Practicum in Social Work
Practicum is considered as an essential element. Students have to complete three practicum stages starting from the 5th semester where it is believed that they are mature, academically and personally, to gain and provide. Practicum is managed by the Practicum Coordinator and the academic and practice supervisors. Students are placed only in social care organisations, which employ licensed Social Workers.
Undergraduate Practicum Requirements
Undergraduate social work students must accumulate a total of 1200 hours in field placements and earn a total of 13 ECTS. They do so through three courses: SOWK- 350, 355 and SOWK-450. To fulfill their field requirements, undergraduates are placed in practicum settings during both fall and spring semesters, spend 16-32 hours each week of the semester in the field. Students have to complete three practicum levels starting from the 3 year of their studies (5th semester). To enter practicum courses students must have completed in total 9 social work courses offered in the first two years of their education.
All undergraduate students plan for their practicum placement by attending orientation to the practicum, completing application materials, meeting with the Practicum Coordinator, and interviewing at sites the semester prior to their enrollment in SOWK-350. Sites for individual students are assigned by the Practicum Coordinator based on student interest and experience, educational needs, and site availability.
Linking the Practicum and the Placement Site
Academic supervisors are assigned to each student. Academic supervisors visit placement sites, serve as consultants to students and on-site practicum instructors, and award grades. Each academic supervisor is allocated a unit of students depending on the students’ number each semester. Academic supervisors are regular full-time faculty members of the Social Work Programme; others are practicing social workers who serve as adjunct faculty. Each adjunct faculty field liaison is required to have a Postgraduate Certificate in Practicum Supervision or MSW.
In particular the Practicum in Social Work is structured as follows:
Junior Practicum in Social Work I - 5th Semester - 40 days
– Understanding of key theoretical concepts, which inform social work practice.
– Produce a clear, concise & accurately presented written report.
– Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the influence of values beliefs and attitudes to himself, the service user and the organisation.
Junior Practicum in Social Work II - 6th Semester - 58 days
– Ability to apply social work theories and methods;
– Ability to analyse, evaluate & reflect on practice;
– Ability to explore some of the ethical dilemmas and conflicts in the practice of Social Work.
Senior Practicum in Social Work - 7th Semester - 60 days
– Ability to select, apply and sustain appropriate social work methods and demonstrate explicit use of same;
– Demonstrate an extended repertoire of skills integral to their practice.
– Incorporate the values of social work in one’s own practice while understand the personal value system and create opportunities to actively promote service users’ rights.
During the practicum fieldwork individual or group supervision is offered as a supportive mechanism to achieve the necessary skills and knowledge required:
- Students have 1½ hours weekly supervision on site with a Practice Supervisor.
- Practice Learning is supplemented by weekly one hour supervision session with an Academic Supervisor.
Supervision is viewed as a shared responsibility between the student, the practice and the academic supervisors.