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Field Experiences

Residential Field Experience

Chances are you have chosen social work as a career because you want to make people-helping your full-time vocation. One of the things students love most about the BSW degree is that it is a professional degree, meaning that it prepares you fully to enter the field of social work immediately upon graduation. Your field placements, which are specially designed internships, will enable you to put all your academic knowledge into practice, working with clients with real-life challenges in a variety of settings, with the support of your faculty and peers.

As the signature pedagogy of social work, field education offers students the opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge gained in the classroom to different practice settings and to develop the competencies for generalist practice as identified by the Council on Social Work Education – competencies that relate to engagement, assessment and intervention with diverse clients, policy practice, applying research, advocating for clients and advancing justice, and developing as a professional.

The Social Work Department offers field opportunities in a variety of practice settings for both junior and senior students. These settings include opportunities to engage in different levels of practice from direct practice with individuals and families (micro-level), practice with neighborhoods and small groups (mezzo-level), and practice that impacts larger systems such as policy analysis, administration, and research (macro-level). Students are also offered field opportunities in a variety of geographical locations, including international settings.

Social Work students must complete two semester-long internship experiences in order to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) from Liberty University.

If you are a student in the Social Work program, visit the Field Experience Enrollment page to learn more detailed information on field enrollment and field experience!


Field Placement Activities

Students may complete field placements with a variety of client populations and settings. Consider doing a placement such as these:

Refugee Services – providing immediate supports and assisting families with integration into the community. Helping find housing, job opportunities, enrolling in schools, material needs (clothes, furniture, etc.)

Schools – An exciting opportunity to work with children and adolescents to overcome mental health issues, physical disabilities, or negative home environmental factors. In addition, helping provide guidance on how to address student behaviors in classrooms.

Hospitals – Helping a variety of individuals during their hospitalization or recovery process from an illness or injury, assess needs, locate resources, and advocate for patient rights. Hospitals/medical centers – offering wholistic supportive services to address material, mental health needs as well as physical or psychiatric

Non-profit Organizations – Working with a non-profit provides the opportunity to create new partnerships with other non-profits, assist in grant writing, with job readiness programs, Housing needs,

Probation & Parole – Great opportunity to come alongside individuals to help them reintegrate into the community, attend court hearings, home visits, and provide documentation.

Residential/Treatment Facilities – Excellent opportunity to learn or work on your skills in building rapport with clients, assist in treatment planning, coordinating services, and run support or educational groups. Provide mental health services and trauma informed care for those with mental health challenges.

Service/Treatment Centers – mental health, autism, developmental disabilities,

Mentoring programs – The chance to navigate how to connect with at-risk youth and challenging them to become the best they can be.

Department of Social Services – If you have a passion to help an array of individuals attain well-being, safety, independence, and gain benefits or relief assistance this could be an internship for you. Or assist in departments such as Child Protective Services, Foster care services, and Adult Protective Services.

  • Child welfare agencies providing foster care or adoption services to ensure safe, healthy families where children can thrive
  • Child Protection Services – assessing risk and offering services to preserve families and address child needs
  • Adult Protective Services – conducting risk assessment and providing needed supports to the elderly in the community

 

Independent Living Services – aiding foster children who are aging out of the system, or preparing adults with intellectual disabilities for independence with life skills.

Foster Care or Adoption Agencies – If you have a desire to work with adoptive families this will give you the opportunity to conduct family studies, home assessments, and foster parent training and recruiting.

Homeless Shelters – There is always something to be involved in whether it’s meeting essential needs such as providing emergency shelter, meals and clothing, and disaster assistance; case management services, or supporting individuals in programs for mental health or substance abuse issues.

Housing Assistance/Shelter Care – providing for immediate needs and assisting clients towards independence

Substance Abuse Treatment Center – providing assistance to clients in recovery, co-facilitating different groups (educational, life skills, interpersonal, etc.)

Community Advocacy or Awareness Organizations – If you are looking for an experience that brings awareness and hope to populations that are most vulnerable, speaking to large gatherings, fundraising and event planning. Such organizations raising public awareness of social needs or issues are substance use, human trafficking, etc

Nursing Homes – Working primarily with the elderly population to advocate for their rights, conduct assessments and intakes, connecting clients with resources, and adhering to state and hospital policies.

  • Assisted Living/Skilled Nursing Facilities – providing care and dignity to older persons and their families
  • Hospice – supporting patients and their families as they prepare for the end of life

General Eligibility Requirements

This graphic, Moving Through The SOWK Program, shows an overview of the program requirements, including how the Gate Process connects to the required Field Experiences. You must successfully be approved through the proper gates prior to engaging in any Field Experience.

For more information on the Gate Process, please review the Gate Courses Process.


Field Course Requirements

All Field Enrollment courses are A-term, full semester courses offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. 

SOWK 370: Junior Field Experience and Seminar

  • 3 or 4 credit hours depending on your DCP
  • Requires completion of a minimum of one day per week at the agency over a 14-week period
  • Experience includes a blend of observation and facilitation opportunities

 

SOWK 470: Senior Field Experience and Seminar

  • 9 or 11 credit hours depending on your DCP
  • Requires completion of a minimum of 4 days per week at the agency over a 14-week period
  • Experience includes co-facilitation and independent practice with clients

Interested Agencies

We always welcome the opportunity to enter new partnerships with social workers and agencies, as we seek to provide quality field placements for our students. Please contact us at bsswfield@liberty.edu for more information.