BSW Field Education

Field education gives students insight into the range of social work settings where graduates may become employed. By working in the field with social work professionals who are qualified UConn Field Instructors, BSW students will get hands-on experience and gain valuable practice experience that prepares them for generalist social work practice. Students in the Bachelor of Social Work program complete one field internship in their senior year.

Do I have to complete a field placement?

Yes, a requirement of the BSW major is the completion of a two semester Field internship in your senior year. You can see more about the field experience in our Field Manual (in development).

How many hours are required for a field placement?

In your senior year you will be given a field placement where you will spend 13-14 hours per week for a total of 200 hours each semester.

Is a background check required to participate in a field placement?

Yes, every student who is accepted into the program will need to have a background check in order to be placed in the Field.

What should I expect to do during my field placement?

You will:
• be immersed in an agency or organization for 15 hours a week for two semesters.
• meet with a member of the professional field education staff to arrange a field placement assignment.
• have a faculty member meet with you on-site to review your progress, discuss any concerns, and provide continued support.
• participate in a concurrent seminar class that provides an opportunity for you to deepen your understanding of social work practice and how to advance social work values and ethics in your work.
• graduate with valuable practice experience that prepares you for generalist social work practice and graduate education in social work and related fields.

Where will I complete my internship?

You will work closely with the School of Social Work’s field education faculty to secure an internship. You are given the opportunity to choose an internship from a variety of social service organizations based on your interests. The agencies we work with serve a multitude of diverse populations, cultural backgrounds, and socioeconomic classes in areas including healthcare, child welfare, extended care facilities, and community advocacy agencies. BSW students will intern in schools, healthcare organizations, mental health centers, homeless shelters, mentoring agencies, and probation departments.

What can I expect to do during my internship?

During your last year of undergraduate studies, you will gain rich learning experiences while immersed in an internship within a local social services agency. Some examples are the Hartford Public Library and local schools and health care agencies.

Through the internship experience, you will gain hands-on experience, which may include:
• Assessing client and community needs
• Obtaining social histories
• Empowering clients, communities, and systems of all sizes
• Contacting and using community resources
• Offering individual, group, and family counseling under the supervision of a clinician
• Conducting interviews with individuals, families, and stakeholders
• Implementing intervention plans
• Evaluating the effectiveness of a policy or program
• Keeping concise and accurate records
• Collaborating with colleagues
• Managing client caseloads
• Advocating on behalf of clients
• Participating in a community needs assessment
• Testifying before the legislature or local government
• Planning and facilitating a community meeting or event