Coordinator of Community Practice: Fred Newdom
During the first winter field placement (session II for plan "A" MSW students), all students develop a community practice project. The project builds and demonstrates knowledge and skills in organizational and community level social work practice. One-half day per week is allotted for this project.
The community practice project is designed to:
- involve students in social work activity that goes beyond direct clinical work with individuals, families and small groups;
- help students gain an understanding of the connections between indirect social work practice interventions and direct clinical practice interventions;
- sharpen the students' awareness of the interrelationship between political, economic, and social forces as they shape the delivery of human services;
- conceptualize, in a final report, the entire project;
- encourage students to appreciate and value another aspect of their professional identity as social workers.
Preparation for the project begins with first summer courses, particularly "191 Agency and Community Practice." The community practice project has a faculty adviser who oversees the project. Students select one of three or four national issues with social and economic justice implications, chosen annually by student poll, to work on in the community where they are placed. The student will prepare a proposal for the project as they envision it and, upon approval by the faculty advisor and the sponsoring organization, implement it. A local sponsor (usually an employee of the organization or agency in which the project is located) must agree to provide direct supervision of the project work. A final paper describing and analyzing the experience completes the project. Working in groups is encouraged but not required.