The Bachelor of Social program at the University of the Fraser Valley is an accredited program of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). The School of Social Work and Human Services at the University of the Fraser Valley adheres to the standards and requirements of the CASWE.
The intent of Field Education is to:
- Apply theory to practice skills
- Learn to use supervision effectively
- Practice self-reflection
- Demonstrate professionalism and uphold the BCCSW Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
- Promote social justice
- Develop a professional identity
All students are required to complete two field placements in the BSW program, one in the third year and one in the fourth year. Students are placed in an agency or community setting to integrate their classroom learning with practice-based situations. The field placement is an applied, practical course. Field placements require students to continually process the learning that is taking place.
- Acceptance into the BSW program does not guarantee the student a field placement.
- Students who are on academic warning or academic probation or subject to academic or non-academic student conduct proceedings will not ordinarily be permitted to register in a field placement.
- Social Work students are expected to adhere to the Social Work code of ethics and standards of practice and the SWHS field practice guidelines while in their field placement.
- Placements are Monday-Friday, during field placement setting hours. The School is not able to facilitate evening or weekend placements and students need to plan their commitments accordingly.
- Practicum is completed in the winter semester and planning begins in the preceding summer semester. For example: planning for winter 2023 practicum begins in the summer 2022.
- Planning for certain agencies including Health Care, MCFD, and Delegated Aboriginal Agencies require additional time. To accommodate increased planning time students will be contacted in the last half of their 3rd year practicum to discuss options for the 4th year practicum.
- Students planning to complete the Child Welfare Specialization must formally declare their intention with their Advisor. Declarations should be formalized the summer preceding the 4th year practicum. Please note: MCFD requires students to have a class 5 driver’s license to complete a placement and students that do not meet this requirement will not considered for a placement with MCFD.
- Recommendation is to take no more than two courses alongside the field placement.
- SOWK 430 must be completed in the last semester of your BSW program.
- Sites have strict placement application processes in place. Students are not to contact agencies directly to set up a placement, but can suggest potential placements to the Field Education Coordinator.
Attendance is required at pre-placement activities that take place in the semester before your placement. These activities can include, but are not limited to, interactive workshops, panels with professionals, and themed sessions designed to help you get the most out of your placement.
Field placement format
BSW field placements are set up as block placements that take place over one semester. Students are required to attend an integrated seminar on campus alongside the field placement. Attendance, participation, and completion of assignments are required to receive credit for the course. Seminar hours are in addition to the hours completed in the field placement setting.
SOWK 330 (third year placement):
- 315 placement hours
- Three days per week
- Seven hours per day
- 13-week minimum to a 15-week maximum
SOWK 430 (fourth year placement):
- 420 placement hours
- Four days per week
- Seven hours per day
- 13-week minimum to a 15-week maximum
Field practice guidelines and UFV policies
Field practice guidelines and UFV policies are in place to ensure student success, and provide support and guidance to students, field instructors, and faculty liaisons during the field placement.
These resources provide a detailed description of student responsibilities in the field placement. Students are expected to read and understand the guidelines and policies prior to the field placement and refer to them throughout. Students will be asked to sign a form indicating they have read and understood the field placement guidelines and will be held accountable for any breaches.
Challenge SOWK 330
The School of Social Work and Human Services recognizes that some students bring with them rich experience in social work practice as they enter the Bachelor of Social Work degree program and have a process in place for prior learning assessment for students to receive credit if eligibility requirements are met.
The School commits to working individually with BSW students to ensure their field placements meet their individual learning needs and build upon their existing knowledge, skills, and experience.
- A minimum of five years of full time, paid, and supervised social work experience is required.
- Students must have received regular social work supervision during their full time paid social work experience.
- Students must have successfully completed all pre- and co-requisites and have met a 2.67 GPA requirement (SOWK 300, SOWK 311, SOWK 320, SOWK 312, SOWK 392) to enroll and complete the SOWK 330 Challenge.
- A student cannot challenge SOWK 330 with the same experience that the student used to challenge a related diploma-level practicum.
- The fourth year or MSW placement is not eligible for prior learning assessment/challenge.
A formal letter of request to Challenge SOWK 330 is submitted to the Field Education doordinator and is reviewed by the Field Education committee. If approved, students will submit a portfolio including written reflective learning papers, evaluations, and videos. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to further inquire about the SOWK 330 challenge process.
Prepare for the licensure exam and registration
For details about the licensure exam and registration, please visit the British Columbia College of Social Workers website. The website outlines the process for the exam and for registration.