Whether you are a MSW student, clinical supervisor or field instructor, this site belongs to you! If you have an interest in learning about supervision, finding tips, resources, or finding support you have come to the right place.
Over the past eight years as a social work administrator, educator and clinician, I have found that there has been a gap in theory-to-practice during the formal education of MSW students. It appears that what students are learning in the classroom does not always connect to what they are learning in field placements. Students are having a difficult time grasping how the foundations of social work practice are applied to what they are doing in their everyday interactions within the field work.
One of my questions is, should this gap be filled by clinical supervisors with the student? Are field instructors able to do this? If they are already doing so, how are they doing it? If not, then why not? Are the students able to learn beyond the scope of job tasks put before them?
I have found more often than not that this is not happening and the student leaves a placement frustrated and without any transferable skills, other than how to file and answer phones. In the social work profession, which is essentially a “train the trainer” model, how can we meaningfully enhance this experience so that the student is able to enter the field with confidence and knowledge about how theory and practice relate and impact on each other?
Within a year or so, these MSW students will be our colleagues, peers and coworkers. Some of these students will even be supervisors themselves one day. There is no other way to better prepare them for these tasks than by providing appropriate and sound clinical supervision. It is my hope that this website provides support, guidance and an open and accepting forum to ask questions, challenge what is not working, and create new pathways for good supervision to take place.
If you are a student please check out the Supervision Tools and Resources tab for students, blog posts such as Getting Started: The Clinical Practicum Experience or the podcast Tales from the Field Episode Two: Into the Field with Randa Hazar.
For Clinical Supervisors and Field Instructors (SIFIs) I would like to draw your attention to: the podcast, Tales from the Field Episode One: Denise Arzola MSW Field Advisor; and reflection topics at MSW Students Reflect in Supervision on Macro Practice in the 21st Century, which you can use if you’re looking for new ways to enhance your supervision.
I encourage you to explore this site and hope that you can gain valuable knowledge for your own practice. I hope that you contact me with any insights or suggestions for ideas or topics that you think may benefit your own, or others’ practice, and the website itself.