A significant part of the Master of Social Work (MSW) and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) learning experience happens outside of the classroom. All social work students are required to complete work placements in the field, allowing them to integrate the skills they learn in school and develop their identities as professional social workers. The success of the Field Education program relies heavily on field agencies that dedicate their time, resources, and staff to the education of social work students.
The Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University has established connections with over 700 agencies across Southern Ontario as well as a number of international agencies.
Field instructors play a key role in the development of the next generation of social workers. The instructor attempts to teach complex skills within the respective concentrations, model professional behaviours, and facilitate the growth and development of values and ethics in the student.
The Faculty of Social Work relies on agency-employed field instructors for all field placements. At all times, the students and instructors are accountable to the agency administration for the service responsibilities and to the university for the educational requirements and procedures. It is expected that the instructors attend meetings or committees required by the agency to provide for realistic involvement in agency administration.
The Faculty of Social work is committed to supporting field instruction as follows:
The success of our Field Education program relies heavily on field agencies that dedicate their time, resources and staff to the education of social work students. In order to reward the longstanding commitment of field instructors and facilitate your continued involvement with our Field Education program, we provide several benefits to our field agency partners.
Experienced field instructors receive special recognition for their instruction of students via an official title. Instructors who have completed ten or more placements and have made special contributions to the Field Education program at Laurier are invited by the Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work Field Managers to apply for the title associate field education professor (part-time).
In appreciation of the hard work our field agency partners do in providing excellent learning opportunities for our students, the Faculty of Social Work offers Professional Development (PD) dollars. Each agency that takes a field placement student receives PD dollars that can be used toward almost any workshop offered by the Faculty of Social Work's Professional Development Office.
All field agency personnel who have some connection with current student field placements (i.e. not just the field instructor, but also the agency director, the placement supervisor and anyone else with some role to play in student’s placement) will have electronic resource access to the Laurier Library (as well as borrowing privileges) through a login provided by the Field Education Office.
Field personnel also have the option to sign up for a community borrower card to access hard copy items in the library. There is no charge for a community borrower card.
Field instructors in the Kitchener Waterloo area receive a discounted membership to the Laurier Athletic Complex (25% off) on the Waterloo campus. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you are interested in using the Athletic Complex and you will be provided with a letter of introduction from the faculty.
Field instructors may participate in the Faculty of Social Work Divisional Council meetings and/or one of its standing committees. Depending on the committee, field instructors may also have voting privileges.
The Field Education Office welcomes agencies and instructors to contact us for any information about offering a placement opportunity. If you are interested in providing a placement opportunity to either undergraduate or master's students, submit a request in our online portal Navigator.