“Social work covers such a broad spectrum. The variety is truly staggering. So much of what we do has to be seen. Through their field experiences, I see students every day becoming more comfortable with themselves as practitioners, more confident in their skills, and I see their eyes open to all of these avenues for them to explore.”
– Joe Craig, field instructor and program coordinator, The Mill House, Community Brain Injury Services
For nearly a century, the School of Social Work has built our identity around the strong community ties that shaped our earliest years. Our centralized field education office helps to keep those bonds strong by reaching out to new organizations, training field instructors and facilitating educational opportunities at home and abroad, making it a model for social work field education in the 21st century.
With more than 500 community partners throughout Richmond, the state and beyond, we expose our students to a wide range of social work perspectives, environments and communities that can sharpen their skills as practitioners and help them find the right fit for those skills. Our partners include:
Whether they serve with state agencies, assisted-living facilities, community housing organizations or social advocacy groups, our students don’t simply observe social workers in action. They put their passion to use, try the techniques they learn in the classroom in a real-life setting and experience the everyday demands and rewards of social work.
Through this blend of classroom and hands-on experience, our students develop a deep commitment to the profession’s ethical underpinning, which recognizes each individual’s implicit worth and dignity. They also develop the skills needed to understand and evaluate their professional experiences.
No two days in this profession are the same, and yet each experience informs how social workers approach the next. By taking the time to reflect upon these encounters, and by developing the tools for meaningful self-reflection, our students commit not only to best practices, but to the ongoing development of themselves as professionals.
These key dates affect field education placement. Policies regarding field hours, holidays and inclement weather are included in the Field Manual.
Week of Jan. 12
Field placement begins/continues
Richmond Field Fair Day*
10 a.m.-noon, University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms and James River Terrace
*Required for M.S.W. students entering concentration field placement in fall 2015
Summer 2015 field applications due for all B.S.W. juniors and M.S.W. foundation and concentration students
Fall 2015 field applications due for all B.S.W. seniors and M.S.W. concentration students
Mid-semester Evaluations due (Verbal)
Spring Break Holiday
Noon-1 p.m., location TBD
*Required for B.S.W. students beginning placement in summer 2015
Spring semester evaluations due to field liaisons
Last day of field instruction
*The School of Social Work Field calendar does not mirror the VCU holiday calendar. Any hours missed outside of those listed as a holiday on this calendar must be made up by the student.
M.S.W. Field instruction begins for concentration block students, SLWK 795 only
M.S.W. Field instruction begins for foundation block students, SLWK 695, and students taking SLWK 693, 694, 793, 794
Memorial Day – No field
Field instruction begins for B.S.W. junior and M.S.W. Advanced standing format
Midterm evaluations due (Verbal)
Independence Day observed - No field
Field evaluations due
Last day of field instruction B.S.W., foundation block, advance standing and M.S.W. concurrent placements
Last day of field instruction for M.S.W. concentration block, SLWK 795 only
The field of social work opens opportunities for students, faculty and agencies to get involved in their local communities. New agencies interested in offering placements for field instruction should register through this form.