Undergraduate Field Policies & Procedures Manual


The purpose of this manual is to set forth the goals and expectations, the roles and responsibilities, and the policies and procedures that form the basis for, and guide the Field Instruction Curriculum in the undergraduate program of the UTA School of Social Work. It is intended to assist students, faculty, staff, field liaisons, and field instructors in clarifying, coordinating, and implementing the various aspects of the field instruction process.
This manual is a dynamic document that is subject to continuous review and revision to reflect changes in policies and procedures and ongoing advances in social work practice and education.


The UT Arlington School of Social Work’s vision is to promote human and community well being and social and economic justice in a diverse society.


The mission of the UT Arlington School of Social Work is to advance knowledge, pursue excellence, provide leadership and service for enhancing well being, and to promote social and economic justice and cultural competence with diverse cultures.


1. Prepare generalist BSW and specialist MSSW level practitioners for competent, evidence-informed social work practice with awareness of the systemic and global nature of the environment.
2. Provide leadership and service to communities and organizations to
improve service delivery to oppressed and at risk populations, promoting social justice for the well-being of all people.
3. Contribute to knowledge development and promote lifelong learning within the social work profession.


1. Engage in evidence-informed practice within a system’s framework, based on a generalist foundation.
2. Engage in leadership as well as service roles and activities in local communities and beyond.
3. Understand the impact of oppression on at risk populations in the context of their unique environmental systems.
4. Engage in evidence-informed social work practice; conduct competent practice with diverse populations addressing social class, national origin,
religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, and other issues.
5. Understand the integration of multiple factors—micro and macro—in explaining social problems. These factors include clinical practice, community/administrative practice, policy, research, and human behavior/ social environment.
6. Demonstrate the use of appropriate technological knowledge, and other
resources to perform ethical social work practice.


GOAL 1: Prepare BSW students for generalist social work practice.
GOAL 2: Prepare BSW students for leadership and service to individuals and communities. GOAL 3: Prepare BSW students to be broadly educated, critically engaged and socially
conscious citizens in society.
GOAL 4: Prepare BSW students for graduate studies in social work, as well as degree programs in other fields.

BSW Educational Objectives

Objective 1. . Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.
Objective 2. Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles, and practice accordingly.
Objective 3. Practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
Objective 4. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
Objective 5: Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues.
Objective 6. Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice with systems of all sizes.
Objective 7. Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand individual development and behavior across the life span and the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Objective 8. Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies.
Objective 9. Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions.
Objective 10. Use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities.
Objective 11. Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
Objective 12. Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and seek necessary organizational change.
Objective 13. Engage in life-long learning and activities to update and improve professional knowledge and skills.


Field Instruction has been designated the signature pedagogy of social work education by the Council on Social Work Education and, as such, is an essential, integral component of the School of Social Work curriculum. The BSW practicum is designed to help students become professionally reflective, self-evaluating, knowledgeable, and competent generalist social work practitioners. Field students are assigned to affiliated social service agencies where they engage in supervised learning activities that provide practical experience in the application of knowledge, theory, and skills acquired in the prerequisite professional foundation and advanced curricular areas.


The field practicum is guided by a number of important principles pertaining to social work education. Among these are the following:

Knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom are reified, reinforced, and refined through supervised professional practice.

Undergraduate students bring with them varied social, cultural, educational, and experiential qualities.

Educational opportunities provided in the field practicum should include experience working with clients from all system sizes (individuals, groups, organizations, and communities.)


The overall goals of the School of Social Work for BSW field practicum students are an understanding of the framework of social work practice and an opportunity to observe, learn, and effectively demonstrate skills inherent to generalist social work practice.

The course objectives of Social Work Field Instruction I are as follows:
1. To develop skill in interviewing, empathic responding, and understanding of clients in their specific situations. Students will learn the use of appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills, to demonstrate respect for the dignity and uniqueness of every client and each client’s right to self-determination.
2. To develop skill in the use of the problem-solving model. Students will develop, implement, and evaluate case plans for improving the well-being of individuals, families, and small groups focusing attention on both the micro and macro aspects of the client system; learn to use methods of data collection and analysis; review and understand agency policies and procedures; learn the advantages of team work; demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills; and learn to develop helping relationships with individuals and groups.
3. To develop professional values and an appreciation for the unique concerns
and needs of all clients, especially people of color and women. Students will interact with members of different races, lifestyles, and belief; demonstrate problem-solving techniques built upon knowledge and understanding of distinct heritages and values; and demonstrate and understand the manner in which age, social class, and ethnic membership shape people’s responses to the challenge of living.
4. To develop an understanding of, and appreciation for human dynamics and social behavior. Students will have the opportunity to integrate knowledge of human behavior in social environments across the life span, problem identification skills, understanding of the manner in which society creates deviance, knowledge of the manner or types of normal and abnormal functioning, understanding of the reciprocal nature of the relationship between individuals and the environment, and understanding of the effects of
institutionalized oppression upon individuals.
5. To develop an ability to effectively utilize social work supervision to enhance practice effectiveness. Students will actively participate in the processes of social work practice, understand and analyze agency structure and goals, take advantage of supportive supervision, and evaluate and examine his or her own professional performance and that of the Field Instructor and the Field Liaison.
6. To develop and/or improve work habits. Students will learn time- effective organization of assigned tasks, the use of procedural detail, accurate recording, and the practice of punctuality and regular attendance.
7. To develop an understanding of agency structure and function, including knowledge about funding and specific problems, which characterize the agency. Students will strengthen their ability to interpret to clients and other agencies the services that can be provided along with the basis of eligibility for these services.
8. To develop knowledge of, and skills in utilization of agency and community resources. Students will be able to interpret to clients other community services and resources that can be provided along with the basis of eligibility for these services.
9. To develop the student’s identity as a member of the social work profession.

The course objectives for Social Work Field Instruction II are as follows:
1. To demonstrate an ability to selectively develop intervention plans at the individual, group, organizational, or community level. Students will learn to involve client populations (to the fullest extent possible) in the process of planning and implementation of change plans, plan for and work with involuntary clients humanely and sensitively, learn about and use the distinctive strengths of each client system, and collaborate with relevant others or groups outside the client system.
2. To demonstrate and refine skills needed to interface effectively with social service delivery systems. Students will facilitate interaction between people with mutual interests or concerns individually and through the use of helping networks to assist client systems to make better use of interpersonal and organizational skills and effectively access the existing social service delivery network.
3. To develop skills in brokerage and linkage between systems that provide clients with resources, services, and opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge of relevant systems, use self-help and local helping networks, initiate self-help activities when appropriate, obtain and disseminate information, utilize electronic technology as available, clarify procedures and objectives, mediate between people and systems, facilitate communication and interaction, provide support to people needing or seeking resources services, and opportunities, monitor structures to insure their humane, equitable, and helpful treatment of people, and refer people to the most appropriate service resource opportunity.
4. To develop skill in the analysis of services, resources, and opportunity systems. Students will formulate and utilize devices that will measure the success or failure of intervention and apply methods of data collection and analysis, including electronic technology for these purposes, involve client populations in the evaluation process, use evaluative data to re-negotiate the service plan as appropriate, and consult colleagues about possible intervention strategies.
5. To use assessment expertise to assess and evaluate programs and the agencies which administer them. Students will collect and analyze data, become knowledgeable about outreach efforts to identify and reach specific populations, maintain sensitivity to priorities, definitions of needs, and resources available to and used by diverse groups; facilitate changes in policies and legislation that impede the provision of resources or services to vulnerable populations; advocate for needed services; assist in the development of needed resources and services; utilize existing services and resources and protective legislation to supplement and support indigenous resources; and use professional standards and ethics when evaluating services.


The field instruction program is administered by the Department of Field Instruction, whose director reports to the Associate Dean of the School of Social Work. The Associate Director of Field Instruction and field education counselor assist the director. One full-time administrative assistant provides administrative support.
The Committee on Undergraduate Studies (CUGS) approves all policies pertaining to undergraduate field practicum courses.
Faculty, field staff, and community agency representatives serve as field liaisons. Finally, approximately 350 social service agencies provide diverse practicum sites and day-to-day field teaching and supervision by qualified field instructors. These agencies are a critical component of the field curriculum and carry a large share of responsibility for the education of students in the field.

THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FIELD INSTRUCTION The Department of Field Instruction is a component of the UTA School of Social Work. The staff of the department designs, implements, manages, monitors, and evaluates the field practicum curriculum of professional social work education. The responsibilities of the staff of the Department of Field Instruction include the following:

To assign students to field placements.

To assign Field Liaisons.

To review agency applications for affiliation and facilitate the affiliation process.

To maintain affiliated agency files and related databases.

To ensure compliance with Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) requirements

To consult with faculty, students, Field Instructors, Field Liaisons, and

Field Committee Members regarding field policies and procedures.

To conduct on-going evaluation of the field curriculum.


BSW students are required to complete one field placement for a total of 12 credit hours and 480 clock hours over the course of two consecutive semesters in one agency. The undergraduate field sequence consists of two sets of two courses each: Social Work Field Instruction I (SOCW 4451) and Social Work Field Seminar I (SOCW 4251) to be taken concurrently, followed immediately (the next semester) by Social Work Field Instruction II (SOCW 4452) and Social Work Field Seminar II (SOCW 4252. A minimum of 240 clock hours must be completed in each semester.
Alternatively, students may apply for the DFPS CPS Title IV- E stipend program. If accepted, students must enroll in Social Work Field Instruction I & II (SOCW 4853) and Social Work Field Seminar I & II (SOCW 4453). These courses must be taken concurrently, must be completed in one semester, and require completion of a minimum of 480 clock hours.


The following courses are prerequisite to enrollment in SOCW 4451/SOCW4251:
1. Ninety (90) hours or more in general studies.
2. A degree plan on file in the BSW Program Office.
3. Completion of the following:

SOCW 2311: Introduction to Social Work

SOCW 2313: Social Work Practice I

SOCW 3301: Human Behavior & the Social Environment I

SOCW 3302: Human Behavior & the Social Environment II

SOCW 3304: Social Work Practice II

The following courses are prerequisite to enrollment in SOCW 4452/SOCW4252:

SOCW 4451: Social Work Field Instruction I

SOCW 4251: Social Work Field Seminar I

SOCW 3306: Social Work Practice III

SOCW 3303: Social Work Welfare Policy & Services

In addition to the above, field practicum eligibility requires:
1. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 or better on all courses with a social
work prefix (SOCW) and no grade below "C".
2. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.0.
All of the above requirements must be met before a student can apply for the DFPS CPS Title IV-E
stipend placement option.


Field practicum courses SOCW 4451, 4452, & 4853 are graded on a “Pass/Fail” basis. Field seminar courses SOCW 4251, 4252, & 4453 are assigned a letter grade (A, B, C, D, I, F, W).
BSW students must complete 480 hours over two semesters. In order to receive a passing grade, a minimum of 240 hours must be completed during the first semester. Separate grades for the practicum and seminar courses will
be given for each semester.

Receipt of a failing grade in a BSW practicum course may result in dismissal from the program. Should a student fail any semester of the field seminar or the field practicum, they must petition the BSW Program Director and may be approved/required to repeat either or both.

NOTE: Other possible grading options in the MyMav system for the BSW field courses are W (Withdraw) and I (Incomplete). A grade of I should only be given in consultation with the Director of Field Instruction.


Social workers hold positions of trust and often work with vulnerable clients. Therefore, a review of the criminal history, including convictions and deferred adjudication by a prospective social worker is necessary to protect the public's safety, health, and welfare.
The criminal history of an applicant to the School of Social Work will be considered in making admission determinations. Applicants who have such a history will be interviewed by the admissions director, director of the department of field instruction and a faculty member who will determine the student's suitability for admission. Failure to disclose a criminal history in response to admissions materials may be considered an attempt to defraud the university and may subject the student to immediate dismissal from the program. Prospective students must be aware that agencies have the right to refuse to accept them for field practicum. Acceptance into the social work program does not guarantee a student a practicum if the refusal is based on a student's criminal history. Refusal of a practicum under such circumstances will not entitle the student to any refund of tuition or other fees incurred up to that point of the program. No student will be allowed to graduate with a degree in social work without completing the field placement requirement.
In addition, the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners requires a specific case by case evaluation to determine eligibility for licensing. Graduation from the UTA School of Social Work does not guarantee that a graduate with a criminal history will be eligible to sit for the state licensure exam. It is the responsibility of the students with such histories to inform themselves whether or not their particular circumstance may affect their eligibility for licensure.


BSW students may begin a field placement in any semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer) provided they have completed all prerequisite coursework and are otherwise eligible to enroll in field.
Because of the complexity of the process and the large number of students placed, the field application process begins early for any given semester. The
approximate timelines are as follows:

Semester Application process begins: For Fall – Late April

For Spring – Early September

For Summer – Early February

The application process begins at a mandatory “advisory” meeting held by the Department of Field Instruction to explain the details of the application process to students who plan on entering field the following semester. Notice of the meetings is posted to the BSW student listserv. At this time students learn how to search online for appropriate agencies and to identify 3 potential interview sites. Students have approximately 3 weeks from the date of the advisory meeting to submit the application online.

INTERVIEW AND ASSIGNMENT PROCESS FOR BSW FIELD PRACTICUM Applications are reviewed and, if appropriate, students are assigned to interview in one of the 3 agencies they have identified on the application.

Occasionally, a student may not be able to interview at any of the original three choices. In such cases, the staff of the Department of Field Instruction will work one-on-one with the student to locate an acceptable, appropriate agency. Students should not contact agencies to which they have not been officially assigned by the Department of Field Instruction unless they have been given permission to do so by the Director of Field Instruction.
Students are notified of their interview assignment by email and are responsible for scheduling the interview with the contact person at the agency. When more students are interviewing at an agency than the agency can accept, any student not selected for placement will be assigned to interview at another agency of the student’s choice.


The primary role of the BSW practicum student is to meet the educational objectives of the field curriculum as an active participant in an agency setting. Students are assigned to affiliated agencies where they are administratively responsible to an agency supervisor (the field instructor) and where they are expected to comply with agency policies and procedures. Students are also expected to comport themselves in accordance with the profession’s standards of ethical performance.
The student’s responsibilities include the following:

To assist in developing and carrying out the learning contract.

To have the learning contract signed by the field instructor and submitted to the field liaison.

To submit a copy of the mid-term evaluation to the field liaison and to the Department of Field Instruction.

To have the final performance evaluation signed by the field

instructor and submitted to the field liaison.

To follow agency policies and procedures, especially those regarding confidentiality.

To abide by the NASW and State of Texas Codes of Ethics.

To adhere to standards and/or guidelines of the agency’s monitoring or accrediting bodies.

To accept supervision and respond appropriately to feedback from the field instructor and agency staff.

To first consult with the field instructor if problems occur in the placement, and contact the field liaison if a resolution cannot be reached.

To complete the required minimum clock hours.

To submit all evaluations (of the field agency, the field instructor, the field liaison and the Department of Field Instruction) to the Department of Field Instruction.


All BSW practicum students are required to develop a learning contract in collaboration with the field instructor. This document is the mechanism through which practicum learning objectives are identified, defined, and operationalized by the student and the field instructor.
The Undergraduate Learning Contract (Appendix B) has been designed to facilitate the student’s application of the knowledge, theory, and values and skill-building experiences that are essential components of the UTA School of Social Work curriculum framework. The contract is divided into two sections. Section A (Social Work Values and Professional Development) consists of five objectives and the accompanying performance and evaluation indicators. Section B (Social Work Practice Skills) has two objectives with respective performance and evaluation indicators. The learning contract (including face sheet) should be printed out and signed by all parties. A sheet that identifies all tasks to be performed by the student should be attached.
The learning contract must be signed and dated by the field instructor and the student and submitted to the field liaison by the prescribed due date each semester.
UNDERGRADUATE PRACTICUM MID-TERM PERFORMANCE EVALUATION The Undergraduate Mid-term Performance Evaluation consists of a one-page narrative composed by the Field Instructor and submitted on agency letterhead assessing the student’s progress at this stage of the practicum. The student is responsible for ensuring that the mid-term evaluation is submitted to the Department of Field Instruction and the field liaison by the assigned due date. UNDERGRADUATE PRACTICUM FINAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
The Final Performance Evaluation is submitted online by the field instructor at the end of each semester.


A weekly supervision log (Appendix F) must be completed during each regularly scheduled weekly supervisory conference. The log is meant to provide written documentation of the content of each supervisory session and should include details of the session including any performance issues that are addressed. It is signed by the field instructor and the student and copies are submitted with the final evaluation to the field liaison at the end of the semester or at any time upon request.


The school, the agency, and the student collaborate in the process of integrating classroom theory with field learning experiences. Each semester, faculty and/or community agency representatives are assigned field liaison responsibilities by the Director of Field Instruction in consultation with the Associate Dean of the School of Social Work.


The field liaison is the instructor of record and is responsible for assigning the student’s grade in consultation with the field instructor.
The field liaison serves as an educational consultant to the field instructor and the student by contributing to the development of the student’s learning contract, monitoring the student’s educational progress and performance, and maintaining the relationship between the school and the agency. The principal responsibilities of the field liaison are as follows:

To initiate contact with the field instructor and the student.

To conduct an agency site visit by mid-semester.

To make contact with the student and/or the field instructor at least once after mid-semester.

To complete the Liaison Agency Visit Contact Form.

To assess and monitor the quality of supervision provided to the student.

To be available to the field instructor and the student to deal with problems that may occur during the course of the placement.

To review and sign the learning contract.

To review the mid-term performance evaluation.

To review and sign the final performance evaluation and submit to the

Department of Field Instruction.

To assign the course grade (usually based on the recommendation of the field instructor).

To submit all paperwork (learning contract - Appendix C or Appendix D-, evaluations of the field agency, the field instructor and the Department of Field Instruction, and all Liaison Agency Visit Contact Forms) to the Department of Field Instruction at the end of the semester.


Students are expected to negotiate their field schedule (specific days of the week, specific hours, etc.) with the Field Instructor. A breakdown of the approximate suggested number of hours per week to be spent in field (based on semester) is contained in the “Options and Time Requirements” document (Appendix C).

Undergraduate students may carry over a maximum of 20 clock hours from one semester to the next. Students may also accrue up to 40 additional clock hours at the agency during semester breaks if the agency is agreeable and able to accommodate this arrangement. In some cases, agencies expect students to work through the break in order to maintain continuity with respect to client services. All of the above arrangements should be discussed with the field instructor and agreed upon at the beginning of the practicum.

All students must complete the required number of clock hours, (240 hours per semester), regardless of sick time, holiday time, or other missed time. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the Field Instructor to make up any lost time. Undergraduate students may not finish practicum hours before the final regular week of the semester.

Absence from regular class to attend field or field-related activities is not appropriate and is considered unexcused.


The Undergraduate Practicum Time Sheet (Appendix G) is available for the convenience of the student and Field Instructor in keeping track of the student’s clock hours. Time sheets should be kept by the student and turned in to the field liaison at the end of the semester or at any other time upon request. CHANGES/INTERRUPTIONS IN FIELD PRACTICUM
Sometimes it is necessary to consider the removal of a student from a field practicum after the start of the semester. A student may be removed from a site for a variety of reasons. The following list of issues although not exhaustive, may result in a grade of "F" for the practicum, and/or termination from the program.

1. Failure of the student to demonstrate social work values in waysjudged to be in accordance with the NASW and/or the State of Texas codes of ethics.

2. Failure of the student to abide by agency and/or accrediting body policies, procedures, rules or regulations.

3. Lack of satisfactory progress toward completion of the educational objectives of the learning contract.

4. Repeated, unexcused tardiness and/or absences of the student.

5. Lack of student's progress in correction of identified deficiencies.

6. Inability of the student to demonstrate the interpersonal skills necessary for effective social work practice with clients and diverse populations.

7. Inability of the student to establish and maintain functional and collegial relationships with field instructors, fellow interns, and other agency personnel.

8. Academic dishonesty.

Because of the gravity of the potential consequences, any situation of this sort should be addressed as soon as it is identified using the following procedure.
If at any time during the semester the student’s performance is below expectation, the field instructor must discuss the issue during a supervisory conference and document the details of the discussion on the Weekly Supervision Log (Appendix F). If, after a reasonable time frame (not to exceed 4 weeks in a long semester or 2 weeks in the Summer semester), the issue has not been resolved, the student, the field instructor, and the field liaison must meet and complete a Corrective Action Contract (Appendix E).
The Corrective Action Contract is a tool designed to address problematic behaviors and/or situations. It gives the student a clearly outlined description of the problem, required changes and consequences. This allows the student the opportunity to correct the identified behavior(s) and successfully complete the practicum. If the identified behavior is not corrected within the time frame specified in the Corrective Action Contract, the student, field instructor, and field liaison must meet again. If it is determined that the student will leave the agency, the Interruption of Field Practicum by Field Instructor Form (available in the Field Office) should be completed by the field instructor, and submitted to the field liaison and field office, with all related documents. At this point, the Director of Field Instruction should be included. If warranted, the appropriate Program Director will be consulted and, the matter may be forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee of the School of Social Work. A student who is asked to leave a practicum site under any of the above conditions will be subject to a grade of “F”, forfeiture of all completed practicum hours and possible termination from the program.
A situation may occur where there is not sufficient time to create a remedial plan or which is a violation of sound practice or ethics that requires immediate action in order to safeguard clients, and protect the practicum site or the school. The field instructor will immediately notify the field liaison andwill submit to the liaison a complete evaluation of student performance which describes the problem in detail. This can be a detailed addendum to the completed Interruption of Field Practicum By Field Instructor Form (with or without the student's signature). In these instances the field liaison and Director of Field Instruction, after consultation, will immediately notify the student that the practicum has been terminated and will meet with the student to process the allegation(s) and get the student’s perspective. The student will be asked to submit a written account of the circumstances to the Director of Field Instruction. The appropriate Program Director will be consulted and, if warranted, the matter will be forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee of the School of Social Work by the Director of Field Instruction. LIAISON/DEPARTMENT OF FIELD INSTRUCTION DECISION TO REMOVE A STUDENT FROM A PRACTICUM SITE
Following are circumstances that will result in a decision by the Office of Field
Instruction to remove a student from a practicum site:

1. Evidence that the field site is not providing an adequate learning experience and/or adequate supervision for the student.

2. Agency closure and agency restructuring that does not support internshiprequirements; resignation or termination of the Field Instructor. (Departure of a field instructor will result in removal of a student if satisfactory alternative arrangements for qualified supervision cannot be made.)

In the above instances the student, the field instructor, and the field liaison will consider the needs of clients as transition plans are made. The student may be given credit for some or all completed hours at the discretion of the field liaison in consultation with the Director of Field Instruction. Credit will be granted, however, only if it is determined that the quality and integrity of the learning experience at the new site will not be compromised.


Withdrawal from Field Course

A student who wishes to withdraw from the field practicum after the start of the semester must first complete the STUDENT REQUEST TO WITHDRAW FROM FIELD COURSE FORM(available in the field office), AND consult with the field instructor, the field liaison, and the Department of Field Instruction. The completed form should be signed by all parties and submitted to the field liaison and Department of Field Instruction.
Once it has been determined that withdrawal is appropriate, University procedures regarding dropping courses must be followed (refer to the current University Undergraduate Catalog and/or the current Registrar’s Bulletin for specific procedures and grading policies).
A student may have legitimate extenuating, personal circumstances (as determined by the field instructor and field liaison) that precludes completion of the placement in the semester for which the student is registered in the course. If this occurs after the prescribed University deadline for withdrawal, the student may, at the discretion of the field instructor, the field liaison, and the Department of Field Instruction, be given credit for some or all completed hours. In such an instance, procedure with regard to grading will be determined on a case-by-
case basis. In all such instances the integrity of the field experience must be a primary consideration.

Transfer to Another Agency

A request by a student to be moved from the assigned field agency to another agency (after the start of the semester) for any reason other than those cited above will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The student must complete the STUDENT REQUEST TO TRANSFER TO ANOTHER AGENCY FORM (available in the field office), obtain all required signatures and submit it to the appropriate staff in the Field Office.
NOTE: In all cases, the transfer of a student from one agency to another during the course of a semester (regardless of circumstances) is dependent on the availability of an appropriate alternate site and cannot be guaranteed.


An undergraduate student already employed in a social service agency or an agency that provides social work services may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to complete the field practicum at the place of employment. The following conditions must be met before an arrangement of this type can be considered.

The agency must be formally affiliated as an approved placement site with the UTA School of Social Work and the student must have been employed in the agency for at least one year.

The student’s field assignment duties and responsibilities must be significantly and qualitatively different from his or her employment duties and responsibilities and must be in a different department, division or program of the agency.

A qualified, approved field instructor who is an employee of the

agency but not the student’s employment supervisor must supervise the student’s practicum activities.

The student must be granted an appropriate amount of employment release time to complete the required number of clock hours for the semester.

The student must have been employed at the agency a minimum of one year.
A student wishing to do a field at place of employment must complete the 3-part “Proposed Contract for Field at Place of Employment” (Appendix D) and submit it with the Application for Field. Only one field at place of employment is permitted at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. An advanced-standing graduate student who completed an undergraduate placement at place of employment may not do so at the graduate level.
If a student is offered and wants to accept employment at the practicum site during the course of the placement the student is required to notify the liaison and the Department of Field Instruction.


The School of Social Work has a limited number of agencies available that can offer evening and weekend practicum hours. The majority of agencies cannot provide qualified supervisory staff during these non-traditional hours. Although every effort is made to accommodate a student’s need in this regard, the School cannot guarantee such arrangements. Students are advised to plan ahead so that flexibility with regard to field hours is possible when necessary.


The School of Social Work has affiliated some agencies outside the Arlington/Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. Students needing such placements are encouraged to notify the Department of Field Instruction well in advance of the application period so that individual arrangements can be made.


It is the student’s responsibility to secure transportation to and from the field site.
Reimbursement for agency-related travel in the course of the practicum is entirely at the discretion of the agency.
Transporting clients in the student’s personal vehicle should be avoided; the University is not responsible or liable for accident or injury to client or student in such situations. Students should clarify agency policy regarding insurance coverage and liability before taking on such an assignment.


Students enrolling in any field instruction course are required to obtain professional malpractice liability insurance at the rate of $1,000,000 limit each claim and $3,000,000 limit aggregate. Proof of insurance must be submitted to the Field Office before a student will be allowed to begin the practicum. PROHIBITED PRACTICUM ASSIGNMENTS
Students may not complete a field practicum in any agency in which the student was, or is a client of mental health services or any family member was, or is a client of mental health services. It is the responsibility of the student to decline such an assignment.
Foster parents may not complete a field practicum with the Child Protective Services division of the Department of Family and Protective Services. RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS
In order to assist the student in the field instruction process, the Department of Field Instruction has the following resources available for the student:

Individual appointment with the Associate Director of Field Instruction, the Field Education Counselor and/or the Director of Field Instruction.

The field website www.uta.edu/sswfield/ where students can search for agencies, access field policies and procedures, and apply for practicum online.

The annual “Field Day” event hosting affiliated agencies and their representatives.


In order to be approved for affiliation by the School of Social Work for the
purpose of providing field instruction to social work students, agencies must meet the following criteria:

Agencies must be related in their purpose and function to the mission, goals, and objectives of the School of Social Work.

Agencies’ philosophy of service must be compatible with the philosophy, values, and ethics of the Social Work profession.

Agencies must be clear about their programs and methods.

Agencies’ programs must offer students a wide range of learning opportunities.

Agencies must have qualified Field Instructors.

Agencies must demonstrate support for professional social work education and for the educational focus of the field practicum.

Agencies must qualify for membership in the standard setting or accrediting bodies for which they are eligible.

Agencies must have been in operation for at least two years at the time of affiliation and must not be dependent on students to fulfill basic staffing needs.

Agencies must make reasonable arrangements for students with regard to space and equipment.

Agencies must agree to the execution of a written educational agreement and program agreement between the University of Texas at Arlington and the agency’s representative duly authorized to enter into contractual agreements.

Agencies must be willing to provide some release time for field instructors to attend field orientation sessions and field instruction continuing education seminars and workshops.


1. The Department of Field Instruction is informed that an agency is interested and potentially suitable and eligible to provide field instruction to social work students.

2. Agency submits an online Application for Affiliation

3. If, after a review of the application, it is determined that the agency meets affiliation criteria, a site visit is scheduled for the purpose of clarifying learning opportunities and verifying availability of space, clerical support, and stability of the agency.

4. The Director or Associate Director of Field Instruction approves or denies the request for affiliation.

5. If the agency is approved, the Department of Field instruction prepares an “Educational Experience Affiliation Agreement” and a “Program Agreement.” These are submitted to the agency for execution by a duly authorized agency representative and upon return are forwarded to the UTA Senior Vice-President for Finance and Administration for approval and signature.

6. If the agency is denied approval for affiliation, the agency is notified of the decision in writing.


The title “field instructor” is used by the School of Social Work to designate those individuals who supervise the activities of social work field students. Field instructors facilitate the synthesis of theory and practice and provide opportunities for students to complete the learning objectives of the field practicum.

Field instructors must:

have the Bachelor or Master of Social Work degree.

have two years postgraduate social work experience.

be committed to provide one hour per week individual supervision with student.

agree to complete the six-hour Field Instructor Training Orientation.

be employed in the affiliated practicum agency.

have a broad knowledge of the practicum agency.

have an interest in and understanding of supervision and field instruction.

be willing to apply the educational objectives of the practicum curriculum.


Individuals may apply for field instructor status at the time an agency applies for affiliation or at any time while employed in an already affiliated agency. Field instructors are approved through the following process:

Agency main contact person electronically submits the name of social worker interested in providing social work field instruction to the Department of Field Instruction.

A Field Instructor Application is then sent by email to the potential field instructor.

The application is completed online by the prospective field instructor and submitted electronically to the Department of Field Instruction.

Individual is notified by email of approval or denial and, if approved, will be asked to register for and attend the next Field Instructor Training Orientation.

Approved field instructors are given UTA Library privileges during semesters they are actually supervising a student or students. In addition, verification of service as a field instructor for purposes of social work licensing requirements (CEU’s) is provided on request.


Field instructors are the core of the field practicum. They serve as professional role models, mentors and teachers. Field instructors are employees of the agency in which the student is placed for the practicum experience and meet specific criteria to qualify to provide field instruction.
The Field instructor’s responsibilities include the following:

To orient the student to the agency.

To provide a minimum of one hour of individual supervision per student per week.

To assist the student in developing the learning contract.

To provide opportunities to meet the learning contract objectives.

To complete the mid-term performance evaluation of the student.

To complete the final performance evaluation of the student.

To provide the link between theory and practice.

To submit all evaluations (of the field liaison and the Department of Field Instruction) to the Department of Field Instruction at the end of the semester.