career plans were well crystallized and this resulted in their positive response to all supervisory inputs.

cultural programmes. This helped in matching capabilities of students. They realized the value of sensitive. They conducted educational and recreational activities in groups to learn to observe processes of interaction and programme planning. Students tried applying the principles of relationship while assisting in the helping process of the agency.88 Social Work Practicum and Supervision The aim of Field Placement was to enable the students to respond to real life situations. Agency-Client Relationship: The students learnt to appreciate the significance of establishing a positive relationship with the clients who sought help at the concerned agency. Students engaged in individualized problem-solving process. with competence required in different activities. health and awareness camps. adjust to people from different backgrounds. humane and empowering approaches to interventional strategies – whether in direct interaction with the clients or in referral services. particularly those fresh from school or working in non social work jobs. and assisted the agency staff in planning and organizing of sports events. It became necessary to plan assignments for those already working in social sector in such a way that they . Assignment of Tasks: As it was the first year of the Course and the students’ group was a mixed one the supervisor actively engaged the Agency Supervisor (a trained social worker responsible for guiding students in the agency) in interpreting the goals and identifying relative complexity of tasks. and to gain experience in reconciling different approaches towards the same problem.

Identifying social work processes was all the more important for those already working in social work agencies so that they and their employers could appreciate the value of professional training. home visits. They recognized different steps involved in systematically planning and organizing various activities. They also recorded their observations about staff of the agency working as team members. Nature of Social Work Process: Working on field-based assignments. Recording: Students were helped to comprehend the difference in literary or creative writing and professional records. planning and implementing interventions. and evaluating the results of the interventions. They were encouraged to write accurately in simple but clear language. One of the students was able to analyse data gathered in a research enquiry and prepare a report for the same. An effort was made to diversify their assignments so that they did not repeat the kind of tasks their existing jobs entailed. Some others were engaged in documentation. students got familiarized with different tools for assessing needs and problems of the client groups. positive workerclient relationship and networking. Administrative Assignments: The students being in first year received limited exposure to administrative tasks. Teamwork: Students learnt to work as members of the team of their co-workers. for example interviewing. and correspondence. recording. They wrote in Hindi or .Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 89 learnt to appreciate the difference in the approach of a trained social worker.

the students frequently contacted the Supervisor through telephone and e-mails. group process records and to develop community profiles. Group conferences were not conducted due to constraints of resources but out of a conscious choice. Field Instruction: As per the programme design.90 Social Work Practicum and Supervision English. The feedback from the agency supervisors was very encouraging. Overview: The students demonstrated a very high degree of commitment to field learning. depending on their comfort level. the application of . People will question. how can you learn to relate to people and help them if you are not interacting with them face-toface? “This question fails to understand that while some content is delivered in a DE format. This was particularly gratifying as most of the field placements selected also received student trainees from social work institutions following the conventional system. five to six individual were conducted at the Study Centre. Besides. They learnt to write case study of individual clients. reports of home visits. The knowledge that students’ problems in the field were common to their co-workers kept their morale and motivation high and helped develop professional identity. Field Practicum in Distance Learning Mode – Evaluatory Comments There is much controversy over the delivery of social work education via distance education. They completed the stipulated field work days within the year.

Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning 91 the acquired knowledge is usually practiced face-toface. 2007) Brief description of the Field Work Programme under the BSW and MSW Courses of IGNOU brings out the fact that it is the design of Social Work Field Practicum that brings the Courses very close to the conventional system of social work education. this mentoring/supervision may take place over teleconferencing or interactive TV. Successful implementation of an elaborately designed Field Work Programme as part of BSW Course launched by IGNOU has demonstrated that Social Work Education through the distance mode is here to stay. Distance Education technologies have come to stay. and always under the supervision of an approved social worker who serves as your supervisor and mentor. “distance education technologies become a mechanism for delivering resources – courses and programs – into remote service delivery areas……There are fewer alternative routes to raising the level of professional social work practice” (Mcfall & Freddolino. 2000). Sometimes. There are those groups of potential students for who distance education is the only viable alternative. Smith. but it usually involves being assigned to a social service agency where you will perform your work face-to-face and receive supervision in the same manner”. whether in direct practice. (Marshall L.  It is the only course which is completed primarily within a workplace setting. policy analysis. Conclusion Field Education is a central component of social work education. research and/or community . In these cases.


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

development, and as such it offers key opportunities for the synthesis of theory and practice. Field Practicum in DL mode as in the conventional system ensures that students are placed in a range of social work settings according to their learning needs and goals.  You have acquired knowledge about the strategies adopted by Social Work Educators following the DL Mode in India and abroad. Outlining the Design of Field Practicum within the IGNOU Model, the only initiative in India, we have covered the different components of this design in detail. The case study of Field Learning of one of the groups of students enrolled in BSW Course I Year illustrates these components in actual practice. Although no scientifically designed comparative study of field – based learning through conventional and DL Mode has so far been undertaken, it is widely acknowledged among social work educators the world over that social work education through the DL mode has come to stay. It is largely on account of elaborate design of field practicum that social work courses in the distance learning mode have received due recognition in the Field.

Brij Mohan :The Future of Social Work Education: Curricular Conundrums in An Age of Uncertainty, Electronic Journal of Social Work, Vol. 1 No. 1, February 15, 2002 Macy, J.A., Hollister, C.D., & Freddolino, P.P.: Evaluation of Distance Education Programs in Social

Social Work Practicum in Open and Distance Learning


Work, Journal of Technology in Human Services, 18 (3/4), 63B84, 2001 Smith Marshall L.: Distance Learning: The Future Has Arrived!, The New Social Worker, Vol.13 No.1 , Winter 2006 Smith Marshall L.: Toward a Guide to Distance Education in Social Work, http:// Technology, December 2007 University Grants Commission: Report of Second Review Committee for Social Work Education, University Grants Commission, Govt. of India, 1975 School of Continuing Education: Field Work Guide for Social Work Educators and Supervisors, IGNOU, 2004 Kumar Manju L. & Thakur Manish K.: Social Work Practicum in Distance Learning: Indian Context, paper presented at 2nd National Seminar on Social Work and HIV / AIDS, New Delhi, Sept. 16-18, 2005 Student Field Manual: A Guide for Distance Education Students, Faculty of Social Work University of Manitoba, 2005 Field Education Manual: School of Social Work, Michigan University, 2004 Field Education Manual: Masters of Social Work Program, University of Victoria, 2002 MSW Field Practicum Manual:

*Patricia Lager, B. Hamann, M. Ashmore

Social work exists because it fulfills crucial social needs. Social work serves people and society where there is malfunctioning or inadequacy. Enhancing the human potential is another important aspect of social work. Social workers provide important services to help people solve problems that limit their functioning and services to enhance the quality of their lives (Morales & Sheaffor, 1995). These services may be direct counseling or working with clients individually or in groups to solve specific problems or enhance their general functioning. Indirect services are also rendered on behalf of individuals or groups to make the organizations and institutions more responsive to human needs. In most countries social work exists because society sanctions the services provided to fulfill the needs. However in countries like India, especially in the rural areas, despite the felt need for external help, people do not totally sanction the role of professional social workers.
* Prof. Patricia Lager, FSU, USA & Dr. B. Hamann, USA and Prof. M. Ashmore

Orientation for Social Work Practicum


Social work has existed in India for centuries in the form of voluntary service. This makes it difficult for society to sanction the remuneration paid for social services rendered. In many cases, social workers render their services along with other professionals as a team (doctors, teachers and with those who provide basic necessities). Many social workers have rendered services under the guise of other professionals. As a profession, it has been extremely difficult for social work to establish itself. It is therefore twice as important in countries like India to thoroughly train students to maintain their own professional identity. It is important for students to make sure that their clients understand the services they render are from professional social workers and not confuse it with services of other helping professions. A social worker requires training and skills in diverse areas to be able to effectively help individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations deal appropriately with their problems. The theoretical knowledge is provided by schools of social work and agencies and institutions in the society that offer practical training to reinforce the classroom experience. Practical training or field placement is the internship served by the social work student within an agency or community affiliated with the social work program. The objective of this field placement is to enable the student acquire supervised social work experience to enhance the knowledge and skills learnt in the classroom. It is the practicum experience that allows the student to put the critical thinking skills taught in class into practice. It is an opportunity for the student to leave the classroom and enter the world of the social


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

work profession. This type of training under close supervision allows the student to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to real life client situations. Social work values and ethical dilemmas discussed in the classroom take on a new and deeper meaning when working with live clients and their life situations. In India students are placed in agencies that help women and children, hospitals, psychiatric institutions, prisons and industries. Many schools of social work emphasize the placement of students in rural communities. Often it is not easy for field work coordinators from the social work program to get the field work plans to work as planned because the agency or community may have constraints in carrying out the plans. It is not easy to commute from one place to another in India. The roads are crowded and public transport is not very reliable. Students would probably go to one agency or field placement on a given day and not make it to two. Some schools of social work push students to go to two settings on the designated field work day, in order to give them a more diverse experience. Students from urban areas find the rural placements very difficult to handle emotionally and physically. It is a rude awakening to see that many other people do not live the comfortable life that the students were used to. Despite the difficulties in making the field placements structured, every effort is taken to ensure that the students get adequate opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice.

Social Work as a Profession
A profession needs to have three unique characteristics (Morales & Sheaffor, 1995). There is a need for

Orientation for Social Work Practicum


professional autonomy, to be free from constraints that could limit its (professions) ability to act in the best interests of the clients. Society grants professional authority to people who have the required knowledge and skills to provide the needed services. Professional responsibility is required by developing codes that identify the expected ethical behaviour of practitioners and establish procedures for restricting unethical or incompetent practice. Social work therefore needs to provide responsible and competent service to be granted the exclusive authority to offer its services to people. In reference to the discussion written earlier, it has been very difficult for social workers in India to establish the professional base and carve a permanent niche in the professional rank. Culturally it is believed to be an intrinsic right of the needy to be voluntarily helped by other humankind. It would take concentrated efforts to bring about this attitudinal shift. It is crucial for social workers to be ethical and conform to the codes of the profession. Society would be more open if they notice social workers being truthful about their professional background, not hiding behind other professions and being upfront about what service they can offer and their limitations. Students need to know that they can be proud of their professional identity. In a land that reveres engineers and doctors, many students have stumbled into social work because they did not meet the requirements for engineering and medicine. Schools welcome all types of students regardless of their aptitude and interests in order to maintain their enrollment quota. This perpetuates the low self esteem of students who start their social work career thinking that they are in a less sought after profession because


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

they did not have the higher competence required by the more sought after professions. Even if it is difficult for the schools of social work to raise their standards for entering the profession, there is a definite need to weed out students who have no interest in human services. There is a continued necessity to remove students once enrolled into the program, who show poor interest and embarrassment in the profession. On the other hand the teachers have to emphasize the importance of the profession and the crucial role it plays in fulfilling societies’ needs. At a macro level, the community and agencies can work with media to portray a positive image of the social work profession. According to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (2) the historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual wellbeing in a social context and the well-being of society and environmental forces that create, contribute to and address problems in living. The profession of social work covers many practice areas involving a continuum of client systems. They may be individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities or combinations of any of these systems. The profession is committed to the values of service and social justice. Social work upholds the dignity and worth of the individual and emphasizes the importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. These values differentiate social work from all other professions. In India, supervision is an important component of social work program. The field work agency supervisor takes over the role of teacher and mentor. The supervisor gives the student the opportunity to see social work in

Orientation for Social Work Practicum


practice and be a part of the change process. Depending on the personal style of the supervisor and the agency policy the student may be allowed to work independently or under guidance with clients and see theoretical knowledge put into practice. The social work program coordinator makes sure that the field work supervisor knows what the student is expected to learn at the placement. The field work supervisor in turn ensures that the student is given enough exposure to learning skills and putting theoretical knowledge into practice. The student will draw upon the skills practiced in classroom role-plays as well. There are some skills that student can learn only by doing. Role plays and simulations can help but not really show the student the seriousness of helping clients. What seemed easy in the classroom may seem overwhelming in practice because of the anxiety involved with helping change some aspects of peoples’ lives. In the practicum experience students will begin to apply the skills learned in class to clients served by the agency. Some of the skills will be learned through observation of the supervisor or other social workers within the agency. Some agency policies may require that the student always work under supervision. In such situations the student can learn a lot from watching the supervisors doing their job. There may be clients who are very sensitive or the nature of the job may require licensed or professionals with the required qualifications. Here too the student can learn by sitting in on interviews and counseling sessions. Some situations may be regarded as too dangerous for the student. There may be such times when the student can learn by listening to the experiences of the

Instruction will be provided by the supervisor on ways to improve performance helping the student to gain the necessary skills and confidence to practice upon graduation. The experience gathered in the field help to alleviate the anxiety the student usually has in dealing with clients for the first time. social worker and agency. and the general community. The student is also given the opportunity to give feedback about the field work supervisor and the agency. The feedback could include some aspect of the student’s attitude or behaviour that has a bearing on working with clients in the agency. Students sometimes get to simulate field work situations and work through solutions. The field work supervisor gives feedback that encompasses skills in dealing with clients. With this out of the way. The student will also be faced with agency protocols and “real life” in work situations that affect both clients and employees in the agency.100 Social Work Practicum and Supervision supervisors. agency staff. families. In some cultures even though feedback is invited by the supervisor the students are at a disadvantage purely because of the student teacher . The student’s skills and performance as an entry level professional social worker will be observed and evaluated by the supervisor. These experiences prepare the student to enter the practice field upon graduation with some experience and confidence in having already faced “real” situations. It is important for the student to receive seemingly negative feedback in the healthy spirit of training to be a better social worker. the job experience would be started with more confidence that can benefit the client.

It is only the positive feedback that can comfortably be given by the student. Actions that maintain confidentiality. skill base and ability to learn while undergoing field training. Supervisors spot bright students and readily offer jobs that are open. In India. a tour of the building. Many times local students demonstrate their knowledge. placements at times lead to job offers by the agency. Orientation to the Practicum In most cases students will have a formal orientation to the field agency. protocols for serving clients within the agency and expectations in terms of timeliness to work and professional dress code. Many students get certificates from the field work supervisors about their work at the agency to use as references for their first jobs. such as discussing client cases behind closed doors . observation of how the social work staff conducts their practice with clients is important to note.Orientation for Social Work Practicum 101 distance that is usually kept at all levels of learning. They should present themselves in both dress and demeanor as such. agency policies and procedures. Students are also encouraged in India to make contacts during field placements for future job searches. Students must remember as they enter their field placements they will no longer be viewed as “students in the classroom” but as representatives of the agency. where to find and file agency paperwork. how to request supplies needed for the job. For example. During the orientation students will be provided with information such as the agency personnel and their roles. In addition. “unspoken rules” should be observed by the student.

making sure client paperwork is not open to public eyes. Usually agencies have plenty of brochures. they are advised to wear traditional dresses (salwar kameez. students are advised to be assertive and ask questions and try to learn as . contact collaboration. Some students may find it difficult to work with certain cultures where women are not supposed to raise their head when speaking to men. even though girls can wear western style clothes to classes. In India. Instead of taking this personally. They allow the students to conduct case studies or mini surveys to support a hypothesis. It is true that clients judge the social worker based on what they wear and how they conduct themselves. saree or something long and covering most of the body) in keeping with the culture.102 Social Work Practicum and Supervision and only within the agency. students can respect the culture and observe and help in other ways that don’t have this face to face interaction with men. and following the guidelines of the agency in releasing confidential information are expected. Examples of such work would be working with the community. funding or moving paper work in the agency. This judgment is harsher for girls and women in keeping with the prevalent culture. Where supervisors are not as structured. Some supervisors in India plan the training period well and see that students get to do some research in the spare time. literature on their history and functioning in society for students to read. Students can discuss hypothetical cases or previous case files with the supervisors. There may be times when there are few or no cases to work with. Such male clients may refuse to be helped by female students.

However it is important to make note of the discrepancies in theory and practice and discuss it with the supervisor. It is important to put into practice all the values and principles of social work learnt in the classroom even if they don’t see it practiced around them. showing respect. overburdened with lots of cases or just feel superior to the helpless clients. This could be avoided if the field work coordinator from the social work program had made adequate arrangements with field work supervisors and matching of students to appropriate agencies. abandoned children or families of sick patients. It is usually not proper for students to bring up such observations in the agency. field work coordinator and other students. In some cases. destitute women. Some field work supervisors may be unkind to the clients like inmates in prisons. Students can learn from observing the supervisors at work. Students can and should take an active role in orienting themselves to the agency by researching information . Students come with so much enthusiasm and sponge as much information as possible. students’ zest for learning has been quelled due to apathetic field work supervisors or agencies that do not really respond to such earnestness. it is important that the students note this as a negative and unacceptable behaviour and definitely not put it in practice. maintaining confidentiality. The supervisors may be overworked.Orientation for Social Work Practicum 103 much as possible. The student should show respect to the client especially because they feel helpless and that they are at a disadvantage. Whatever the reason. and being empathetic are qualities to uphold and practice. Their kindness to clients.

When students are placed in rural communities or urban slums. trail of paperwork. It . they can be honed with practice. literature and computers. Many times such placements are a surprise or total shock to students. In India this is not as easy to research the agency or community because of lack of resources. staff and other related personnel have vast stores of knowledge and discussing various aspects of the agency and community with them would be really beneficial.104 Social Work Practicum and Supervision regarding the client population served by their agency. staff and community members. However. Such preparation before starting the field work placement would really enhance the quality of the learning experience. researching the history and role of the agency in the community. Questioning students who were placed in the agencies earlier would be helpful. Much of the information gathered prior to the field work placement is purely from other students. reading literature/brochures about the agency. very little is available in the form of literature. Making a list of questions to ask the supervisor or other staff members helps to channel the learning process and get some answers to make up for the dearth in literature. reports to be written. Once the skills are conceptualized. reading and discussing the agency mission statement. It is not as easy to learn skills in working with clients and agency staff. observing the interactions of staff and supervisors with the clients and asking questions in supervision sessions. Student easily learn about forms to be filled. the basic functioning of the agency and its role in the community. It is true that the more one works with clients the better one becomes.

Orientation for Social Work Practicum 105 is very difficult for students from relative comfort to see people live in squalor or with very little basic necessities and definitely no comforts. then the quality of work with clients may be compromised. Much of the intervention done would be enabling people to get community support and mobilize funds. another student may think that it was a total waste of time because he/she may never want to work (after graduation) in such a place in reality because of little or no remuneration involved. sleep on the bare ground and eat one meal if they are lucky. emotions and behaviour. While one student may think that his/her whole outlook to life and social work has changed after this placement. where the number of cases to be worked is of paramount importance. This would definitely improve . local panchayat or school teacher. It is heart rending to see children with large bellies and brown hair and learn they are signs of malnutrition. The social worker may have to work up many case histories or follow up procedures and hand over the final treatment care of the clients to the doctors. For instance while working on a team in a public psychiatric hospital. Students can learn a lot while working with mahila samaj. Different students learn varied lessons from such placements. In some cases. Classroom lessons or books do not prepare students for such exposure and deep learning. Even if they do not see the fruit of their intervention students can be assured that they have sown the seed to change attitudes that are detrimental to development and educated the people to available resources. Many people may wear rags. each member may be required to take on a heavy load of cases in the outpatient clinic. Learning at this level involves attitudes.

A lot of preparation and planning goes into such placements.106 Social Work Practicum and Supervision the interviewing techniques of the social worker. Patford (2000) analysed seven significant learning experiences (feeling at a loss and need to gain knowledge and skills. personal suitability for particular social work roles in particular settings). regulating emotion. On the other hand the diagnosis. . International Practicums through Student Exchanges Social work practicum in a different culture is both challenging and rewarding. the management of emotion. There is a dearth of literature regarding field education in general and international placement in particular. prognosis and social work intervention plan of the client may be decided by the doctors leaving out the crucial input of social workers. the importance of process. There is a need for positive mental attitude. At some institutions in India. discomforting social interactions. the impact of organizational structures and staff relationships on practice. Some institutes require the head of team to involve all the students in determining the treatment plan or at least listen to it. self-management. good psychological make up and an open mind. that life is fragile and unpredictable. the social worker is required to work up about five to six new case histories (per day) and fifteen to twenty follow up interviews (per day). and reappraising his/her commitment to social work) and seven lessons (the embodiment of social work principles/values in practice. treatment. academic learning’ operating solo’ organizational constraints.

The learning objectives included being able to articulate the importance of the UN Convention on Child rights and to be aware of the issues and gaps in agency policies and procedures. The students’ safety and convenience was given prime consideration. health. legal requirements. eating behaviour and religious beliefs. accountable for the work and be acutely aware of their values which are different in an . The academic preparation included familiarizing with language. Hanna and Sheridan (2004) write about two Australian students who were sent to India for their field work placement. dress code. food. reading field work manuals and attending and recording orientation sessions. They were required to identify the priorities within the agency and identify community needs. Personal preparation dealt with dealing with anxiety. tasks. It was important to know the evaluation process in group work and give children the opportunity to talk. The roles. culture. expectations of the practica and communication channels were discussed along with bureaucratic and administrative procedures. process of placement. the students and the coordinator. considering a framework for critical incident analysis. Another objective was to feel confident to discuss a range of cultural and learning issues with the supervisor and make use of constructive criticism. purpose of the placement.Orientation for Social Work Practicum 107 Pawar. dress. There were orientation sessions to familiarize the students with the Indian customs. Direct meetings were held between the mentor (to provide personal and professional support) and the students. the field education supervisors. travel documents and contacts. The systematic preparation began a year in advance. They had to be responsible. finance.

the situation of Indian female adolescents. They had to ensure that there is professional and personal growth and define the common themes used in group work and analyze and critically evaluate models used in practice. They ran discussion group with hospital social workers . The issue of girl children in India was researched mainly due to the students’ interest. policy manual and relevant Acts. supervisory discussions. and daily record writing was an important aspect of the field placement. The students’ strengths and areas for future development needed to be recognized. The students had to identify a group with unmet needs. Indian health and educational systems. the students had regular discussions. There was a need to understand the role of educator in the group. The students prepared. hospitals. To achieve these objectives. and recorded series of preventive and educative sessions for adolescent girls. conducted. They had to develop knowledge. understand their perspective and need for social work intervention. observing doctor/patient interactions. Group work. read funding reports. The objectives at the health setting included identifying the nature and limitations of the health project.108 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Indian context. social work intervention and formulating specific skill base. ethics and values about social work practice in India and work effectively with staff and colleagues. They were required to prepare effective needs-based workshops for the group and work with relevant skills. practice of code of ethics. visiting agencies. and to integrate theory and practice in group processes and recordings. The activities included.

the students believe that the benefits outweigh the difficulties. observe social work in a different milieu.Orientation for Social Work Practicum 109 and students. students must also take an active role in their learning through selfdirectedness in seeking out learning opportunities and researching various aspects of the agency and client . It is an unique opportunity to overcome challenges. Conclusion The field of social work serves an important function in India by responding to the crucial social needs of individuals who are having difficulty functioning in a society in which these needs are not being met. The objective of the field placement is to enable the student acquire supervised social work experience to enhance the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. Regardless of challenges encountered during the placement. The development of theoretical knowledge and skills is an integral part of social work training. The field work agency supervisor takes over the role of teacher and mentor in assisting the student to meet this primary objective through the practicum experiences. learn to be sensitive and work with Indian social workers with different values and attitudes. The role of social work is to enhance human potential through the provision of services that allow these individuals to meet their needs and attain a satisfactory level of functioning. However. They addressed differences and similarities in ethical issues in the two cultures and adapted to and learnt to work within time frames and health and education infrastructure. gain insight into a new culture.

International Social Work Practicum in India. (1995).. W. 21-28.110 Social Work Practicum and Supervision functioning. & Sheaffor. & Sheridan. Australian Social Work (57). Social Work: A Profession of Faces Many. 3. B. J. 7th ed. (2000). (2004). A. Hanna. T. R. Allyn & Bacon: Boston. G. 53(2). Pawar. M. Patford. . An international practicum is an unique opportunity to gain insight into a new culture and Sobserve the practice of social work within a different milieu. References Morales. and do I want to?: Students’ perceptions of significant learning incidents during practica. Australian Social Work. Can I do social work. 223-236.

students should ask questions during their orientation process that will help to define the roles of all professionals as well as the role of intern within the agency setting. Hamann. physical and respiratory therapists as well as clerical staff. nurses. Students can find out this information prior to beginning the field placement by reviewing the literature or website of the agency. Ashmore Introduction The student will act as an agency staff member under supervision and as time progresses in the agency will be given more responsibility as a member of the agency team. Hamann. M. USA and Prof. doctors. It is important to understand the agency hierarchy and the mission of the agency. B. Further. the student will work alongside other social workers. Patricia Lager. In a hospital setting. M. Many agencies are multidisciplinary settings where a variety of professional groups are represented. FSU. The student will need to become familiar with each professional’s role on the team.6 Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum *Patricia Lager. * Prof. Protocol in resolving any conflicts must be understood and adhered to. USA & Dr. B. for example. Ashmore .

even though a formal contract or form is not usually signed. It is important for graduate students to develop specific expectations of the agency or setting field instructor.112 Social Work Practicum and Supervision In the classroom students explore many change theories that are applied to case examples in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of a particular intervention. The student and the field work supervisor are made aware of the knowledge and skills that the student is expected to learn. At the . In India. the social work program liaison arranges for the students to undergo field work training in various agencies. This is a great topic for supervision. Students may find themselves frustrated when clients do not seem to be “getting better”. It is important for students to be aware of this and understand that the change process when applied to people takes time. Role of a Field Work Student The most important role is that of integrating oneself to the functioning of the agency or setting. students may find that in “real life” client change occurs much more gradually. The social work curriculum does expect certain learning and teaching goals of students and supervisors. Learning the boundaries of a helper and our limitations as social workers is one of the most valuable lessons learned through the practicum experience. Roles and Expectations in the Social Work Practicum Field work is an interactive learning process in a structured environment. While in the practicum.

population or community served policies and funding. 7) List out questions that one would like to ask the supervisor. 5) Acknowledge the strengths possessed that would help in this experience. there would be a first time experiences involved at some point of time. Expectations from Student in Field Work The initial field work may comprise of observing. meetings and case work. reading manuals and literature. 2) Find out what discipline and service is the primary focus of the organization. This could lead gradually to more autonomous working with clients. 4) List the knowledge and skills expected to be learnt in the field work experience. services. There is a need to understand the following areas in order to ease the integrating process (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger.Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 113 graduate level. attending orientation. In some settings in India there is more structure than in others. 2007). the field work student would probably have earlier field work experience. 6) Familiarize the traditional roles that students have previously taken up. In a hospital. However. Such passive learning would progress to facilitating groups. values and skills needed. 1) Understand the mission. 3) Comprehend the knowledge. the student would be expected to .

There are some general guidelines for students and field work instructors for optimizing the field work experience (Munson. The student may or may not be allowed to autonomously conduct a treatment plan or group work session even at the end of the training period. 1) Observing experienced social workers perform their roles 2) Gain orientation to specialized cases and practice approaches 3) Engage in collaborative co-facilitation activities 4) Invite and accept feedback of work done 5) Request direct supervision 6) Develop more self awareness .114 Social Work Practicum and Supervision attend rounds. The students may take up an issue with the panchayat or just observe its session. This depends on the policy of the agency. In a rural community. The student may be allowed to enable the women to get bank loans for starting small businesses or arrange for the bank officers to talk to the women. mahila mandal meetings (women’s’ organization) and panchayat (village local government). field work supervisors’ limits and greatly on the students’ initiative. How active or passive the field work training in the community would depend partly on the particular community’s openness. treatment conferences and group work sessions. 2002). the student may attend balwadi (preschool). The students at times work through the balwadi to reach out to the families who need help or information.

medical tests. In the United States of America the following tasks are required of students (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger. health information. burn or surgery patients).Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 115 7) Welcome support and encouragement 8) Obtain training in group work 9) Improve diagnostic skills Expectation of the Student from Social Work Program’s Many social work programs are required to adhere to the accreditation requirements of the council on Social Work Education. Students are also required to ensure that they do not pass on infections to susceptible patients (renal failure. or drug screening) In India. 2007): 1) Completion of practicum forms required by the agency and the school 2) Verification of health status and completion of health related requirements (immunizations. child abuse checks. many of these tasks are not required. Students are however required to take health related precautions while working in hospitals and communities where there may be a risk of contracting contagious diseases. or health related precautions and regulations) 3) Verification of malpractice coverage 4) Completion of personal information (background. There is flexibility in the method of delivery of the field work curriculum. criminal records. .

staff and other . The proper form of address is required to be used while referring to elders. Student’s Expectations of the Field Supervisor In general. During home visits. supervisory sessions. availability. the field instructor should support the student and facilitate learning by ensuring that the environment is conducive to acquiring knowledge and skills. A good balance between offering challenges and support would be best for the students’ field experience. evaluation philosophy. opportunity to observe instructor. 2007): 1) Be committed to the educational growth and development of the student 2) Take on the role of a mentor 3) Show respect and fair treatment 4) Provide continued feedback of students’ strengths and areas of growth 5) Communicate supervisors’ expectations of student.116 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Students are also required to respect different cultures prevailing in India. schedules. They are oriented to various religious practices and are required to abide by them to avoid offending clients because of ignorance. contacts and resources 6) Support in developing a plan of learning (orientation of activities. they remove footwear before entering the client’s houses. The student can expect the following tasks of the field instructor (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger. staff.

Unlike in the United States of America. Students address the teachers with “Sir / Ma’am”. determine the amount of knowledge and skills garnered at field work training. coupled with supervisors who do not make sure that the student fulfills the obligations of the field work . In most cases the students’ personality and motivation to learn. organization’s plan. professional. 7) Provide information (agency. administrative and logistic information required for the student to function adequately 10) Inform student of dates and schedules of meetings. homework. case assignments. field work parameters. It is the social work program and the field work liaison’s plan that determine what the student should expect and learn at the field work placement. events and conferences 11) Making clear expectations of student regarding dress. staff student collaboration). writing. work hours. the students defer to the higher teacher’s authority. structure. and collaboration with staff and other professionals. A relatively shy student or one who does not really care about making the most of the field work placement. 12) Provide adequate feedback regarding. In India.Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 117 students. field. students’ role) 8) Clarify physical and emotional boundaries of the field work experience 9) Make available agency. there is a more submissive role adopted by the student in relation with any teacher. learning and skills. behaviour.

field instructor and social work program 2) Orient the student to the field work process and social work program expectations 3) Inform and assist the student about the learning agreement. evaluation criteria and outcomes 4) Respond to questions regarding field work. tasks. There are still other laissez-faire field work liaisons who may give the student the whole freedom and responsibility to make sure they learn something during the field work placement. The following are the general expectation a student can have from the faculty supervisor (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger. Student’s Expectations of the Faculty Supervisor A faculty supervisor or liaison can be a valuable support and resource in India. 2007): 1) Serve as a link between the agency. There are some field work liaisons that offer the student some flexibility and encourage the student to help in making the learning goals and plans. A supervisor who is particular about structure and believes in the importance of enabling the students to optimize the field work placement would really make sure that the student acquires adequate knowledge and skills. advocate on behalf of the student . In this case the student must have the motivation and initiative to make the most of the field work placement. would result in little learning during the field work training. activities.118 Social Work Practicum and Supervision training. mediate conflicts.

intervention. 1) Specific micro practice skills including engagement of client system. Dore. exploration of problems and feelings. termination and evaluation) . Learning Expectations while Working with Individuals. The focus would be on problem solving and empowerment while the practice may be multilevel.Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 119 5) Serve as a consultant to field work agencies and instructors in establishment and evaluation of field work plans. The emphasis would be for the student to learn assessment and intervention skills. interests. termination and application of appropriate treatment strategies (relationship building. contracting. skills and aspirations 8) Provide a safe space to process field work experiences and challenges. (1992) have identified eight specific areas of skill. Epstein & Herrerias. Epstein & Herrerias. knowledge and techniques conducted with professionalism (Dore. assessment. empathy. multimethod and theoretically eclectic. structure and roles 6) Monitor the field work experience to ensure goal achievement 7) Remain available throughout the field work experience to assess goals. Families and Groups At this level the focus is on the systematic application of focused theory and development of skills. cultural competence. goal setting. knowledge and value development that are critical for micro-practice learning. 1992).

They learn skills in building relationships. the students are able to develop knowledge and skills.120 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 2) Capability for critical thinking (conceptual understanding and integration of values and theory) 3) Capacity for self directed learning (e. identifying the problem area. It may be more difficult to work with groups and families.g.g. Use of self in the helping relationship. make prognosis and finally work with the treatment plan. women and in those that work with clients with medical. Knowledge of community resources and time management skills) 7) Interpersonal skills (e. advocacy. Case preparation and presentation and self-evaluation).g. there may be opportunity to form groups . At agencies helping children.g. psychological and substance abuse issues. In institutions. relational capacities and ability to engage in effective collaboration with and on behalf of the client) 8) Administrative skills (e.g. Communication.initiative. management of dependencies and ability to seek and accept new knowledge) 4) Professional competency (flexibility. self. In the Indian context. assessing needs and resources. the student would get more than adequate opportunity to work with individuals. 5) Leadership ability (e. and risk taking). and commitment to social change) 6) Caseload management (e.

caring. The social worker is also . has insight into group process.Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 121 and acquire skills in group work. mediation. many engage in groups at some part of their practice. The general skills required are communication. social groups. families. enhancing the wellbeing of individuals. sizes. formats and agendas. According to the NASW Code of Ethics. the family members are expected to get help from within the family which comprises of the joint or extended family members too. When it comes to women’s problems. The group leader is flexible. In general Yalom (1995) suggests that the social worker is the group leader and needs to be emotionally stimulating. very few husbands would support the wife asking for external help. leadership and knowledge of members’ roles. clarify. It is considered to be cost effective and used with clients and in management and administrative duties. Group work comprises of groups differing in goals. interpret and support. Many times the breadwinner cannot take time off and other family members may be busy especially in rural areas. education. interpreting feelings. In still other cases. aware of clients’ issues. It is usually more difficult to work with whole families. The student usually works with parts of the family at different times or just works with the few available family members. able to confront. They either deny the problem or try to conceal it. group process. organizations and communities is considered to be paramount to the function of social work. and executing group rules. negotiation. and limits. Even if the primary method of intervention for some social workers may not be group work.

122 Social Work Practicum and Supervision expected to respond appropriately to frustration and resistance. Alanon. educator or support. organizer. Three models of group work are briefly described followed by the roles that the social worker may be expected to take on (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger. The social worker fulfills roles of facilitator. Even though social workers . The social worker may be an initiator. The social worker is the therapist. child abuse perpetrators groups. It could include 12-step programs (Alcoholics Anonymous. It includes psychotherapy groups. clinician. renal failure). grief support groups. facilitator. coalition of professionals advocating for improved welfare legislation. marital therapy groups. mediator. community development task force. caregiver support groups. or disease specific patient support groups (cancer. Overeaters Anonymous. 3) The remedial goals model is based on the philosophy that the group member interactions facilitate change. 2) In the reciprocal goals model the groups are based on mutual aid and self-help in which members support one another through sharing common experiences. multiple sclerosis. Various group leaders draw their styles and behaviours from multiple areas depending on the situation at hand and required response. convener. 1) Social goals model is based on problem-focused interests and goals. parent-teacher. leukemia. and Alateen). trauma survivors groups. advocate or act as a resource. educator or mediator. 2007). It could include neighborhood safety.

In India. 2) The provider conveys meaning and caring to group members and effects positive outcomes with minimal risks. they are expected to adopt any of the following depending on the response required by the group situation: 1) The energizer who is charismatic. energetic. In some cases they get the chance to work with social activist groups that work for women’s development. They set stringent rules and limits. 4) The impersonal leader is more distant. 3) The social engineer uses group process and support. environmental issues and other social and religious causes. the students rarely get an opportunity to work with organizations and deal with policy change. Le arning e x p ec tations while wo rkin g with organizations and communities Social workers can bring about large scale change among many clients through systemic solutions when working with organizations. communities and policy change. Students get adequate opportunity to work in communities. Many schools of social work make it a . minimally caring. 6) The manager uses structured interventions. supportive and attacking. 5) The laissez-faire leader is minimally caring and attends to procedures. and rigid in rules and high level of stimulation.Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 123 would predominantly have one of the following styles.

124 Social Work Practicum and Supervision point to place students in rural communities. social workers working at this level may be social planners. program developers. training. (1996) suggests the following skills required by social work administrators. assessment and diagnosis 4) Computer information systems and other technology 5) Human resource management (selection. Breuggmann. development. administrators. 1) Budgeting and financial management 2) Working with boards 3) Organizational design. there is a required placement in a rural village or urban slum. social action with leaders working against eviction of slum dwellers. This is a unique opportunity for students from the urban areas. In the urban slum. This experience is very different from that of a rural village. the student may get to work with transient workers. problems of construction workers. enabling the dwellers to get water or electricity and such issues. the community placement may be in a slum district which functions as a separate community. In large cities where the rural community would be a great distance. The nature of this community is not permanent and therefore the students’ work would be directed towards helping dwellers to get benefits and better their situation. executive directors or organizational developers. Whatever area of specialization is chosen by the student. In the United States of America. supervision and staff compensation) .

social activists or social researchers are expected to possess the following skills (Breuggmann.Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 125 6) Management (including use of affirmative action principles) 7) Marketing management techniques 8) Networking 9) Financial resource development 10) Media relations Community development social workers. community organizers. 1) Program development. 1996). implementation and evaluation 2) Fundraising (grant writing) 3) Coalition formulation and maintenance 4) Planned change techniques 5) Macro-level. advocacy 6) Community analysis 7) Inter-organizational planning 8) Leadership development and citizen participation 9) Small-group decision-making techniques 10) Community organizing 11) Task force membership 12) Membership development and retention 13) Economic development techniques .

1996): 1) Legislative (advocacy and lobbying skills) 2) Policy analysis and management 3) Issue analysis techniques 4) Social policy research 5) Legal (e. ability to use the judicial system or draft legislation) The skills grouped under different headings share a symbiotic relationship in practice. The same could be said of working with communities too.g. lobbyists or elected officials are expected to have the following skills (Breuggmann. It is important for the social work student to possess a wide repertoire of knowledge and skills in order to meet the field work demands. To be an effective group worker. Conclusion Field work is an interesting and interactive learning process.126 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 14) Computer information systems and other technology Social policy analysts. There are various roles a student has to perform while learning to practice social work. the social worker must have knowledge of working with individuals and families. Knowledge of one method helps in utilizing other methods of social work. Practitioners in one area are often required to possess other related skills too. and the field . The level of skills required by the social worker depends entirely on the type of agency or community and the situation at hand. A student has certain expectations from field work.

Breuggmann. 28(3). Allyn and Bacon. The aim of this chapter is to provide you guidelines to understand the various roles and expectations in social work practicum. families. groups. Ma. families. (1996). Chicago: Nelson-Hall. & Herrerias. 2nd ed. (1992). communities and policy formulation. Epstein. knowledge and techniques associated with professionalism. C. Dore.Roles and Expectations in Social Work Practicum 127 supervisor. organizations and communities and have certain learning expectations while dealing with numerous situations.. References Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger. A learner gets several opportunities to work with individuals. organizations. Boston. groups. (2007). The practicum companion for social work: integrating class and field work. G. B. 353-362. Evaluating students’ micro practice field performance: Do universal learning objectives exist? Journal of Social Work Education. This chapter will enable you to recognize how social workers can bring about large desired changes among their clients through systematic interventions while working with individuals. M. We have discussed in detail the student’s expectations from the field work supervisor. W. M. The chapter provides you an understanding on the systematic application of focused theory and development of skills. . N. The practice of macro social work.

. New York: Haworth Press. Yalom.). (1999).1996. New York: Basic Books.The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (4th ed. National Association of Social Workers (NASW).asp.socialworkers. .) pubs/code/code. (1995). revised. (2002). E. D. I. Code of ethics. C. Avialable at www. Handbook of clinical social work supervision (3rd ed.128 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Munson.

college having one department and universities having one department or a school/college of social work. B. FSU. For example college of social work is one of the colleges within the Florida State University and School of Social Work is one of * Prof. functionaries at the agency. agency supervisor and the client system. B.7 ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS OF SOCIAL WORK TRAINING INSTITUTE *Patricia Lager. USA & Dr. FSU. faculty supervisor. USA and Prof. USA . Hamann. Hamann. staff at the school/college/ department of social work. Neil Abell. In social work practicum there are several persons and institutions involved which include the student. Neil Abell Introduction Role and expectations of the social work training institute is a unique chapter in the entire social work curriculum of IGNOU. Each of these units have specific role and contributions to be made in the training a paraprofessional. The social work institute could be an independent college of social work (we have several in India in the conventional system). Patricia Lager.

distance learners as well as online programmes of study in social work. This unit also examines the policies of the college of social work. Field work standards and activities are very important in social work practicum. Apart from diserssing the criteria set by IGNOU. placement contents. but also to agency supervisors and faculty involved in extending the much needed guidance of students of social work. We have described the same along with employment based practicum and guidelines for inservice placements which are relevant to several IGNOU BSW and MSW students. Students learning expectations and responsibilities.130 Social Work Practicum and Supervision the schools established by IGNOU which has the mandate to develop and launch programmes of study in social work. student education contract. Minimum Criteria for Social Work Training Institute Identification of suitable agencies in the area where field work can be done and securing their cooperation . university –agency partnership contract in the case of FSU and the international policies regarding accreditations and standards are other matters that will be discussed in this unit. In this chapter we shall describe the minimum criteria required for social work training institute in identifying suitable agencies for field placement and in providing the much needed guidance for supervision by agency supervisors. This chapter will be of great help not only to you as a student. Florida State University which has regular students.

Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 131 and consent for the same is an important function of the field work supervisor. The agency must agree to: .      College of Social Work : FSU policies Florida State University (College of Social Work) has a set of policies which lays down certain criteria as necessary conditions for agencies to meet in order to be a field placement site for students. An agency that provides a variety of services from simple to complex so the learner can obtain a diverse experience. The agency should have a well defined structure and well defined roles for its employees as opposed to a loosely structured agency with informal lines. An agency that has professional social workers employed who are available for guiding learners is preferred over an agency that does not have trained social workers. An agency that reflects the philosophy and practice of social work. Agencies are now found in most parts of the country and the selection of suitable sites for training students is based on the following criteria established by IGNOU:  An agency that is registered is preferred over an agency that is not registered. An agency committed to providing quality educational experiences to the learners and help them become good social workers.

Provide students with experiences and supervision that meets the ethical standards of the profession and inform them of the ethical and legal requirements regarding confidentiality of communications and records with regard to the agency’s clients. if possible. and provide access to equipment and records as necessary for teaching purposes. and programs of the agency. Assist in the evaluation of students’ learning and performance. and group experiences. Meet the expectations of the program in the provision of diligent supervision for students with a qualified field instructor who is an MSW with at least two years experience in the field. philosophies. This should include individual. Provide an interdisciplinary team experience. Make provision of orientation of students and faculty members of the school to the facilities. family. policies. Assist in the orientation of the students to the agency policies and procedures.132  Social Work Practicum and Supervision Provide opportunities for students of the school in accordance with the cooperative planning by the faculty of the school and the agency staff.        . Provide work space for the students to the extent feasible through mutual planning and learning materials appropriate to the student’s responsibilities during the period of placement.

a number of expectations are communicated during the process of evaluating the agency as a potential site for students to obtain a positive learning experience.     Field Work Standards and Activities. supervisory staff. color. progress notes. It is an expectation of the social work programme that field work supervisors have the following necessary . and other appropriate documentation.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute  133 Allow the student to participate in social histories. or gender. Employment Based Practicums When the social work programme contracts with a training institute to provide a practicum site for students. and students will work together to maintain an environment which provides quality service to the client and student learning. Assignments for students will be planned by the faculty of the school in cooperation with the supervisory staff at the agency. These individuals will communicate more often as needed. treatment plans. disability. creed. Arrange for agency field supervisors and field students to meet with representatives of the school at least once during the term of the placement for a joint review of the student’s progress. Faculty. Refrain from discriminating in the assignment of social work students to the internship program because of race. national origin.

In order to assist the student in the development of professional skills. and an interest in students and willingness to accept the role of field instructor. procedures. the agency is expected to provide an external off-site MSW to supervise masters students. If a qualified MSW is not available. In agencies where there is no MSW field instructor on-site. the field . The agency then agrees to identify a task supervisor qualified to provide on-site guidance regarding appropriate assignments and agency policies and procedures. orienting the student to agency policies. the field work supervisor’s responsibilities include coordinating with the social work program to provide a field experience that augments and compliments classroom learning. and assisting the student in developing professional work habits. two years of post-masters work experience in an agency setting. In general. The task supervisor maintains close contact with the field instructor and actively participates in the evaluation process.134 Social Work Practicum and Supervision qualifications: an earned MSW from an accredited school of social work. Field instructors are expected to be competent and ethical social work practitioners in one or more areas of service and to be willing to work within the program’s philosophy of social work education and general field learning objectives. scheduling weekly supervisory conferences. knowledge and values. Students are expected to meet with their MSW field instructor for a minimum of one hour of supervision each week. undergraduate field students can be supervised by a BSW field instructor with extensive practice experience. coordinating involvement with other staff members. and population served.

Therefore. There are some situations. In addition. the field supervisor provides feedback to the field program about various programmatic issues involving curriculum. in which paid employment can meet the standards for field placements therefore can be accepted by the field work programme as a suitable practicum alternative. after having first discussed them with the student.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 135 work supervisor maintains an ongoing evaluation of the student’s progress. unpaid training experiences in social work settings that are selected on the basis of the student’s level and/or concentration in their programme of studies. social work field placements are educationally focused. and communicates regular feedback to the student about his/her performance. placement content and expectations. and field policies and procedures. and an opportunity to apply theories and knowledge from the classroom in a practice setting. appropriate supervision. The social work programme organizes course requirements and field instruction in a particular sequence. which is structured in that way for educational reasons. however. Employment Based Practicums Traditionally. this new learning opportunity must fall at a certain point . The field supervisor is also expected to keep the faculty liaison informed about the student’s progress and advise the liaison of concerns. The guiding principle for these exceptional decisions is that the field placement experience must constitute new learning. prepares a written evaluation of the student’s performance at the mid-term and at the end of the field practicum.

1) All of the required field hours must take place under the supervision of a new (to the student) MSW field . These would apply to new jobs as well as to existing employment.136 Social Work Practicum and Supervision in the program of studies and additionally must meet our established guidelines for field placements. (2) If job duties change. paid employment can present many complicating factors which limit students’ full utilization of this educational opportunity and should be weighed carefully by the student and the employer. sometimes resulting in “Unsatisfactory” or “Incomplete” grades for the field placement. such as inadequate supervision. activities that are incongruent with placement expectations. (3) Both the student and the agency may be less willing to disclose problems that arise during the field placement. (1) The agency may emphasize productivity of the student employee. the position may no longer meet the criteria for social work activities for that student’s concentration. Problems Confronted in in-service Field Placement There are a number of potential problems which may arise when students attempt to combine jobs with field placement. situations that threaten their employment status. etc. Guidelines for in-service Placements The field work program cautions students about the potential problems of these placement situations and reserves the right to approve paid employment sites as field placements based on the following guidelines. This could lead to a delayed intervention by the field work program. In our experience. rather than the student’s own learning.

not simply the needs of the agency. Students are responsible for the understanding and adhering to the course objectives for field instruction. 5) The employment date or date of reassignment within the agency must be no more than 90 days from the first day of the semester in which the student is registered to start the placement. a new population. Some jobs that are assigned the title of “Social Worker” do not meet the expectations of the practice activities for a particular field experience.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 137 supervisor. and/or in a new field of practice). 6) The student must have demonstrated a clear understanding and endorsement of the educational principles involved. The Office of Field Instruction retains the right to grant this employment-based exception only for students who demonstrate high . 2) The activities must be congruent with the student’s concentration or level (graduate or undergraduate) in the program. utilizing new treatment methodology. This supervisor must meet the educational standards of the social work programme. in order to ensure that the field instruction experience falls in sequence with academic course work as structured by our program of studies. 3) The activities themselves must constitute new learning for the student (i. 4) There must be caseload control (if applicable) in this position in order to ensure that the student’s educational goals are the primary focus.e..

the field work programme will allow an exception to our standard practice of having employment separate from an internship. the student is responsible for the completion of the Proposal for Employment Based Internship and must submit it to the field work programme at least one month (30 days) prior to the beginning of the placement.138 Social Work Practicum and Supervision standards of professional and ethical behaviour and a strong academic record. The decision will be made by the field work director with feedback from faculty involved in the student’s placement planning. 7) Students will only be given permission to complete one employment based internship during the course of their programme. Student Learning Expectations and Responsibilities The field work programme encourages all students . Based on the above principles and other basic standards of the programme regarding acceptance of placements and supervisors. the field work programme has the authority and responsibility to carefully select and assign field placements. students should not assume that these placements will be automatically approved. The decision will be communicated directly to the student as soon as possible. According to the School of Social Work’s (FSU) student policy. In order to be considered for this special placement request. This decision will incorporate faculty experience and judgment in evaluating the appropriateness of the exception request.

etc. The content of the planning meeting includes field policies and procedures. field placement objectives. both verbally and in written handouts. expectations regarding supervision. The following content areas are communicated to both students and field instructors as minimum expectations when structuring the internship experience: 1) Provision of a comprehensive orientation of the student to the agency staff. agency policies and procedures. liability insurance information. casework requirements. safety concerns. legal and ethical requirements. field agency requirements. termination policies. supervision expectations and requirements.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 139 entering field to identify their individual learning needs and assume responsibility for shaping their educational process. deadline dates. sexual harassment and safety issues. client systems. the integrative seminar. the role of the liaison and the MSW field instructor. 2) Substantial amount of client contact with approximately 50 per cent of the time at the internship involving direct work with clients. and the field evaluation process. The . Prior to beginning the field pacticum. students are required to attend an orientation meeting in which the expectations and responsibilities of the field programme are communicated. the field application and interview process. the Learning Contract. Placement Contents Students are also given information on preferred placement content based on the learning objectives of their concentration.

if possible. or groups). 5) Experience with case recording and developing intervention plans. . and case staffings. 3) Exposure to one or more theoretical practice frameworks (with individuals. families. 12) Provision of open communication with the field instructor and faculty liaison on the quality of field experiences and learning needs. 7) Exposure to agency administrative meetings. either directly or through observation. 13) Opportunity to participate in an agency-based research project. in addition to areas of concern. couples. if possible. policies and procedures.140 Social Work Practicum and Supervision student is expected to eventually begin carrying a small caseload of his/her own. process recordings. 9) Exposure to a diverse client population. 4) Experience with case management and networking responsibilities. and/or video or audio recordings with feedback from the field instructor. 6) Completion of a bio-psychosocial assessment. 11) Completion of a learning contract outlining specific learning objectives and activities consistent with the objectives of the student’s concentration. 8) Exposure to inter-agency meetings or staffings. 10) Exposure to advocacy experiences on a macro level.

If changes in this contract are necessary. It is recognized that specific content may change in response to the developing needs of both the student and the agency. The agreement details what the agency’s tasks are in meeting the expectations of the student and programme during the course of the placement.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 141 Student Educational Contract The purpose of this agreement is to clarify roles and responsibilities regarding the student’s field work experience and to clarify how educational goals and objectives are to be met. This should be submitted to the student’s faculty liaison and/or seminar instructor no later than the 3 rd week of placement. student assignments and educational learning experiences. In order for students to meet field requirements. University-Agency Partnership: The Contractual Agreement A well defined agency-university partnership is an integral component of a successful field work programme and practicum experience for social work students. Agencies that have met the minimum criteria for acceptance as a field practicum site are expected to sign a written agreement detailing the overall expectations of the social work programme in assuming responsibility for meeting the educational objectives of the programme. they should be agreed to by all parties involved. It will specify educational goals. It also includes the duties assumed by the social work programme in the placement of students . The student and field instructor develop this portion of the contract together. assignments should begin immediately and not be deferred until the contract is completed.

The global standards document is characterised by flexibility. with an overarching and embedded human rights and social justice emphasis. resulting in a set of guidelines to be regarded as a meaningful starting point in what would remain an ongoing. 213). and field education in particular. The overall purpose of this agreement is to guide and direct a working relationship between the agency and the school in providing learning experiences for students during their internship as a partial requirement for a degree in social work. structure.142 Social Work Practicum and Supervision at the agency and how specific expectations of the training institute will be met. Of absolute premium is the document’s emphasis on dialogue within and across nations and regions (2005. In that context. the development of the Standards document was intentional and contentious. . among other topics: field curricula. members of the IASSW provided clear guidance on a range of issues governing the ethical conduct of social work education in general. a set of guidelines were proposed including. As emphasized elsewhere in this curriculum. International Policies regarding Accreditation and Standards In the Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession (International Association of Schools of Social Work. economic and cultural context specific realities. yet with a simultaneous emphasis on historical. p. As Sewpaul summarized. 2004). sociopolitical. dynamic dialog among member nations.

governance. in so far that such traditions and cultures do not violate human rights. Recognition and development of indigenous or locally specific social work education and practice from the traditions and cultures of different ethnic groups and societies. Selected elements of the Standards are inserted below (retaining their exact wording from the complete document cited above). Field education should be sufficient in duration and complexity of tasks and learning opportunities to ensure that students are prepared for professional practice. Standards with Regard to Programme Curricula including Field Education With regard to standards regarding programme curricula. and resources for field programs. Ensuring that the curricula helps social work students to develop skills of critical thinking and scholarly attitudes of reasoning. Involvement of service users in the planning and delivery of programmes. and values and ethics for the conduct of social work field education. implementation and evaluation of the theory and field education components of the programme.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 143 administration.     . and commitment to life-long learning. schools should consistently aspire towards the following:  Clear plans for the organization. openness to new experiences and paradigms.

this section of the Standards specifies the wide range of activities to be considered in planning and sustaining social work field education. As far-reaching as these components are. and require a dedicated professional staff to manage and implement. Provision for the inclusion and participation of field instructors in curriculum development. to meet the needs of the fieldwork component of the programme. Appointment of field supervisors or instructors who are qualified and experienced. as determined by the development status of the social work profession in any given country. and provision of orientation for fieldwork supervisors or instructors. a field instruction manual that details its fieldwork standards. Making available. Ensuring that adequate and appropriate resources. the expectations are quite large. Provision of orientation for fieldwork supervisors or instructors. From an institutional point of view. they are seldom considered “complete”.       Collectively.144  Social Work Practicum and Supervision Planned co-ordination and links between the school and the agency/field placement settings. procedures. . are made available. assessment standards/criteria and expectations. A partnership between the educational institution and the agency (where applicable) and service users in decision-making regarding field education and the evaluation of student’s fieldwork performance. to fieldwork instructors or supervisors.

Administration. service organizations. Centre or Division. scholarly and professional competence. The school has a designated Head or Director who has demonstrated administrative. must keep their attention on all these issues while also attending to the bureaucratic and management concerns necessary to support them. Standards with Regard to Structure. computers. Governance and Resources With regard to structure. programme objectives and expected outcomes. and the individuals working for or served by them change. School. the school and/or the educational institution should aspire towards the following:  Social work programmes are implemented through a distinct unit known as a Faculty. Administrators. decentralized and/or internet based education there is provision of adequate infrastructure.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 145 Once a working program is in place. Department.   . community resources for fieldwork education. texts. including classroom space. it requires nearly constant maintenance and revision as communities. administration. To function successfully. Where the school offers distance. and on-site instruction and supervision to facilitate the achievement of its core purpose or mission. which has a clear identity within the educational institution. mixed-mode. preferably in the profession of social work. all parties must know their roles and be willing and able to fulfill them. governance and resources. audiovisual equipment. as indicated in the next section.

and on provision of a structure within which to assess and. neither of these can be assumed to be permanent or static. Organizational structure can never be overlooked. and program leaders are continuously challenged to stay on top of emerging issues. administration and governance also depends on anticipating resolution of problems and disputes. ethics and principles are the core components of the profession. with external organizations and with service users relevant to its core purpose or mission and its objectives. To function effectively. Priorities change within universities and the larger governmental structures within which they operate. As addressed in the following section. Like the issues raised in the preceding section. schools should consistently aspire towards: Registration of professional staff and social work students (insofar as social work students develop working relationships with people via fieldwork placements) with national and/or regional regulatory . that impact the programs they direct. and be directed by leaders who are themselves respected both within and beyond their professions and academia. when necessary. opportunities and obstacles alike. Standards with Regard to Values and Ethical Codes of Conduct of the Social Work Profession In view of the recognition that social work values. schools of social work must hold positions of respect among their peer organizations in the larger university environment.146  Social Work Practicum and Supervision The school develops and maintains linkages within the institution. sanction violations of ethical codes.

Upholding. established procedures of the educational institution. programme staff may take necessary and acceptable remedial and/or initial disciplinary measures. is aware of the boundaries of professional practice and what might constitute unprofessional conduct in terms of the code of ethics. As detailed elsewhere in this curriculum. The collective cultural wisdom reflected in codes of ethics provides a firm foundation for consideration of problems in professional behaviour. Members of such bodies are generally bound to the provisions of those codes. including where applicable social workers from both the public and private sector. Where students violate the code of ethics. and/or through legal mechanisms. and of the community that it serves including the direct participation of service users. such text covers . Taking appropriate action in relation to those social work students and professional staff. Ensuring that every social work student involved in fieldwork education. Ensuring that regulatory social work bodies are broadly representative of the social work profession. who fail to comply with the code of ethics either through an established regulatory social work body. as far as is reasonable and possible. with defined codes of ethics. the principles of restorative rather than retributive justice in disciplining either social work students or professional staff who violate the code of ethics. or counsel the student out of the programme. and every professional staff member.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 147 (whether statutory or non-statutory) bodies.

the principles of restorative rather than retributive justice are recommended. As one would hope in an educational field setting. supervisors. peers. mezzo and macro levels of practice. Conclusion Social work professionals are expected to approach a problem from a wide variety of perspectives. In this section. the best choice is always to help all parties learn from their mistakes. in cannot be taken for granted that all actors involved in a dispute will share a common view. faculty. supervisors and administrators. whose aim is to establish or reinforce positive skills in the person found at fault. wiser decisions in the future. the goal is more than retribution or punishment. In this chapter we have presented the roles and expectations of the social work training institute by setting certain minimum criteria for practical training. when problems have been recognized and defined. or agree spontaneously to solutions to their problems. Restorative justice. The intent of social work training institute is to provide a solid base of skills in working at the micro. When problems persist despite best efforts to find mutually agreeable resolutions. The discussion also covered the .148 Social Work Practicum and Supervision considerable ground in defining what is “right” and “wrong” ins social workers’ interactions with clients. Still. and the wider communities where practice takes place. and administrators) be joined as members in professional organizations provides one basis for establishing common ground. and follow a path towards better. advocating that all members of the field enterprise (students.

Global standards: promise and pitfalls for re-inscribing social work into civil society. IGNOU and the college of social work. . Graduate Field Instruction I & II. Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession. International Association of Schools of Social Work. (2004). placement contents. International Journal of Social Welfare. (2005). Florida State University. We have also seen the field work standards and activities. university agency partnership and the international policies regarding accreditation and the standards set by International Association of Schools of Social Work. On the whole this unit is expected to provide adequate information and knowledge to distance learners about the roles and expectations of the social work training institute with regard to field practicum in social work. guidelines for in-service placements. 210-217. 2007. student education contract. Sewpaul.iasswaiets. V. from http://www. Retrieved June 10. References Florida State University College of Social Work Field Reference Manual. employment based practicum of FSU. 2004. student learning expectations and responsibilities.Roles and Expectations of Social Work Training Institute 149 policies of school of social work.

Gracious Thomas.8 Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice *Gracious Thomas. IGNOU and Ms.’these principles are applicable in most practice situations. RTA. which will be of immense use to social work students in Open and Distance Learning System./NGO or other private organization. Nita Kumari. Knowledge becomes useless if the person is not able to communicate properly. regardless of client characteristics. IGNOU . Therefore it is expected that a professional social worker should have adequate knowledge and training in communication skills in order to successfully practice social work. In this unit we have borrowed extensively from the writings of Sheafor and Horejsi (2003). He should also have capability to carry out all the documentation and other similar tasks needed while working with any Govt. * Prof. Nita Kumari Introduction Every profession has certain principles to be followed by the professionals. practice settings or roles assumed by the professional. We have also considered the local situation while developing this unit.

family. You should use your professional knowledge. values. They have divided these principles into two parts. Therefore one is not expected to behave in an unprofessional manner.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 151 Principles for Social Work Practice Principles are basic rules or guidelines which enable a practitioner to be competent in his/her profession. Let us briefly highlight the salient features of each of these principles. When he/she went to meet the client he/she may become emotional and weep. Remember the principle of controlled emotional involvement. values . small group. As a professional you should do what you are sanctioned and trained to do. Principles that Focus on the Social Worker 1) The social worker should practice social work A student of social work is taught knowledge. community. In such a situation. For example a student may come across a client who met with an accident. organization. These principles are to be applied with careful and thoughtful analysis. Sheafor and Horejsi (2003) in their book “Techniques and Guidelines for social work practice” have explained 24 fundamental principles that should guide social work practice. the worker is not expected to express his/her emotions with the client (say by shedding tears). ethics and principles of social work in the theory papers. skills. neighbourhood. or even a larger social structure. First six principles have been focusing on social workers and the remaining eighteen principles are concerned with the social worker’s interaction with a client/client group viz. an individual.

capacities and limitations.152 Social Work Practicum and Supervision and skills while dealing with the client in a niven situation. For example. as these personal attributes will surely affect the ability to be helpful to the clients. A worker must be consciously aware about one’s own beliefs. values. The worker should not impose his/her life style on the client and expect the client to follow the lifestyle of the worker. as a student placed in a community you should not make false promises to the community that you will provide them job. For example a client may request the worker to help . 3) The social worker should maintain professional objectivity As a social worker you are expected to behave in a professional manner with the client by maintaining a certain distance and not getting involved personally. Let us take an another example. and attitudes on the client. and behaviours that may have an impact on their professional relationships. Neither should you make false promises to the client nor impose your own style and beliefs. you should work within your own abilities. perceptions. a “pakka road” in the village or start an income generating activity. The worker is a vegetarian and the client is a non-vegetarian. As a professional the worker should develop a feeling of trust and welfare in the mind of the client. 2) The social worker should engage in conscious use of self As a para-professional. Worker should keep in mind their social background and culture.

A social worker must appreciate the variations within any group. and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations. you should not discriminate the client on the basis of his/her cultural background. opportunities. It is not appropriate for a professional social worker if he/she starts avoiding the client by not visiting his/her family fearing negative reaction from the rest of the community. All members have the same basic rights. a social worker must be always prepared to do the needful to contribute to social justice by fighting social injustice. such as those spelt out in the constitution. beliefs. 5) The social worker should challenge social injustice Social worker believes that every individual has certain basic rights. you need to be very clear about your roles and limitations and maintain professionalism to deal with the situation tactfully. Therefore. obligations and social benefits. The social worker is expected to respect every client as human being without any judgemental attitude. He should avoid making assumptions about any one person’s cultural identity. religion.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 153 him/her by providing financial assistance for his/her sister’s marriage. sex. . physical and intellectual abilities. or values on the basis of the person’s external characteristics or membership in a particular population or demographic group. 4) The social worker should respect human diversity As a para-professional. In such situation. For example a worker is dealing with a client who belongs to a minority community. protection.

seeking ideas from available and updated literature and through all means of communication including the web. In fact every profession demand that the professionals must keep themselves well informed. 2) The social worker should engage in knowledgeguided practice A professional social worker is expected to equip himself/herself with the latest and most professional knowledge while dealing with the clientle group. Principles that Focus on Individual Clients and Client Groups 1) The social worker should do no harm As a social worker. a worker should not deal with the client without adequate study and analysis of the problem in . Your main focus should be the care and welfare of your clients. you should work towards bringing about change in the lives of your clients. He/she should also keep himself/herself up-to-date with new concepts and theories by attending workshops. conferences. Social work professionals are not exempted either. refresher courses and participation in social and academic deliberations. He/she should update his/her knowledge by interacting with wide range of people.154 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 6) The social worker should seek to enhance professional competence A social worker should not sit aside by assuming that he/she knows each and everything on any issue under the sun. Therefore. Therefore you should develop programmes or activities in such a manner that they do not underestimate the client’s feelings and positive life styles.

3) The social worker should engage in value-guided and ethical practice Every human being has his/her own values and work on those values. psychological. The social worker must recognize that values are powerful forces in human behaviour and be guided by values of social work profession. the family background.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 155 the present day context. He/she should carefully study similar conditions and intervention approaches to that condition. present and future perspectives. He/she should not impose his/her beliefs on his/her clients. 4) The social worker should be concerned with the whole person As a social worker you should deal with the whole person including one’s biological. friendship circle etc. You should look at the client’s problem from past. social and spiritual aspects instead of studying one dimension of the problem. The worker studies past history of the child. cultural and geographic diversity. This is very essential in the Indian context where we have numerous groups with social. For example a child is arrested in a criminal case. The worker should also focus on both the short-term and long-term implications of the change process for the . in addition to some of the factors that might have contributed to make him/her a criminal. A social worker must always try to recognize the client’s value system to bring about change in his/her situation. As a worker you should also be focusing on present situation and the future consequences from various angles.

The social worker’s non-judgmental attitude helps the clients to overcome the common fear of being judged by others. However. attitudes and behaviour with a non-judgemental attitude. The social worker must treat the client as a person who is valued and deserves to maintain his/her dignity throughout the period of helping process. several vulnerable sections are unable to benefit from such provisions. They often face special challenges of discrimination. A social worker should accept the client as he/she really is. This does not mean that you should approve every behaviour of a client. 5) Social worker should serve the most vulnerable members of society A number of programmes have been initiated and the policies have been formulated for the vulnerable section of the society both by the national government and United Nations.156 Social Work Practicum and Supervision client and other people who may be affected by the client’s behaviour. This will enable in developing . and neglect by the dominant society while struggling to bring about social change. regard and respect. ostracism. Therefore a social worker must do work for this section and should fight for their rights to bring about social change and social justice. his/her positive and negative feelings. and who otherwise are treated as devalued. including his/her strengths and weaknesses. those from a minority race or culture. 6) The social worker should treat the client with dignity Every individual deserves to be treated with dignity. mentally or physically disabled. The social worker must do advocacy for the people who are poor.

Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice


positive helping relationship rather than defensive action on part of the client. 7) The social worker should individualize the client Individualization is the recognition and understanding of each client’s unique qualities and the differential use of principles and methods in assisting each one towards better adjustment and participate in the changing process. A social worker must treat his/her client not merely as a human being but a human being with his/her personal differences. The social worker must individualize the client, because for every client the situation and problem may be unique. What works with one client may not work with another. 8) The social worker should consider clients expertise on their lives A social worker may have great extent of theoretical knowledge of human functioning. However he/she may not know the actual situation of the client. Therefore in a helping relationship he/she should consult the client, who is the primary experts on his/her life. The client knows about himself/herself much better than the worker. In fact, the worker is not expected to know all about his/her client. The client may prefer to keep certain information to himself/herself and may not share all facts. For example a worker may try to motivate a client to take up a job which might involve night shift. The client may have limitation at his/her home including relationships with spouse, children, aged parents etc. In such situation rather than imposing his/her idea,


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

the worker must try to understand the circumstances in which client lives. 9) The social worker should lend vision to the client In the helping process, a worker gives positive hope and a clear vision to deal with the present problem of the client. Worker may introduce the client to new and better ways to cope up with the situation. However the worker should not forget to let the client become familiar with the limits while offering new perspectives. It is essential to note that the clients are not given false hopes. The social worker must be realistic and honest about limits and possibilities while offering new perspectives, encouragement, support, and techniques for social change. 10) The social worker should build on client strengths Every individual has some weaknesses and strengths. A worker should not resort to negative way of thinking. Worker should try to understand the strengths, abilities and potentials of the client. For example in the case of a disabled client, the worker must address his/her abilities instead of thinking that he/she is a disabled and can do only limited activities. You should realize that it is the client’s abilities and potentials that are most important in helping to bring about desired changes. 11) The social worker should maximize client participation A social worker must encourage the client to give his/ her full participation so that a meaningful and long lasting change can take place. A meaningful change

Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice


will occur only if the client understands the need for change and is willing and able to take action. In order to enhance client participation, the social worker should ‘do with the client’ and not “to” or “for” the client. 12) The social worker should maximize client’s selfdetermination A social worker should give freedom to the client for stimulation and to think independently and rationally on his/her own problematic situation and arrive at a decision, for himself/herself. The client is capable and legally competent to make decisions in relation to self and others. However, it is easier said than done. In order to reach this stage, a worker has to consciously work with the client for a considerable length of time. The job of the worker is to enable the client to explore alternatives as well as analyze the implications of outcomes. 13) The social worker should help the client learn self-directed problem-solving skills To make the client independent and self-reliant, a worker must help the client learn self-directed and problem-solving skills. By learning these skills a client can cope up easily with his/her day to day problems without having dependency on the worker. For example the social worker should teach their clients how to identify and make use of resources such as family members, relatives, friends, employer, service clubs etc. that might be found in their immediate environment.


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

14) The social worker should maximize client empowerment In our Indian society one can easily find out the victims of various forms of discrimination and oppression. It is not possible for a social worker to be available everywhere and every time with a client to save him/ her from such practices. Therefore, it is necessary to empower the client to fight against such discrimination and to manage future situations on one’s own. For this the social work should make efforts to help people gain control over their lives and circumstances, to obtain the much needed information and resources, to develop skills needed to make the decisions, take the actions necessary to attain a higher level of self-reliance and modify one’s social and political environment. In order to empower a client, a social worker should place emphasis on encouraging, teaching, facilitating, collaborating and sharing decision making within the professional relationship. 15) Th e so cial wor ker sho uld p rot ect clie nt confidentiality Confidentiality is essential to professional relationship. It is the foundation for any therapeutics relationship with a client. Therefore worker should keep confidential the information which is being shared by the client. Sharing such information unnecessarily with outsiders can easily break worker client relationship. Only a professionally qualified worker can practice this principle in letter and spirit. For example the social worker must be cautions regarding what information is placed in agency files, and care must be taken in preparing clerical staff employed in the agency to

Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice


respect the confidential nature of any materials they may type, file or inadvertently overhear. The social worker must carefully plan the location of interviews to protect confidential information and should not discuss all information during professional consultations with other people and service organizations. 16) The soc ial work er s hould ad here to the philosophy of normalization A worker should not discriminate and isolate a client who is mentally or physically weak. This will create barrier for the client in gaining social acceptance. Worker should treat a differently abled client as he/ she treats other clients so that he/she should not feel himself/herself a different person. 17) The social worker should continuously evaluate the progress of the change process Evaluation is an appraisal or judgment of the worth and effectiveness of the process designed to meet the desired objectives. A worker should continuously monitor and evaluate the progress of the change process. Evaluation enables the worker to discover to what extent objectives have been achieved. Well planned evaluation helps the worker to formulate new objectives and to eliminate unsuited objectives. 18) The social worker should be accountable to clients, agency, community, and the social work profession In social work practice a social worker should be accountable not only to the client but also to all those


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

associated with the client, particularly to the agency and the community. Though the worker should attempt to be accountable to all the parties, the client should be given utmost priority. Social workers are obligated to give their best service to all the clients at all times. They must be accountable to those individuals, families and groups they directly serve. Social workers must be accountable to their employing organizations by carrying out their work as effectively and efficiently as possible. The existence of a professional monopoly demands that the members of a profession are also accountable to the community and to the profession itself.

Communication Skills for Social Workers
Basic communication skills are essential for almost every job or relationship one pursues. Similarly in social work profession too, a professional will have to interact with the clients, whether the client is an individual, a family, a small group, an organization or a community. The professional has to communicate in such a manner that another person can understand it clearly. Communication is a process where one individual conveys information to another either intentionally or unintentionally. It depends on whether a person perceives a message in the words or bahviour of another. Communication can be verbal or non-verbal in nature. It is to get across what one really means to another person. The lack of proper communication is a common cause of problems within families, organizations and other social systems. Generally, communication problems develop under different circumstances:

Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 


Often speak for others rather than letting them speak for themselves. Often one does not listen to what others say. Often one keeps things to oneself because of fear that others will disapprove of what he/she believes and feels. Sometimes one assumes that others know, or should know what one thinks and how one feels. Sometimes one allows prejudices, stereotypes, and presumptions to modify whal others say. Sometimes one keeps silent fearing that he/she does not have anything worthwhile to say. At times one suppresses communication by ordering, threatening, preaching. patronizing, judging or blaming.

 

It is also important to recognize that a person’s ethnicity, gender, religion, and socioeconomic status can also have a significant impact, on communication. Let us briefly describe some of the important aspects Sheafor and Horejsi have written about basic communication and helping skills in their work: “Techniques and guidelines for social work practice”. For more details, you may like to read the original work (Sixth edition). Basic Communication and Helping Skills 1) Creating an Effective Helping Relationship Relationship is the channel through which the capacity of a client is made possible. It is also the medium


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

through which a client is enabled to state his/her problem and through which attention can be focused on problems. In a helping relationship client and worker meet with the purpose of the intervention. In such meetings the client is being encouraged to make the much needed change. However, doing so is not very easy and can prove to be stressful for the client, to some degree. The key characteristic of a helping relationship include: Empathy It refers to the ability of entering into another person’s mental state and to feel the latter’s feelings. Empathizing with a person in a predicament involves the imaginative viewing of the situation as he/she sees it, understanding his/her feelings and transferring to oneself those particular feelings. Positive regard The client must be treated by a worker, as a person of inherent worth and capable of positive change. He/ she must be given respect, regardless of appearance, behaviour, life circumstances, or reason for becoming a client. To judge the rightness and wrongness of other people’s behviour, positive regards are very important. Keeping a judgmental attitude is a major barrier for maintaining effective helping relationship. Warmthness In personal warmth, a social worker responds to clients in such ways that make them feel safe and accepted. It is mostly a non-verbal communication which is expressed in the form of smile, a soft and soothing voice,

between agencies. Generally a social worker makes frequent use of two broad categories of communication skills:  Those intended to facilitate interpersonal helping and Those intended to facilitate the exchanges of information within an agency. each person experiences and perceives events and interpersonal exchanges in a unique manner. he/she may exercise self-discipline so it does not damage the professional relationship or harm the client. and among professionals. and to convey information or articulate an opinion is very essential. and gestures that convey acceptance and openness. a worker should anticipate some degree of misunderstanding and take steps to minimize the problems of miscommunication. . Thus. Genuineness It refers to a worker being himself/herself or being real. are:  A willingness to understand that every human being is unique: consequently.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 165 appropriate eye contact. 2) Verbal Communication Skills The ability to speak clearly and concisely.  The foundation of good communication stated by Sheafor and Horejsi. Whatever he/she says matches what he/she does. When a professional has a negative feeling toward a client’s behaviour.

A willingness to take the time needed to communicate effectively. Let the person know that you care for what he/she is trying to say. Show your attention. You cannot listen if you are doing all the talking. or will speak in a way you do not like. the worker should remember some points:  Stop talking. will use language that offends you.    While listening or receiving a message. Try to be calm and to use tact. Try to respond to any negative statements with understanding comments until the angry outburst ends. Demonstrate verbally and nonverbally that you want to listen. A willingness to take responsibility for one’s statements and behaviours. even if the impaired person is loud or abusive. Sometimes the person will say things that hurt you very much. while these things do hurt.   . At these times. it is important to remember that. they are not meant personally and exclusively to hurt you. A willingness to listen carefully to other people and to lower your defenses so that you can hear and understand what others say. Be gentle and make allowances for poor behaviour.166  Social Work Practicum and Supervision A willingness and desire to organize one’s thoughts and present one’s message in a way that will make it easy for others to follow and understand.

   3) Nonverbal Communication Skills Messages conveyed by means of facial expressions. speak distinctly and not too fast. Observing nonverbal behaviour may also tell the worker what the client is saying in words truly reflects his/her thoughts and feelings. pitch and resonance. Eye-contacts Eyes reveal much about our emotional state and our sensitivity to and understanding of the immediate situation. Be patient with the message sender. comes in the circle of non-verbal communication that mainly occurs during a face-toface exchange. eye movements. Remove distractions while getting the message. Maintain appropriate eye contact and utilize gestures. to clarify his/her message. Ask questions if needed. gestures and voice qualities such as tone. questions or feedback to know whether you are being understood properly. Put the message sender at ease. . Do not overload the receiver with information.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice  167 Do not interrupt.   When sending a message remember to:  Make use of clear and simple language. Ask for comments.

168 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Gestures of Greeting The social worker must be alert to cultural differences while using gestures of greeting. dressing is also one of the important forms of non-verbal communication. Among the people of Japan and Thailand. frowning. A social worker must give careful thought to his/her choice of . Crossed legs. control and strength while a monotonous or flat voice suggests lack of interest. For example. Facial Expressions and other Movements It is often facial expressions that reveal a worker’s disapproval of a client. a firm handshake suggests aggression for people from Asia and Middle East. Leaning slightly towards the client shows interests and acceptance. even when the worker is trying hard to be nonjudgmental. nodding and shaking the head and lip quivering convey our thoughts and emotions. Smiling. Body Positioning It conveys various attitudes and intentions. while arms and hands at the body’s side or in an outreached position suggest openness to others. arms folded across the chest. and body rigidity usually shows defensiveness. Similarly. Tone of Voice. Facing a client at a 90 degree angle suggests safety and openness while facing directly may communicate aggressiveness. forceful tone suggests aggressiveness. bowing is the appropriate gesture while in India greeting with folded hands are common. Dress and Appearance A loud.

and identify ways to initiate the client into the helping relationship. in the following points: Getting Ready Before a meeting with the client. He should wear the dress according to the situation. . confusion etc. These basic skills have been explained by Sheafor and Horejsi.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 169 clothing and hairstyle. the worker should imagine what the client might be thinking or feeling. By anticipating such thoughts a worker mentally prepares 10 address the client’s initial feelings such as anger. and iii) drawing the session to a close. Each session with a client has three time phases: i) getting started ii) the central work of the session. it may also be appropriate to consult supervisors for guidance on such issues. Sometimes. Getting Started The worker must clarify the purpose of the meeting and worker’s role during the intake and engagement phase of the change process and also at the beginning of each session with the client. feeling and behaviour. 4) Helping Skills Helping skill means a message conveyed by the practitioner to the client which will have a beneficial effect on the client’s thinking. fear. For example dress acceptable to adolescent clients may be offensive to elder clients.

the worker breaks the silence by saying: “you appear to be puzzled over . use questions that focus on the what.ended questions. Encouragement.170 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Asking Questions A social worker uses various types of questions to get information from the client and assist in expressing his/her thoughts and feelings. clarification. when and how of the client’s behaviour and situation. and exploring silence are some of the skills of active listening. During a counseling session. He/she uses open and closed ended questions. reflection. The skill of summarization refers to pulling together the content and affective components of several messages while exploring the client’s silence refers to efforts to gently probe the silence. where. summarization. a worker usually asks open. Clarification refers to asking a question designed to encourage a client to become more explicit. An encourager refers to single words. Active Listening In active listening a worker attends both the verbal as well as non verbal communication of the client and get back to the client in order to let him/her know that his/her message has been accurately understood. For example if the client is in a thoughtful silence. The skill known as paraphrase is a rephrasing of the literal meaning of the client’s statement. paraphrase. A social worker should remember that instead of asking why. whereas the skill termed reflection of feeling is an expression of the feeling or emotional component of the message. short phrases and non-verbal gestures that encourage the client to continue talking.

As a general rule. The skill which are helpful in a change process include: Skill of partialization: This means breaking down a insolvable problem into smaller and manageable parts. in which worker builds a connection between the client and the person with whom he/she wants to communicate: skill of challenging the client’s avoidance . the worker should attempt to explore the silence. skill of building a communication link. it is very important to increase or sustain a client’s motivation in order to make change in the current behaviour or situation. Self-disclosure refers to a worker’s statements that reveal some of his or her own thoughts. In addition to this. feelings.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 171 something”.   While dealing with the client. or life experiences. a social worker should avoid the use of self-disclosure in the early stages of relationship building and sparingly at other times. Three important skills to be remembered in this context are:  Displaying understanding skill means verbal and non-verbal communication intended to demonstrate that the social worker comprehends and can identify with the client’s thoughts and feelings. The skill of putting the client’s feelings into words refers to the articulation of what the client is feeling but has stopped just short of expressing in words. Skill of staying on track: This refers to keeping the client’s attention focused on a specific concern. Can you tell me what you are thinking about? If the silence is a long one.

g. anger.. For example “this is how I feel”.” “if you will not follow me. “you should do hard work” or giving orders e. direct message and reduce the chance that the person receiving the message will be put on the defensive.172 Social Work Practicum and Supervision of change which points out the client’s resistance. then I will. He/she should have the ability to accurately read and tune in to human emotions and feelings.. While dealing with the client. worker should make use of 1-statement. Instead of using your statement. 5) The I-Statement I-Statement makes it possible to send a clear. but it usually ends up creating added resistance to change. which does not accuse or blame.. 6) Understanding emotions and feelings and responding to defensive communication A social worker deals with different type of clients with different problems.” The idea of a sender may be to bring about a needed change in title behaviour of another person. or frustration while minimizing the chance that the discussion will turn into a fruitless argument. It is very useful in conflicting situations as it allows the sender to express disappointment.. a worker may find the client who is very confused. I trust you. Sometimes it may be . to decide what step should be taken in this case” etc. frightened.. “you better forget that idea and take my advice” and most disturbing form is the “if-then-threat i. Most of the time we send the messages with statements such as “you should wash your cloths”. and skill of identifying emotional blocks in the way of progress are some of the important ones used by a worker..e. or over whelmed by their emotions.

using crisis or distraction or being fragile. breakup of one’s family. Be an active listener and make it as easy as possible for your client to verbalize feelings. helplessness. Some of the defence mechanisms generally used by a client include: denial. A social worker can reduce a client’s defensiveness by resorting to the following guidelines. separation from loved ones or a frightening event like major personal problem. Therefore a worker must be able to discuss the nature of emotions in ways that clients understand and in ways that help clients learn how to gain greater control over troublesome feelings and emotions. avoidance. iii) A worker should use mirroring techniques with such clients. Sometimes. blaming. . He/she should speak at the client’s pace and in a manner that matches his/her nonverbal bahviour.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 173 possible that client does not express his/her feelings in a healthy manner. or a life-threatening illness. projection. ii) A worker must be tolerant to his/her client’s defensive behaviour as there may be a past history associated with present behaviour such as rejection by parent. labelling. fearful or somehow feel threatened or may not like worker’s behaviour or style. a client may use a number of defence mechanisms to keep a social worker at a distance and to avoid or minimize the interaction because he/she is angry. family violence. i) The worker should try to know what might be the client’s underlying fear: what makes him/her to feel threatened and try to remove that cause.

For example. A worker always uses words such as we. A professional may have the following professional behviour: i) A social worker should be committed to his/her professional values and actions. “Do you have a clear picture of what I am suggesting”? (visual). Arrange your office and your own sealing position in such a way that client does not feel trapped. “Is this plan ok for you” (auditory) or “I think the plan you have suggested is one we can both get hold of” (touch). The client should be given opportunities to make choices and remain in control of what is happening in his/her life. vi) ln some situations where it is critically important to engage the resistant client as in case of a child abuse. together etc. which are visual. us. auditory and touch. a worker need to be assertive and deal directly with the issue.174 Social Work Practicum and Supervision iv) A worker should use the words and phrases that match the client’s dominant mode of receiving information. 7) Elements of professional behaviour and making ethical decisions For a social worker it is very important to continually examine his/her performance to check whether their behviour is of a professional nature. and critical thinking. If your client uses abusive language. . you need not to be aggressive. with the client. His/her practice is based on a body of knowledge learned through a process of formal education and training and decisions on facts. but remain calm and do not respond in ways that might reinforce the behaviour. v) Never label or categorize your client. analysis.

8) Cross .Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 175 ii) He/she makes use of profession’s values.cultural helping Another point which is worth mentioning here is that. iv) A social worker tries to understand the root cause of client’s problem. He/she develops a purposeful and goal oriented relationship with the client. and suspend his/her prejudices so that these beliefs do not lead to discrimination or in any way. a social worker must be very sensitive to the significance of cultural differences in the helping process. cause them to harm their clients. a social worker clarifies ethical issues and makes practice choices that are consistent with social work’s ethical principles and professional values. lest it affects their clients negatively. including his/her own. iii) His/her primary concern is the well being and needs of the client instead of meeting his/her own needs within work-related relationships. and constantly assess. He/she must be alert to the existence of institutional discrimination and be prepared to address and combat it. principles and code of ethics to identify and resolve ethical issues. but do not take his/her expressions of negative emotion personally. In addition to this. modify. He/she must be alert to the existence of prejudice. He/she updates his/her knowledge and skills continually in order to improve services to the client and keeps accurate and complete records of decisions and actions. . He/she keeps his/her emotions under control and exercises selfdiscipline. his/her frustration and anger.

e. During the period of education and training in social work. most of the students opt for working in organizations where they struggle with two interrelated sets of tasks i. communicate either directly or indirectly with the client. 1) Report Writing It is mandatory for a social worker to write reports.176 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Guidelines for Agency Practice A student of social work has to do field work usually in an agency/organizational set up. In any agency setting a worker may be expected to carry out documentation (including paper work or related clerical assignment. In the following pages. a student is expected to do substantial amount of writings which are aimed at helping him/her to be an efficient report writer. Apart from his/her regular response to the assignments and exercises under “check your progress” questions. A social worker will also be engaged in writing reports and preparing other documents both in the agency and as part of his/her learning activities. let us briefly discuss some of the essential guidelines for agency practice described by Sheafor and Horejsi. A . managing the time and managing the required office related work. After completion of the programme of study. do report writing and other similar tasks. send letters to the concerned persons.). recording etc. he/she is also expected to write his/her field diary and field work journal regularly. Therefore a social worker will be getting extensive exposure for engaging in several activities which will help him/her to master skills that are required for working with an agency.

The quality of report can be improved by following the guidelines explained by Sheafor and Horejsi: i) Before doing any writing. or is a more informal. creates misunderstanding. . case study. Writing a report may involve laborious research. is a formal and highly organized report needed. interventions. memorandum-type format appropriate? As a general rule. and then presenting them in the right order as simply and directly as possible. you must analyze who the readers will be and what information they need and expect. It may deal with the client system. incomplete or unclear. The key principle of report writing could hardly be simpler. survey report. a more formal type of report writing is required for interagency communication whereas memos are acceptable for communication within an agency or organization. narration of facts and figures to present the gathered information in an effective and meaningful way. But it is almost always worth the effort. A report that is inaccurate. as well as social work professionals. For example. media personnel. Always think how the readers will interpret your words or perhaps misinterpret what you have written. It is a question of identifying the key facts of a particular matter. or fate of the national economy and be read by government officials or it may be read by other agency officials. ii) Determine the type of format and writing style that are appropriate for the report.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 177 report can be anything from the two-line hand written memo to a bound volume with hundreds of closely typed pages.

vii) Be sure of what you are trying to say before producing the final version. Another point to remember is that the writer should avoid wishy-washy language. This reflects the professional competence and confidence of ten writer. “I feel placement is necessary” the writer must say “I believe placement is necessary” or simply “I recommend placement for this person”. Construct an outline that include the main topic and the various subtopics. revise it. before you begin to write. v) Keep your sentences short. Also read the draft aloud: if it does not sound right. Avoid words that have different meanings in different contexts. iv) Use the number of words which are necessary. Such phrases give the impression that whether the writer is not sure of what to say or does not want to take responsibility for what is being said. clear and direct language. Also avoid using slang phrases that might offend the reader. usually 15-20 words or less. Use simple.178 Social Work Practicum and Supervision iii) Organize the information to be presented into a logical structure. You should be committed to your ideas and not to your . For example. Use the active voice whenever possible and give special attention to paragraph construction. Present your ideas in an orderly way to make the reader understand your message. instead of saying. vi) Do not use weak and evasive language such as “It seems as though” and “there is some reason for believing”. Each paragraph should focus on a single idea.

Prof. The more you revise. ii) A professional letter should contain the parts such as: letterhead. the better would be the final report.. Sheafor and Horejsi. whether a word should be capitalized. Miss. how the word should he divid ed at the end of a line. inside address. iii) Proper titles such as Mr. salutation. it is very important for a social worker to be familiar with computer as computer programs now include a thesaurus. Mrs.e. Your image as a professional is shaped by the appearance and quality of your letters. ix) With the advancement of technology and its use across the board. body. Dr. and written signature. Your Eminance.. date. correct spelling. and whether a hyphen should be used in a compound word. correct punctuation i. Your Excellency. hyphens. i) Plan carefully before writing a letter. .. etc. spelling checks. should be properly used. viii) Take help of dictionary if you are not confident about the meaning of a word. typed signature (name). Your Lordship. accents. A well constructed letter can help you to improve and develop your relationship with the client. reference line or subject line.. have suggested some points for good letter writing. Ms. 2) Letter Writing Letter writing is very essential. and grammar checks which are needed in writing.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 179 words..

v) You should be alert to the fact that an agency’s name and address on an envelope may reveal the client’s involvement with an agency. viii) Complaint letter should be written with directness. do not send it on the same day. This may prevent you from saying something that will cause regret later. vii) Revise and polish all drafts of letters and proofread the final version. especially to clients. vi) The person who receives your letter should feel that he/she is dealing with a real person and not an impersonal representative of an organization. x) It is possible that several replies could be in the form of e-mails. Use certified or registered mail when necessary to document that a letter was delivered. While you are angry or frustrated while writing such letter. reconsider what and how you have said. . clarity and authority. Always keep a print out of the same in the appropriate files. In India it is acceptable to mention on top of the letterhead/ over the envelop “confidential”.180 Social Work Practicum and Supervision iv) Do not include material that would violate confidentiality if read by persons other than the intended recipient of the letter. After one or two days. ix) You should remember to keep a copy of all letters for agency files. and how it is likely to be perceived by the recipient. Therefore you should humanize and personalize your letter.

Use it gain during the conversation and when parting. ii) Do not answer phone in a rush. telephone is a good source and your voice is your sole means of communicating over the telephone. If you slump. Take notes while on the phone and summarize the information you intended to convey and the information you received before putting down the phone. smile when talking on the phone. and then breathe out slowly as you pick up the receiver. Jot down the major points you wish to cover before placing the call. watch your body language and facial expression – they affect the way you sound. If you recognize the other person’s voice. organization and department while receiving or making calls. iv) Whenever talking to a person. To keep a bright tone in your voice. For improving telephone communication. you are also able to identify the caller ID both on landline as well as on a mobile. iii) Identity yourself by name. interject brief . use his/her name in your greeting. The entire communication will be by your voice. for example.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 181 3) Talking on the telephone When quick response is needed. You will sound more relaxed. you often will sound tired or breathless. take a deep breath. With the advancement in communication network. Even so. follow the underlying guidelines: i) Use the normal speaking voice because the person at the receiving end is not able to observe your body language. Pause a moment.

keep it short by telling your name. v) Master the skills of using your agency’s phone system such as transferring calls.182 Social Work Practicum and Supervision comments at intervals like ‘OK’. let callers know what you are doing: Tell them the name and title of the person lo whom they will be speaking and why you are transferring their call. If you want to save your time rather than waiting for the call it is better to call him/her again. ‘I see’ or ‘I understand’. vii) Whenever leaving a message. Steer your caller to the main point if he/she gets sidetracked. ‘Yes’. When you may like to leave the phone for a while. reason for calling and suggest them to return your call on a specific time. Unless you are sure you will be away for only a few moments. if you are busy. talking to another caller. When transferring calls to other lines. If you have left the phone. using voice mail. . alert your caller to your return call before resuming the conversation: “Hello” or “Thanks for waiting” or “I have that file now”. viii) It is unethical to answer or call people while consuming food/drinks. phone number. tell your caller that you will call back. vi) Do not receive the phone. explain why: “please hold on for a few seconds while I get that file”. and similar tasks. You can politely tell the caller “excuse me for a while” and get back to the caller once you are comfortable. This will make the caller realize that you are listening.

One can find related articles and books on line. It is easy for a social worker to get latest information on various topics through internet. He/she should be skilled in the use of word processing. a social worker must be aware about the dangers associated with this technology. B’s teacher. For example: i) The worker creates many handwritten notes and then.g. after weeks or even months reviews those notes and prepare a summary of his/her works with the client. research related software online resources and internet resources. Therefore. Now a days most of the organizations/ institutions embrace new technology to get the work done fast. Sometimes it can be misused such as the risk to confidential information when transmitted electronically. a social worker must know how to use it in an appropriate and responsible manner.. computerized assessment instruments. ii) The handwritten notes record the day-to-day actions and activities related to a specific case (e.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 183 4) Using information technology and maintaining case notes for narrative recording A social worker must have knowledge of Information technology. A. On line library facility can also be accessed by a social worker. Another issue to discuss is narrative recording which is used by certain organizations because of their flexibility. database programs. “Mr. the things which are important.. called to say.”) and help the worker keep track of what has happened. Besides potential benefits. Some . spreadsheets. A worker writes into records.

. “Contact Mr. length and purpose of the session.g. computer assisted systems and other structured and concise formats are in use. the worker does the entry into the agency record. Though this method is very time consuming and many organizations have moved towards using brief progress notes. It is also used when a worker is having unusual problems with a client and wants to create a record that can be examined by his/her peers.) After taking all the information.184 Social Work Practicum and Supervision notes are merely reminders (e. iii) Students plan for session. supervisors. location. C and request”. or consultants as basis for making suggestions on how the worker might overcome the problems. decisions reached and plans made. Some of the components that can be included in process recording include: i) Name of those in attendance at interview or meeting ii) Date. iv) Description of interaction and content – such as: a) How session began and what were the significant exchanges during the session by the client and by the student as well. b) Specific topics discussed. 5) Process Recording Process recording is a detailed form of recording often used to assist students and new workers in learning practice skills.

strengths and limitations.g. vi) Student’s assessment of client’s concern. or problem and client’s current response and reactions to student social worker and to the helping process. 6) Managing Time at Work Most social workers are engaged in too much of work to complete within a time frame. Some of the guidelines are: i) Organize yourself. in many respects superior to process recording as a teaching tool but it is not possible for many organizations to have video equipment: even if they do. situation. Understand your agency’s mission and your job description.Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice 185 c) New facts and information obtained by the student: mood and feeling tone of session. Therefore. . Audio or videotape recordings are. and how session or meeting ended. If you are not clear about your assignments and responsibilities. vii) Student’s assessment of his/her own performance during the session e. it is one of the best teaching tools. it requires that an interview should take place in a studio atmosphere to escape background noise. time management is of utmost importance. Though process recording is a time consuming activity. problems encountered. viii) Student’s plan for the next meeting or interview with the client. v) Student’s role and activities during session and techniques and skills used by the student.

Insert the new information on time and . If you are afraid of making mistakes. ii) Recognize that in order to be effective and efficient. and tackle lengthy tasks before those that can he completed in a short time. Set priority for your tasks and assignments. You can also change your priorities accordingly. your agency’s policy and procedures. vi) Keep. iv) Plan your work and set priorities. Work on the most difficult task when your energy level is high (e. Plan for the unexpected. You and your colleagues can be frustrated if there is mismatch between what your agency expects from you and what you can do.g. and tasks that can wait for a few days. your job must be consistent with your personal and professional values. up to date. You can also develop daily and weekly plans. learn from it instead of repeating the same. When you make a mistake. iii) Prepare a list of things-to-do and give estimated time to complete each task on the list. Make decisions in a timely manner.186 Social Work Practicum and Supervision discuss with your supervisor. goals and style. Allow time in your schedule for emergencies. morning time) and reserve some time at the end of each day for clearing your desk. Anticipate deadlines. You can also plan your tasks into different categories such as tasks that must be completed today: tasks that should be started today. v) Do not delay the things. you are likely to delay making decisions. Do not leave work for tomorrow.

Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice


discard the old. You must develop a system for the storage and fast retrieval of frequently used information (e.g e-mail address, telephone numbers. mailing address of professionals and agencies you contact frequently). vii) Limit the time spent in meetings by properly defining the purpose; attend only for the time needed to make your contribution; start on time and end on time: Evaluate the success of the meeting and agree on necessary changes in future meetings. viii) You can save your time by scheduling all meetings in a given locality for the same day. ix) Keep the things, you are working on in front of you and clear your desk of other materials. Avoid jumping from one task to another. Focus on one thing at a lime until you either finish the task or reach a preset time limit for that activity. x) Do not let papers pile up on your desk. If you pick up a paper/report/request, take action or discard it if no action is to be taken. Learn to use office machines and communications systems, such as word processor, email, fax, computer etc. It will increase your efficiency.

xi) If you find some kind of training will be useful for you to increase your knowledge and skills, approach your employer for a specific training you need. You can also take their suggestions for how to reduce the time spent writing agency records and routine reports. Try to communicate with accuracy and have clarity in your writing and your speech.


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

xii) Do not try to compensate for someone else’s incompetence. Avoid being drawn into doing other people’s work. Remember to keep track of how you spend each day and week and analyze how much time you save. 7) Controlling Workload You as a social worker can be placed in the organization where you will be assigned a number of tasks. Sometime due to shortage of staff or incompetence of other staff vou may have to do additional work. To control an ever-growing workload, say no to additional work assignments or ask other staff for their assistance. Sometimes you do not say no to your boss in order to avoid conflict or feeling guilty and say yes to an additional work. Nevertheless, you must take responsibility for managing your workload and this requires saying no to some requests. Some of the guidelines are: i) Decide if the proposed assignment or request for your time is reasonable, given your job description and current workload. Ask yourself: Is this is a matter of high priority? Am I responsible for this matter or is someone else? If I say ‘yes’, will 1 soon regret it and feel angry and put upon? Am I tempted to say ‘yes’ mainly because I want to avoid a conflict or the appearance of selfishness?

ii) When unsure, if the request is reasonable, obtain more information before saying yes or no. If still in doubt, ask for time to think about the request and set a deadline for making the decision (e.g. “I’ll let you know in half an hour”).

Principles and Skills for Social Work and Agency Practice


iii) If you must refuse, say firmly and calmly. It may be appropriate for you to give a straight forward explanation of why you said no, but do so without saying “I’m sorry” or offering excuse and rationalizations. If you have a good reason for refusing. there is no need to apologize. If you want to take assistance of others, explain why you are taking his/her help. However, if your request is rejected, accept the answer graciously and respond by saying “I understand”. “I know you have to do your work also” etc. You can also ask the person, if you can take his/her help at a later time or date.

The decisions and actions of social workers influence a large number of populations either directly or indirectly. Social workers are delivering a wide variety of services directly to clients while working in hospitals, civic courts, schools, private practice, businesses and a myriad of social agencies. They are working towards positive community and social changes. The whole society benefits from social workers activities because improving the quality of life for an individual, a family, or the people of community will ultimately have an impact on the general society. It elevate the health, happiness, safety, standard of life, and productivity of all its members. The purpose of a social interaction with the client determine the types of relationship a worker attempts to develop. He/she provides direct services, develops a professional relationship, and help them out from the difficult circumstances, keeping the basic principles,


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

knowledge and skill in mind. In this chapter we have presented some of the most important guiding principles, communication skills and skills essential lor agency practice.

Sheafor. Bradford W. and Horejsi, Charles R. (2003), Techniques and Guidelines for Social Work Practice. Allyn and Bacon.Publishers, New York. Hepworth, Dean H.. Rooney, Ronald H., and Larsen Jo Ann (2002). Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills, Wadsworth Publication. Kirst - Ashman and Jr. Grafteon H. Hull. (2001), Generalist Practice with Oganizations & Communities. Wadsworth Publication. Brend Dubois and Karia Krogsrud Milay (1991), Social Work – An Empowering Profession. Allyn and Bacon Publishers, New York.

9 Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision
*Patricia Lager

The field work experience provides an opportunity for students to integrate the basic knowledge acquired through coursework into the real world of practice through a supervision process. Although the acquisition of basic knowledge about human behaviour, social policies and programmes, social work intervention strategies, etc. is certainly prerequisite to successful practice, it is not completely sufficient. The guidance that supervision provides in regards to how to apply this knowledge to the field of practice is an important component of a student’s learning. This chapter discusses the functions of supervision in this overall process, in addition to the supervision models and modes that are generally used in the social work practicum to assist in this regard. Also reviewed are the administrative and cultural contexts of supervision in an educational practicum.

* Prof. Patricia Lager, FSU, USA


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

Definition and General Functions of Supervision
Supervision in an educational practicum is generally defined as the relationship between a student, or subordinate, and supervisor who oversees the development of the student throughout the practicum experience. Within the context of this relationship, the supervisor monitors and evaluates the student’s development of responsibility, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and ethical standards in the practice of social work. During this process the supervisor provides consistent feedback to the student as he or she works toward achieving a maximum level of performance in all these areas. In addition, the supervision process consists of the face-to-face contact between the supervisor and the student during which the student apprises the supervisor of important case material and every aspect of his or her involvement with clients. In social work, supervision is considered an integral part of professional practice. It primarily relates to agency-based professional practice and forms part of the ethical standards of assuring competent and accountable practice with clients. The various functions of supervision are as follows:
 

Assessing the student’s level of knowledge and skill. Assuming responsibility for working out a plan that will provide the student with an array of appropriate and challenging learning opportunities during the practicum.

Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision 


Assisting the student in understanding and adapting to the community or environment where the practicum takes place. Assessing the “fit” between the student’s and client’s backgrounds and experiences (i.e. urban/ rural, middle/lower class) and their implications for interactions. Monitoring the student’s practicum experience and assisting in evaluating the student’s performance. Assisting the student in identifying his or her learning needs, formulating learning objectives, and preparing a learning agreement. Facilitating the student’s learning by providing guidance and serving as a source of information. Assisting the student in integrating social work theory and the specific experiences of the practicum. Educating the student by modeling appropriate practice behaviours and techniques, providing relevant feedback and encouragement, clarifying and interpreting various behaviours exhibited by the student, and sharing experiences that enhance the student’s development. Encouraging self-acceptance and enhancing self esteem. Encouraging interpersonal regard. Managing interpersonal and organizational tensions. Fostering interdependence of the student.

 

194  

Social Work Practicum and Supervision

Advocating for the student. Evaluating the student’s progress and development.

Supervision occurs within an agency setting in which the supervisor serves as the primary teacher in the field whose aim is to teach the core skills of social work practices, such as interviewing, listening, observation, recording, assessing and prioritizing client problems, developing interventions, etc. Other administrative tasks are also taught, which include planning, budgeting, drafting, etc. Other important components of supervision also include the development of professional attitudes and behaviours, such as accountability, assuming responsibility, good time management skills, and a general commitment to completing the work assigned in a professional manner. The supervisor will generally use a number of techniques to assist in facilitating a student’s learning, such as:

Engaging in a discussion of case material and asking why a certain intervention was used. Didactic teaching, such as providing information directly. Experiential teaching, such as role playing in which the supervisor demonstrates a particular skill or technique.

In general, the supervision process is based on the development of a positive supervisory relationship that will be discussed later in this block. Undoubtedly without this relationship, the functions of supervision will not achieve the primary purpose of helping a

supervisors also generally follow models of supervision that are typically associated with supervision in social work. supervisors primarily attempt to match their behaviour and teaching techniques to the developmental needs of the student. The primary focus of a developmental model of supervision in field work is on how students change as they gain more training and experience in the field of practice. Development and Task Models of Supervision Just as social workers follow models of practice in working with clients. The developmental model of supervision is more of a process-oriented model that follows the various stages of learning that a new social worker generally experiences during his or her development of professional knowledge and skills for practice. In other words.Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision 195 student attain the level of knowledge and skills necessary to enter the field of social work practice. the supervisor assesses where the student is in terms of his or her level of skill and knowledge. In this section we will discuss two primary models of supervision that are generally used in preparing new practitioners to work in various human service professions – the developmental and task models of supervision. based on a shift in identity (from student to practitioner) and the skills that develop with the experiences gained. . In the developmental model of supervision. then the supervisor must structure learning experiences and teaching techniques that are consistent with this level of skill and knowledge.

Learning takes place by shadowing the supervisor and observing his or her style of practice. The relationship between the supervisor and the student. Students also generally lack self-awareness and have little experience in working with clients. Stage Two: This stage is generally characterized by a dependency-autonomy conflict. he or she strives for independence but is not ready for complete autonomy. At this stage the student needs more independence and less restrictiveness than the first stage. The relationship between the supervisor and the administrative structure (or practice context) within which he or she works.196 Social Work Practicum and Supervision The developmental model generally consists of four stages of development that students or new practitioners follow as they gain experience in the field of social work. As the student’s awareness increases. all of which have an enormous effect on the other themes. Those themes are:  The development of the student’s professional self and identity. At each stage the student’s development is strongly influenced by three general themes.   The stages of development are as follows: Stage One: During this stage the student is very dependent on the supervisor and lacks the competence needed for independent work. Sta ge Thr ee: This is the sta ge of conditional .

respectively. The consequence is a 5 (task) by 5 (function) matrix. the developmental approach to supervision is very appealing as it follows the predominant view of most social work practitioners – that social workers become better practitioners with more experience and training. The task model of supervision is very similar to the developmental model. the how and what of supervision. professional role.Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision 197 dependency in which the student is generally more differentiated. This model includes a focus on both functions and tasks within supervision which are. Stage Four: At this stage the student has developed a high level of competence and is able to independently formulate accurate assessments with appropriate interventions. with 25 resulting task-function combinations (See Fig. self-evaluation. In general. case conceptualization. The student at this stage is also able to formulate assessments well and develop appropriate interventions for clients with minimal input from the supervisor. some of the functions are: counseling skill. For example. insightful and empathic. motivated. instructing-advising. ). supportingsharing. some of the tasks that are included in the model are: monitoring-evaluating. Students at this stage are able to take responsibility for their own learning. consulting. however it relies heavily on the assignment of tasks that help students develop to a more advanced level of practice. emotional awareness. . He or she is more comfortable with a perception of professional self and is able to function with a great deal of autonomy. Likewise. modeling.

there is no substitute for directly observing a student’s work with a client. One way is for the supervisor to be physically present in the room with the student or accompanying him or her on home visits. engage in monitoringevaluating (the how) of the student’s counseling skill (the what). Models of Supervision Direct observation of the student: Regardless of the particular model of supervision used. or might engage in consulting concerning the student’s emotional awareness. a supervisor might engage in any task with any function. Another possibility involves the use of special .Role Awareness Evaluation ization MonitoringEvaluating Tasks (What) Modeling Consulting SupportingSharing InstructingAdvising Fig. Several arrangements can be used for conducting these observations. but realistically there are probably some task and function matches that are more likely to occur in supervision.198 Functions (How) Counseling Skill Social Work Practicum and Supervision Case Professional Emotional SelfConceptual. : Functions and Tasks in Supervision A supervisor might. and so on. for example. Hypothetically.

Didactic supervision: One approach to supervision is similar to what instructors and students do in their academic classes. it is helpful for supervisors and students to establish an agreement about how directly observed sessions will proceed. In such instances. watch the nonverbal behaviours of the student and client.Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision 199 observation rooms equipped with one way mirrors. Although direct observation can be one of the best ways for students to learn counseling techniques. and get a deeper awareness of the overall “feel” of the interventions. note key moments of the session. In some arrangements. By observing sessions as they occur. a drawback is the fact that they can be intimidated by the supervisor’s presence – even if he or she is behind a mirror – and therefore their already existing anxiety can be elevated. what the goals and objectives of the session are. Using a technique known as a “bug in the ear. specific information about a theory.” supervisors observe the sessions from behind a mirror and can speak to the student through a microphone connected to tiny earplug-type speakers. and perhaps engage in a role play before the actual client session begins. or some topic relevant to the intern’s activities. The goal of a didactic approach is to get information across as efficiently as possible so the . supervisors can also instruct the student during the interaction. supervisors get a better sense of the social work process of assessing and counseling a client. technique. or a supervisor wants to teach. They can listen to what is said. Didactic or teaching supervision is best chosen when an intern wants to learn.

Case discussions can take a variety of formats depending on the goals and preferences of the student and supervisor. although some time limitations prohibit reviews of the entire session. As the name implies. Most students want to present a positive impression of their skills and work. Didactic approaches tend to be particularly appealing to beginning learners because they feel a need for concrete. supervision can become merely another venue for lecture-based instruction. Perhaps the main drawback to didactic methods is if they are relied upon too heavily. practical information to help them cope with the anxiety and ambiguity of starting something new. This mode of supervision presents an interesting paradox. there is also the temptation to choose only those points in the session where one feels particularly confident . and may offer alternative interpretations or suggestions. Perhaps the most common approach involves students describing what is happening in a case. The supervisor typically listens. explaining their actions and offering interpretations for what is happening. the most common activity of clinical supervision is typically case discussion.200 Social Work Practicum and Supervision student can learn and apply the information directly to his or her work. case discussion means the student describes a case to the supervisor and the two discuss what is going on. asks questions. This is an extremely valuable method for clinical training. Case discussions: Although students are most familiar with didactic approaches. Tapes and role plays: Video or audio recordings of sessions with clients enable the supervisor and student to observe the actual interview process with a client.

While they recognize that discussion about their own work can only take them so far.Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision 201 in their work. Supervisors can also use role plays to learn about issues and techniques in supervision. confused. students should choose a few sections where they feel they work and a few other sections where they felt lost. overwhelmed. This is most commonly practiced in group or couples counseling. but it can also be used with individual clients. and observe him or her in other actions such as staff meetings. conferences. An alternative to working with recorded sessions is to enact a client session with the supervisor. Role plays can also help students to become aware of their counseling style and. they also feel they can learn a great deal when they can watch their supervisor in group or individual sessions. etc. As a result. One way to accomplish this is for the supervisor and intern to work jointly in counseling clients. many are not aware that students would like such an opportunity. students may need to take . They can be particularly helpful in developing basic helping skills and in learning to deal with difficult clients or staff. trainees or other staff members and acting these roles as they portray a situation or interaction of interest. Although most supervisors are open to this process if it is consistent with the needs of clients. Direct observation of the supervisor: The majority of students prefer this mode of supervision above most others. in some instances. Role plays involve students taking the roles of clients. As an alternative. read reports written by the supervisor. about significant issues in their own lives. etc.

Most agencies have client populations that represent different areas of diversity such as race. and values that they have gained in their coursework. and life experiences. gender. education. Therefore the supervisor can look at ways in which the student can be exposed to others who are different from them and develop ways of exploring their awareness of cultural diversity. skills. sexual orientation. spirituality. socioeconomic class. However. Cultural and Administrative Context of Supervision Helping students gain cultural competence within an administrative structure that facilitates this process is an important component of the practicum experience. family background. religion. political philosophy. Not all agencies provide an opportunity for students to work with diverse client populations. therefore the supervisor and student together will need to develop creative strategies to meet this expectation.202 Social Work Practicum and Supervision the initiative of asking if they can observe the supervisors in different setting. culture. how can a single agency or supervisor have adequate knowledge about the varied and diverse client systems with which a new social worker will work with during his or her career? Generally it is helpful to note that there are five essential elements of cultural competence that can apply to an individual or larger . The administrative structure of an agency can provide an opportunity for students to apply in the practicum setting the cultural competent knowledge. as being a culturally competent social work practitioner is at the core of the social work value system. age. ethnicity.

Some specific questions students can ask themselves and discuss with their supervisors in the process of working with diverse clients can include the following:    How are issues of diversity handled in the agency? Are these issues included in the agency’s assessment process? Is it permissible to include these issues in the assessment and interventions conducted by the social workers in the agency? If the practicum agency supports the inclusion of issues relating to diversity and cultural competence into social work practice. they are encouraged to broaden their understanding of those individuals or groups with whom they have lilttle or no experience. (2) capacity for cultural self-assessment. such as an agency: (1) value diversity. students can proactively seek out opportunities in their practica to interact with others whose life experiences differ from theirs so they can better understand ways in which they can be helpful to those individuals or groups. and (5) programs and services that reflect an understanding of diversity between and within cultures. While they may be intimidated upon leaving the “comfort zone” of working with those client systems that are most like them. are you clear about the appropriate way to acknowledge and discuss the issues?  . (4) institutionalized cultural knowledge. (3) awareness of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact.Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision 203 system. Although true cultural competence is a lifelong challenge and opportunity.

cultural norms may dictate a different style of supervision in which communication barriers might exist. For example. it is also important to understand similar differences as they relate to the supervision experience. Just as it is important for students to understand these differences as they relate to the client system.204  Social Work Practicum and Supervision Does the potential for a value and/or ethical conflict exist if the client’s values or beliefs are different from your own? In addition to working with diverse client populations. Conclusion Appropriate supervision is an important component of the field work experience as it provides an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge gained from their coursework to the field of social work practice. Both are similar in many ways as they are designed to help students achieve a level of proficiency in practice that is gained through experience and the accomplishment of certain . Recognizing and understanding these differences when communicating problems or concerns is important to the development of a positive supervisory experience and should be clarified in the beginning of the practicum. Specific functions of supervision include the structuring of activities that are in accordance with the student’s level of knowledge and skill that they bring to the practicum. in addition to the evaluation of the student’s progress throughout. Two key models of supervision that are commonly used in social work to prepare students are the developmental and task models. students may also be working under supervisors who represent different racial. cultural or ethnic backgrounds.

Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision (2 nd ed. Hawkins. NJ: Simon & Schuster. The Internship. New York: Columbia University Press. Peer supervision in counselor training. & Shohet.N.). Supervision in the Helping Professions. and Field Placement Handbook. (1989). 89-102. video and audio tapes. (1992). Benshoff. Practicum.M. Clinical Supervisor. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. etc. Bernard. A.). B. Supervision in Social Work (3rd ed. J. Refernces Baird. & Goodyear. P. (1993). R.M. (1998). J. 11(2). (1996). role plays.) are conducted within the context of these models. The varying modes of supervision (live and didactic supervision. Another integral component of supervision is the provision of opportunities that expose students to issues involving diversity and that allow them to develop a significant level of cultural competence appropriate for entry into the social work profession. . Saddle River. Kadushin.Models and Modes of Social Work Supervision 205 tasks assigned by the supervisor. Philadelphia: Open University Press.K. R.

Within this context. one-on-one teaching arrangement based in a community/agency. in addition to being a teacher and a leader.10 Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision *Patricia Lager Introduction Supervision within the social work field experience is considered an educationally focused teaching relationship that is authority based and has periods of closeness and distance. it is first necessary to examine the essential components of supervision within an organizational structure. More emphasis is on being a skilled master of the work to be done. In order to fully understand practicum supervision and how to make good use of it. The supervisor-student relationship is typically implemented through an individualized. USA . it is the supervisor’s responsibility * Prof. FSU. Practicum supervision in an agency setting places less emphasis on the supervisor being an overseer of a student’s work although that is an integral component of the role. Patricia Lager.

. etc. is going to provide a measure of containment and understanding of what happens within it. the team level. Orientation to Field Work Supervision: Roles and Expectations While all agencies vary in regards to their structure.. In addition. e. and the department and organizational level. whether it be in a social work department. A positive supervisory relationship based on a style of supervision that facilitates learning is an important component of the practicum experience.g. the department is supervised with regard to how it functions as a department. This chapter will discuss the beginning phase of practicum supervision. levels of authority.Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision 207 to model good social work skills and behaviors to adequately prepare students for the real world of practice. Each level is generally supervised as a whole entity. It is important for students to understand this organizational structure when beginning a practicum. which includes the orientation to the roles and expectations of supervision and a focus on the supervisory relationship. health service or school. a thorough orientation to the expectations of supervision helps to set the stage for a positive supervisory experience that will serve as a frame of reference for the student in future social work jobs. This supervision is essential if each level. Also discussed will be the styles of supervision that are most conducive to the facilitation of a positive supervisory relationship in which boundaries can sometimes be blurred and the authority role challenged. in addition to their role within . there is a need for supervision at all levels within an organization – the individual level.

The first orientation topic to cover is the structure of the agency and the role of the practicum supervisor within that structure. the existing programs within it and how they function. The field work supervisor is given administrative tasks by the educational program that include the functions of identifying suitable agencies in the area where field work can be done and securing their cooperation and consent for the same. Every practicum begins with a thorough orientation to the expectations required by the educational program prior to beginning the experience. and the needs of the clients/ communities that are served (Hawkins & Shohet. 1997). The practicum supervisor has the role of orienting the student to the objectives of the agency. different expectations are generally required by the onsite supervisor and agency that might differ from those in another practicum setting. the resources available to the agency. The agency providing field practicums must have a well defined structure with well defined roles for its employees.208 Social Work Practicum and Supervision that structure. . rather than informal lines of authority and a loose organizational structure. Some supervisors only assume administrative responsibilities while others carry caseloads in addition to their administrative role. Having a thorough understanding of the practicum supervisor’s role is an important part of the learning. particularly in regards to the varying responsibilities that social workers assume within an organization. Another important aspect of orientation is the role of the field work supervisor and how that might vary from the role of the practicum supervisor within the agency. These selections are made based on specific criteria established by the program. However.

For example. 1996):  When supervisory sessions are scheduled  What the expectations are with regard to the review of written material by the supervisor and due dates  The protocol for reporting absences or scheduled appointments outside the agency  Agency policies and procedures  Protocols regarding confidentiality and dealing with potentially harmful. they may help the agency occasionally by doing office related work that provides them with a learning experience. Similarly. An important component of the orientation also includes the communication of expectations by the supervisor during the course of supervision. supervisor. and the educational program.. .. the student is not expected to be given clerical work or fundraising tasks but instead should be given tasks that are consistent with their contract and that facilitate their learning.?  Safety issues or concerns and a strategy for dealing with them  Other important information that is deemed necessary by the agency.Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision 209 A thorough orientation to the role of the student in the agency is important in helping students to understand the expectations of their duties and the limitations that are inherent in being a student learner within an organization. They can also be included as the member of a team assigned to mobilize resources for a particular activity. The student should have an understanding of the following information (Baird.

Specifically. it is helpful for the student and supervisor to independently develop a list of expectations and assessment criteria for the supervisory relationship from both perspectives. the student can develop a list of expectations for him/herself and the field supervisor can do the same. They can then compare the lists and develop a mutually agreed upon set of expectations of each other regarding supervision.210 Social Work Practicum and Supervision To assist in clarifying expectations. 1993): Expectations of Self (List specific expectations of yourself) Assessment Criteria (List measurable outcomes used to determine whether expectations are achieved) Use of supervision Preparedness for supervision Follow-up to supervisory recommendation Demonstration of adult learning Demonstration of assertiveness Demonstration of appropriate professional feedback . Examples of areas to consider in developing the lists include the following (Bogo.

so the supervisor is able to structure the supervision accordingly and make necessary changes in the practicum experiences.Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision 211 The Supervisory Relationship: Styles of Supervision Another important aspect of the orientation is the student-agency supervisory relationship. typical styles of . The establishment of a positive relationship begins with an open discussion by the supervisor regarding his or her style of supervision. directive. The student should be able to feel safe in sharing concerns about the practicum in addition to his or her style of learning. Supervisory style can best be defined as the way the field work supervisor shares his or her theoretical orientation. and non-interpretive (Munson. which is process oriented. which is problem oriented. thus allowing the exchange of honest communication and critical feedback. indirect. It can generally be categorized as (1) active. or (2) reactive. There are varying styles and techniques that are used which generally reflect a particular style of practice that incorporates a supervisor’s personality style. 2002). Under the categories of active and reactive. practice and supervisory philosophies. the supervisory relationship must be built on trust and openness. The qualities of a good supervisory/student relationship usually parallel the qualities of a good practitioner/client relationship. Supervisory style consists of a series of behavior patterns used by the supervisor to establish a working relationship with the student. Just as in work with clients. and interpretive.

thus not relating it directly to case material and learning. Theoretician-theoretical style: The supervisor often uses theory as the primary focus and believes that the mastery of theory leads to good practice. Technician-technical style: This style is very different from the other two styles. According to this style. They often use either lengthy explanations or brief global statements. The theoretician tends to be logical and orderly in their approach to supervision and are frequently viewed as “taskmasters” when it comes to dealing with clinical material. The technician has patience with new learners and responds in ways that encourage them to find their own answers. once the theory has been mastered. which frequently make the new learner extremely frustrated as important case material is not dealt with directly. 2002): Philoso p her -p hiloso p hic al s tyle : Sometimes supervisors launch into philosophical abstractions that have little or no application from the student’s point of view. the student can be pressured into dealing with difficult material. Without confrontation or threat. Instead of being philosophical or theoretical in orientation.212 Social Work Practicum and Supervision supervision are as follows (Munson. It is a problem focused and interactionally oriented style of supervision in which questions are asked in highly specific and empathic ways. the student can deal with future case material on their own. the supervisor deals almost exclusively with details of case problems and relates them to technical skills. They are also respected by those they supervise and . The only time they are viewed negatively is when they talk about theory in the abstract.

although a combination of the three styles at the appropriate time can also be effective. It is important for the student to have a complete understanding of the style of supervision used by the supervisor during the orientation phase of the internship. This is generally the preferred style for students just entering the social work field. and evaluating the student’s performance and progress. In order for them to benefit from the supervisory experience. Routinely engaging in discussion about each other’s style will enable the student and supervisor to continue to understand how of the other processes and utilizes information. . 1996). it is also important for students to be responsible for identifying their particular learning style along with the teaching style of the direct supervisor. teaching knowledge and skills. As adult learners. and how areas that differ might be dealt with.Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision 213 are often viewed as demanding. Within the forum of an open discussion. It is important for students to remember that supervision is an interactional process that parallels in many ways the social worker-client relationship and the helping process in general (Baird. having a no-nonsense approach to supervision. the student should also have the opportunity to provide feedback on how his or her learning style matches the supervisory style. it is important for the practicum instructor to employ many of the helping skills and techniques that social workers use in working with clients. The insights gained from identifying a supervisory style will serve as a guide for the supervisor in assigning tasks and activities.

Students should prepare for these meetings in advance and not expect the supervisor to do all of the talking. in addition to observations and requests for feedback. since this will help them avoid the difficulties of having to constantly arrange a suitable meeting time. However this should be avoided as much as possible. they require skillful guidance. Regular supervisory meetings held at a specific meeting time each week are recommended. This responsibility may place supervisors in a role that is very much like that of therapist for the trainee. Students should strive to use supervision in a purposeful and responsible manner. and also because students work directly with clients’ lives. Supervisors should always refrain from entering a treatment relationship with the student intern. Questions should be brought to the meeting. they must also help them manage the emotional and intellectual challenges and the personal issues that emerge in their training.214 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Appropriate Use of Suppervision Learning how to use supervision appropriately is of central importance to the practicum student. The student should use this time to examine his or her performance and explore new ideas. The practicum supervisor must not only help students acquire specific skills. Expectations of the student are generally reinforced in these meetings and will primarily relate to the following:  Dependability and follow-through on assigned work . and feedback from the practicum supervisor. Because social work is challenging and stressful. support. direction.

conflicts that interfere with learning are . when warranted. and learning from.      When students initially begin a practicum. Therefore the student needs to be made to feel comfortable in communicating these concerns to the supervisor. They are often afraid of making a serious mistake or in some way hurting their clients. When this occurs. constructive criticism Willingness to seek help when needed Appropriate use of authority Decision making issues. it is common for them to experience a high degree of anxiety and fear. Even the most confident student will often feel a lack of confidence when initially placed in their first professional social work setting. Dealing with Conflict in Supervision Although most students have positive supervisory experience. the supervisor should attempt to normalize the student’s feelings in this regard and assist them in gaining a level of confidence through consistent and ongoing positive feedback. including asking for.Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision    215 Attention to detail and proper procedures Initiative in work-related assignments A cooperative attitude toward the practicum instructor and other staff Willingness to learn from whatever tasks are assigned Openness to supervision.

For example. In the process of managing a supervisory conflict. The three areas of conflict most identified by students are: theoretical orientation and practice approach. it should be recognized that often the surface content of a conflict does not necessarily reflect the “real” nature of the difficulty. Is the student at odds over issues of theory or technique? Does he or she feel that the supervisor is not giving him/her sufficient support? Are logistics such as timing of supervision a problem? In thinking about the key subject of a conflict.” One of the largest blocks to resolving conflicts is the underlying idea that “conflicts should not happen and I should not have to deal with them”. 1996). what kinds of issues or interactions tend to promote conflict. rather than an attitude of anger. fear. Because conflicts in supervision are not uncommon. styles of supervision (particularly those that conflict with styles of learning). the student may be able to discover such things as how to react to conflict. several guiding principles may help students and supervisors deal with conflict more effectively. the conflict . and how the student can more effectively cope with the simplistic aphorisms that “everything is a learning experience” or “conflict builds character.216 Social Work Practicum and Supervision not uncommon. A second guiding principle is to identify what a conflict is really about before raising it with the supervisor. In reality. or avoidance. The first principle is to approach conflicts as opportunities for learning rather than situations that interfere with learning. If students take an attitude of learning from a conflict. and personality issues. people who work together might get into a conflict over who should have the bigger office. they are more likely to deal more effectively with the situation (Baird.

it might appear that the supervisor is actually paying the student a compliment by relying on him or her. It is also possible that the student might have a role in the conflict because he/she does not tell the supervisor when he/she is overwhelmed. In discussing this situation with someone else. Is the supervisor aware that a conflict exists? If so. Trying to see the situation from the supervisor’s perspective is another valuable step toward resolving a conflict. This might involve getting an outside perspective. The purpose of getting another opinion is to understand what is happening – not to prove that one is right (Baird. In addition. rather.Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision 217 is probably not about the office size but. might make perfect sense from his or her position. Is the supervisor doing or saying things for reasons that might not be immediately evident but. This might be a change in the . in reality. 1996). One more important element of dealing with a conflict is to ask oneself what it is that one might want to be different. about who wants or deserves more rewards or prestige and why. would she or he define the conflict differently? Asking oneself these questions would help resolve a conflict with speaking directly to the supervisor about it. a student might go into a discussion convinced that a supervisor places too many demands on his or her time. particularly if the student has difficulty with selfexploration of fault or limited self-insight. and what it is that one would like to see happen to be satisfied. For example. asking oneself the difficult question of what role you might be playing in the conflict is extremely important for a satisfactory resolution.

By thinking about what one’s desires are. it becomes apparent that people just do not match well and the most constructive way of dealing with the situation is to arrange for an alternative. Under such circumstances the best solution may be to negotiate a change in supervision or placements. although the ideal may be that conflicts can be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of everyone. there are times when this is not the case. This does not have to be a negative experience for the people involved. This relationship is developed much like the relationship between social worker and client in which the core foundations include trust and openness. Various styles of supervision are used by supervisors and are largely based on technique as well as personality styles. it will enhance one’s ability to more clearly articulate both the present situation and suggestions for change.218 Social Work Practicum and Supervision way one interacts with the supervisor. or it might be a modification of some arrangement. Sometimes after efforts have been made to resolve a situation. the assigned caseload. such as another supervisor or an instructor who can help mediate and find alternatives that are mutually satisfying. such as a change in work hours. or a similar matter. Finally. This can undoubtedly help both the student and supervisor identify specific steps for dealing with and resolving the conflict. In such situations it is a good idea to enlist the involvement of a central third party. All supervision . Conclusion An integral component of practicum supervision is the development of a mutually satisfying relationship between supervisor and student.

developing skills to deal with other similar situations in the real world of practice. R. Munson. B. Hawkins. This will assist the student in learning the appropriate use of supervision throughout. & Shohet.N. M. P. (2002). References Baird. New York: Haworth Press. 23-36.). at the same time. (1993). C. . The Clinical Supervisor. Additionally. (1997). Prentice Hall.E. and Field Placement Handbook. Practicum. New Jersey. the appropriate means of dealing with conflict in supervision are essential to student learning from the beginning in order to preserve the placement while. Philadelphia: Open University Press. Bogo.Administrative and Environmental Aspects in Social Work Supervision 219 arrangements must include the communication of expectations by the supervisor. Supervision in the Helping Professions. Clinical Social Work Supervision (3rd ed. The Internship. 11(2). The student/field instructor relationship: The critical factor in field education. which sets the stage for a learning experience in which the student has direction and understanding of his or her role within the agency and placement. (1996).

both as individuals and as professionals. USA .11 Supportive Functions in Supervision *Patricia Lager Introduction The practicum supervisor assumes an important role in the professional development of a new practitioner. Patricia Lager. Therefore. FSU. Students need to have a clear idea about ways in which they can deal with the many challenges of their training and work in ways that will enhance their growth. it is necessary for supervisors to communicate to students and prepare them in advance for the types of stressors they are likely to face and the need to develop good coping skills at the beginning of their professional career for dealing with these stressors. a major component of which is the modeling of appropriate skills in dealing with the various stressors that arise during the course of the practicum. In order for students to identify ways of dealing with stress. they need to have a general understanding of the common sources of stress that practitioners commonly experience in social work and the ways in * Prof.

family. one of which is the issue of . In addition.. etc. they need to develop ways in which they can manage the demands of internships. friends. school. in ways that provide a sense of balance in their lives.Supportive Functions in Supervision 221 which those stresses are likely to affect their lives and work. A sample of the typical questions that students generally ask themselves – and supervisors need to address – are as follows:  How do helping professionals balance their professional roles with their personal lives away from work? How can they manage the conflicting demands of an internship? How does the internship influence their ideas about the clients they work with? How does the internship affect close personal or social relationships? What personal qualities does a student have that will help them in dealing with the stress of the work? How will they be able to recognize if they are being adversely affected by their work? How might they cope with a situation in which they recognize that they are under excessive stress and their professional effectiveness or personal wellness is being harmed?       The supportive role the supervisor plays in helping students deal with stress in the practicum can present a number of challenges.

a developmental . Research suggests that on some occasions more than half of the population of helping professionals have worked when their own distress might have impaired their effectiveness (Tomlinson. The major sources of stress that have been highlighted in research findings are job stress. Rogers. in addition to stresses in their personal lives. and setting specific guidelines to be followed. Common Stressors Leading to Burnout and Compassion Fatigue Considering the typical demands social workers encounter in a normal day. Many studies that have sought to identify the sources of stress revealed that helping professionals must contend both with stresses directly related to their work. The goal of adequately preparing the student at the beginning of the practicum. marital and/or financial problems. Another issue presented is that of how to deal with conflict that might occur within the relationship. However. 1996). such stresses should not be ignored and could ultimately lead to severe problems and/or impairment. illness or death in a family. it should not be surprising to learn that at one time or another most helping professionals will find themselves working under significant stress that can have a negative impact on their clients.222 Social Work Practicum and Supervision maintaining boundaries in the supervisory relationship. Collins. For most student interns who are new to the field and full of energy and dedication. the stress of practice may not be an immediate concern. are extremely important in order to prevent potential negative outcomes. and Grinnell.

clients continually blaming others or refusing to work on their own issues. and suicidal statements or threats. crisis.Supportive Functions in Supervision 223 crisis. Compared to more experienced professionals. frustrated or irritated are: client resistance. and even traumatic events in our professional or personal lives can cause physical and/or emotional exhaustion that leads to professional burnout or compassion fatigue. or unnecessarily calling the social worker at home).g. Exposure to cumulative stress. Studies that have focused more on student interns and stress have identified the following factors that have primarily contributed to problems in this area: client behaviours. client failing to show up for appointments. stress from premature termination with a client. practitioner experiences. clients asking for special privileges. impositions on the social worker. suicide attempts. the social worker becoming over involved in client dynamics. and therapeutic beliefs that were rated as stressful by practicum students and interns. Those behaviours exhibited by clients that are likely to make a student angry. homosexual and heterosexual flirting on the part of clients. practicum students are more likely to rate as stressful such client behaviours as blatantly psychotic speech. Burnout is defined as too much work or frequent frustration at work that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion . and a more general category of other incidents (e. or personal illness. verbal attacks. The various behaviours exhibited by clients that tend to cause the greatest degree of stress for practitioners are physical assault on the social worker. and clients’ lack of motivation or progress..

When stressors are social or psychological rather than physical. they may find themselves increasingly unable to rebound or offer the quality of service they know would be best. As a result. is defined as the natural consequent behaviours and emotions resulting from knowing about a traumatizing event experienced by a significant other (Figley.224 Social Work Practicum and Supervision (Greenberg. 2) environmental demands placed on the individual that have a direct effect on his or her ability to deal with the problems. and the lack of satisfaction in work all deplete the social worker’s ability to do his or her best (Figley. can result in worker burnout. Compassion fatigue. Radey and Figley (2007) have recently extended this notion. and role overload play a large role in the onset of burnout within the work place. Occupational stressors. for instance. and 3) one’s physiological responses when confronted with stress. dealing with lingering distress from troubling events in their own lives. it utilizes energy that is not . or secondary traumatic stress. 2007: 207). compassion expresses an “unselfish concern for the welfare of others” (MarriamWebster. 1995). Stress related problems often result from a combination of: 1) individual perceptions of the problems. inability or refusal to control stresses at work. when unchecked. Failing to take good care of themselves. recognizing compassion as an essential element in effective social work practice. Built on feelings of sympathy and empathy. the stress response builds up tension that is not released. 1999). in Radey & Figley. Role ambiguity. 1995). When social workers are repeatedly exposed to the suffering of their clients. role conflict.

Over a period of time. often accompanied by a negative attitude Spiritual change. decline in spiritual beliefs. As professional social workers. irritability. loss of commitment and moral purpose in one’s work Loss of curiosity and desire to learn. muscle tension. loss of self-esteem. we frequently become overwhelmed with . stomach upset. This raises question about how such stressors may affect us as individuals and how stress impacts our work with clients. family members Emotional exhaustion. frustration. peers. pulling away from coworkers. Signs and Symptoms of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue   Change in behaviour and/or job performance Increased physical complaints of fatigue. depression. and susceptibility to illness Social withdrawal.Supportive Functions in Supervision 225 restored and can ultimately lead to exhaustion. questioning of the meaning of life (often accompanied by cynicism). prolonged exposure to the stress and the resulting exhaustion can cause significant problems to one’s physical and psychological well-being.     Impact of Stress on Professional Functioning It should be evident from the discussion thus far that there are numerous possible sources of work-related and personal stress in the lives of student interns and helping professionals.

Substance reduced selfabuse esteem In addition to the mental and emotional toll caused by stress. Effect on Job Performance Decrease in quality of work Decrease in quantity of work Decline in motivation Avoidance of job tasks Increase in mistakes Establishment of perfectionist standards Avoidance of job tasks Obsession with details Effect on Interpersonal Relationships Withdrawal from colleagues Impatience Decrease in quality of relationships Poor communication Subsumed by own needs Staff conflicts Effect on Morale Decreased confidence Loss of interest General dissatisfaction Negative attitude Apathy Effect on Behavioural Functioning Absenteeism Exhaustion Faulty judgment Irritability Frequent tardiness Demoralization & feelings of Irresponsibility incompleteness Lack of Overworked. 1999). . there are also numerous physical effects that can be just as costly and thus impair one’s professional functioning.226 Social Work Practicum and Supervision the problems our clients face and often try to find our way towards professional renewal after exposure to cumulative stress. However. The following chart indicates the effect of prolonged stress on job performance. we often fail to develop the necessary strategies for dealing with stress and preventing burnout until it begins to have a serious impact on our professional functioning. appreciation frequent job changes Detachment. and behavioural functioning (Greenberg. The physical inactivity created by extreme stress can lead to physical problems which often develop from patterns of storing stress through muscle tension. morale. interpersonal relationships.

and practicing self-care through maintaining activities that add pleasure and enjoyment to daily life. When social workers begin to experience the unpleasant symptoms of burnout or compassion fatigue. they emphasize the potential of increasing one’s sense of positivity by paying close attention to three factors: our degree of positive affect or attitude in interactions with clients (remembering that there are always reasons to maintain hope for improvement). Withdrawal can also lead to further frustration and negative feelings as social workers recognize their lessened effectiveness and their inability to find more creative or constructive solutions.Supportive Functions in Supervision 227 This can lead to shoulder and neck pain. etc. and introduce the alternative of achieving compassion satisfaction. As illustrated in Figure 3. our access to supportive resources (including contacts with colleagues and supervisors). they often seek ways to loosen these symptoms. Radey & Figley (2007) offer suggestions for rebalancing these tensions. however it can adversely affect the individual and their clients as well. emotional or mental withdrawal provides ways of distancing themselves from clients or work and thereby reducing the stress. headaches. physical. . If appropriate methods are not available or fail. which can also serve as warning signals for one’s capacity to deal with job related stress and prevent future burnout. It is not uncommon for students to report severe stomach pains and other signs of physical reactions to extreme tension. This is a perfectly understandable response.1.

228 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Fig. 2007 Using Supervision to Deal with Stress: Maintaining Professional Boundaries The individual personality characteristics of a student and social work practitioner have much to do with the ways in which they deal with stress and potential burnout. In addition. Preparing students to deal with the stresses of their job is of equal importance as training them to deal with the technical aspects of a social work position. 1996). Therefore it becomes critically important for the supervisor to model . a student’s poor training during the course of an internship can also be a contributing factor. (3) exceptional levels of commitment. insecure. For example. one’s inadequate training for a job can often leave one feeling unprepared. (2) extreme degrees of empathy. vulnerable. and fearing failure – common feelings of students as they enter the unfamiliar learning environment of the field practicum.: from Radey & Figley. Among those characteristics often mentioned in the literature are: (1) a lack of clear boundaries between self and work. and (4) a fragile self-concept (Baird.

Helping the student learn new more effective skills for coping are an important part of their learning as they prepare to enter the field of practice. a supervisor generally assesses the student’s level of learning and capacity to adapt to the complexities of the various problems that often accompany any social work position. During the orientation component of the practicum. both within and outside their professional environment. Modeling good coping skills for students is of equal importance to modeling good practice skills. both of which are integral components of a practicum experience. the supervisor should also be assessing the student’s coping skills and how they typically deal with stressful situations. At the same time. and those that are not. can be of enormous benefit to them. it is important for the student and supervisor to have a positive relationship in which there is an environment of trust and freedom to express adverse feelings openly. Within the supervisory relationship. and following up on ways in which they implement these suggestions. without fear of reprisal. it’s important to have open and frank discussions with the student about the skills that typically are helpful in alleviating their stress. By offering suggestions for new ways of coping with the stressors that the student encounters as they work independently with clients. Students need to feel comfortable in discussing their feelings of fear and inadequacy in dealing with client problems within the supervisory .Supportive Functions in Supervision 229 appropriate skills in coping with stress while performing the necessary tasks of his or her professional position. In order for this learning process to effectively occur.

What makes a dual relationship unethical is (1) the likelihood that it will impair the supervisor’s judgment. he or she might have a need to provide therapeutic services to the student and assist him or her in dealing with the conflict on a level that is outside the professional supervisory role. as the supervisor who also performs the role of therapist with a student can create a serious ethical dilemma and cause harm to the student/supervisor relationship. and social relationships. and (2) the risk to the student of exploitation (Bernard and Goodyear. therapeutic relationships. or significant anxieties about his or her work with a particular client. This should be avoided. Therefore. This can easily occur in situations where a student might be experiencing role conflict. personal problems. such as in the case of a dual relationship in which the boundaries between student and supervisor become somewhat blurred.230 Social Work Practicum and Supervision relationship. A positive supervisory relationship can pose difficult challenges. Dual relationships between supervisors and students have proven to be difficult issues to resolve and have been the topic of much debate in the professional literature. particularly if they are evaluating the student and therefore have some input into their practicum grade. any form of dual relationship should be strictly avoided. Due to the personality characteristics of the supervisor. Problematic dual relationships with students include intimate relationships. 1998). Practicum students should be given . where these feelings can be normalized by the supervisor and suggestions can be made for ways of dealing with them effectively.

particularly in times of stress. it sometimes happens that someone under supervision is someone with a personal style that allows the supervisor to be more candid than he or she is with other professional peers. The manner in which the parties resolve or fail to resolve the conflict will dictate whether the relationship continues to grow and develop. The relationship between a supervisor and student supervisee is not unique in this regard.Supportive Functions in Supervision 231 a significant amount of information on boundary issues in a professional setting and what procedures they should follow in reporting incidents in which they are being sexually harassed. Often. Undoubtedly. it stems from a “mistake” that one party has made. efforts should be made to differentiate between dual relationships that abuse power or exploit or harm students and those that occur within the positive context of a maturing professional relationship. In an agency or school. unlike therapy relationships. or to stagnate and possibly terminate. persons who work together will share other experiences. however. whether personal or professional. conflict inevitably will occur between or among the parties. Supervisors and students often become close through formal and informal contacts. Some of these relationships are very gratifying and provide much support for both the student and supervisor. Conflict can stem from opposing goals the two parties might entertain or extreme differences in personality characteristics. Dealing with Conflict in Supervision An important point to remember is the fact that in any relationship. Supervisor- . Therefore.

tension and dissatisfaction with supervision may be at its greatest with the more advanced student. hurt. To resolve those conflicts and impasses is healthy and strengthens the relationship. This is not. Like any adolescent. particularly if the supervisor is able to understand and anticipate this particular developmental phenomenon. some more problematic than others. as the student may have actively assimilated information from many sources but still has not had enough time to accommodate and find his or her own way of behaving professionally. in itself. the conflict may arise from a student/supervisee transference. Another normative factor in supervisor-student or supervisee conflict concerns the student’s developmental level. supervisees/students at this level vascillate between feelings of confidence and insecurity. and/or disappointed with one another. For example. Or conflict might also arise from a personality conflict between student and supervisor that might be difficult to resolve. In particular. Oftentimes more advanced students are placed in more advanced roles within agencies in which they are . But conflicts can also arise for more problematic reasons. a matter for concern.232 Social Work Practicum and Supervision supervisee conflicts can arise from many sources. Inevitably there will be times in any relationship when the parties will feel angry. Normative conflict generally arises from the processes of any two people who interact over time. or from a supervisor transference. surprised. Role ambiguity might occur when the student is uncertain about role expectations the supervisor and/or agency has for him or her.

Conclusion Prolonged job related stress can ultimately lead to professional burnout and/or compassion fatigue in many helping professions. this can be very destructive to the supervisory relationship by violating mutual trust and respect. it might be necessary for a third party to intervene and assess the situation. Therefore. In such instances. with the ultimate goal of preserving the relationship and placement. a positive problem solving process will help the student to learn an appropriate method of dealing with conflict that can be applied to other professional settings. it is important for the supervisor to take the initiative to establish a procedure for resolving the conflict as soon as possible. The student should be willing to openly discuss his or her concerns with the supervisor and both should work together to reach a satisfactory. Appropriate problem solving skills should be utilized within the framework of a positive supervisor-student relationship based on open communication and trust. Should conflicts occur as a result of a power differential in which the supervisor exercises inappropriate power over the student. mutually agreed upon solution.Supportive Functions in Supervision 233 expected to perform as seasoned practitioners rather than students. if possible. It is important for social workers to recognize the symptoms of extreme stress . When conflict occurs in supervision. This places the student in an unfair position in which their learning needs are considered secondary to the personnel needs of the agency.

(1998).K. . Conflict inevitably occurs in all relationships. and social relationships that might develop between supervisor and student. and taking immediate steps to resolve it.). B. students have an opportunity to learn effective coping mechanisms for dealing with stressors in the workplace by observing the modeling of positive coping skills by their supervisor. The Internship. In the social work practicum. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Understanding the basis for the conflict. and normative conflict is to be expected in the supervisorsupervisee/student relationship as well. are important tasks for both the supervisor and student as they make efforts to engage in effective problem solving skills that focus on preserving both the supervisory relationship and practicum placement as well. NJ: Simon & Schuster. However significant boundary violations can also occur.N. The positive supervisory relationship also provides an opportunity to discuss other problematic issues relating to the practicum. particularly in relation to intimate. Bernard.M. Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision (2 nd ed. J. (1996). R. therapeutic.234 Social Work Practicum and Supervision and develop strategies for dealing with them immediately. & Goodyear. Saddle River. References Baird. and Field Placement Handbook. Practicum.

Comprehensive Stress Management (6TH ed. Radey. MA: McGraw-Hill. J.R.). (2007).  Boston.). M. The social psychology of compassion. & Figley. (1999). 35: 207214. Compassion Fatigue: Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorders from Treating the Traumatized. Supervision in Social Work. A. Kadushin. (2nd ed. Greenberg. C. R. Clinical Social Work Journal.S. (Ed. . New York: Columbia University Press.. New York: Brunner/Mazel.) (1995). (1985). C.Supportive Functions in Supervision 235 Figley.

Field instruction therefore can be a very complex and demanding endeavor.R. . selfunderstanding and competent practice. Social workers need to be properly equipped for such challenging tasks. By the very nature of social work education system established over time and acknowledged globally. Delhi. There can be of tragic consequences if things go wrong.12 Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode *Manju Kumar Introduction You are by now aware that social workers deal with some of the most vulnerable people in our society and at times of greatest stress. Dr. students will have to undertake much of their learning in practice settings and demonstrate their competence in practice. Field education for the social work programs provides experiential educational opportunities directed toward the development of professional identity. Delhi University. Ambedkar College. It is one of the few courses which are completed primarily within a workplace or ‘field’ setting. B. (Field * Manju Kumar.

students are placed in the field settings by the educational institutions and faculty performs the twin role of teaching academic courses and supervising field work. the major burden of ensuring professional socialization of students in social work course through the distance learning mode falls on supervised field – based instruction. Field education or the practicum experience is at the core of Social Work Education. Canada 2005). Sometimes. It engages the student in supervised social work practice and provides opportunities to apply theoretical learning in the field setting. One serious reservation about offering social work education through distance / open learning has been the perceived need for ‘face-to-face’ interaction with teachers to acquire professional socialization. Supervision in the ODL Mode: By Faculty and / or Professional Social Worker at the Placement Traditionally. While knowledge content is imparted through print and electronic media supplemented by direct contact with tutors at the study centres. The professional social workers employed at the placement agency provide additional supervisory inputs at the field level. One of the primary functions of social work education is to help students get professionally socialized in social work values. It is viewed as the most significant contributor to the development of professional expertise. in open .Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 237 Education Dalhousie University. ethics and skills while integrating with these a multitude of concepts drawn from multiple disciplines and learnt through course work.

teleconferencing. generally . the student’s primary field learning resource. vary from the traditional model. The medium of field work supervision is not only the traditionally used individual and / or group conference but also electronic media like emails. this person may or may not be their course teacher. the students do get field instruction by a person professionally qualified. The field instructors under the DL mode perform all those functions but requiring higher sensitivity to the levels and backgrounds of students. is sometimes also the placement agency’s representative to the educational program. faculty member is the sole supervisor and guide. You have become familiar with various functions performed by field instructors. Besides. The supervisor guides the students allocated to her / him for a designated period. the field instructor may not be the course teacher but one who is a teacher in conventional system of social work education. Under the field practicum design in social work education through distance learning. telephonic consultation etc. The field instructor. content and strategies of field work supervision. therefore.238 Social Work Practicum and Supervision community settings. the person entrusted with the responsibility of teaching one or more subject of the syllabus also takes up the task of providing field instruction. Course teacher as supervisor of field practicum In many instances. However. This situation requires a high degree of conceptual clarity in the performance of the supervisory functions in Field Instruction in the DL mode. The nature.

Supervisory tasks start from selecting placements for respective students.Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 239 for one year. Even in case of the supervisor being other than the course teacher (someone teaching in the conventional system. and helping students integrate their theoretical learning with field practice by highlighting application of theoretical concepts in actual practice. Supervisors prepare and orient the students about what is expected of them. . In the case of one working in a social sector / human service organisation. The supervisor is responsible for maintaining discipline among the supervisees and finally undertakes appraisal of students’ learning. goals and programmes of potential placement agencies. Giving detailed orientation to the agency set up. or a social work graduate working in a social sector / human service organisation) the tasks outlined above hold good. holds individual and group conferences to discuss and review students’ performance and field experiences. students’ level and background. and what situations they are likely to encounter during field work. and mission. The supervisor maintains liaison with the social work professional at the agency. assignment of daily tasks and on site guidance and supervision are the responsibilities of the professional social worker employed in the placement agency. The field practicum supervisor then assigns tasks. the supervisor has an added responsibility of clearly spelling out the educational goals of field learning. S/he provides feedback and necessary guidance to help students acquire professional learning. keeping in mind the educational objectives of field work. The evaluation is generally a mix of appraisal by internal (the field instructor) and external experts.

they need to demonstrate to the students a balanced view of the importance of academic grounding and practice wisdom. The supervisor has to differentiate the assignments expected as part of field practicum from the tasks currently performed by the student so that the latter is able to acquire professional learning and identity. Many of the professionals taking up the responsibility of supervising field practicum have had long experience in the field. Specific interests of student and employee may not coincide. . The field practicum instructor has to perform both the roles – represent the placement agency. Examination of the workplace as a learning environment reveals it is far from ideal and poses unique challenges to the practicum supervisor.240 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Placement – based supervision This is a situation where the professionally qualified social worker employed in the placement agency alone is responsible for students’ field instruction. and the interests of both diverge from those of organizations. and help achieve educational objectives of field practicum. While supervising field practicum of budding professionals. 1998) Another challenge faced by the field practicum supervisor based at the placement is in the context of a student who may be working in the same agency but in a role not strictly that of a professional social worker. especially when that role is assumed by a workplace supervisor. (Chris Hughes. In fact that may be the very reason why that student has joined the course. help students integrate theory with practice.

Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode


Strategies of supervision Supervision, an integrated part of social work education, is a complex process. Numerous models, theories and approaches have been formulated to ensure effective supervisory inputs. Supervision of students is generally a mix of more than one style, approach, model or strategy. Keeping in mind the diversity of any one group of students enrolled in the course through DL mode, it is even more important to apply a mix of approaches to suit the needs and levels of the students. Given below are some of the strategies which supervisors employ to achieve their goal of providing professional learning to students of social work:
 

Managing early stages of field practicum and setting the tone of open dialogue and purposeful action. According to developmental models of supervision, the supervisee proceeds through a series of developmental stages and tasks. The goal of supervision is for the supervisor to guide the supervisee through these stages. It attends to the developmental shifts occurring in the supervisory process and provides input as a function of the skill level, developmental level and maturational level of the supervisee. While supervisory strategy based on developmental model is best suited at the beginning of the field practicum or during the first year of the course, reflective approach is favoured more for a relatively more advanced student. Three different orientations are important for supervision. Supervisor can focus on the client, the


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

methods or the process of the work. Often the supervisor changes between these focuses within one meeting. There is also a development from client- to method- and later on to more processoriented supervision. This is reflected in the IGNOU Model for BSW course in the context of three years’ field practicum design.

Supervision, though a process, occurs within a structure. Specific individual and group sessions for providing supervisory inputs are formally prescribed. For these sessions, the students are expected to come prepared with their observations and queries. Supervisors are expected to provide students meaningful feedback-both oral and written about students’ learning and performance. Supervision goes on continuously and is organized with regular meetings over a period of time. As mentioned above, supervisor can be internal (course teacher) or external (Professional social worker employed at the placement agency). Many times the two different kinds of supervision are coexisting. Professional social work supervision is a process which facilitates critical reflection upon actions, processes, persons, and the context of social work practice. This process takes place within a professional relationship between a social work supervisor and supervisee(s). The strategy of supervision is to nurture this relationship. Individual Supervision, Peer Supervision, Group Supervision – all the three styles are utilized in the supervision of students.

 

Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 


Supervision refers to a range of strategies, including: preceptorship, mentorship, and coaching. Placement decision-making, orienting, motivating, encouraging task performance, addressing problems are some other strategies which supervisors use to fulfill their responsibilities effectively. Cyber supervision is an upcoming strategy, especially in the case of distance learning. Chatting online with the supervisor in real time not only helps getting guidance, the student also is able to retain record of the supervisory inputs. Supervision involves use of both informative and problem-solving approaches. Supervision can be reactive or pro-active or both. Reactive supervision is triggered by a significant event, problem or concern. Proactive strategy seeks to avoid major supervisory challenges through planning, communicating and being involved. Students’ response to supervision passes through four stages, namely dependence; pseudodependence; interdependence; independence (Jake J. Protivnak, 2003). Supervisors have to adapt their styles and strategies accordingly.

 

As mentioned above, supervisors need to adapt their approach and interventions according to the need, level and background of the students; educational objectives of field instruction; and goals of the placement agencies.


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

Tools of Supervision Supervisors make use of a number of tools in the supervisory process. While most of these are also utilized by the supervisors in the traditional system of social work education, some hold higher primacy for those in the Distance Learning system.

Structure of field practicum and supervision define clearly the objectives, nature, role, and expectations of field learning and supervision. In this context, Field Practicum Journal for students and Guide for supervisors prove major supervisory tools. Supervisor-supervisee relationship is a most vital tool in the hands of the supervisor. As students learn theoretical contents primarily through selfstudy materials, this tool is most critical to students’ acquiring professional socialization. Feedback –both formal and informal – is an important tool for the supervisor. Written comments on students’ field records in the Field Journal of the students are a constant source of guidance. Other forms of feedback, such as self-assessment by the students and / or peer review are also used by supervisors. Educational assessment is an important tool for supervision. It is an on-going process and helps students understand whether or not his/her supervisor is happy with his her performance. This monitoring and reviewing of the work and learning occur periodically so that both supervisor and

Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode


supervisee are clear as to the students’ strengths and areas that need improvement.

Summative evaluation at mid term and at the end of the term is the culmination of the ongoing assessment process. Term-end appraisal places the students’ learning within the parameters of achievement of minimum standards of field learning; allowing the student to move upward on the ladder of the course. Communication is basic to the entire process of supervision. Active listening and open channels of communication are basic tools of supervision. Observation of the students at the placement and in the supervisory conferences act as additional resource for the supervisor’s assessment of the students. Structured individual and group conferences are acknowledged as the most important tools of supervision. On account of this, the IGNOU model ensures a minimum number of these conferences. Process records of students’ work at the placement are one of the most valuable tools of supervision. These records provide focus and direction for supervisory inputs. Case records or case studies are very useful tools for generating reflective discussions in individual and group conferences. Review is a powerful self evaluation tool. SelfReports, however, are only as good as the observational and conceptual abilities of the supervisee. It is the seasoned insightfulness of the


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

supervisor that offers many opportunities for utilizing these as supervision tool.

Video, Audiotape and live observation are tools often utilized by the supervisors. There are, however, ethical dimensions to recording student’s work with the clients. Reflective questioning in the supervisory conferences act as a supervisory tool, especially in the case of more mature and advanced student. Demonstration, role playing and role modeling are some other tools in the hands of a creative supervisor. Role Playing is ideal for practicing skills. Role Modeling is learning by watching an expert perform the task to be learned. Demonstration is a presentation by an expert that displays and explains a procedure, followed by opportunities to discuss and practice the skills. Supervisors employed in the placement agency can use ‘shadowing’ in the early phases of learning or in case of continued difficulty in student’s performance. Effective and constructive criticism can be used as a tool to promote growth. It is preferable that the focus of the criticism is on the work and not on the individual involved. Praise for the achievements is an important tool for nurturing the relationship an building student’s self-confidence. Student-initiated e-mails act as a supplemental modality for supervision. Videoconferencing can be

Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode


a tool both in individual and group supervision, though the issue of confidentiality has to be kept in mind.

The supervisor draws upon his /her own professionally disciplined self, i.e. an integrated whole of professional knowledge, skills and the attitudes acquired overtime. Supervision is a process parallel to that of social work practice. The only difference is that the students are not treated as clients requiring therapeutic interventions. Self-disclosure by the supervisor.

Functions of the Supervisor: Educational, Administrative, Helping
You are already familiar with the three categories of functions performed by field instructors or field work supervisors, namely, educational, administrative and helping / supportive functions. Design of Field Practicum in Social Work Courses offered by IGNOU through distance learning provides for elaborate process of Field Instruction – both structured and informal. Following is a brief exposition of various functions expected of supervisors under this model. You will do well to refer to the illustration of field practicum organized for BSW course students given in the previous block of this book. a) Educational Functions 1) Designing and planning of learning activities and/or programmes of study.


Social Work Practicum and Supervision

2) Giving theoretical content, whenever the classroom teaching is not in tune with field work needs – Whether or not the field instructor is a course teacher, the supervisor is frequently required to give theoretical information or give appropriate reference for locating necessary information. It is particularly crucial in the DL mode because acquiring the knowledge component of the course is based on self-study by the students. 3) Identifying professional skills in daily field work assignments. 4) Professional socialization – teaching students to apply values and principles while using social work methods. 5) Giving knowledge of micro-macro linkages, legal provisions, govt. schemes, information about community resources. As the students grow confident and more settled to meet field practicum demands, the supervisor refers them to relevant sources to procure information instead of giving it. 6) Teaching the use of tools and techniques of social work practice. 7) Demonstrating use of methods and skills – through lab work or at the placement itself. 8) Teaching record-writing , documentation work 9) Provide frequent and accurate feedback.

project proposal formulation.introducing by direct instruction or encouraging students to take initiative themselves. b) Administrative Functions Besides the above-mentioned responsibilities. 11) Dealing with ethical dilemmas in field work decision-making. budgeting. 13) Teaching NGO / GO management including maintaining records. which in turn makes students’ professional learning possible.e. Following are some of the administrative tasks of field practicum supervisors: . 14) Guidance on research exercise – catching students to take up any research-based assignment – teaching students about research methodology. 15) Innovative projects to help individuals / groups / families / communities .Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 249 10) Facilitate reflection and critical thinking through well planned and structured supervisory sessions. interagency coordination etc. accepting and utilizing feedback. supervisors are expected to perform certain administrative or managerial tasks which are very important for smooth and efficient operationalisation of the design of field practicum. 12) Working with co-workers and utilizing supervision. data analysis and reporting. i. working on committees. data collection.

ensuring submission of records and maintaining log of students’ work. Preparing students for their first professional roles is no small task. It requires giving detailed attention to innumerable contingencies. This is all the more relevant in distance learning programmes.different phases in placement: screening. supervisors have to formally evaluate students’ performance and level of learning in terms of professional skills. actual placement. knowledge and attitudes. 7) As different from an on-going educational assessment. minimum orientation. 4) Keeping attendance of students. 5) Maintaining students’ discipline in placements. 8) Maintaining liaison with placement agencies / . Rather than ‘fix’ the mistakes. 1975). 3) Giving orientation about field practicum and expectations from students. John David. (St. 6) Planning and holding of supervisory conferences.250 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 1) Selection of agencies for field placements 2) Placements of students. goal setting. explaining the use of the Field Journal. and evaluation and closure. giving prior intimation to the supervisees so that they can make necessary arrangements for attending the same. better to tell the do’s and don’ts before hand.

12) Achieving alignment of field –based learning objectives with placement agency’s goals. therefore. and practice modalities. Supervisors have. 9) Visiting field placements. supervisors have to ensure that this manner of learning does not aggravate the problems of the client groups. to be cautious and to critically assess students’ work.Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 251 agency supervisors. This task requires placement-based supervisor to make extra efforts to rise above agency bound loyalties and perceive PR exercise a part of supervisory work. often by trial and error. 11) Resolution of Field work related problems. 10) Arranging of orientation / observation visits of different organizations as directed by field practicum objectives. Irrespective of the educative value of allowing students to learn ‘by doing’. Maintaining good public relations with agencies and network of human service agencies. agencies in the social and corporate sector is very important. coordination with course tutors. 14) Supervisors have to be vicariously responsible for what their students are doing in the field. 13) Serving on Governing Boards of relevant organizations. .

the student needs the support of a supervisor.252 Social Work Practicum and Supervision c) Helping Functions During field practice. Field practice awakens a range of feelings in the student. including insecurity in the role. 4) Building confidence. stress and self-doubt. the student will be facing real social problems and will discover both the impact of these experiences and the requirements of interaction with the people with whom they have to co-operate. It is not enough to oversee students’ work and teach them the use of social work methods. Reassurance of worth and social integration support from supervisors go a long way towards providing students an anchor which they can hold onto in times of emotional turmoil. . Students struggle with confusion and self-doubt as they attempt to develop self-efficacy as a professional. The learning process in social work involves a reappraisal of own attitudes and values. The students are expected to develop the ‘professional self’ which means that their ‘self’ is the main tool for offering professional interventions. Supervisory activities with this focus are designated as ‘helping’ functions. Social Work education aims at bridging the gap between the ‘personal self’ and the ‘professional self’ of the students. anxiety. 3) Attending to students’ personal growth. In this process. Following are some of the helping functions of field practicum supervisors: 1) Creating an open supervisory environment. 2) Providing encouragement.

Supervisors help students identify their strengths and trace professional dimensions of the assignments which may seem routine or unimportant. friends. 14) Supervision should certainly become more relaxed and more supportive as time goes on. family. with agency staff. 8) Dealing with personal / family problems having impact on field practicum performance. coworkers. 9) Keeping track of field assignments triggering personal unfinished agenda. professional self. 6) Settling down in placements.Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 253 5) Helping students develop self-awareness. . 12) Help students get balance between course demands and life outside it – job (for those working). other interests or courses etc. 15) Creating a bond and communicating before applying supervisory controls is very essential. understanding of personal vs. 11) Career counseling.. 13) Helping students with their struggle with confusion and self-doubt as they attempt to develop selfefficacy as a professional. 7) Accepting demands of social work course. 11) Referral to counselors for in-depth personal counseling and to other agencies for addressing family and personal problems. and similarity in problems of clients and self or family.

(h) an advocate to act on behalf of students’ needs and problems. (c) facilitator. appraiser and referral agent are getting increasing mention in social work education literature. 18) We have mentioned earlier that mentoring is one of the most highly recommended supervisory strategies. Helping dimension of field instructor’s function helps nurture and strengthens this relationship. (j) confidante. The word mentor infers caring. (e) consultant. Roles of the Supervisor Roles are a set of behaviours that the field practicum supervisors engage in to fulfill their various obligations.254 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 16) Professional learning is carried out within the context of the student/field instructor relationship. (b) enabler. . The field instructor/student relationship is the primary mechanism through which students develops a professionally reflective and selfevaluative practice stance. (g) co-coordinator. Some of the supervisory roles conceptualized by the experts are that of a (a) teacher. 17) A non-threatening environment of the relationship will help students accept constructing criticism and encourage them to change. (f) counsellor (but the student is not a client). (i) mediator between agency supervisor and the student. (d) guide. Besides the roles of a mentor and coach (with an emphasis or role modeling). coaching and identifying mistakes without causing resentment. setting wise example. an advisor. or students and other staff members.

The supervisor has to adapt and respond to highly diverse student population.Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 255 Qualities of a Supervisor The discussion of various functions and roles that a field instructor performs leads one to perceive a person with a certain set of qualities and traits of personality. Various research studies on which kind of supervisors are rated highly by the students state that the supervisors with the following qualities are considered . values and knowledge of the profession and still managing to view the students not as clients but budding autonomous professionals requires unique set of capabilities and sensitivity. Socio-economic and cultural differences between the supervisors and students require concerted effort on the part of the former. Despite the fact that supervisory process has a parallel in professional practice. is a process parallel to that of social work practice. every good social work practitioner may not prove to be a good field practicum supervisor. Professional values and principles are equally relevant. as mentioned earlier. biases and stereotyping in society. As stated elsewhere. caste and class may need to be understood and dealt with. Skills of professional social work practice are also relevant. Ethical concerns are as much crucial in supervision as they are in the practice with clients. Supervision. All these expectations get in clearer relief in the context of field practicum for students enrolled in distance learning course of social work. Ability to apply all the skills. Supervisors’ own perceptions with regard to gender. region. the students may belong to those social groups who themselves face discrimination.

open-minded. i. is culturally sensitive and has a strong sense of professional identity. which are marked by very limited . In some of the remote areas. believes in lifelong learning and professional development. firm but flexible. we are now looking up the issues which are relevant for fully comprehending the phenomenon of supervision of field practicum in the DL mode. Supervising Field Practicum: Some Important Issues After having discussed the functions and qualities of a good supervisor. unbiased. disparity in age – (student may be much more mature in age than the supervisor) and use of technology.e. The supervisor is expected to have leadership qualities which reflect judicious use of power inherent in the supervisory process. tolerant of differences and accepting of the pace of learning of respective students (starting where the person is and moving at the pace of the individual). Some of the issues we have already touched upon and some are self-explanatory like. there is a concern for confidentiality. Also tools of online supervision presume access and proficiency in relevant technology that may or may not be the case.256 Social Work Practicum and Supervision by the students as being supportive of their professional learning: empathetic. especially in DL mode. cultural gap between the supervisor and students. knowledgeable of the field and having strong interpersonal and communication skills. issues of gender – supervising students of the opposite sex. is secure in his / her position as a supervisor. caring. use of technology. There are interpersonal dimensions of first three of these issues and in others. rational and critically reflective. fair and just.

Supervisors   . Field practitioner vs. teleconferencing arranged periodically and Guide for Supervisors. face-to-face interaction with the Director at the University level. On the other hand. Students are placed under different supervisor in successive years of their course. Supervisors have to be tuned both to academics and practice realities. which are far from ideal. Those who are employed in human service agencies and take up field instructor’s responsibility have to make an extra effort to refresh their theoretical base. They may find it difficult to adapt to different styles and orientation of respective supervisors. Some other issues are being discussed further:  Tra ining of sup erviso rs: We have already mentioned that being a good social work practitioner is not sufficient to becoming a good field instructor. Keeping in mind the need of training and orienting the supervisors. Students have to face field realities.Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 257 educational facilities. academician: Supervisors with academic or with practice orientation are likely to have different impact on students’ professional learning. The subjective element in the supervisory process may appear less acceptable to the students who are not familiar with this trend in social work education. the IGNOU Model provides for Orientation (beginning of the term). course teachers taking up supervisors’ role have to update their practice orientation. access to advanced technology is still a distant dream.

They suggest that this approach to supervision overcomes some of the problematic. In case a particular student responds negatively to the style of a successive supervisor. the onus is on the supervisor to help student get the maximum benefit from his approach and style. experience some form of role conflict in which they have to balance their differing responsibilities. when practicing in the supervisory role (O’Donoghue. The appraisal function places supervisors in a position of authority which has implications for the very movement of students on the ladder of educational achievement.  Role conflict: This is by far the most crucial aspect of supervision related dilemmas—how to maintain a healthy balance among administrative. (Manathunga. after all.. involves interacting and relating to different persons. .258 Social Work Practicum and Supervision have to make special effort to allow students to get used to the idea and learn to benefit from this system. Professional learning in social work. The play of power embedded in the supervisor-supervisee relationship is in sharp contrasts with the pre-requisites of a helping role. hierarchical aspects embedded in supervision. Most social work supervisors ……. 2000). Some authors offer mentoring as the most effective supervision strategy. 2007). helping and educational functions. Vicarious liability of supervisors for what students do in the field may lead to restricted autonomy accorded to the students. multiple accountabilities and a range of relationships.

A judicious mix of different strategies will be more useful. Despite the flexibility of distance learning mode. Structured supervision. learning styles. styles and approaches appropriate to the students’ levels. in this chapter. adopt strategies. case records. As such. process records. practical considerations of agency functioning place certain pressure on students to comply with the demands of practicum schedule. at the very beginning of the relationship and then periodically throughout the process may help in reducing adverse effect of this conflict in roles. individual and group conferences. different facets of supervision of field practicum as it relates to social work education offered through distance learning. Achieving role clarity is very important so as to minimize frustration among supervisors and bewilderment among students. A number of tools are available to supervisors so that they can perform their responsibilities effectively. it requires supervisor to establish a positive relationship with the student. Conclusion We have traced. No single strategy or approach is likely to suit all learning needs and all students. Supervision is a process which parallels that of social work practice.Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 259 Sequential nature of educational objectives of field practicum makes a certain pace of learning mandatory. needs and educational goals of field practicum. on-site observations and regular and constructive feedback are the primary tools which are used within the context of . Spelling out expectations from students and different roles of the supervisors.

Carolyn.eric.ed. .4-8. Kirk. namely administrative.e. skills and values. we reflected on certain issues which are inherent in the supervisory process – cultural and perceptual disparity between student and supervisor.260 Social Work Practicum and Supervision supervisor-supervisee relationship. References Knight. The Process of Field Instruction: BSW and MSW Students’ Views of Effective Field Supervision. & Dougher M. getting training to perform supervisory role and to deal with role conflict that is again inevitable component of the complex process of supervision. Washington DC (ERIC). Journal of Social Work Education. You have also considered as to what kind of person a supervisor has to be – to be able to perform such diverse and demanding tasks. i. Supervisors perform three-pronged functions. related to professional learning constituted of knowledge. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association. Field learning gives students opportunity to integrate theory with practice. Evaluating Effective Supervision. And finally. Vaughn E. v37 n2 p357-79 SprSum 2001 Worthen. educational. Supervisors also have to maintain a balance between theoretical grounding and practice orientation. Aug.e. www. and the helping functions that deal with student as a person and are concerned with his personal growth. 2000. operational and discipline related functions.

Online Supervision for Social Workers. Gary S. Marshall L. 4 Coursol. Cybersupervision: Conducting supervision on the Information Highway. 5. Chris. & Hamilton. Catherine. Harriet. Stofle. 2005 Protivnak. Manathunga. 2002 (ERIC) www. v17 n2 p207-27 Jun 1998 Field Education. Dalhousie University Canada.eric. Education Resource Information Centre.eric.ed. Diane. Jake J. Supervision as Mentoring: The Role of Power and Boundary Crossing.. San Diego. The New Social Worker. Developmentally Appropriate Practicum Supervision: Perceptions of students and Supervisors .socialworker. v29 n2 p207-221 Jul 2007 Hughes. 13:31. CA April 3-6.eric. Shavone. in CyberBytes: Highlighting Compelling Use of Technology in Counselling. The New Social Worker Online . Studies in Continuing Education. Fall 1998.Field Practicum Supervision in Distance Learning Mode 261 Smith. USA Department of Education (ERIC) 2004 www.ed. Practicum Learning: Perils of the Authentic Workplace.. No. Toward a Guide to Distance Education in Social Work.ed. Paper presented at Annual meeting of the Association of Childhood Education International. http:// Field. Supervision Modalities Developmentally Appropriate for School Counselors 2003 (Abstract Cited by ERIC) www. Higher Education Research and Development.

edu. University of Minnesota. Department of Social Work MSW Online Field Supervisor Training. http://pages.pearsoned.e du/s w/field/o nlin efie ldsu ptra in/ Field.php?printview=1 Teaching Role and Effective Supervision: Training Module.1144. http:// www .0205315070. Susann. The Future of Social Work Supervision within Aotearoa / New Zealand. Kieran.html Supervision Strategies (Flinders University. http://vig.htm . 11. Australia) product/0. John.00.flinders. A paper presented At the National Supervision Conference Supervision: From Rhetoric to Reality. Auckland. Goal-Directed Supervision of Social Work Students in Field July 7. postgrad/strategies. 3. (Abstarct) Allyn & Bacon. F 75 O’Donoghue.d. 89-94.262 Social Work Practicum and Supervision volksware/supervisionfuture. 2000.prodigy. St. Journal of Education for Social Work. Supervision: Strategies for Successful Outcomes and Productivity.u mn.htm Dowling.

Hemlata. Fieldwork Practive with Individuals Professional education depends upon the applicability of its skills. Bangalore . Sushma Murthy Introduction Fieldwork Practicum forms an important component of social work course as it provides an opportunity for the student to practice social work skills. Christ College. Here we present the guidelines for fieldwork in different settings. The student gets an exposure to the problems and needs prevailing in each setting and the training equips him/her to handle those problems with necessary skills. Family and Community *K.13 Individuals. The students develop the capacities and abilities to work with Individuals. Bangalore and Sushma Murthy. groups and communities usually under the supervision of their faculty members. The concurrent fieldwork component of social work education provides an opportunity to all students to practice their learning in the classroom. Through first hand observation and participation the students are * Dr. Christ College. Hemlata. methods and strategies in the field.

This facilitates students to perceive the relationship between theoretical parts of social work with the practice in the field settings. The field experience should be within the capacities of the students whether in dealing with individual   . Students should have opportunities to deal with the kind of content implied by the objectives. To foster attitudes in the student towards professional self-development and increasing selfawareness. The fieldwork objectives are realized when the field placement fulfills certain criteria of experiential learning. To help students develop skills in the practice all the methods of social work To integrate the class room learning with field practice To develop skills in problem solving. such as:  The learning experience during fieldwork must give the student the opportunity to perform the kind of behaviour implied by the fieldwork objectives.264 Social Work Practicum and Supervision able to imbibe the nuances of actual practice.     Fieldwork should provide effective learning experience to the students. skills and attitudes. Objectives of Fieldwork  To offer purposeful learning experience to students through interaction with life situation under supervisory guidance for professional growth in terms of knowledge.

Field experience related to helping individuals would primarily involve placing the student in the ‘place’ which is an agency where he learns the entire process of working with the individual.Individuals. Each semester the students should have incremental exposure in terms of the techniques and skills used. Field experience helps the students to perceive all the necessary aspects of accomplishing the learning task and to bring the parts into a satisfactory whole. Through our field placement the students learning must be monitored and regular feedback makes learning effective. which is a progressive transaction . Helen Harris Perlman (1957) tries to understand this process of working with individuals in terms of a ‘person’ with a ‘problem’. The problem that is presented by the person is tackled through a process.    Fieldwork with Individuals Social casework is understood as an approach to help individual in a systematic manner based on knowledge of human behaviour and various tested approaches. Field experience should help students to have a better perception of himself and his career. Family and Community 265 clients or while working with the communities. place and process. problem. who comes to an agency where the help he seeks is rendered..  The learnings from the field should be built on the past experience of the students. She was thus able to delineate the four basic components of social casework. person. viz.

principles and techniques 2) To enable the student to develop his concept of ‘professional self’ and its differential use 3) To facilitate the experience of going through the entire process of social case work viz Intake process. This consists of the problem solving activities carried out within the relationship that is forged between the social worker and the client. This can enable the students to be prepared to carry out casework with clients in actual problem situations. Learning goals for field practice with individuals 1) To provide the student with experiences in using case work concepts. Students undergoing training in casework have to be provided this experiential learning so that the student while interacting with real person/client imbibes the process of problem solving. Bowers (1949) defines casework as an “ art in which knowledge of the science of human relations and the skills in relationship are used to mobilize capacities in the individual and the resources in the community appropriate for better adjustment between the client and all or part of his environment”. . Diagnosis of the problem. components. treatment plan. It becomes a basic necessity to prepare the student with sound theoretical inputs before placing him in the field. This view clearly establishes the requirement in terms of field experiences for students learning casework practice.266 Social Work Practicum and Supervision between the professional and the client.

The student at this stage learns to build professional relationship with . The student learns the appropriate use of the features such as the Genogram and Ecomap. family details. Before beginning field practice the students need adequate grounding in the theory of casework practice. Individual and group conferences help in the minute planning of each session by the student. Family and Community 267 implementation and evaluation and follow up. This involves the development of the proper format to record Intake summaries with personal details. The concerned faculty has to reorient the students with the concepts. Most schools provide comprehensive formats to gather all the information required. 4) To help the student to acquaint himself with the method of reporting and record the process followed by the student. Students should learn the scope and the variations in casework practice in different settings. issues related to referral and the presenting problem. the guidance of the faculty supervisor becomes essential. Preliminary Session This session is generally used to finish the Intake Process. The student has to develop formats to record the sessions as well as summary recordings. process and techniques before intake of clients. Choice of Cases/Clients It is usually the practice that the agency personnel themselves allot cases to students if the student is required to select the cases themselves.Individuals.

. Students have to learn to diagrammatically present the facts of the case. The genogram as well as the Ecomap form part of the intake summary to help the student to understand the situational concomitants of the case. The student is exposed to the formalities of conducting interviews. Diagnosis The student has to discuss the details of the case with agency personnel as well as the faculty supervisor to understand all the facts of the case. Many times a psychological assessment of the client may be required for the completion of the first phase of casework practice. Besides interviewing the client the Initial sessions should involve collateral interviews with members of the immediate family. The students collect all the information and review it with the agency staff for a proper interpretation of the client’s situation. A few sessions could be planned to interview them and solicit their observations and suggestions about the case. The student has to understand the socio-economic milieu of the client. neighbors and other significant members relevant to the case. Proper diagnosis is at the heart of the casework practice. Fieldwork should help in understanding the variations in seemingly similar situations and learn not to view situations as stereotypes. Rapport building skills should be used effectively during the stage. The cultural background of the client will help the student to comprehend the actualities of the case. The subtlety and sensitivity of assessing the case has to be developed by the student.268 Social Work Practicum and Supervision client.

environmental and in certain cases biological factors in the development of the problem is to be understood. both social and physical. The role-played by the psychological. preventive and promotional. The students understand the features of the problem such as the duration. This provides a cross sectional view of the forces currently operating in the client’s problems. social. consistency and its strength. Treatment Phase Students go to the field with the knowledge that treatments goals generally fall in four categories – curative. Family and Community 269 Fieldwork practice should facilitate the students to make an etiological diagnosis. This should help the student to interpret the facts. rehabilitative. He may have to modify the environment. This process helps in establishing what the trouble is. He should be in a position to judge the validity and feasibility of various solutions and make predictions about operationalising the intervention planned. which are precipitating the client’s . The students generally are advised to administer concrete services. The student should understand the flexibility that initial diagnosis gives as this tentative diagnosis could be subject to modification and the treatment process could get crystallized with the progress of case work practice. This provides the student the opportunity to focus completely on the ‘problem’.Individuals. the impact of these features on the ‘person’ and his present social functioning and the resulting inappropriate behaviours and relationship patterns should be assessed by the student. Further the student has to be taught to make the dynamic diagnosis.

Different phases of the casework practise require different skills to complete the activities required. techniques and principles can help students to rectify their misconceptions Skills Requirements of Social Case Work Students have to learn certain specific skills during field placement. During the conferences with the student the faculty member has to help him to sharpen some of the skills to be used. The focus can also be the emotional well being of the client also. advocacy or mobilization techniques have to be understood fully before practice. beliefs and values. Cognitive skill. Student has to facilitate the process of helping the clients to reach decisions. decision making and climate setting skills will be employed in the latter stages of practice. . Like wise the various techniques. interactive skill and assessment skill play an important role in the initial phases. the students have to terminate the case. Assessing the various skills. which could be used – Adaptive behaviour. The student has to strengthen the client’s capacities. Evaluation After the intervention phase. The student has to discuss the issues with the experts and supervisors before finalizing the treatment plan. Client follow up is essential to evaluate the casework intervention. Problem solving. work towards modifying existing attitudes.270 Social Work Practicum and Supervision situation. This stage will prove very beneficial for the learner.

The student has to develop different courses of action with associated advantages and disadvantages and limitations. The students should have the appropriate communication skills to help the client to comprehend the different courses of action. This skill is developed through the practices of showing respect and expressing genuine interest in the client and his problem. Apart from working with individuals and . Skill in establishing the treatment alternatives. this skill is vital as the entire process of case work is carried out through the professional relationship. Skill in exploring problems. The student also should be prepared to exhibit the correct professional attitude while building the professional relationship. The role of the supervisor becomes vital here. These could belong to the agency as well as the client’s family or from the environment. The student’s analytical skills have to be developed so that he is capable to make the right judgment to formulate the treatment phase.Individuals. this requires the student to access the material as well as nonmaterial resources. this is the skill in envisaging different approaches to solve the problem of the client. Field Work Practice with Families Modern family social work is rooted in the early friendly visitor concept. Skills in locating and accessing resources. Family and Community 271 Skill in building relationships. this skill is related to ‘probing’ for the correct details which help students to understand the problem in all its complexities As well as understanding development pattern of the problem.

. the social workers also have to work with the families in problem. if available. relationship of married couple.  Assessing the client’s needs: The trainee should understand the problems and needs of the client. as a part of field work practicum a social work trainee is exposed to families as one of the major areas of field work. This is gaining a lot of importance as the families are going through a stage of transition while meeting the changing demands of the present day society. This in turn is leading to a lot of problems in raising children. This can be begun by obtaining as much information as possible on the client and his family. The trainee can achieve this by reading material about the specific problems from files.  Collecting and identifying information: This is the beginning phase where the trainee should collect the personal details of the client. A student social worker has to deal with the families – in –problem under the effective guidance of the supervisor. Hence. The important objective of family social work is to help families learn to function more efficiently while meeting the developmental and emotional needs of all the members. Following are the guidelines for a student to do his field work practicum with families.272 Social Work Practicum and Supervision groups. balancing multiple roles and so on.

This would help the student learn the strategies used to cope with these problems. .  Home visit: The trainee needs to visit the client’s house in order to understand the environmental factors contributing to the problem. This can be done under the close supervision of his guide. This would also help to assess the relationships and communication pattern present among the members. This may be done in addition to holding the session in office.Individuals.  Learn to draw a Genogram and Ecomap: The student can gradually engage in activities such as drawing a genogram or an eco map as these activities will help the trainee to understand the problem from the perspective of family’s interaction with its environment. Family and Community  273 Understanding the stages of family life cycle: It provides an opportunity to the student to understand the stage a family is going through and its related problems.  Building a relationship with the client: The trainee needs to use his skills of building a rapport and empathic understanding. It is however advised to conduct the session in the client’s house.judgmental and possess positive regard for the client and all his family members. The trainee needs to be non.

2) Being sensitive about verbal and non. .verbal communication about desires and goals from each family members. 1) Listening.274  Social Work Practicum and Supervision Protecting confidentiality: Another skill to be used by the trainee is to maintain confidentiality by avoiding discussing about the client with others who are not related to the problem. 3) Recognizing family difficulties related to effective problem solving. 4) Promoting skills. attitudes and environmental conditions that contribute to effective family coping.  Developing interviewing skills: As the trainee gets to witness the superior doing the interview for the client and his family members. knowledge.  Developing attending skills: 1) Non-verbal attending skills like eye-contact and appropriate facial expressions should be maintained 2) Verbal attending skills include listening closely to what others are stating verbally and Paraverbally and non-verbally. he/she needs to closely observe the process in order to develop skills in. The reports that are written should be kept highly confidential.

assertive training are used on the family members. 2) Internal functioning of the family: A fieldwork trainee needs to understand the strengths of the family in terms of internal resources. The trainee should observe the therapist in facilitating the family to arrive at the desired destination.  The task of goal setting: The trainee should learn the art of assisting families in goal setting.  Working through the problem: This is again learnt by observing the therapist as to how the techniques like relaxation techniques. This again depends on self – determination and desires of the family. . the trainee has to focus on the following aspects. Family and Community  275 Focusing on important issues in assessment interview: When the interview is being carried out by the therapist. and internal support.Individuals.  Problem identification: The trainee should develop the skills to identify the problem based on the information gathered about the family and its environment. 1) Problem: This mainly includes aspects like why the intervention is needed. what is the extent of the problem and what is the history of the problem.

which focuses on community intervention.  Reporting: The fieldwork trainee should write the reports on daily basis where he has to record every detail of the session. He needs to evaluate the day’s work at the end of the report before adding his plan of action for the next session.276 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Here. Field Work Practice with Communities Working with communities refers to the various methods of intervention whereby a professional change agent helps a community system composed of individuals. .  Follow up: The student has to continue to follow up the case to ensure that the intervention has proved to be effective and the problem has not repeated. The trainee should learn the skills to bring behavioural change through basic life skills. Community organization is the method of social work practice. It is done when the family is able to function on its own after developing effective coping mechanism to work through the problem. the field work trainee will be learning the application of theory he has studied into practice. groups or organizations to engage in planned collective action in order to deal with social problems within a democratic system of values.  Termination: The trainee should learn about terminating the process.

It becomes essential to first find out the feasibility of carrying out fieldwork in certain open settings. rural. tribal. facilitating interaction between the different parts of the ‘whole’ community namely the institutions. Understanding the importance of people participation in implementing the intervention planned. Lea rnin g go als of field wor k Pr actice w ith communities  To provide opportunities for the students to understand the features of communities – Urban. leadership – informal and formal as well as the geographical subdivisions. This process facilitates the maximum use of its internal and external resources. conflict management.Individuals. resource mobilization etc. which at the same time strengthening its potential ability to undertake the solution of different complex and difficult problems.    Many schools of social work strongly adhere to the practice that all students have to be placed in open communities during the first year of studies before they move on to the various specializations. Family and Community 277 This method follows a process which includes the understanding of needs of a community. Physical . To imbibe the skills required for practice in open communities such as skills in interacting with people. Understanding the Unique needs of the different communities. Prioritizing the needs and assessing peoples’ strength.

households. educational status etc. The information relating to population. Needs assessment Community organization practice is based entirely on the assessment of the community vis-à-vis its felt needs. Induction into the community It is normal practice to encourage students to visit the local municipal office or the Panchayat office to collect information about the community. Meeting with local leaders. distribution of the population by caste and religion. Student social workers have to develop the skills of interacting with people both at the formal and informal level and comprehend the outstanding felt needs of a community. community heads. are available in these offices. availability of basic amenities to students. the student has to understand the extent of politicization of . government officials and other functionaries to understand the needs of the community. Schools of social work usually undertake pilot visits before choosing a community for fieldwork placement. Students have to be taught to formulate a simple baseline survey format to access all the vital information of the community. Intervention Before planning intervention strategies. and familiarity with the local issues are necessary. occupation etc. Besides these. compatibility with reference to languages spoken.278 Social Work Practicum and Supervision accessibility. a survey of the community is undertaken to collect information about the sex ratio. family income.

Enlisting the participation of different stakeholders and ensuring their support is always a challenge to students as well . The student has to involve the members of the power structure as collaborators in the interventions/initiatives undertaken.Individuals. Problem solving and interactional skills help in arriving at solutions for reconciliable differences of different members. Effective community practice for example depends on the students’ understanding of the legal framework besides administrative principles to effectively participate in the learning process. Family and Community 279 development processes in the community. The student had to depend on his interactional skills besides organizational skills to successfully negotiate this phase of community practice. Planning interventions therefore involves developing communication networks between different interest groups in the community. A sound knowledge of the resources available with in the community becomes essential. The student is likely to encounter apathy from certain section of the community. The success of fieldwork practice depends largely on the fieldwork content that the school of social work provides to its students. The basic tenet of community organization practice is to facilitate community integration and advocate self-help to the community. Students have to be helped in every way to develop organizational skills. People participation in the implementation of all interventions planned is expected. Broad cross section of people has to be involved in the determination and solving their own problems. anomalies that exist in the community.

The student has to understand the professional roles that community workers would have to play. Relevant social science concepts including social status. power structure and the manifest and the latent functions of organizations. The training should include methods of community analysis techniques such as community surveys. . social stratification.280 Social Work Practicum and Supervision as practitioners. He needs to be able to carry himself with ease in the field. Students need to be trained to locate and use the formal and informal networks of communication in the community. dress and manner while at the same time expressing his individuality. priority studies. Beyond the knowledge base. Fieldwork therefore has to provide the opportunities to develop and practice these skills. The knowledge base for the student trainee will include a proper understanding of the concept of community and the nature of community problems. Students have to understand the distinctive norms that professionals social worker advocates regarding the worker’s relations to various community groups. need assessment. the students have to develop pertinent skills and attitude relevant to their work. resource identifications etc. Special emphasis has to be given to imbibe skills to facilitate community participation. in an appropriate fashion in speech. The problem solving concepts of study-diagnosis-plan of action has to be understood clearly.

why and how community tasks should be performed. those that relate to establishing relationship with staff.Individuals. when. Community work need not also always be viewed as being restricted to disadvantaged groups alone. The student also should be able to impart to the community a philosophy grounded in a basic commitment and the importance of a democratic approach in carrying our work. local residents and community leaders. He needs to learn to exercise a professional vision of the what. The student trainee needs to understand that the services and work of the community agency cannot be viewed as ends in themselves but as parts of a larger entity such as the communities’ themselves. being able to function in unstructured and sometimes chaotic situations. . Communities need to be understood as heterogeneous entities. Some of the skills identified. Family and Community 281 He needs to view the participants with whom he works as partners with himself in a common enterprise of serving the community and see himself as enabling his partners to serve their communities via his particular expert competence. Viewing people’s needs as those of unique individuals and not amorphous masses can forge this. which are relevant to community-based practice are: Engagement skills. with each group presenting distinct need profiles. use of self in different action situations. where.

Students have to imbibe professional . those relating to the ability to view local initiative with a broader socio economic frame work. Political skills. Evaluation of the students The faculty member has to look at several parameters while evaluating student’s professional growth during fieldwork conferences and seminars.282 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Organizational skills. ability to generalize from the specific and relating individual grievances to organizational responses. ability to make decision in situation where all the relevant information is never available. Planning and policy skills. a knowledge of the sociology of political decision making and a grasp of different varieties of political ideologies and their implication for change centered action. those relating to analysis of issues and problems. working with committees and organizing public events. those relating to a grasp of mechanics of building organizations. These observations will aid teachers to intensify efforts to build the capacity of students to integrate theory and practice. Action skills. those relating to communication with others by written and spoken words. Communication skills. strategize and tactical options and their possible implication for action initiatives. ability to adjust style and manner of communication according to different situational contexts. ability to work within a political framework. those relating to the ability to work towards specific objectives.

Individuals.student relationship. Make student realize the opportunities available for the students to learn practice skills. Family and Community 283 ethics and values and express their utility in practice and record these in their reports. Continuous appraisal of students throughout the field placement and working towards augmenting their professional growth in a structured manner. . Helping students to acquire good work habits besides punctuality in all their field activities. Individual conferences are exclusively used for a faceto-face interaction between students and faculty members. These play a role in ironing out individual problems faced by each student. Student assessment can be effectively made during these conferences. seminars and regular field visits. Holding regular conferences – individual as well as group enabling student to share their learning experiences. help them identify with the agency and its objectives and client groups. This allows for individual attention given to all students and in developing supervisor. Role of the faculty supervisor guiding fieldwork students  Orienting students to the agency.     The supervisor can use different methods while facilitating student’s development such as individual and group conferences.

However the community setting gives you a wide opportunity to test your skills. Conclusion It is important to learn the basic skills like interviewing. application of therapies and goal setting. It is however advised that the students need to gain a certain amount of maturity before they attempt to apply their skills in the family settings as family problems are complex in nature.284 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Group conference help students learning from one another. which acts as a reinforcement to student’s experiences. Field visits by supervisor are considered essential for effective supervision of students. However they are important in all social work settings including community. Specific skills used in family settings are assessing relationships. attending. A three-way conference between student teacher and agency personnel is possible to discuss various learning issues. listening while working with individuals and families. It is also important to remember that the student should be sensitive to the value system of the community as it may differ from his/her own value system. mutual support among students are facilitated. . This would equip a student to undertake family counseling while handling a joint as well as an individual session depending on the situation. Seminars help in building case studies and developing literature related to different agencies and their philosophies.

Gordon (1951) Theory and Practice of Social Case Work. An Introduction to Family Social Work . Perlman H. New York. the university of Chicago Ross.(1957). Harper and Row Publishers. Family and Community 285 References Biestek Felix P.H (1957) Social Case Work: A Problem Solving Process.. Columbia University Press Collins Donald. Murray G. Allen and Unwin Ltd. (1967) . Community Organization. Jordan Cathleen. Principles and Practice. (1999). The Casework Relationship. New York Hamilton. Theory.Individuals.

demands. and equitable health care for individuals varies considerably. Social workers help people function better in their environment. Access to timely. Delhi. Currently. and solve personal and family problems. with significant percentages of many segments of population having only limited access to health care. health care social workers provide services across the continuum of care in various settings. comprehensive. Social workers are present in public health. acute and chronic * Manju Gupta. .14 Medical. deal with their relationships. protection and participation to children form the scope of social work profession. The constant growth. Psychiatry and Child Care *Manju Gupta Introduction Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help in improving people’s lives. and changes in health care have had a serious impact on the viability and need for social workers in all areas including settings of health care and child welfare and development. development. Delhi University. Ensuring rights to survival.

and environmental factors that have an effect on the well-being of individuals and communities. social workers joined other health professions in the delivery of high quality services. emotional. Child welfare covers the entire spectrum of needs of children who by reason of handicap – social. As the social work role expanded. developmental and rehabilitative in nature. supportive counseling. crisis intervention. and case management. physical and mental – are unable to avail of services provided by the community. promotive. Today. because of their broad perspective on the range of physical. social workers can be found in every component of the health care system The basic values of social work. from promoting an individual’s right to self determination to having an . economic. Social Work Practice in a Health Care Setting The social work profession’s earliest concerns were with making health care services available to the poor and with improving social conditions that bred infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Professional social workers are well equipped to practice in the health care field. Child welfare services in their various facets are preventive.Medical. Child welfare programmes thus seek to provide supportive services to the families of these children because one of the important responsibilities of the society and state is to assist the family in its natural obligations for the welfare of the children. Psychiatry and Child Care 287 care settings providing a range of services including health education.

Social workers look at the person-in-environment. classes. Under the auspices of government and non-government public health organizations and institutions. religions. but also the very existence. abilities. and affirms. the worth and dignity of people of all cultures. in which social work practice respectfully responds to. for locating supportive resources. social workers are a valuable resource for the development of treatment plans for patients. including all the factors that influence the total health care experience. ethnic backgrounds. social workers can use the principle of client’s self determination in matters where client’s faced with such issues. are the foundation of social work practice. and validation of the profession. social workers often provide behavioural and social assessments along with mental health assessment. and other diverse features found in individuals. Social work research in health care benefits not only individuals and families. Social workers have skills in cultural awareness and cultural competence. When confronting dilemmas or needs in health care. and short-term or ongoing case management. languages. Social workers practice at the macro and micro level of health care and thus have the ability to influence policy change and development at local. treatment.288 Social Work Practicum and Supervision attitude of empathy for the individual. Role and Responsibilities of Social Workers in Health Care Settings In the public health arena. and in facilitating referrals. effectiveness. sexual orientation. Social workers may also work in the community as planners or community organizers . and central levels and within systems of care. state.

or entire communities to address social problems such as drug abuse or teen pregnancy. Social workers have expertise in communication. social workers look at all of the influences and aspects of a person’s life to complete a thorough assessment and treatment plan with the client. and the comprehensive impact of health conditions on the client. and psychosocial implications of.Medical. With the person-in-environment perspective. injury. navigating systems of care. resources. and health conditions to provide social work services to clients and families to help them manage and cope with the impact of such health matters. neighborhoods. family. Psychiatry and Child Care 289 capable of engaging groups of people. Social workers working in health care settings should integrate theory and practice The social worker uses knowledge about. illness. Essential areas of knowledge and understanding about health care include:  the roles and functions of social work in health care the psycho-social needs of clients and families the physiological elements of illness and their impact on psychosocial functioning the psychological and spiritual needs of clients and families and how to ensure that they can be addressed community resources to assist clients and families     . and other health care professionals. client and family coping skills.

social. or physical functioning social history. families. or vocational history stage in the life cycle and related and relevant developmental issues cultural values and beliefs. and policies affecting clients. culturally competent assessment includes:  past and current health status including genetic history of family health the impact of health conditions or treatments on cognitive. including views on illness. including current living arrangement and household environment work. and social work practice evidence-based practices and social work research in health care the needs of special populations. disability.290  Social Work Practicum and Supervision laws.   Assessment and. intervention strategies Assessment is a fundamental process of social work practice. school. A comprehensive. and death      . psychological. Treatment and intervention strategies/plans require that social workers both assess and reassess client needs and modify plans accordingly. The health status of populations and of individuals is assessed for many reasons. emotional. regulations. Social work assessments in health care settings include considering relevant factors and the needs of the individual client and the family.

Intervention through interdisciplinary input Intervention plans are steps identified by the health social worker. and coping styles financial resources. including children. and people with physical or psychiatric disabilities. cultures. including formal and informal support systems behavioural and mental health status and current level of functioning. socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. Social workers should be able to adapt practice techniques to best meet client needs within their health care setting to work effectively with individuals across the life-span. Psychiatry and Child Care  291 family structure and the client’s role within the family social supports. in collaboration with the client and with other members of the team.    Comprehensive assessments shall address unique needs relevant to special populations. people with substance use disorders. including history. to achieve objectives identified during assessment. Intervention plans may include:  strategies to address needs identified in the assessment . suicide risk.Medical. with different ethnicities. homeless people. victims of violence or trauma. religions. people with severe and persistent mental illness. and across the range of mental health and disability conditions.

292           Social Work Practicum and Supervision information. and intervention  . which includes linking the client with resources that provide a range of services. family. resources. and supportive counseling psycho-educational support groups financial counseling case management discharge planning interdisciplinary care planning and collaboration client and systems advocacy. educational. Addressing client’s multiple needs In Social work case dealing requires the professional social worker to develop and maintain a therapeutic relationship with the client. The scope of services would include the following:  psychosocial assessment. and education individual. planning. Culturally competent case dealing is both micro and macro in nature and requires interdisciplinary care planning and collaboration with other professionals to maintain a team-oriented approach. and treatment plans financial assessment. or group counseling vocational. including diagnosis. interventions. and opportunities to enhance successful quality outcomes for the client. referral. Case dealing may include having regular meetings with the client and family and assisting the client to navigate systems.

work. The social worker identifies deficiencies in the knowledge base of the client and works with the client to obtain the needed information and resources. They communicate and collaborate with departments and other staff to foster client education. They have the knowledge and skill to implement the principles of learning theories in education programs.Medical. activities. Psychiatry and Child Care         293 case facilitation client and family counseling crisis intervention quality improvement resource mobilization outcome evaluation teamwork client/family education. or teaching experience. Social workers act as educators Social workers have a formal role as educators. planning. Social workers gain knowledge and expertise in the health practice setting from other professionals and from formal education. Assessment identifies the educational needs based on the expressed needs of individuals. and significant others. implementation. and resources. Social workers use a variety of methods to define and identify learning needs of individuals and families. Social workers collaborate with the health care team to design educational . They serve with other members of the health care team for program and resource development. and evaluation. family members.

a process by which a variety of interventions are planned. Soc ial work ers shou ld m aint ain reco rds or documentation of social work services The importance of clear.294 Social Work Practicum and Supervision activities to meet the client’s needs. feelings. Health education involves health promotion and disease prevention (HP/DP) programming. It recognizes the human worth and dignity. concise. and evaluated for the purpose of improving or maintaining the health of a community or population. families. There are core elements that need to be included and responsibilities to follow in . Social workers should engage in Health education Health education is concerned with change in the knowledge. and communities to promote their health by their own actions and efforts. The health educator is there to help them to achieve their health goals through the educational process. to rise higher and higher when suitable environment is created and opportunities are given. implemented. and systematic manner. to deliver the activities in a method that facilitates the learning needed. ongoing. Health education helps individuals. and behaviour of people. and to evaluate the process in an integral. and organized documentation reflects the features of quality social work services and often serves as the mode of communication between a social worker and other professionals and clients. In its most usual form it concentrates on developing such health practices as are believed to bring about the best possible state of well being.a process based on the faith that every human-being has the inherent potential to develop.

The elements and responsibilities of thorough and comprehensive documentation include the following:  comprehensive assessment and services delivered to the client and client systems. whereever appropriate documentation of compliance with confidentiality rights and responsibilities documentation of receipts and disbursements. times. and descriptions of client and client system contacts documentation of outcomes reason for case closure or transfer written permission to release and obtain information. implement. and treatment planning referral sources and collaborations dates. Venues where health care social workers might help to develop. As professionals. Psychiatry and Child Care 295 record keeping. social workers in all settings have a mandate to improve the knowledge of the field and this can best be accomplished through participation in research activities. interventions.         Health care social workers should actively participate in research activities Social workers have a responsibility to be familiar with the literature crucial to their area of practice. or evaluate . including the development of a plan of care ongoing assessments.Medical.

nurses. they can also help clients manage problems that may hinder adherence and retention. interns. etc. Experienced social workers shall offer guidance and consultation to students. to enhance competence in providing quality client care. apart from the general hospitals and medical colleges. and less experienced peers. Areas for Practice in Health Care Social Work Today. Social workers are also working with the community outreach programmes of hospitals and Non Governmental Organizations. and others recruit individuals and encourage study participation and adherence to medication regimens. such as challenging life circumstances and demands from family members.296 Social Work Practicum and Supervision research include in-client and out-client hospital-based settings. Social workers are placed in psychiatric hospitals. Supervision aids in professional growth and development and improves clinical outcomes. cancer hospitals. Drug de addiction centres. Social worker as a supervisor The purpose of supervision is to enhance the clinical social worker’s professional skills and knowledge. family planning clinics. . Rich data sources that permit opportunities for quantitative and qualitative research exist within these entities. community or home health agencies. child guidance centres. blood banks. Consultation and guidance are separate from supervision. pharmacists. Social workers may help physicians. and may be offered in mentoring opportunities.

their role bears special significance.cultural background and prepares his medico.socio history. and after discharge. S/he ensures the patient cooperates fully with the doctor and accepts the treatment wholeheartedly. She/he assists the doctor decide the social recommendation for solving the patient’s medical problems. occupation and socio. . S/he helps the doctor to see the correlation between the medical and the social data. Wards. Medical Social Work Services are organized in various OPDs. back from hospital to home. Purpose of medical social work is to help each individual sick person in matters of personal and social adjustment including rehabilitation in the society through the use of patient’s capabilities as well as community resources. Clinics and Casualty by professionally qualified social workers designated as Medical Social workers. how it spreads. She/ he helps to remove the patient’s doubt and misconceptions about the diseases and its treatment. Psychiatry and Child Care 297 Social Workers in the General or Specialty Hospital Social workers being an integral part of the health set up. the Medical social worker helps in the smooth transition from home to hospital. They provide the following services to the indigent.  For patients needing hospitalization. and how it can be controlled.  S/he collects information about the patient’s family. needy and deserving clients:  The Medical social worker acts as the doctor’s mouthpiece and furnishes information to the client about the following: his or her illness.Medical. S/he provides the social history to the doctor. how it occurs.

If there is fear of the patient losing his job because of illness and myths associated with it. for the benefit of the client.patients and their attendants. dental and pharmacy students. dispel the myths and convince the employer not to terminate the services of the patient. hospitalization. nursing. S/he obtains people’s cooperation in multidisciplinary camps.      . transportation. sterilization camps. s/he arranges for low cost lodging for his family members. S/he explains to them the changes that have to be made in the home conditions. in cooking etc. The Medical social worker participates in the teaching and training activities of the department of preventive and social medicine. S/he takes classes for medical. She conducts group sessions for the in. from welfare agencies in the community. If client has come from a long distant place. HIV/AIDS Awareness Camps. She arranges for financial assistance to the patient for treatment.298  Social Work Practicum and Supervision The Medical social worker works with the client and family and provides them emotional support and helps them with stress management. s/he arranges for it. blood donation camps. S/he meets the employer. She participates in all the field activities of the hospital and medical college. etc. cataract camps. If client requires legal help..

These social workers may be known as clinical or Psychiatric social workers. substance abuse treatment centers. work and social life and brings out significant facts which have some bearing on his maladjustments. including abuse of alcohol. This study enables her to prepare a systematic case history of the client which throws light on the tension and difficulties in the client’s life and also help him to assess the positive and negative aspects of the environment. social rehabilitation. or other drugs. and training in skills of everyday living. They have a vital role to play in patients’ wellbeing:  The psychiatric social worker makes thorough study of the environment of the client covering such aspects as home. etc. Such services include individual and group therapy. S/he provides recreational services to the inpatient by organizing film shows.Medical. Psychiatry and Child Care  299 S/he actively takes part in the research activities of the medical colleges or hospitals. crisis intervention. or individual and family services agencies. The psychiatric social worker very often explains the client or relatives what the problem is and what  . tobacco. and by providing toys and playthings for children’s. outreach. Mental health and substance abuse social workers are likely to work in hospitals. They also may help plan for supportive services to ease clients’ return to the community..  Social Workers in the Area of Psychiatric Health Social workers in the area of psychiatric health and substance abuse assess and treat individuals with mental illness or substance abuse problems. video presentations.

Social treatment is also geared towards after care. A psychiatric social worker needs to bear in mind that she should not get so deeply involved in intensive treatment of the maladjusted individual that s/he fails to recognize the importance of general social problems and.300 Social Work Practicum and Supervision is involved in psychiatric treatment. the psychiatric social worker is able to interpret her agency and its functions to the community so that the community can seek its aid in time and also give its timely assistance to the agency. The social worker works with the clients. . therefore may not take interest in programmes for social change. treatment of environment problems. The social worker also tries to bring about a better adjustment between the client and his family. And also the client’s ability to support himself and his ability to support his family must be restored. The social worker has to follow up a discharged case carefully.e. The social worker has to help the relatives of the mentally ill. She needs to study social conditions. his relative and others. directly connected with him in modifying their attitudes. i. By working cooperatively with various agencies. develop resources in the community and participate in community planning. to accept the diagnosis and the psychiatric recommendations. The social worker aids the psychiatric treatment by social treatment. so that their anxiety is allayed and they can cooperate in the treatment.  To enlist the cooperation of other social agencies for better discharge of functions of one’s own agency and for stimulating interest in dealing with common problems effectively.

Recording also helps her in acquiring the habit of observing and writing description carefully. Psychiatric social worker participates in the determination and formation of agency policies with a view to socializing the agency set up to meet the needs of clients better. Her work may involve community organization. This will also enable her to know whether s/he is going in the right direction or not. imparts mental health education to parents.    .Medical. Psychiatry and Child Care  301 Students of psychiatric social work. assisting in community surveys. development of facilities for more adequate provision for prevention and treatment of mental disease and so on. studying mental hygiene needs of communities. nursing students. medical students and staff of the agency where the psychiatric social worker is employed as a mental hygiene supervisor or consultant may participate in the training programme. Sometimes her services are required to promote mental health education in the community. when necessary. development of facilities for more adequate hygiene needs of communities. In prenatal and postnatal clinics and nursery schools the psychiatric social worker apart from direct casework service into the clients. A full report enables a worker to diagnose the social problems better and check up her social treatment plan. publicity. Psychiatric social worker maintains social records for the purpose of social statistics.

Through organized recreational programmes the patients learn group participation. S/he enables the patients to accept psychiatric recommendation and encourages the patient to continue the treatment. The psychiatric social worker can render help in promoting social research too. Such activities contribute much to the patient’s recovery.302  Social Work Practicum and Supervision The psychiatric social worker can be of immense assistance in the field of research. It is natural   . This psychiatric social worker attached to hospitals has to respond to the problem of home sickness as well as the boredom of long treatment.wide preventive services. A large part of the Mental Health needs in many communities is for community. Case records of the agency provide ample data for social action for promoting the cause of welfare of patients and their families. She observes the social component of illness. learn discipline in a congenial atmosphere and also overcome their personality defects like shyness. Thus Psychiatrists are in a position to observe the result of any particular treatment in which they are interested. take up responsibility for their behaviour. The psychiatric social worker is gaining wider acceptance in community planning. behaviour disorders. withdrawn behaviour. negativism etc. and finds out that the Community resources are inadequate and can throw much light on the deficiencies. etc. S/he may organize a recreation club with the help of the members of the staff and the patients and encourage the latter to develop hobbies.

Role in the child guidance clinics Most of the child guidance clinics are either part of the Department of Psychiatry of General Hospitals or run by a Social Welfare Agency. social workers.approach and are staffed with psychiatrist.Medical. habit disorder. Psychiatry and Child Care 303 that the psychiatric social worker be invited to contribute to the task of educating the general public in strengthening mental health. the same will continue into adulthood. mental retardation. play therapists. pediatricians. The rapidly growing elderly population will create greater demand for health and social services. The child guidance clinics operate on the premise that if sound foundations of mental health are laid in childhood and adolescence. Role in the programmes for elderly Psychiatric social workers are being employed increasingly in programmes for older persons. personality disorders. resulting in particularly rapid job growth among gerontology social workers. psychologists. The individual problems in the children who attend the clinics are: antisocial behaviour. The routine daily activities at the clinics consist of:   Registration of new cases Review of old cases . It requires that psychiatric social workers take part in various local and state programmes devoted to his end. speech therapists …etc. most clinics followed the team. psycho-somatic disorders. epilepsy. neurosis and others. With regard to the staffing of the child guidance clinics.

U.  Social Workers and Community Health The term “community health” refers to the health status of a defined group of people. post graduate pediatric students and nurses.E. the health status of the people living in a particular town. and organizations..C. The actions and . or community. social work students. Those individuals who make up a community live in a somewhat localized area under the same general regulations. postgraduate psychiatric students. …etc. would constitute community health. Other individual programmes in association with the W.O. values. and the actions and conditions that protect and improve the health of the community. and the actions taken to protect and improve the health of these residents.304   Social Work Practicum and Supervision Psychometric evaluation Individual psychotherapy for the child or his parents        Group psychotherapy for the child or his parents Play therapy Speech therapy Group therapy for teachers Case conferences Research projects Teaching programmes for undergraduate medical students. norms.H.N.F. For example.I.

Health protection and services include the implementing of laws. rules. Health protection and health services differ from health promotion in the nature or timing of the actions taken. health protection and health services. and an example of each factor. availability of ethnic foods. Factors that affect community health There are four categories of factors that affect the health of a community or population. and prejudices (smoking in public places. religion (beliefs about medical treatment). racial disparities). or policies approved in a community as a result of health promotion. . economy (employee health care benefits). Health promotion may be defined as any combination of educational and social efforts designed to help people take greater control of and improve their health. and socioeconomic status (number of people below poverty level). environment (availability of natural resources). Psychiatry and Child Care 305 conditions that protect and improve community can be organized into three areas: health promotion. community size (overcrowding). the health status of individual communities will be different. and industrial development (pollution). politics (government participation). are noted here. traditions. The factors that are included in each category.Medical. Because these factors will vary in separate communities. 2) Social and cultural factors—beliefs. social norms (drinking on a college campus). 1) Physical factors—geography (parasitic diseases).

participation in community or political action) or in rules or policies that influence health. selfcare. In the case of mental and social health. and community action. Two areas in which communities employ health promotion strategies are mental and social health. practices of the community and should be able to identify the gaps in their health seeking behaviour. organizational. social. Action to deal with these concerns begins with a community assessment. The social worker has to have a proper knowledge on the area in which s/he works. The Social Workers in the Health Care Settings has to focus on the followings:   Health Promotion Health Protection Health promotion Health promotion includes educational. and environmental supports for individual. and recreation and fitness. S/he would be well oriented with the traditions. the need will . getting immunized.306 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 3) Community organization—available health agencies (local health department. and the ability to organize to solve problem (lobby city council). mutual aid. which should identify the factors that influence the health of the subpopulations and the needs of these populations. 4) Individual behaviour—personal behaviour (healthenhancing behaviours like exercising. voluntary health agencies). and recycling wastes). It seeks to activate local organizations and groups or individuals to make changes in behaviour (lifestyle.

Tertiary prevention might take the form of the local medical and mental health specialists and health care facilities providing individual and group counseling. During and after the implementation of the strategies. Psychiatry and Child Care 307 surface at the three levels of prevention: primary prevention. and food are safe to . and tertiary prevention. or school and workplace educational classes to enhance the mental health of students and workers. the assurance that the air.Medical. or inpatient psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation. secondary prevention. the control of vectors. Health protection Community health protection revolves around environmental health and safety. Such protective measures include the control of unintentional and intentional injuries. A secondary prevention strategy could include the staffing of a crisis help line by local organizations such a health department or mental health center. All of these prevention strategies can contribute to a communitywide effort to improve the mental and social health of the community or population. water. Community health personnel work to identify environmental risks and problems so they can take the necessary actions to protect the community or population. Primary prevention activities for mental and social health could include helping the community members for personal stress management strategies such as exercise and meditation. appropriate evaluation will indicate which strategies work and which need to be discontinued or reworked.

as in the case of preparing for natural disasters or upgrading water purification systems etc. Critical concerns of infant and childhood . lack of prenatal care. and child (MIC) health encompasses the health of women of childbearing age from prepregnancy through pregnancy. maternal drug use. and the care provided after birth. Early intervention with educational programs and preventive medical services for women. occupational. the proper disposal of wastes. such as the Safe Drinking Water Act or the Clean Air Act. environmental changes. and children can enhance health in later years and reduce the necessity to provide more costly medical and/or social assistance later in their life. Infant and child health is the result of parent health behaviour during pregnancy. high rates of infectious diseases. low immunization rates. Role in Mother and Child Health Maternal. MIC health statistical data are regarded as important indicators of the status of community and population health. and the health of a child prior to birth through adolescence. The social worker can initiate a movement through advocacy group intervention for the provision of health protection in the community as these protective measures are often the result of educational programs. policy development. and community planning. and the postpartum period. delivery. infants. prenatal care. including self-defense classes. infant. Unplanned pregnancies.308 Social Work Practicum and Supervision consume. and the safety of residential. labour. and lack of access to health care for this population indicate a poor community health infrastructure. such as restricting access to dangerous areas. and other environments.

are some of the major areas where social workers’ intervention is required. Formation of peer groups. The social worker can help the people to avail various government supports through advocacy and networking with the concerned agencies. Health issues that are particularly associated with this population are unintended injuries.Medical. or immediate solutions to reducing or eliminating these problems. attitudes. tobacco. and behaviours are adopted and consolidated. simple. There are no easy. It is a time in life in which many beliefs. unintentional injuries. Adolescents’ Health The health of the adolescent and young adult population sets the stage for the rest of adult life. use and abuse of alcohol. In a community setup all these areas often requires the support and services of a social worker in the form of individual and couples’ counseling. risk assessments and group and individual counseling sessions with a special focus on drug abuse.) should be considered as a public health problem of major importance. and sexual risk taking. anganwadies etc. HIV – AIDS etc. and the social worker needs to work in association with the available local healthcare agencies like PHCs. and child abuse and neglect. Persons suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and exerting the germs . Psychiatry and Child Care 309 morbidity and mortality include proper immunization.B. developing group dynamism. guidance etc. Tuberculosis Tuberculosis (T. and drugs. A social worker needs to be aware on the vulnerable tendencies among the adolescents.

Undertaking health education campaign in close liaison with government measures. the problem has become more a social problem. Helping to assemble children and young adults for tuberculin tests and B. Ensuring that domiciliary clients regularly attend for check ups at the treatment centre.G. are the sources of infection for the healthy members of the family as also the community. Persuading persons with suspicious symptoms to attend the diagnostic and treatment centres for examination in necessary action. Some of the steps could be taken by social workers are as follows:  Helping to distribute anti TB drugs to clients cared for at home and to supervise the administration of these drugs. is to be brought under control. This chain of transmission has to be broken effectively if T. the attitude of his kith and kin and public towards him. disfigurement.B.B.310 Social Work Practicum and Supervision of T.      Leprosy Leprosy is not merely a medical problem but a social problem and can never be tackled in the same way as other diseases. Considering the fate of an unfortunate leprosy client with his horried deformities.C. This special nature of this disease can only be tackled by specially trained social workers. vaccination during organized campaigns. Intensive . Encouraging persons who live in contact with clients from open tuberculosis to attend diagnostic and treatment centres for examinations.

Psychiatry and Child Care 311 education of the public in rural and urban areas by trained social workers is most needed. Training of leprosy. rehabilitation workers oriented in        The creation of favourable atmosphere for the rehabilitation of leprosy clients through channels of employment. vocational guidance in placement services. The prevention of destitution by a sympathetic help offered to those clients who are about to face destitution. Health education of the public leading to public participation can get full results out of our leprosy control campaigns. The care of vagrant clients in homes like the Chamber Home in Bombay or Daya Sadan in Madras.   . Probably the area in which the voluntary agency can make itself increasingly useful is rehabilitation. Even when they can not themselves provide the services they should constantly ask that these services should be provided. The setting up of sheltered industries.Medical. The care of the crippled clients in special homes. other actions needed include:  Prevention of deformity by suitable education of the clients and provision of physiotherapeutic and surgical services. The provision of vocational training.

Prevention and control centres.312  Social Work Practicum and Supervision Camps for volunteers should be held in order to get them informed and interested so that they may become efficient evangelists of the message that leprosy is just another disease. Drug de addiction centers. Blood banks. immunization. Pediatrics departments. Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (I.). India is the home of 16% of the world’s children. destitution and beggary among children. street children. child trafficking.C. child abuse. an overview of role of social work professionals in childcare setting would be presented. that the leprosy client is just a client like others he can look forward to cure and normal life. child malnutrition. Organ donation centres. Leprosy clinics. Social work profession responds to many developmental needs and problems of the children — ranging from female foeticide. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) clinics. Mother and infant health centres. child labour. Social work intervention may be categorized as follows: . Diabetes control clinics. Mental health institutions. discrimination against girl child.T. suicide and homicide — to mention a few.C. drug addiction. Cancer control clinics. Tuberculosis clinics. HIV/AIDS education. The health care social workers are increasingly employed at Hospitals. high mortality rate. juvenile delinquency. Cardiac care clinics. Health related community outreach programmes. Family Planning clinics. rehabilitation department of spinal injury centres. etc… Social Work Practice in Child Care Setting In this section. School health services. accessibility and availability of quality education.

social workers are running programmes under Juvenile Justice Act like management of children’s homes.Medical. Special Homes. . foster care. Observation Homes. short stay homes. social workers. repatriation and the like. probation. perform vital role in restoration and rehabilitation plan. counsellors. Social workers. as NGO functionaries too. After care Homes. Juvenile or child welfare officers. especially implementation of Juvenile Justice Act (2006). take up numerable tasks in restoration and rehabilitation of children at institutional setting like at Juvenile Homes. in this. Social workers play pivotal role. as superintendents. Psychiatry and Child Care 313 Services for the Children in Need of Care and Protection Non-statutory Statutory Institutional Institutional Non-institutional Non-institutional Statutory services: These services come under the legislative purview. functioning under the juvenile justice system. Non -ins titu tion al services include adoption. sponsorship. In Institutional services. Added to this. as members of Child Welfare Committees and Juvenile Welfare Boards. both in institutional as well as non-institutional services meant for restoration and rehabilitation of children in need of care and protection as well as those coming in conflict with law.

children’s homes. With Rights’ . awareness generation. are proportionately more extensive and widespread. Integrated Child Development Services is one of the Asia’s most extensive services for overall growth and development of children. Social work professionals work as Child Development Project Officers. Non-institutional services cover an array of activities directed at the optimum development of children that may be preventive or rehabilitative. in this ca se. and advocacy and social action. community mobilization and such other inputs. institutions to prevent vagrancy among children like Bal Sahyog and such others. in this scheme. and educational and recreational needs of children. promotive or ameliorative. with no legal root. training. innovative programmes including educational and vocational training. developmental. etc. curative or developmental in nature. training of stakeholders in service delivery. It would include services to meet the survival. interplay of various causative and contingent factors. gaining insight for p lanning at various levels. management of schemes and programmes. health services.314 Social Work Practicum and Supervision night shelters for street and working children. counselling. Ins titu tiona l se rvic es. These range from research work to explore magnitude and extent of problems. health. short stay homes. include orphanages. as part of government functionaries and others at various positions in civil society bodies and state system substantiate through research. Non-statutory services. Let us take a look at strategies social workers generally adopt to ensure child care. skill upgradation.

Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act. education. health and development of children. Since Independence. 1994. Research work. families and community. has addressed many issues related to children in schools.Medical. Psychiatry and Child Care 315 perspective (see United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child: Right to Survival. enforcement of Act and bringing necessary change in the patriarchal social structure that in many ways perpetuate gender discrimination. Udaan: Forum of Street and Working children and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA). Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL). government has heavily relied on voluntary organizations to deliver services for the welfare and development of children. Social workers have been involved at various levels — legislation formulation. advocacy and awareness generation. Looking at the settings where social workers work for the welfare and development of children may be beneficial. Right to Protection and Right to Participation) many social workers are involved in advocacy to ameliorate conditions of exploitation and abuse that hamper realization of the said rights. School social work. though still in its nascent stage. Right to Survival includes Right to Life and Right to Health. Currently. there is vast state machinery . mobilization have been other tasks carried out by social workers through these VOs. networking. These VOs have taken up innumerable field projects to address problems related to nutrition. Some of the salient advocacy campaigns where social workers have made their presence felt have been NGO Fora for Street and Working Children. Right to Development. advocacy.

Balwadi. are major areas of concern for social workers. social workers have been involved in planning. Mid-day Meals. secondary and tertiary Health Care system. nutritional deficiency and malnutrition. improving and evaluation of many programmes like ICDS. District Primary Education Programme. Universal Immunization Programme. involving community to share responsibility of child education. immunization and preventive health care services. some of the salient ones are delineated below: Health: Ensuring conditions that would lead to reduction in child mortality. The 93rd Constitutional Amendment . Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Education: Although there has been a steady increase in enrolment over the years. As part of service delivery system. counselling and casework services for those facing problems in formal education. RCH and effective functioning of Primary. implementation. through these settings. are a few of the interventions. National Rural Health Mission. Social work professionals are involved at various fronts in increasing accessibility.316 Social Work Practicum and Supervision in response to children under difficult circumstances that offer huge scope of intervention for social workers. NGOs as well as government. monitoring. Nonformal education. about 40% boys and 50% girls still remain unenrolled in the primary stage itself. through school social work. Pulse Polio (Eradication) programme. scholarships of needy. social workers are involved with. eliminating hunger. adequacy and appropriateness of the education system. have addressed many areas of child welfare and development. The social work professionals.

Girl Child: Social work professionals have attempted to ameliorate precarious condition of girl child in the constricting patriarchal social structure of Indian society. vocational training programmes. integrated and inclusive education that aims to include both ‘normal’ and ‘differently abled’ children in the same classroom setting has been a strong domain of social work professionals. restoration and rehabilitation of child labour.Medical. community rehabilitation. bringing differently abled children in the mainstream education have been some of the programmes through which social workers have tried to make a dent into the vulnerable conditions of disabled children. National Programme for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. Special schools. They have advocated for their ‘Right to be Born’. implementation of district rehabilitation centre schemes. conducting rescue operations. infanticide. struggled against child marriage and denial of equal opportunities for growth and development for girl child. fought against female foeticide. Child Labour: India has highest number of working children in the world. Differently Abled Children: Further. Psychiatry and Child Care 317 making free and compulsory education as a matter of right to all the children below the age of 14 years has further widened the scope of social work intervention in both advocacy and programmatic approaches. Social work professionals have played a proactive role in abolishing child labour — bringing necessary changes in policies. . where they work with a team of interdisciplinary professionals.

urban as well as rural. a significant field of social work practice. drug addiction. counsellors. Similarly. Child abuse. denial of their dues and violation of their rights.318 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Child T rafficking a nd C hild Pro stit utio n: Undoubtedly. have been addressed by social work professionals working in schools. You may also apprise that social workers involved with family welfare and development also address child related issues. it was felt that Social Work graduates or those coming into the field from other areas of practice. Conclusion In the current situation. tackles child delinquency. beggary. community development. plus its diversity. as family welfare officers. These are some of the salient areas where social work professionals have been working for the care and development of children. community level. were not always well prepared for health care and that the constantly changing nature of the field. at the familial level. suicide and other such issues. deals with child care issues. Child Abuse: The term encompasses wide spectrum of exploitations on children. It is hoped that a core of knowledge might be identified which would give them the grounding to become more effective practitioners more quickly. As NGO functionaries or as part of the state machinery. NGO functionaries and similar other settings. often seemed confusing to newcomers. social workers have put in great efforts both at preventive as well as rehabilitative aspects. . Social Defence. school level. trafficking of children and forcing them into sex trade has been a cause of concern for social workers. may be indirectly.

M. (1984). Delhi Mane. Hyderabad. Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited. R. Rolf. (1961). and McKee. Banerjee. G. New Delhi. Tavistock Publications limited. National Health Programmes of India. (1972). Medical Social Work in India. New Delhi. Pomaerleau.H. Delhi School of Social Work. New York Reddy. Issues in Public Health. (2005). (1991). V. Health Care Service Management. Jabalpur. TISS. Sage publications: New Delhi. Delta Publishing House. J. and Gandevia. (1995). R. J.R. K.O. Psychiatry and Child Care 319 References Verma. Kishore. Mental Health In India. Social Work and Mental Health. M. Park. K. (1993).Medical. Century Publications. Pathak. (2002). TISS. . Psychiatric Social Work in India. P. S. A. Preventive and Social Medicine. Bombay. Papers on Social Work: An Indian Perspective. (2007). Bombay. Banarsidas Bhanot publications.

emphasises the application of theory to practice. Lobo and Roshini Nilaya Introduction Fieldwork. Just as chemistry and language students practice in their laboratories. Lobo and Roshini Nilaya. social work students reach out into agencies and communities to develop their skills. It has been increasingly felt. We shall look at education first. his family and the school authorities. A social worker will identify children with learning or adjustment problems. The application of classroom learning in agency or fieldwork settings has been a characteristic of social work education since inception. that schools and colleges need social workers and counsellors for the proper development of students. * Joselyn T. discuss and implement the subsequent course of action with the students. Before going into the intricacies of field practicum in the education sector it is better to provide a brief overview of the education system in India. Education and research is an important placement area of field work.15 Education and Research *Joselyn T. the practicum or placement. Mangalore .

mere acquisition of information and examinations. singlepoint entry.teacher schools. Many more are single. Most of the primary schools in our villages are conducted in dilapidated. It places undue importance on the formal school and neglects both nonformal and recurrent education. As mentioned. out-dated teaching and learning methods. It is characterized by rigidity. and still more have no teacher for varying periods of time. The minimum . unhealthy competition. irrelevant syllabus. The situation of the rural schools is dismal and shocking. There is no scope for creativity and the school curriculum has no relation to the life and environment of the students. It lays emphasis on narrow individualism. poor infrastructure and an inhuman examination system.Education and Research 321 Education System in India The educational system in India is a picture of both light and shades—some noteworthy achievements along with numerous failures and problems. The educational scenario can be neatly summed up in the paradox of the best educational institutions on par with international standards on the one hand and largest number of illiterates in the world on the other. There is a dual system of education operating—highly sophisticated private schools for the rich and poor quality government schools for the poor. our education system still continues to be dominated by models and value-systems adopted during the colonial regime. The formal system in India is a carry over of the British and much has not changed since Independence. crowded buildings or in the open air.

distance education. Children’s Play .322 Social Work Practicum and Supervision requirements like blackboard. Non-formal educational channels incorporate literacy and post-literacy programmes. except for a few urban schools. Social Work Initiatives at Pre-school Level Educational programmes for the pre-school child (age group 3-5) include Anganwadis. Social Work Practicum in the Education Sector The field of education covers a wide area and encompasses different age groups and thereby provides scope for social work interventions. Besides the structure. Harsh treatments by inhuman teachers have resulted in permanent damages and even death of school children. system and the infrastructure we constantly read about teacher-student issues. on-line education and other recent trends involving Information Technology. playgrounds. open education. The need for a school social worker is obvious. Unfortunately. the majority of the schools have neither appointed a social worker nor have felt the need for one. The stick is still adopted and in some cases physical torture is inflicted. toilet facilities are absent in majority of our schools. Education levels range from pre-school to collegiate education and research institutions as well as adult and continuing education. The above description will give glimpse of the school system in India. drinking water.

Use of locally available and scrap material for pre-school education activities is encouraged. 5) Activities for development of intelligence.Education and Research 323 Centres. She should be sensitive to the psychosocial needs of the child—the need for love. Mobile Day-Care Centres and Crèches and Pre-Schools attached to Primary Schools. praise. Pre-school education becomes a link between the Anganwadi and the primary school. The Anganwadi worker is required to organise preschool activities for about 40 children in the age group 3 to 6 years. The Anganwadi is the first stage in the process of education—before the child goes to primary school. . and recognition. Pre-school activities have been classified into the following five sections: 1) Activities for physical development. 3) Activities for emotional development and development of creativity. 2) Activities for language development. the students will have to work in close collaboration with the Anganwadi worker. Non-formal pre-school education is an important component of the ICDS Programme. The student social workers may be placed in the Anganwadis directly or may encounter them when placed in community settings. 4) Activities for social development and habit formation. Whatever may be the contact. security. trust.

324 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Pre-school education at the Anganwadi aims at the total development of the child—physical. newspapers. 5) Display posters. 2) Make use of local material of pre-school activities which can be acquired freely or with the minimum cost. . toys. Children can also be taken to the fields. praise. They can supplement the work of the Anganwadi worker whose role is explained below: 1) To organise pre-school activities aimed at the development of personality of the child. and shells) and waste material (like empty tins. Role of the Anganwadi Worker in Pre-school Education Student social workers may organise activities on the above lines. Children need love. and the development of language and intelligence. markets. puppets. clay. 4) Be sensitive to the psycho-social needs of the children. park and zoo. masks and any other items made by children in the Anganwadi to make the place look cheerful. motor. psychological and social. Natural items (like sand. 3) Keep space for both indoor as well as outdoor activities. empty matchboxes and cloth pieces) may be used to make toys. recognition and new experiences. 6) Involve the local community in general and parents of the children in particular in pre-school education. dolls. pebbles. Use your own imagination and that of the children is the guiding principle for these activities. puppets and masks.

in 1914 become the first school system to finance school social work from its regular budget. Let us now focus on the origin. nature and functions of school social work. The majority of the schools in India do not appoint a social worker or a school counsellor either full-time or part-time and those schools which have one on their roles are mainly in urban areas. playground and play materials. The Psychological Clinic in Hartford initiated the first visiting teachers program (today frequently referred to as school social workers) in that area. Beginnings in School Social Work Social work services were first established in the schools of Boston. new knowledge about individual differences among children and a realization of the strategic place of the school in the lives of children. schools form a major setting for field placements. The public school systems of Rochester.Education and Research 325 The community can provide free accommodation for the Anganwadi. School Social Work: Implications and Possibilities Having the second largest educational system in the world. New York. . Many undergraduate students of social work are placed in primary and secondary schools—both private and government. Social work in the schools is in response to the passage of compulsory school attendance laws. Hartford and New York in the beginning of the 20th century under the sponsorship of community agencies.

Social work in relation to schools is mainly undertaken by staff in the education welfare service. the origins of education welfare service date from late nineteenth and early twentieth century legislation that aimed to ensure basic education for all children and recognized that social conditions may affect children’s ability to benefit from school.A. the characteristics of the pupils. W. also called education social work service. School social work is an application of social work methods and principles to the major purpose of the school. Specialists are attached to the school for the purpose of helping children achieve their potential in the academic setting. Nature of School Social Work School social work is embedded deeply in the roots of society’s mandate to the schools to educate and train children to their fullest potential. the outside community.326 Social Work Practicum and Supervision In the United Kingdom. One such specialist is the social worker who relates to the role performance of the child. and the conditions they face. Friedlander maintains that the school social worker works with four parties: 1) The Child 2) The Family 3) The School Staff 4) The Community . The service has a long history but an ambiguous position in relation to both education and the personal social services. School social work is related to a particular school system.

principals. School social workers are an “extended arm” of the educator in fulfilling educational objectives. He or she shares knowledge with students. Social workers in the school . Social workers provide a link between the school and social agencies and are brokers for the services provided for pupils and their families. pupils and parents to deal with this problem.     The social worker focuses on social functioning and on the needs of the child to make the best possible use of the learning experience. teachers. The focus of school social work is on the following cognitive areas:    Learning Thinking Problem-solving Relationships Emotions Motivation. The social worker works with teachers. and Personality as well as the traditional areas of concern i. parents and other stakeholders.e. He or she is concerned with the fact that forces within and outside the child may block the child’s use of the school experience.Education and Research 327 School social work enables the school to pay attention to the unique individual needs of the child and to offer the opportunities for success and achievement to each child. The social worker acts as consultants as well as counsellors.

behavioural problems. scholastic backwardness. Lela B. social workers appeared to be comfortable with traditional roles and residual functions. Social work collaborates with the educational team and the social worker addresses tasks and problems surrounding the teaching-learning needs of students. counselling and treatment services to individuals or groups or arrange for such services. Tasks for the School Social Worker In the 1960s. Among the problems to be dealt with include absenteeism. The profession of social work has provided the school social worker with new knowledge and techniques appropriate for practice. Social work practice addresses a wide range of problems and issues. somewhat independent of the teacher.328 Social Work Practicum and Supervision provide diagnostic. This approach neither brought educator and social worker together in mutual effort nor focused on the milieu of the school. The traditional role of the social worker is the worker-client approach. economic backwardness.” The following is an abridged version of her list of task and responsibilities for social workers in the schools: . Costin (1972) strongly suggests that more is needed in school social work than “a major emphasis upon traditional methods of work that have focused primarily upon the individual child in relation to his emotional problems and his personal adjustment. hostile home environment. disability and other health related problems.

5) The social worker should organize parent and community groups to channel effectively concern about pupils and schools and to act as a constructive force. Others require a group approach. the social worker should provide leadership in the coordination of interdisciplinary skills among pupil services personnel like guidance counsellors and psychologists. A majority of the problems of students in schools can be handled on a one-to-one basis. 4) The social worker should consult with teachers about techniques for creating a climate in which children are free and motivated to learn. For example by facilitating the use of peers to help a troubled child. 3) The social worker should consult with school administrators in order to jointly identify a problem situation toward which a planned service approach can be aimed. Another approach is referral to other members of the .Education and Research 329 1) The social worker should facilitate the provision of direct educational and social services to pupils. 7) Finally. 2) The social worker should focus on the urgent needs of selected groups of pupils. 6) The social worker should develop and maintain a productive liaison between the school and critical fields of social work and legal practice. Teachers in consultation with social workers frequently handle classroom problems.

5) Knowledge about social enhancement. their knowledge should include: 1) Knowledge of the school. educational and skill-learning groups. the social worker is the link between provision and people. 2) Theories in relation to work with individuals. Knowledge about . Among the professionals. transactional analysis. 6) Community knowledge and skill for mediation. Social workers know services and referral processes. In addition. The full range of community services is also available for students and their parents. Knowledge Appropriate for the tasks of School Social Workers Social workers in the schools should possess the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work. advocacy. Often students do not know where and how to seek help. socialization.330 Social Work Practicum and Supervision personnel team. including behaviour modification. and social action processes appropriate for social work in the schools. and basic relationship skills. 3) Learning and cognitive theories to make educational diagnosis and recommend corrective learning experiences. 4) Knowledge and understanding of learning disabilities. School social workers connect students with both the source and the means of existing services.

In our country. Of this. 7) Communication theory and teaching knowledge and skills. Youth are prone to many problems and are in a serious crisis of identity. Social workers can work in campuses across the country and reach out to the students who pursue higher education in colleges and universities. . The remaining 90 per cent who form the bulk of young India have no access to formal education. only 10 per cent of youth population is enrolled in higher educational institutions. The members of this group play a very important role in society. They are often engaged in economically productive occupations and are involved in many community activities as well. A large portion of the youth in the 15-25 age group who are illiterate or semi-literate have either not got involved in the primary schools at all. Nonformal Education Centres. University. Nehru Yuvak Kendras. a sizeable chunk belongs to the category of youth. its structure and function is essential to social work. intervention may be through other avenues like Youth Clubs.Education and Research 331 the community. or have left primary school at an early age. For the remaining youth. College Students and Youth Groups India’s population of over a billion comprises 600 million under the age of 25. Vocational Institutes and Non-Governmental Organizations.

It is easy to remove prejudices from young minds. Some attributes of youth are:  Youth are in the most dynamic stage—imbibed with both the potential and thirst for learning. Youth Groups must be promoted to give youth the power of mutual sustenance. inquisitive. Youth are generally alert. and capable of being inspired by emotional commitments to service of the people and the country.332 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Characteristics of Youth The youth of today form the administrative fabric of tomorrow’s society. They can easily detect those who wear masks.     Attributes Required by a Youth Worker To work with youth. a social worker requires the following attributes:  Accept the young as they are and believe in their capacities. impressionable. Accept each one’s uniqueness. Society must regard young people as best capable of building a new society. Youth grow better in an environment of spontaneity.   . Young people dislike people who are not comfortable with themselves. Provide opportunities for their growth. The young are idealistic and can be rallied around a cause.

New vocational skills will enable them to improve their economic status. As many young persons will be workers a strong vocational element will have to be built in all educational programmes. Foster trustworthy climate and maintain confidentiality. As the members of this group are of marriageable age or already married. In brief. Recognize that they too have emotions. an important component will be family life education. including family planning.  Nature of Programmes for Youth The content of the programmes will depend upon educational attainments and needs of the youth. programmes for youth can include the following components:  General education (including functional literacy. A programme on family life will interest the young and will also be beneficial. where necessary) Vocational training (to improve existing skills and learn new vocational skills) Family life education (including family planning) Leadership training and personality development programmes Recreational and cultural pursuits     .Education and Research   333 Give positive feedback/reinforcement.

and adult education for men and women are needed to tackle the problem. A programme of post-literacy and continuing education has to be planned in order that neo-literates do not lapse into illiteracy.  . men and women in their respective areas. We have the largest illiterate population in the world amounting to over 350 million people. Act as volunteer teachers and teach groups of youth.334  Social Work Practicum and Supervision Participation in programmes of social service or national development Social awareness and citizenship training (to understand the problems facing the society and the country) Health and nutrition education   Adult and Continuing Education Illiteracy is a major problem in India. Alternative channels of non-formal education for children and youth. Motivate learners to join the literacy classes. Participate in environment building and motivational programmes by organizing street plays. Student social workers can involve in the following ways:    Conducting literacy survey in their respective areas to identify the illiterates. Social work students can be involved in a big way in traditional adult literacy centres and through literacy campaigns which are going on in different parts of the country as part of the National Literacy Mission. rallies. media campaigns on the issue. Formal education has failed to solve the problem of illiteracy.

Social work educators must integrate the theory and practice of social work with research in social work. Social Work Practicum in Research Settings Social work research has a unique role to play in enabling social work students.Education and Research   335 Collaborate in the preparation of primer and other teaching-learning materials. Encourage neo-literates to continue learning by supplying reading material and monitoring their progress. Field Work Placement in Research Institutes Integrating research and practice can be initiated from the very first stage of fieldwork training. Students may be helped to develop a research design and undertake a study of the problems of individuals/groups/ communities during their fieldwork training. The critical analytical tools of the students must be sharpened in their field work practice. The field work placement is intended to enable the students to associate themselves with ongoing research in Institutes and Universities offering social work education and in other research organisations in the city. Training in social work research must get integrated into the training of social workers as part and parcel of the teaching of courses. educators and practitioners to meet the growing demands of higher professional standards and accountability. Students need to be introduced to the .

Hence. In spite of the problems of placement in research centres. Students need to be encouraged to take up research work while placed in community settings and also in NGOs who frequently undertake evaluation studies. the students spend only two days a week in the research unit and so have to gain the greater part of their knowledge from the project research staff on what was done during their absence.336 Social Work Practicum and Supervision administrative and organisational aspects of research and research units. The main problems related to field work placement are: 1) There are very few institutes or organisations which have full-fledged social research units. Small cities and towns and rural areas may not offer much avenues for field placement in research based settings. Social work research offers an opportunity for social workers to make a significant difference in their professional standards and accountability to their intervention. 3) The initiating of research projects and the duration of these projects do not always coincide with the field work period of the students. the active participation of students in all phases of these projects is not possible. 2) The available research centres are usually located in cities. research as an avenue for field placement cannot be ignored. Let us now try to understand the nature and role of . 4) During the concurrent field work period.

. Social Work Research: Nature and Scope Social work research is the use of the scientific method in the search of knowledge. classification and interpretation of data. The complex nature of social data reduces the power of exact predication in social research. scientific method consists of three basic steps. including knowledge of alternate practice and intervention techniques.Education and Research 337 social research in general and social work research in particular. Social research concerns with social data. Much of the subject matter of social research is qualitative and does not admit quantitative measurement. Social sciences primarily deal with human behaviour. systematic observation. the objects are conscious and active human beings. We will later examine the role of social surveys and evaluation studies. which are much more complex than physical data. in social research. explain and finally to understand the relations among them. which is complex and dynamic in nature. Unlike physical and natural sciences. Social work research is the species that belongs to the . According to George Lundberg (1946). Scientific research is defined as a systematic and critical investigation about the natural phenomena to describe. The object of social research is the discovery of causal relationships in human behaviour. viz. Role of Social Research Research may be described as systematic and critical investigation of phenomena towards increasing the stream of knowledge.

For instance. According to Webster.” Social work research focuses on select aspects of behaviour and alternate modes of behaviour modifications. Definition of Social Work Research Social work research is the application of research methods to the creation of knowledge that is needed by social workers to solve problems in social work practice. critical investigation of questions in the social welfare field with the purpose of yielding answers to problems of social work and of extending and generalising social work knowledge and concepts”. Social work research searches for answers to questions raised regarding alternate interventions or treatments in social work practice.338 Social Work Practicum and Supervision category of social research. . a community organiser wants to know the view of the community before he takes a decision to change the programme objectives. or more specifically referred to as social science research. Similarly. Social work research is a technique of social work in that social work research procedures are applied or utilised in the diagnosis of individual. “Social work research is the systematic. usually critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation having for its aim the revision of accepted conclusions in the light of newly accepted facts. “Social work research is a studious enquiry. group or community problems. a case worker is interested in obtaining information about the actual or potential effectiveness of the individuals. couples or families. According to Genevieve W Carter.

The study of concepts. Efforts were directed to identify the causes of social problems like poverty and delinquency. Thus. Historical Perspective A scientific orientation to social work was articulated in the late 19th century in the scientific philanthropy movement. The role of research in building knowledge for practice also had its roots in the scientific philanthropy movement. housing and child care. which began in the 1900s. including evaluations of programmes. Other forms of operations research. theories. . statistical reports of services. Action or operations. therefore. The early leaders of the profession hoped that social work might follow the example of medicine and engineering and draw its knowledge from the physical sciences. principles. is a systematic investigation into the problems in the field of social work. the logical knowledge base seemed to be the social sciences. For social work. The movement took place in a progressive climate and was spurred by increasing urban problems such as poverty. underlying social work methods and skills are the major concern of social work research. The purpose was to enable the giving of relief to the poor a scientific endeavour. however. research in social work found its earliest major expression in the survey movement. were all in evidence at the beginning of the century. social work has a long tradition of using research procedures and data to inform and guide its programmes and activities.Education and Research 339 Social work research.

As such the research design. determine the evidence for theories. In social work research the study of a problem is done from the point of view of professional social work. social work research concerns itself with the problems faced by social workers. data collection and their interpretation will have to be attempted in a manner as will be useful to professional social workers. 2) Research helps to build knowledge for practice. social work agencies and the community. It can generate and refine concepts. Content and Methodology In a broad sense. 3) Research serves the practical function of providing situation-specific data to inform action. and ascertain the effectiveness of practice methods. It encompasses the questions and problems encountered in social work practices or in administering social work services. A rough idea of the content of social work research can be gleaned from various studies of the social work . such as operations of programmes or efforts to achieve social change.340 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Functions of Social Work Research Social work research basically deals with problems faced by professional social workers. The functions of research in social work are multifaceted: 1) The perspectives and methods of science can provide a framework for practice activities.

and small groups. 4) Load of teaching. utilization. that is. or interdisciplinary concerns. personality. orientations.Education and Research 341 research literature. 2) Shortage of research personnel. as does social research. . and training of social workers. without experimental manipulation. 3) attitudes. Social work research utilizes the same scientific methods and techniques. and 4) organizations. However. when some designs are not suitable. 2) characteristics. communities. social workers need to develop the tools which will be more appropriate to social work research. and social policy. and other characteristics of individuals. Literature on social work research can be divided into four categories: studies of 1) the behaviour. problems. and outcome of services. families. According to analyses of published research. Social Work Research in India Reasons for the stunted growth of social work research in India are many and include the following: 1) Inadequacy of funds. the major strategy in social work research is to study phenomena through naturalistic methods. 3) Inadequacy of research facilities. the profession.

A. specific problems and situations. and 8) Absence of machinery for research planning and coordination. are not one and the same. According to C. The major differences between the two are: 1) Social surveys are concerned with specific persons. 6) Lack of research training. whereas social research is concerned with general and abstract problems. While in social .342 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 5) Lack of research incentives.” Difference between Social Survey and Social Research Social Survey and Social Research. though identical in many respects. Social Survey The survey movement was the predecessor of most contemporary forms of assessments of needs. It is thus practical in nature. Surveys have their usefulness both in leading to the formulation of hypotheses and at a more advanced stage in putting them to the test. 7) Obstacles to communication and utilisation of research. Moser. 2) In social survey the object is to fulfil immediate needs and use knowledge available at a given time. “The sociologists should look upon surveys as way and a supremely useful one of exploring the field of collecting data around as well as directly on the subject of study so that problem is brought into focus and points worth studying are suggested.

whereas social research develops the hypothesis and thus evolves a theory. apart from making an analysis of the progress made and problems faced in the .Education and Research 343 research the object is long time research in order to develop accurate procedures and theories. Evaluation Research in Social Work Evaluation research is an area of social work research and implies the use of research designs. Its primary aim is theoretical in nature. In social research thirst for knowledge and satisfaction is the main incentive for a social scientist. 6) Social surveys are conducted on professional monetary basis. 3) In social survey the purpose is to improve the lot of men and. opinion surveys. All programmes are evaluated for the results they have achieved or failed to achieve. Evaluation provides objective assessment of the performance. 4) Social surveys result in social reform or administrative change.g. Evaluation. Whereas in social research the purpose is to increase the general knowledge or improve the technique of study. it is utilitarian in nature. It is thus purely academic or scientific in nature. Many surveys are conducted on payment from interested parties e. hence. 5) Social survey may form the basis of some hypothesis. Social research results in the formulation of new theories or modification of old concepts.

Evaluations are undertaken in all spheres of life. literally means. thus. in particular. In a very broad sense evaluation research is applied social research. the concept of evaluation research or programme evaluation connotes use of research methods to evaluation programmes or services. Evaluation of development work may be undertaken during the implementation of the development programme or project or after it has been completed. whenever one wishes to know and understand the consequences of some action or event. in formal or informal ways. design. Differences between Evaluation and Basic Research Social research.344 Social Work Practicum and Supervision implementation of a programme also indicates the corrective measures necessary. In a broad sense. implementation and utility of social intervention programs’. Concept of Evaluation Evaluation. evaluation is the ‘systematic application of social research procedures for assessing the conceptualisation. Evaluation research is a special branch of applied . and basic research. an indispensable tool in the organizational process of improving both activities still in progress and for future programme planning and decision making. The process of getting reliable data using scientific technique is known as evaluation. According to Rossi and Freeman (1993). is carried on for its own sake. Evaluation is. in general. ‘assessing the value of’.

but decisions about programmes are made immediately. welfare schemes. designed to evaluate social programmes and projects. such as adult/non-formal education. Some researchers prefer to classify evaluation research according to evaluators. Evaluation research is designed with a shorter time span than basic research as it is carried out to evaluate ongoing programmes.. . evaluation researches can be of three types: a) Internal Evaluation It is a continuous process of self-evaluation by principal actors and participants according to preestablished criteria. Types of Evaluation Research It is difficult to make precise categorization of numerous types of evaluation used by researchers. Based on this classification. the persons responsible for evaluation for the programme. Here. The need for quick and definite answers makes evaluation research different from basic research. They are more concerned about whether the programmes should continue or be abandoned. i. whether budgets should be enhanced or reduced and whether the programme achieved its goals. The findings of evaluation research are not meant merely to add to our knowledge or construct theories.e. The social problems are not solved immediately.Education and Research 345 research. the personnel and the executive of the agency and the group participate. innovative intervention methods and health care systems.

Need for Programme Evaluation NGOs and donor agencies need to prepare systematic evaluation reports of their effectiveness. A social case worker evaluates the extent to which changes in the anxiety of a particular client are associated with his or her treatment activities. c) Joint Evaluation Here. having specialists who possess expert technical knowledge can add fresh thinking and enhance the credibility of the results. . though difficult. Besides. Joint evaluations. enable training of agency personnel and gaining their ownership of results. Though NGOs have increased in number there have been very few evaluation studies on their effectiveness. External evaluators are chosen mainly because the ‘outsiders’ are more objective or at least neutral.346 Social Work Practicum and Supervision b) External Evaluation Here. Social work practitioners are constantly evaluating effectiveness. Similarly. All such evaluations are not ‘evaluation research’ because most of the time we do not think of applying scientific method. a group worker wishes to asses the extent to which a film on birth control is more or less effective than group discussion in increasing knowledge of birth control. external evaluators and one or more representatives of the organization are involved. We use a term called ‘informal evaluation’ for all such evaluations. persons outside the agency do the evaluation.

From pre-school stage to higher education and research . NGOs and funding agencies need to realise that evaluation research is an integral part of the projects. It needs to be mentioned that systematic evaluation has not been given due attention either by the NGOs or by the funding agencies. They need to know whether the services are effective and relevant or whether the goals have been achieved. and c) Evaluation research for programme outcome. The donor agencies mainly rely on annual progress reports and evidences collected during their field visits. groups and communities are concerned about the outcome of their services. Evaluation research can play multifarious roles to make services more effective. implementation and outcome can be classified into three categories: a) Evaluation research for programme formulation. Besides. The various role of evaluation research at different stages of programme planning. Conclusion This chapter has given you a broad framework for field setting in the area of education and research. the funding organizations want reliable evidence to know if funds have been effectively utilized. b) Evaluation research for monitoring of programmes.Education and Research 347 NGOs that undertake welfare schemes and provide services to individuals. Most of the NGOs assess their outcome by presenting individual ‘success stories’ to justify their performance.

. Ltd. Social workers can achieve their potential as a contributing member of the social work profession when they are competent with research methods. D K Lal. Das. Evaluation Frameworks for Development Programmes and Projects. and excessive absences. School Social Workers are. a vital part of the total educational team. 1998. School social workers deal with problems such as learning difficulties. The purpose of evaluation research is to assess the utility of social intervention and human service programmes. thus. References Dale. Student social workers placed in NGOs can help the internal and external evaluation teams and thereby get knowledge of evaluating procedures besides helping the concerned organisation in undertaking evaluation. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. School social workers diagnose students’ problems and arrange needed services. They also advise teachers on how to cope with problem students. Research knowledge will enable you to reach higher goals. misbehaviour in class. Practice of Social Research: Social Work Perspective. 2000. School social work has changed with the dynamic changes of society.348 Social Work Practicum and Supervision undertakings.. and help integrate disabled students into the general school population. Reidar. social workers can play an important role. counsel children in trouble. New Delhi: Sage Publications India Pvt.

3rd ed. A Felicitation Volume. New Delhi: Eurasia Publishing House Pvt. P.. Social Work: An Introduction to the Field. Bombay: Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Skidmore. and Milton G. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc. Ltd. Herbert Hewitt. Thackeray. .. Introduction to Social Work. 2nd ed. Issues in Social Work Research in India. Stroup. Rex A..Education and Research 349 Ramachandran. 1990. 1960. 1982.

R. courts and corrections component within a framework of democratic principles designed to protect * Sangeeta Dhaor. Delhi University. The total system seeks to properly identify law violators establish guilt. The response to crime is a complex process that involves citizens as well as agencies and branches of government. Formal means find expression in written laws and institutional structure. Delhi. Ambedkar College. . These responsibilities are carried out by police. charge convict and sentence violators. This crime control apparatus is called criminal justice system.B. There are really many levels of criminal justice systems and much of the response to crime usually involves local officials.16 Correctional Services *Sangeeta Dhaor Introduction All societies place restriction and limits on human behaviour and establish both formal and informal means to deal with those who exceed the limits. that identify. issue an appropriate sanction and change offenders’ behaviour. Dr. The criminal justice system is designed to control crime and contribute towards a safe and orderly society.

The human potential in every one is good and so one must never write off any criminal as beyond redemption. we have tried to convert our prisons into the correctional institutions. punish offenders. On the subject of crime Mahatma Gandhi. during the last 56 years. The main goal of prison administration in India. the father of our nation. and to reform and rehabilitate them in the given social milieu through appropriate correctional interventions. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru always maintained that harsh sentencing under rigorous conditions did not serve the humanizing purpose of punishment. Supervision ranges from a minimal amount within the community to maximum security incarceration. change behaviour and in some cases compensate victims. Criminals are not born but made. had once said “Crime is outcome of a diseased mind and jail must have an environment of a hospital for treatment”. various degrees of supervision are in operation. Since a wide range of social and political objectives are expressed in criminal justice and correctional processes.Correctional Services 351 all individuals’ civil rights. movement through and exit from the system. Officials are legally permitted to exercise wide discretion in determining a person’s entry into. We firmly believe in this principle and. Definition and Philosophy Correction is one segment of criminal justice system by which the society seeks to protect the public. We also . today is to develop a sense of discipline and security among prisoners.

who endanger public safety. these principles have serious implications for prison administration. while certain category of offenders. Keeping this in mind in a number of judgments on various aspects of prison administration. all possible efforts have to be made to ensure that they come out of prisons as better individuals than what they were at the time of their admission thereto. the Supreme Court of India has evolved three broad principles: 1) A person in prison does not become a non-person. They call for a thorough restructuring of the prison system in terms of . There is no justification in aggravating the suffering already inherent in the process of incarceration. once they are let out of prisons. Obviously. as imprisonment deprives the offender of his liberty and self-determination. Such a goal could be achieved only if incarceration motivates and prepares the offender for a law-abiding and selfsupporting life after his release. We share a universally held view that sentence of imprisonment would be justifiable only if it ultimately leads to protection of society against crime. 2) 3) A person in prison is entitled to all human rights within the limitations of imprisonment. the prison system should not be allowed to aggravate the suffering already inherited in the process of incarceration.352 Social Work Practicum and Supervision aim to equip the prisoners with such skills and abilities as will help them to lead a normal life as a citizen. It further accepts that. Thus. have to be segregated from the social mainstream by way of imprisonment.

These prisons were not as . References of jail are also there in the Mahabharata. During Muslim period. Here. ostracizing. the inmates were.Correctional Services 353 humanization of prison conditions. while making detailed inquiry about the state of polity and welfare of people of Ayodhya. This includes the locking up of Krishna’s parents in a dungeon with seven doors in Mathura where Krishna was born. In Ramayana. old forts and castles served the purpose of regular prisons. minimum standards for institutional care. reorganization of prison programme and rationalization of prisons rules and regulations. In Manusmriti it is stated that (the King) should have all the prisons built on the royal highway. mutilations etc . Good and humane treatment of prisoners was unknown in this period. There were also horrific punishments like feeding to animals. reorientation of prison staff. the latter.We have locked up people in our country (in dungeons and cellars) to get them out of sight and often to await some other punishment such as banishing. Account of Ashoka’s Naraka (hell) was included in the writings of Huien Tsang and Fa-Hien. History of Prison in India The historical account of jails in our country can be traced back to the Epic age. kept in chains and under heavy loads. and death. The preBuddhist jails were said to be very cruel. In those mythological period there were eighteen important state officials and one of them was the head of the institution of jail (karagriha). Whipping was a daily routine in these jails. did not forget to elicit the situation in jail there. where the suffering and mutilated evil doers can be seen. when Bharata saw Rama at Chitrakut.

C. a number of jail reforms committees have been appointed by state governments. the institution of central or convict prisons. This committee is known as the Prison Discipline Committee. which was later redesigned as the National Institute of Social Defense. better classification of convicts. Since Independence. Dr. His recommendations resulted in the revival of the conference of Inspector Generals of Prisons after a lapse of 17 years. and the system of employing prisoners on extra. An All India Jail Management Committee submitted its report in 1960. The major observations are “the rampant corruption in the establishment. laxity of discipline. Reckless in 1951-52. There was a report on Jail Administration in India by the UN expert. Lord McCauley Commission Report. They submitted a report in 1838 to Lord Auckland. The Prison Discipline Committee. general introduction of indoor work. the inauguration of separate system. 1835 In this report Lord McCauley suggested the abolition of outdoor labor.354 Social Work Practicum and Supervision cruel as the pre Buddhist prisons. and the regulation of prison system generally by employment of inspectors of prisons were the main recommendations of this report. W. a member of Governor General’s Council. careful separation of untried prisoners. The committee recommended increased rigorous . This resulted in the settings up of the Central Bureau of Correctional Services.mural labor”. 1836 under the Chairmanship of H Shakespeare. 1836 Lord William Bentick appointed the second committee on Jan 2.

Another notable recommendation of this committee is the request for establishing the ‘office of Inspector General of Prisons’ Commission of Jail Management and Discipline. bedding. the fourth jail commission was appointed by Lord DufFerin to inquire into the facts of prison. 1864 A second committee was appointed in 1864 to reconsider the whole question addressed by the first committee. It was of the opinion that uniformity could not be achieved without enactment of a single Prisons Act. It recommended separation of untried prisoners from the convicted ones. The commission also recommended the separation of male prisoners from females and children from adults. This commission made specific recommendation regarding the accommodation. medical care of the prisoners and for the appointment of Medical Officers in jails. improvement in diet. It also recommended the setting up of jail . 1864. 1888 In 1888. clothing. and 1877) and made an exhaustive inquiry into all matters connected with jail administration. The Fourth Jail Commission.. education or any system of rewards for good conduct.Correctional Services 355 treatment and rejected all notions of reforming criminals through moral and religious teaching. Sir John Lawrence’s examination of the condition of the jails in India led Lord Dalhousie to appoint this Commission of Jail Management and Discipline. This commission reviewed the earlier reports (reports of 1836.

a UN Expert on correctional work. ‘reformation’ and ‘rehabilitation’ of offenders were identified as the objectives of prison administration. as it is. 1919-20 The Indian Jail Committee 1919-20 made the first comprehensive study of the problems in the present century. Reckless Commission Report. based on deterrent principles concerned more with prison management than with the treatment of prisoners and gave more consideration to prison offences and punishments than to their effect. a consolidated prison bill was prepared.356 Social Work Practicum and Supervision The Prisons Act. For the first time in the history of prisons. Thus came into being the Prisons Act. W C Reckless. visited India during the years 1951-52 to study prison . This bill was later passed. rejected the idea of excessive employment of convict officers and recommended the reduction of such excessive employment. This committee report was treated as a turning point of the prison reforms in the country. The Indian Jail Committee. 1894 which is the existing law governing the management and administration of prisons in India. 1952 Dr. This Act. The committee also recommended the care of criminals should be entrusted to adequately trained staff. The committee condemned the presence of children in jails and recommended the establishment of children’s court and the juvenile homes. 1894 Based on the 1888 Jail Commission’s report. The committee departed from the vintage theoretical basis of prison administration-(deterrents) and advocated for a new outlook to the prisons.

which if implemented would go a long way to make prison administration efficient. vocational training for prison inmate. and police meant for adults. The recommendation of this commission. jails.Correctional Services 357 administration in the country and to suggest ways and means of improving it. medical and psychiatric services. The Mulla Committee examined all aspects of prison administration and made wideranging recommendations. He made a plea for transforming jails into reformation centers and advocated establishment of new jails. He recommended revision of outdated jail manuals All India Committee on Jail Reforms. The recommendations of the Mulla Committee touched upon legislative. The report laid emphasis on the . operational. living conditions in prison. He opposed the handling of juvenile delinquents by courts. problems of women prisoners etc. The commission made thorough study of the problems and produced an exhaustive document which is still considered as bible of correctional services. He also advocated the detention of the persons committed to the prison custody and for their reformation and rehabilitation. His report ‘Jail Administration in India” is another landmark in the history of prison reforms. universally known as MULLA COMMISSION constitute a landmark in the reformatory approach to prison reforms. security aspects besides matters like classification of prisoners. 1980-83 In 1980 Government of India constituted All India Committee on Jail Reforms under the chairmanship of Justice Anand Narain Mulla. treatment programs. problems related to undertrials and other un-convicted prisoners. humane and professional.

Fragmentation of Corrections There is a fragmentation of correction on the basis of a number of factors. Main sources of fragmentation are as follows: By jurisdiction a) Central b) State c) Local By criminal justice function a) Police b) Courts c) Corrections By location a) Institutional b) Non-institutional By age a) Adult b) Juvenile By other factors a) Size of operation .358 Social Work Practicum and Supervision management of prisons to be entrusted to a cadre of professionals.

Carefully selected. humane. . Prison officers play a pivotal role and have a most difficult task on hand. and just. properly trained. 1959. Correctional work with adult prisoners comes under this category wherein minor prisoners are sent to Welfare Homes and Nari Niketan (in case of females). iii) make sure that dangerous prisoners do not escape. Correctional Administration The success of correctional administration mainly depends on the faith. supervised and supported staff goes a long way in performing efficiently. Other statutory ones come under social legislations like JJ (Care and Protection) Act. philosophy and efficiency of the correctional personnel. and Bombay Prevention of begging Act.Correctional Services 359 b) Sex of offender c) Type of offence d) Special program All these fragments come under one master classification which is statutory and non statutory. 1956. Statutory is the category covered under Indian Penal Code and other laws. Immoral Trafficking (prevention) Act. The role of prison staff is to: i) treat prisoners in a manner which is decent. ii) ensure that all prisoners are safe. Good professional relationship between staff and prisoners are essential elements of dynamic security. 2000.

Cultural activities. and v) provide prisoners with the opportunity to use their time in prison positively so that they will be able to resettle into society when they are released. Tihar Prisons have a history of reformation programmes in tune with the current correctional philosophy. It is found that prison staff helps in guarding against this insularity. Group therapy and other devices aimed at increasing inmates participation in the routine affairs of prison administration are designed to reduce the barrier between the society and the administrative policy and to give the inmates desired degree of self-esteem and confidence. There is also increasing interest in the possibility that the society or groups of prisoners can be utilised for therapeutic purposes. Education. Another important trend is the substitution of the individualized treatment to prisoners based on their reformative requirements for the earlier doctrine of equal punishment for same crime (individualization).360 Social Work Practicum and Supervision iv) make sure that there is good order and control in prisons. Vocational activities and . The third major trend in prison administration involves an attempt to reduce the social barrier between inmates of the correctional institutions and the civilian community. Staff needs to remain sensitive to changes in the society and consequential changes in prison administration. Correctional programmes in prisons in nearly all parts of the globe show a significant trend towards specialisation. diversification and experimentation.

The New Delhi correctional Model has been presented and discussed in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch at UNO.Correctional Services 361 Moral Education etc. ii) Formation of a self-sufficient community of prisoners iii) Participative management. The police. the basic characteristics of which are: i) Bringing the community into the prison. correctional and judicial personnel involved in the handling of women. prison. This model strikes a balance between the approaches of “Privatisation of Prison administration” and the “Half way houses”. are especially trained to ensure this and their knowledge are updated in laws and procedures applicable to women. It has been deeply appreciated. Women in Detention Respect for gender dignity and rehabilitative concern for women is very important consideration in all correctional institutions and personnel in the Criminal Justice System. have been going on in Tihar Jails for a long time as a part of the efforts of the Prison Administration for reformation of the prisoners. Taking into account the special role of women in family life . In the last ten years the process has accelerated and received world wide attention. Vienna and other international and national conferences. The reformation package tried out by the Delhi Prison Administration is popularly termed as “New Delhi correctional model”.

the prison administration makes every effort to provide the essentials for meeting the women’s special needs Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act. b) Juveniles in conflict with law. 2000 considers any person below the age of 16 as ‘child’. Whenever. 2000 Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act. all provisions regarding protection of their person and rights are scrupulously adhered to. There is distinction between the children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with the law. Such children are taken and produced before child welfare committee and later sent to juvenile homes till they attain the age of 18 and efforts are made towards rehabilitating them either into their own family or .362 Social Work Practicum and Supervision and social development and the vulnerability of girls. in addition to basic amenity and privacy. working and in conditions of vulnerability. a) Juveniles in need of care and protection. women are detained or kept in custody. a woman arrestee is left unguarded by police women or other women authorised by the Government. the current policy of the Criminal Justice System is to avoid the arrest and detention of women to the extent possible. In cases where women are taken into custody. Children in need of care and protection are the ones who do not have any place of abode and are found begging. Person who has acquired the age of 16 but not 18 is considered a ‘minor’ JJ (Care and protection of children) Act. 2000 focuses on two kinds of juveniles. At no stage.

his/her age is verified. If that person happens to be a minor or juvenile. If needed institutionalization of such children is also done though it is not a very favorable option Juveniles in conflict with law These juveniles are identified through regular criminal justice process wherein when a person is caught in some offence. and how does one redress the same. or sponsorship. The law pertaining to what are now called children in conflict with the law has undergone a few changes. This change in composition of the adjudicating authority is one of the more significant changes in the new law. which could focus in on why the child committed the offence. as now the space exists for bringing about a change in the very nature of the inquiry. This is in . comes under the jurisdiction of JJ Act (Care and protection of children) 2000. The adjudicating authority has been redesigned as the Juvenile Justice Board and the composition has changed from an adjudicating authority which was a Magistrate with a panel of two social workers to assist her as prescribed under the old law to a Bench which is composed of two social workers and one Magistrate.Correctional Services 363 arranging for adoption. Thus what could change has been referred to as the criminal law mindset itself. foster care. The shift in composition of the Board can bring about a shift in the line of inquiry from intention to motive. such a person is produced before special courts which comprises of two social workers apart from one honorary magistrate. The primary inquiry of whether the child did commit the offence as mandated by a magistrate’s training could now be displaced by a social worker’s inquiry.

The role of social workers in this setting pertains to identifying the cause of the offence and making necessary recommendations for the rehabilitation of such chidren. in this case is helped to develop an understanding of his problem. provided the rules operationalize the same. These people are dealt with as per the provision of the . Accused are the ones who are touts or pimps or who voluntarily work as sex worker and solicit client at public places or arrange clients for madams.364 Social Work Practicum and Supervision effect an important step towards decriminalizing the administration of juvenile justice. Social worker can serve in juvenile homes as well as observation homes by way of group work or social case work with the client. look at the resources available to him and involve them in the decision pertaining to them. Involving community in activities of children such as celebration of some important days or cultural activities is also undertaken. juvenile. Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act. If the families are not found to take care of the children adequately then other options are sought. Under this act two kinds of persons are caught-ones who are accused and the others ones who are victims. 1960 Another social legislation is Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act which deals with prevention of soliciting in public. Children in need of care and protection In case of children in need of care and protection adequate social investigation is done so as to rehabilitate them back to their families.

2000. Correctional Social Work It refers to application of social work principles to correctional setting. Under this. They are sent back to their families or to the ones who claim only after thorough verification. 2000. Such victims are verified for age and in case of person being minor or juvenile the case is referred to Child Welfare Committee under JJ (Care and Protection of children) Act. Most individual who are performing therapeutic and quasi therapeutic functions in correction setting such as probation or parole officers and institutional counselors are operating under the umbrella of correctional social work. But it is not a . Bombay Prevention of Beggary Act. If the person is a habitual offender (Bagger in this case) he is sent to baggers home and is given vocational training as to prevent him from bagging in future. 1956 Beggary is an offence. persons who are found begging are caught by the police and within 24 hours produced before the magistrate. In case the victim being major she is sent to Nari Niketan where social workers work towards the rehabilitation of these women. Another category is of the victims who indulge in sex work under pressure.Correctional Services 365 Act and sent to jail after trial. In this case also the persons are verified for the age and in case of offender being minor comes under the purview of JJ (Care and Protection) Act. In case of it being a first offence bail is granted to the person. In case the minor is trafficked from neighboring countries she is handed over to the concerned embassy.

In the main. Prisoners are responsible for their behavioural change. Presence of such barriers endures belief that behaviour can be modified by coercive punishment and also militates against treatment advances. even though conscious efforts are being made to place emphasis on both group work and community work. Social work emerged as a profession in the twentieth century and today is the profession charged with fulfilling the social welfare mandate of promoting wellbeing and quality of life. . To conclude. Social work in prison does not follow any particular framework for practice. Social workers. Thus. community and society. counseling and in particular casework is the method that is being applied in prison social work. Each offender has the capacity to grow and develop to be a constructive member of the family.366 Social Work Practicum and Supervision smooth sail as there are many barriers in the administration of justice and rehabilitative approach to the offenders. social work practitioners should acknowledge and respond to the real environmental and emotional crises that can be created by incarceration. work with people to enhance their competence and functioning. as caring professionals. A central component of valuing the individual is recognizing the individual in relation to their family and community. and to expand the structures of society that provide opportunities for all citizens. This makes it difficult for practitioners to clearly define their point of departure. to access social support and resources. social work encompasses activities directed at improving human and social conditions and alleviating human distress and social problems. to create humane and responsive social services.

social work services might be utilized in the areas of mental health. This will help social workers to understand the prison environment and offender better. community services. education. Within a correctional facility. Initiatives such as diversion. probation. or harm to victims and others. But the modern penological approach has ushered in new form of sentencing whereby the needs of the community are balanced with the best interests of the accused. release on admonition probation. correctional supervision and the conversion of imprisonment sentences to those of a communitybased treatment should be explored to minimize reoffending or recidivism. substance abuse.Correctional Services 367 Workers challenge attitudes and behaviours. Probation is derived from Latin word which means “to test or to prove”. and vocational rehabilitation. Probation The earlier penological approaches held imprisonment that is custodial measure to be the only way to curb crime. Compensation. community services are a few such techniques used. Imprisonment decreases his capacity to readjust to the normal society after release and association with professional delinquents often has . parole. Social workers in correctional facilities provide two types of services: supportive services within the institution and connections to resources in the community. imposition of fines. which result in crime and cause distress. It is developed as custodial alternative which is used where guilt is established but it is considered that imposing of a prison sentence would do no good.

He regulates his own life under conditions imposed by court or other constituted authority and is subjected to supervision by a probation officer. and antecedents of the offender may order the release on probation of good conduct. sex. often offender is under 21 years of age. During probation the probationer lives in the community. After Care Concept of after care The term after care refers to the programme and services organized for the rehabilitation of inmates from correctional institution. and with regards to age. It can be used to refer to the programme and services organized to complete the . After care is micro constituent of the principle of social defence which is a term used in correctional frame of reference. The court may direct that he/she be released on his entering into a bond with or without sureties to appear and receive sentence when called up and in the meantime to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. In all the settings the after care and follow up are an integral part to prevent recidivism.368 Social Work Practicum and Supervision undesired effects. Section 361 makes it mandatory for the judge to declare the reason for not awarding the benefit of probation. Probation in India mostly depends on the policy of the state. Court if it is convinced that no previous conviction is proved against him. After care program has been set up to improve the lives of those released on probation.

Social work approach in correctional setting implies a philosophy as well as application of techniques for problem solving. resettlement and to ultimate rehabilitation in the free community.Correctional Services 369 process of rehabilitation of socially and physically handicapped individual or group which have been begun and carried up to a particular stage in an institution. 1) Function of intervention is to target on a problem in social function. related social work should be emphasized. from doubts and difficulty and from hesitation and handicap to satisfactory citizenship. Operational philosophy of social work rests on three specific premises. 2) Social work conceives problem solving as a partnership activity between social worker and client. 3) Response to the client means most and equilibrium is best restored at the point of crisis so crisis. After care thus is a continuation of the reformative rehabilitation endeavor for the helping service. Some of the important skills and techniques of social work with the clients are: . guidance counseling support and protection of persons released from juvenile and adult institution meant for socially and physically handicapped individuals. The model prison describes it as a bridge which can carry the offender or any other socially or physically handicapped individual from artificial and restricted environment of institutional custody.

” Interviewing Interviewing is a professional conversation with a purpose. In correctional setting there are a few issues which must be kept in mind The captive client Here the client because of the constrained setting is captive. It has as its goal the immediate solution of a personal problem or long range effort to develop self understanding and maturity. Insight and empathy Perceptive understanding is required on the part of the social worker who develops insight into the problem of the client/offender by empathy. Presence during the sessions is not voluntary and somewhat imposed. Interviewing is different from intense psychotherapy and counseling. Empathy is a critical ingredient in the therapeutic process: “Getting into the client’s frame of reference. There is needed a structured permissive . Interview is basic while counseling is the epitome of positive guided interaction. Effective communication is at the heart of positive human interaction.370 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Counseling It is a relationship in which one endeavor to help another understand and solve his problem of adjustment. It is distinguished from advice or admonition in that it implies mutual consent. Hence it is a very responsible process and the whole environment should be lighthearted.

medicine. They could . as the society treats them as marginalized and stigmatized. the media etc. b) Appointments of eminent citizens interested in correctional work as visitors to prisons. Role of NGOs There is considerable scope for NGOs and voluntary agencies to work in the field of treatment. If the services of well organized NGOs could be obtained on a regular basis. law. This relationship should allow the client gain an understanding of himself to a degree which enables him take positive step in the light of a new environment.Correctional Services 371 relationship between the client and interviewer. social work. Stigma and self esteem Oxford Dictionary describes stigma as a “mark of disgrace”. it would be desirable to assign a role for them as visualized by the Mulla Committee in regard to the following: a) Services of experts in education. could be utilized in the formulation of correctional policy by associating them with advisory committees at the national and state levels. after care and rehabilitation of offenders. psychiatry. Sometimes the client internalize the stigma and behaves in a very different way (defensive or abusive) Hence the social worker has to keep these factors in mind before entering into any kind of intervention with them. It should be kept in mind that becoming an offender and coming in conflict with law has a deeper impact on the self esteem of the client.

and g) The NGOs should play a greater role in creating the right kind of awareness about the prison administration and the core problems of correctional sub-systems with a view to eliciting public cooperation. f) Individual coaching to inmates pursuing higher studies. c) In conducting adult education and free legal aid programs. The Prison Departments are also providing tool kits of trades to released prisoners to achieve self-employment. In certain states. e) Organizing recreational and cultural activities.372 Social Work Practicum and Supervision also be appointed as non-official members on sentence reviewing boards for district and central prisons. Prison Welfare Officer also helps released prisoners in availing grant or loan under various development schemes. These services are offered to the prisoners on their release. There is increasing public awareness in regard to human rights and the need to adhere to humanitarian laws and in issues like custodial violence and deaths. A number of after care programmes are being run by the government with the help of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which are acting as a bridge between the prisoners and the community. . d) Running health camps. half-way homes have also been set up especially for women prisoners who are facing problems of rehabilitation. unduly long detention of persons under special laws like Tada.

positions and promotions to improve morale and level of job-satisfaction of social workers. youth centers. It is realized that there is a very important role of social workers in the field of correctional services. However. probation and parole and long-term  Conclusion Correction is one segment of criminal justice system by which the society seeks to protect the public. It took long to develop the concept of correction in Indian prisons. though the history of prisons is long and horrifying. change behaviour and in some cases compensate victims. The size of social problems in prison and the paucity of social workers call for a generalist social worker who is able to attend to the overall needs of a family. punish offenders.  The working conditions of social workers should be investigated and reengineered to effect better rehabilitation services to the offender. Re-visit social work salaries. The kind of efforts which are required for organizing correctional services and their delivery are taught in the form of various skills and techniques in the teaching of social work profession.g.Correctional Services 373 There are many constraints pertaining to the role and position of social worker in correctional setting. The roles of social worker in correctional setting include those of advocacy. The philosophy of correctional as well as that of social work get along well. . It took the efforts of Mulla committee to light a ray of hope in the prison reforms. developments in social work attest to the need for specialization of social workers in some sectors of social work practice: e.

New Jersey. Louis. . 1996. Johnson. Glaser Deniel. Introduction to corrections. Stinchcomb B. and Arora Vibha. 4th Edn. Prentice Hall. New Jersey 07632. and linkages between incarcerated individuals and their community ties. In addition to that the social worker’s input may influence decisions regarding a residents‘ movement within and between facilities as well as decisions made by parole boards and courts of law. Vernun BFox. Tripathi S. 1994.374 Social Work Practicum and Supervision broker. Chakrabarti N. Central Law Publications. (1978). Laws Relating to Women and Children. In the Administration of Criminal Justice-Deep & Deep Publications. catalyst. References Snarr W.Institutional Correctios.C. Wilkins Leslit.Inc. brokerage.Brown & Benchmark. Social workers also provide services in the areas of advocacy. Carter Robert M. Elemer H. Rawat Publications. Women & Law. Englewood Cliffs. 1999. 2005. mediator.Jeanne. Kant Anjani. Crime Correction and Society. Englewood Cliffs. Introduction to Corrections. and community organizer among others. Prentice Hall. Carney P. 3 rd ed. Probation Payrole and Community Correction. Corrections: Treatment and Philosophy.K. Dorsy Press. Prentice Hall Career & Technology Englewood Cliffs NJ 07632. social control agent.. 3Rd Edn. Richard.

www.Correctional Services 375 Report of the All India Committee on Jail Reforms: 1980-83. www.nic. of http://etd.uj. http:// arapaho. www.html-ssi . www. www. II.apcca. Govt.legalserviceindia.

labor. For example. The basis for the administration of these measures is that while enterprises are private initiatives they are very much part of the society and benefit from its resources. Bangalore.17 Corporate Sector. employees. the private enterprises have a responsibility towards the society also. shareholders. prices. . Thus the immediate stakeholders of any company are its owners. The enterprises are also taxed. Controls are administered so that the functioning of the enterprises does not cause injury to the society then and in the future. and quality standards. an enterprise gets its clients/ buyers and employees from the society. Donor Agencies and NGOs *Joseph Verghese Introduction The aim of any private enterprise is to maximize profit and give its owners/ shareholders the maximum return on their investment. However. * Joseph Verghese. Christ College. even in free market countries private enterprises are not allowed complete freedom. Governments do administer a number of regulations related to pollution. Hence. Often these regulations are made in form of laws which the government implements.

In the larger sense all members of the society are its stakeholders. It need not be voluntary as it can be statutorily enforced (Hib. For example. Donor Agencies and NGOs 377 buyers. Others have given a broader view of CSR. 2004). child labour. Presently government and increasingly international bodies act as watchdog of the industry performance in these areas. McWilliams and Siegel (2001) define it as situations where the firm goes beyond compliance and engages in ‘actions that appear to further some social good. Industrialists during the early days of industrial capitalism did not have the idea of social responsibility. According to this view. no security control on pollution. Thus. industries allowed regulation in these areas by the state. and distributors. Corporate social responsibility is presently used and advocates that corporate should do more than just follow laws. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is defined in many ways. Gradually with the increased pressure from labour movements and growing awareness. . the issue of climate change has lead to intergovernmental cooperation to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases by companies. which affect all the stakeholders. How much regulation is needed and its effectiveness is subject of perennial debate. all decisions. all actions that a corporate does to benefit the society can be called CSR. beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law’. Consequently there existed 16 hours working days with no holidays.Corporate Sector. are part of CSR. it should actively participate in efforts to enhance the well-being of the society.

The first prime minister of India. shareholders and the community . shareholders and even customers (ibid. For example. the Tatas have supported a number of social initiatives. The industry would be run for the benefit of the society rather than for private benefit. The sustainability factors include governance and management. The Tata institute of social sciences is one of its significant initiatives. environmental products and services. environmental process improvement. Jawaharlal Nehru addressing a meeting said ‘. every enterprise. A number of corporate and the business houses have initiated a number of initiatives.. [Business has] responsibility to itself. as well as efficient and dynamic. p3). if it is to enjoy confidence and respect. must. community development. stakeholder engagement.. local economic development. Mahatma Gandhi’s theory of trusteeship aimed at making the industry owners trustees of the industry. Business must be just and humane.and not to one or two groups.. workers. which started professional social work . seek actively to discharge its responsibilities in all directions .. at the expense of community and consumer.. Corporate Social Responsibility in India Indian industry has been engaged in the CSR initiatives for a long time.378 Social Work Practicum and Supervision There are many who feel that CSR can help the corporate in many ways. It can prevent the loss customers. to its customers. such as shareholders or workers. It has contributed to profitability and sustainability. and human resource management. no matter how large or small..

Often corporates . Professional social workers are mostly engaged in the first and third function. and many companies have implemented the ISO 14 001 system throughout their businesses. 2) Environmental management: Environ mental policies and programmes are now standardized. After liberalization process was started in the government it has asked corporate to participate more actively in social development. education. According to a survey. and agriculture. three core elements in CSR exist in India which are as follows: 1) Community development: Most large companies either have their own foundations or contribute to other initiatives that directly support the community upliftment. 1) Assisting the corporate to convert social responsibility into initiatives Interpreting social responsibility is the primary responsibility of the social work. Donor Agencies and NGOs 379 education. Indian CSR has focused mainly on the community development initiative and workers welfare. Scope of Social Work in Corporate Social Initiatives The professional social worker has to play an important role in CSR initiatives in the country. 3) Workplace: Growing out of long-standing commitments to training and safety a more recent emphasis has been on knowledge and employee well-being. Social workers can assist CSR in the following ways.Corporate Sector. notably in health.

While this is a legitimate objective. Most of them busy are running the business that they do not get enough time to conceptualize the initiative. it can result in paying lip service and publicity seeking initiatives. while a multidisciplinary approach is useful the social worker has to educate the other professionals to understand client system. MBAs are being placed in social work agencies all over the world. Therefore.380 Social Work Practicum and Supervision are willing to spend resources for social initiatives but are unaware of how it should be operationalised. Social work can identify the client groups. Another tendency is to convert social initiatives into public relation exercises and get media attention. 2) Implement the programme Various programmes can be implemented by the social worker through various methods of social work. However many of them do not have an understanding of the client dynamics and provide unrealistic solutions. and formulate programmes to address their problems. In fact. There is an increasing tendency to place MBAs in the role of managers of social initiatives as it is assumed that their management skill will result in greater efficiency. Social Work Practicum in the Corporate Sector The option of doing fieldwork in the corporate sector is increasing as increasing number of industries are . understand their needs.

The methods of social work-casework. CSR for the corporates are an important area of work but definitely not their priority. coverage by the press maybe expected. Defining the role of the department in the corporate and disseminating information about its initiative within the company is itself major exercise for the students placed in the corporates other areas of interest in practicum are: 1) Assist in the formulation of the projects Activities to assist the formulation of the projects include determining the objectives. is not clear or well defined. often the relationship between the various departments and the department which handles CSR. division of responsibilities. etc. If the programme is sufficiently large. Donor Agencies and NGOs 381 starting CSR initiatives. 2) Implement the projects Tasks in implementing the projects include – breaking down the programme components. group work and community organization are used in this stage of work. Secondly. mobilizing the target population and performing various tasks and monitoring their progress. For students it is an opportunity to gain practical experience in an agency whose competence is not in community development. counseling. 3) Ensure publicity of the programme within and outside the corporate about the programmes Publicity about the corporate’s programme in the larger society is an important activity from its point of view. Even . the target population. their needs and programmes.Corporate Sector.

It is their involvement in the programmes and their appreciation that will encourage the corporate to continue to engage in similar programmes. handouts. corporates. 5) Evaluation of the programme seeks to study as to what degree the objectives of the programme are achieved and how far have been the participation of the employees. associations. CSR is an emerging area of the work for social worker. and social scientists are calling for greater involvement of the corporate in the social sector. It is also an opportunity for social workers to gain entry in a sector which is bound to grow in the coming decades. and brochures can be prepared.382 Social Work Practicum and Supervision otherwise publicity in form of banners. It is only when the corporate investment’s in CSR brings about tangible returns in form of publicity and morale of its employees will CSR be promoted and supported. Programmes have to be formulated so that it is possible for the employees to be part of the programmes and benefit from the moral satisfaction that is obtaining by helping the needy. For achieving this object the programmes have to be imaginative enough to catch the attention of the employees and be agreeable to their value system. Increasingly government. It should be planned during such periods when the employees can spend their time and energy in these extra activities. . 4) Another equally important area is the awareness about the programmes within the corporates itself among its employees.

disease afflicted persons. Socially committed individuals are also opting for a career in this sector. lawyers. scientists and management professionals. The variety is seen in different aspects of the NGO movement. 8) deaddiction and rehabilitation centers. 4) advocacy for unrepresented people. The NGO approaches the issues in different ways. doctors. 6) creating awareness among the people on important issues. The size and level of competence is also different. NGOs are also collaborating with governments to influence policy and implement programmes. Increasingly NGO’s are professionalizing them. 3) mobilizing people to demand services and protest against injustice. 5) research. There is growing awareness and acceptance of the work of NGOs among the people. The predominant feature of the NGO sector is its variety. self help and helping other. . Donor Agencies and NGOs 383 Field Work in NGOs NGOs are characterized by the following characteristics: (1) Non profit orientation. (2) autonomy from state and its direct control. 7) running homes for the destitute. (4) working for public good on basis of mutual aid. NGOs are hiring professionals like social workers. NGOs are run on formal lines and there are departments to handle the work. 2) provision of services like child care. (3) initiative from the civil society. counseling and legal aid. refugees.Corporate Sector. Functions of NGOs 1) implementation of development programmes.

individual donor. government depts. its services and the beneficiaries.. corporate) people support in form of contribution of funds Infrastructure facilities of the agency relationship with other agencies including other NGOs. The various aspects of the NGO can be as follows: – – – – – – – objectives of the organization history of the organization profile of the beneficiaries geographical area of work registered under which act organizational structure sources of funding foreign funding (institutional donors. governmental and non governmental) and Indian funding (governmental.384 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Practicum in NGOs 1) Understanding the NGO. non governmental. Panchyat Raj institutions and community based organizations opinion of the beneficiaries and public on the relevance and quality of services problems of agency from within and outside the organization – – – – – .

Donor Agencies and NGOs 385 – – future plans recognition and awards. 2) The client and NGO relationship: – – – – – – – – – – – – – The nature of NGO-client relationship the ideology of the NGO and the ideologypractice gap the rationale for implementing the projects the targets set and achieved the factors that have bearing to the attaining/ not attaining the targets the agency view of the beneficiaries the relationship between the agency and the beneficiaries the relationship between the agency and community the number of projects the agency is implementing the intended tasks and the time frame for the same the ways and means how the project is monitored the indicators for evaluation the means adopted to obtain participation of the people .Corporate Sector.

The student also has to go beyond the obvious information that the he collects from the NGO’s officials and documents. justice. How are employees treated? Is the NGO a learning organization i.e. and liberty guide the functioning of the organization? It is often unrealistic to expect an organization to follow these values in all situations. A learning organization should have a mechanism to obtain relevant information from the field. fudging accounts. – – – . dignity. and share it to the members in the organization Many NGOs are indulging in wrongdoings like misappropriating funds. However it is upto you to infer whether the deviations are too great. democracy. convert it to concrete knowledge. Does it adhere to the ideology that wants status quo or does it promote change? Does it empower its clients on a long-term basis or does it provide temporary relief making the client dependent on others? Do values of freedom. an organization where continuous change is way of its functioning and its core assumptions because of its experience in the field.386 Social Work Practicum and Supervision – 3) means of improving cost effective programme implementation.Some of the important inference you should make is regarding the following points: – The value system of the agency.

methods. Donor Agencies and NGOs 387 creating fictionous clients etc. The practice of the methods of social work depend on the following factors: – – – the agency philosophy.Corporate Sector. government and the public at large? – Does the NGO organize regular programmes for increasing the capacity of the agency to manage the new situations that are emerging? 4) Understand the client system – – – – – Socio-economic profile of the client cultural and psychological problems that contribute to the problem factors causing the problem Government action to solve the problem and its limitations Non governmental actions to solve the problem. values and resources available the community support to the programmes the knowledge and skill of the students . What is the position of the NGO on that and how does it maintain accountability towards the donor. It can be rectified if transparency and openness are encouraged by the NGO. group work and community organization in the agency. 5) Practice the methods of a social work – casework.

They can also make bequests in the wills in favor of the agency. The field work in the NGO is a very rewarding one. Increasingly the social sector is going to be dominated by the voluntary sector. Mobilization of resources is a major activity of the donor agency. They then donate the amount to donor . This sector will need social work professional to implement their programmes. The main functions of the donor agency is as follows: 1) To mobilize monetary resources from corporates. violence against women or any other issue that the agency thinks is important. It allows the student to understand the NGO sector. Prominent corporates give matching contributions to the amount of the contribution of their employees.388 Social Work Practicum and Supervision – the time and other resources available to the student. It organizes campaign to create awareness about crucial issues like poverty. Field Work in Donor Agencies A donor agency is agency that funds other organizations to implement projects and to meet their administrative costs. The importance of this sector is growing in the recent times. The agency then requests the individual to donate funds either through one time or periodically subscriptions. The government is withdrawing from the economic and upto lesser extent from the social sector. and interest groups. individual donors. child rights and child care. Corporates also have a policy of providing funds for social causes.

(iii) the agency’s human resources and its leadership. Often the donor agencies have to do a lot of preparation in highlighting issues in the media so that people respond to the issue positively. The donor agency has to develop criteria in form of indicators to evaluate the agencies that have applied for aid. Many NGOs apply for aid to conduct their programmes. (vii) its financial situation. 3) To fund the agencies selected and monitor the progress. Advice is rendered in . again using indicators formulated for the purpose. which work in the different sectors. (vi) its relationship with government. 2) To select NGOs that are creditworthy. Progress of the work is monitored on the regular basis. (ii) its track record in implementing programmes and projects. (v) its area of work. There are a large number of NGOs. Investigators representing the agency would do a field visit to the agency and get information directly from the field. Field visits are also done to get primary information from the field. efficient and have a positive image among the targeted groups. All this information is used to decide which agencies have to be selected for the fund.Corporate Sector. (iv) its relationship with the target populations. The donor agency has to study the NGO: (i) its philosophy and its approach. The donor agencies fund the agency for a fixed period. Donor Agencies and NGOs 389 agencies or to NGOs.

Nowadays the donor agencies are increasingly interested in determining to what extent the projects are sustainable and enjoy people’s confidence and support. group work and community organization. it is provided. Corrections are made if there are errors in the implementation. Training is provided to enhance the capacity of the agencies.390 Social Work Practicum and Supervision the areas where improvement is needed. A few donor agencies also implement their own projects in which case there maybe opportunities for the practice. Donor agencies usually do not provide opportunities for practice of social work methods of casework. Karat (1985) analyses the donor motives to fund NGOs activities in India and other developing countries and conclude that the funding agencies provide aid to further the . Student can perform the following activities: 1) Understand the politics of Aid mobilization and Aid distribution The objective of aid is not always altruistic-it is often political. Activities in donor agencies Field work in donor agencies is relatively new area. Evaluation also needs indicators that will reveal the impact of the project on the community. 4) Evaluation and follow up Evaluation of the work is done by the donor agency and in many cases if an extension is needed. There are attempts to push surreptitiously a political or social agenda.

the broad anti imperialist and anti capitalist movements into smaller splinters based on caste and gender. The student should be able to the analyze the donor agency in the following terms: What is the aim of the agency? What are the major assumptions of the donor agency? What role it visualizes for itself in the society? What ideology does it follow? Who are its major backers? Why are they supporting the agency? What changes has the agency been experiencing in the years after its initiating? . and replace the revolutionary ideals of the former with the reformists’ aims of these movements. Donor Agencies and NGOs 391 interests of the MNCs and the developed countries. An example is the food aid India received form European commission for operation flood. which was used judiciously and contributed towards making India the largest producer of milk. In other case. However. Funding for religious purpose also takes place. Therefore. another donor agency is alleged to have the aim of reducing the poor of the world by providing them with birth control measures.Corporate Sector. it is not to say that all aid is negative and will harm the society. the student should understand the dynamics of the functioning of the donor agency. According to him the implicit aim of funding is to divide.

4) Exposure to project proposals and criteria for selection A donor agency will receive a number of project proposals for funding from different agencies which . It is an important area of research. They have to be realistic. One important element in this type of research(before and after research) is the preparation of indicators for the change if any that has taken place in the behaviour of the clients due to the intervention.392 Social Work Practicum and Supervision 2) The student trainee can gain experience in using indicators for monitoring and evaluation Action research is a tool often used by donor agency to obtain information about the progress of the project. The use of this type of research is an important learning for the student placed in donor agency. Often agencies borrow indicators from other agencies like World Bank. demonstrable and lucid. 3) Exposure to reporting systems used by the agency Related to the formulation of indicators and research are reporting systems. which is being increasingly used by the donor agency to understand the progress. caused by the intervention. Reporting in agencies has become a major activity and an important activity. Often a baseline survey is done at the beginning of the project to understand the existing situation in the target area and then compared with the research findings after the intervention is done. Indicators are to be carefully constructed.

He could also observe how donor agency officials deal with the agency officials and what kind of questions and clarifications are asked. corruptions and mismanagement Most of the donor agencies encounter inefficiency. The student can learn on what factors are proposals judged. Sometimes extraneous factors like personal factors may play a role in the selection of the projects. To check these trend donor agencies are taking recourse to a number of means including litigation. it would be a major contribution to his learning. 6) Dealing with inef f iciency. It can learn from different proposals available on the strategies used by the agencies to further their case for funding. . NGOs are increasingly losing credibility in the society as they are seen as money making ventures. corruption. blacklisting of NGOs and suspension of funding. it would be an invaluable experience as he would be exposed to the functioning of a variety of agencies. How they take action against the guilty parties is important. Donor Agencies and NGOs 393 they would evaluate using their own criteria. If permission is given for the trainee to accompany the donor agency officials on such field visits. If the trainee can persuade a senior staff member to discuss how proposals are evaluated. 5) Doing field visits to monitor progress Donor agencies often visit the field to assess the work of the funded agencies. and mismanagement in the agencies that they fund.Corporate Sector.

His/her field work would be incomplete if he/she does not have direct experience in the target groups. They include conducting an enquiry and asking for written explanation. the student can ask for information from the staff members.394 Social Work Practicum and Supervision Most donor agencies have evolved a procedure to deal with complaints. It is strongly recommended that the student gets experience in the practice of social work methods – casework. The student can gain exposure to the planning and execution of these programmes. are other measures. . 7) Observe and participate in capacity building programmes Donor agencies often conduct or arrange for conducting organizational development programmes. Conducting a spot investigation and checking the accounts. group work and community organization and direct experience in the field before he/she does her field work in a donor agency. training programmes and collaborative programmes to improve the effectiveness of the organizations. It is quite possible that the donor agency does not allow you to participate directly in the various processes. However.

However. Corporate(2006) social responsibility . Each of them presents a different kind of challenge to the social work and the social work trainee. The State of CSR in India 2004. New Delhi Karat. Siegel. Rita(2004). and Wright.Corporate Sector. Each of the sectors has their own strengths and weakness. how to use them and how to satisfy various stakeholders in the processes. Field work in these areas will be very rewarding for the student. References Kumar. . Donor Agencies and NGOs 395 Conclusion Corporates. strategic implications in Journal of Management 43. acknowledging progress. background paper. the Marxist. McWilliams. donor agency and NGOs will be important areas where the social workers will be employed in the future. The exposure to these sectors should teach you which methods to be used. A. the main objective is to practice the method. prioritizing action.1.. Parkas (1984). TERI.