Practicum Companion for Social Work Integrating Class and Fieldwork, The

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-24
  • Publisher: Pearson
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The Practicum Companion for Social Workcovers topics including: getting started in your career; socialization and establishing a professional identity; working safely; making the most of practicum supervision; organizational context; social work practice at all client system levels; social work and the legal system; and terminating effectively from the practicum. To make the material more accessible, the book follows the progress of five students-Ben, Cameron, Corina, Lauren and Rosa-as they move through their own practicum experiences. Their real-life stories help spur discussion while allowing students to apply the knowledge, skills, and/or issues presented in the text. To further stimulate critical thinking and discussion, the text provides practice connections and applications in each unit. Discussion of the CSWE 2008 EPAS core competencies and practice behaviors occurs throughout the text.

Author Biography

Julie Birkenmaier, Ph.D., LCSW, is the Director of Field Education and an Associate Professor at Saint Louis University School of Social Work.  She teaches community practice in the BSSW and MSW program.  Her research interests and publications include the areas of field education, older adults, community economic development, financial education, financial credit and the poor and financial credit and asset building.

Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Professor, and former Director of Field Education at Saint Louis University School of Social Work.  She is also Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Professional Studies. She currently teaches in the BSSW program.  Her research interests include family caregiving and driving and older adults.  Among numerous other publications, she has authored Social Work and Social Welfare: An Invitation. (2010) (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw- Hill Publishers.

Table of Contents

Each chapter includes “Introduction,” “Summary,” and “Student Scenario Postscript” .

1.Getting Started on Your Social Work Practice Career.

Practice Connection

Getting Started in Your Practicum.

Practice Application 1.1: “Learning and Teaching Style Exercise.”

Practice Application 1.2: “Self-Assessment: What Do I Know and What Do I Need to Know?”

Practice Application 1.3: “Watch Your Body.”

Practice Application 1.4: “Becoming a Reflective Practitioner”

What Can I Expect from the Integrative Practice Seminar?

Practice Application 1.5: “Seeing My Practicum Site and Field Instructor with Different Eyes.”


2.Socialization into the Social Work Profession.

Practice Connection

Me? A Social Worker?

Practice Application 2.1: “Often-Asked Client Questions.”

Strategies for Your Socialization as a Social Worker.

Practice Application 2.2: “Social Work from Your Own Perspective.”

Practice Application 2.3: “Social Work from Many Perspectives.”

Pulling It All Together — How Can I Juggle All the Roles?

Setting Professional Boundaries.

Stress: Bane or Boon?

How Well Is Your Well-Being?

Self-Care as Professional Development.

The Transitions of Professional Socialization.

Practice Application 2.4: “A Social Worker’s Day.”

Practice Application 2.5: “Thinking Like a Social Worker.”

3. Safety in Social Work Settings.

Practice Connection

The Scope of Personal Safety Risks in Social Work.

Safety in the Practicum Setting.

Reasonable Concerns and Caution.

Practice Application 3.1: “Gathering Information.”

Practice Application 3.2: “Gaining Skills.”

Practice Application 3.3: “Assessment and Reflection.”

Assessment of Potentially Violent Clients.

Specific Guidelines for Safety within the Office.

Interacting with Clients within the Home and the Community.

Practice Application 3.4: “Role-Play: Off-Site Safety Rules.”

Working with Angry, Resistant, or Aggressive Clients.

Follow-Up to Crises.

Ethical Dilemmas Involving Safety Issues.


Defining Features of Harassment

Practice Application 3.5: “Safety:   Your Comfort Zone.”

Practice Application #6: “Role-Play: Harassment.”

Helping to Ensure Client Safety.

4.  Making the Most of Your Practicum Supervision.

Practice Connection

What Is Practicum Supervision?

Who Provides Practicum Supervision

The Practicum Supervision Approach

What Can I Expect from Practicum Supervision?

Expectations of your Field Instructor

Practice Application 4.1: “Forewarned Is Forearmed.”

What Should I Expect from Myself in Supervision?

Practice Application 4.2: “Supervision from the Other Side of the Desk.”

Ethical and Interpersonal Issues in Supervision.

Practice Application 4.3: “What Are You Saying and What Are You Really Saying to Your Field Instructor?”

Strategies for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Practicum Supervision.

Practice Application 4.4: “Supervision: Expectations and Assessment.”

Practice Application 4.5: “Use of Self: Finding Trends in Interactions?”

Practice Application 4.6: “Questions to Consider.”

Practice Application 4.7: “A Student's Worst Fear.”

5.  Organizational Context.

Practice Connection

The Importance of Organizational Knowledge.

Internal Elements of an Organization.

Governmental (Public) Organizations.

For-Profit Organizations.

Nonprofit Organizations.

Agency Size.

Practice Application 5.1: “Reflections on Practice Context.”

Management in Agencies.

The Role of Social Work within the Organization.

Practice Application 5.2: “Gathering Information.”

The Informal Organization

Practice Application 5.3: “Reflection on Explicit and Implicit Rules.”

Socialization into the Social Service Organization.

Practice Application 5.4: “Reflections on Your Organizational Socialization.”

Uncovering Staff Violations.

Practice Application 5.5: “Reflections on the Organization.”

Practice Application 5.6: “Reflection through Illustration.”

Practice Application 5.7: “Learning about Agency Structure through the Lens of Service Area/Client Issue.”

Practice Application 5.8: “Tying Together the Agency and Social Work Values and Principles.”

6. Social Work Practice in the Field: Working with Individuals and Families.

Practice Connection

Expectations for Student Learning in Practice with Individuals and Families.

Learning the “Business” of Practice with Individuals and Families.

Practice Application 6.1: “Documentation: Your Turn.”

Learning the “Process” of Practice with Individuals and Families.

Practice Application 6.2: “Application of Evidence-Based Theory to Practice: Testing Your Knowledge.”

Practice Application 6.3: “How to Handle Ethical Dilemmas.”

Practice Application 6.4: “Case Reenactment.”

Practice Application 6.5: “Learning from the Client: When Listening Is Not Enough.”

Practice Application 6.6: “Developing the Critical Self: Taking the Pain Out of Feedback.”

Practice Application 6.1 Follow-Up.

7.  Social Work Practice in the Field: Working with Groups.

Practice Connection

Expectations for Student Learning in Practice with Groups.

Practice Application 7.1: “Groups, Groups, Groups.”

Learning the “Business” of Practice with Groups

Practice Application 7.2: “How Do Documentation Styles Compare?”

Practice Application 7.3: “Group Facilitator Self-Assessment.”

Learning the “Process” of Group Practice.

Practice Application 7.4: “Application of Evidence-Based Theory to Group Practice: Testing Your Knowledge.”

Working with Task Groups.

Practice Application 7.5: “Facilitating Your Own Interprofessional Group Meeting.”

Practice Application 7.6: “Documenting Group Process: When the Obvious Isn't Obvious.”

Practice Application 7.7: “Need a Group Work  Practicum Experience? Start Your Own Group.”

8.  Social Work Practice in the Field: Working with Organizations, Communities and Policy. 

Practice Connection

Ethics in Practice with Organizations, Communities and Policy.

Expectations for Student Learning in Organizational, Community and Policy Practice.

Learning the “Business” of Organizational, Community and Policy Practice.

Practice Application 8.1: “Gathering Information.”

Practice Application 8.2: “Socialization into Macro Practice.”

Practice Application 8.3: “Professional Socialization in a Smaller Community.”

Learning the “Process” of Organizational Community and Policy Practice.

Practice Application 8.4: “Reflections on the Use of Conflict in Social Advocacy.”

Policy Contexts that Shape Practice.

Practice Application 8.5: “Community Analysis through Observation.”

Practice Application 8.6: “Community Analysis through Illustration.”

Practice Application 8.7: “A Macro Approach to the Educational Needs of Homeless Children.”

Practice Application 8.8: “Role-Play — Social Advocacy.”

Practice Application 8.9: “Contact with an Influential Person.”

9.  Social Work Practice and the Legal System.

Practice Connection

Legal Terms.

Grievance Procedures and Legal Resources for Clients.

Professional and Student Malpractice Issues and Liability.

Practice Application 9.1: “Agency Records as Legal Documents.”

Practice Application 9.2: “Personal Notes as Legal Documents.”

Special Legal Issues in Practicum.

Social Work Ethical Violations and Grievance Procedures.

If You Are Sued.

Professional Court Involvement.

Practice Application 9.3: “NonCustodial Parental Right to Review School Records.”

Practice Application 9.4: “Reflections on the Legal System and Vulnerable Populations.”

Practice Application 9.5: “The Courts: How Much Do You Know?”

Follow-Up to Practice Application 9.3 “Author's Suggested Resolution”.

10.  Termination: The Beginning of an End (or the End of a Beginning?)

Practice Connection

What Has This Practicum Experience Meant?

Practice Application 10.1: “What Is Social Work and Where Do I Fit?”

Beginning the Termination: Where Do I Start?

Practice Application 10.2: “Termination through Journaling.”

Practice Application 10.3: “Termination through Presentation.”

Practice Application 10.4: “Termination through Illustration.”

Practice Application 10.5: “Termination through Simulation.”

Practice Application 10.6: “Termination through Activation.”

The Nuts and Bolts of Termination with Your Clients, Agency, Field Instructor, and Social Work Program.

Professional Development: Where Does It Begin and Where Does It End?


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