A key component of any Master of Social Work program is the field internship. In fact, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting body for all social work programs, refers to field placements as the signature pedagogy or key teaching method in social work education — meaning your field experience has the power to bring your education to life.
The field placement exposes students to several social work careers at the various levels of practice, helping aspiring social workers to address the needs of large populations on a macro scale, work effectively with groups at the mezzo level, and connect with individuals on a micro level. To ensure all graduate social workers are properly equipped through their field placement, the CSWE sets regulatory guidelines for all field placement work.
The Diana R. Garland School of Social Work has a specific team dedicated to walking alongside all students as they navigate the field placement process. Our field team continuously works to develop relationships with community and clinical field sites to offer a variety of placement opportunities for students. To give you an idea of the field placement opportunities available through Baylor’s MSW program, read on as we share four examples of field sites who partner with the Garland School of Social Work.
Communities In Schools-Waco, Tx.
Communities in Schools (CIS) is an example of a field placement where students are exposed to all three levels of social work practice: micro, mezzo, and macro. The goal of CIS is to partner with local schools to connect students with resources to empower them to stay in school. Interns with CIS work with students one-on-one and in groups to address the needs of students and to empower students to overcome barriers to their academic success.
In addition, CIS interns work to assess area schools and create an action plan to identify needs, outline specific resources, and shape programming. Students interested in school social work practice may have the opportunity to intern with this site for their field placement experience!
Refugee Services of Texas-Houston, Tx.
Students interested in working with refugees or displaced persons might consider Refugee Services of Texas as a field site. Refugee Services of Texas is a “social-service agency dedicated to providing assistance to refugees and other displaced persons fleeing persecution.” Refugee Services offers support to this population by providing resources and connections to help people integrate into new and supportive communities.
Interns working with Refugee Services of Texas have an opportunity to experience social work practice at a micro level as a case manager helping to connect individuals and families to resources in their new community. At the mezzo level, social work interns can facilitate refugees’ support of one another through group facilitation and involvement. At a macro level, interns will help raise awareness and provide education in communities about the services available to help refugees and displaced persons.
Alzheimer’s Association-Waco, Tx.
Students interested in geriatric social work or in community practice may be placed at the Alzheimer’s Association for their field internship. The Alzheimer’s Association is a voluntary health organization whose goal is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through research and providing support for families facing Alzheimer’s. At the Alzheimer’s Association, interns may be responsible for planning and facilitating support groups for caregivers, participating in program evaluation, and in education and awareness efforts in the community.
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center-Houston, Tx.
The Veterans Affairs Medical Center is dedicated as a resource for our military veterans. Students interested in working in clinical social work or with the veteran population may find an internship with the VA rewarding and enlightening. At the VA, interns can work in a wide range of settings from physical health to mental health to homeless outreach. Social work interns at the VA learn and implement specific therapeutic modalities and gain knowledge about veteran resources and eligibility for resources.
A Field Placement Can Help Launch Your Career
To begin their search, MSW students can access a database of trusted field sites in order to learn about the broad range of placement opportunities available. Students work closely with the field directors during the placement process as they move through interviewing for and confirming an internship position. Students pursuing an MSW degree at the Garland School of Social Work will complete a total of 1,030 field hours by the end of their MSW program. These hours translate into valuable work experience and directly impact a student’s future career.
Through their fieldwork students will not only grow in their understanding of the social work field, but they will gain valuable skills for their future social work careers. Working in a field internship helps students to understand what they would and would not like to do as a professional social worker. These placements will also help students to network and form professional connections that can help them launch their future career.
If you are interested in learning more about Baylor’s MSW program or our field placement opportunities, we invite you to reach out and request more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon!