Employment Based Field Placement Agreement
Can I Do My Internship Where I Work?

Policy/Procedures for Completing the Internship in the Employing Agency

The NC State Department of Social Work recognizes personal economics, essential learning opportunities and other situations makes it necessary for some students to explore field placement opportunities in their agencies of employment. We recognize that professional activities and learning activities are not inconsistent, but there is a difference in emphasis between the goals of educational development and those of employment. The focus of the field placement must be on the student’s learning. The employer must recognize and agree to support the student in the role of learner.

In the interest of assisting students and agencies, the Department of Social Work has adopted basic policy guidelines for the development of a field placement in the place of employment. These policies are designed to assure the accomplishment of the educational competencies of the BSW or MSW Program.

The agency of employment can be used as a placement setting only when the following conditions are in place:

1. When the agency has available either different units or distinctly different learning opportunities that will provide the student with experience different from regular employment duties. Thus the student will be taken out of her/his current job description activities for the number of required hours per week that constitutes the field placement to ensure that specific BSW or MSW competencies may be accomplished.

2. When the agency has available a qualified supervisor who can serve as the Field Instructor and is a different person from the student’s job supervisor. This is to ensure, in part, that the Agency Field Instructor is free to focus on educational aspects of the placement rather than workload issues. The agency and the Field Instructor are expected to provide professional supervision.

3. The Agency and the Department of Social Work must agree that the assignments given to an employment-based placement student are consistent with the educational objectives of the Department, and that the assignments (client caseload, administrative duties, etc.) are designed and planned to enhance the student’s professional development. This may mean lighter caseloads, planned and varied assignments for educational purposes, and additional hours above the normal workweek to achieve placement requirements.

Students eligible for a placement in their place of employment:

All students employed by an agency meeting the criteria outlined above are eligible to request a placement in their place of employment. Agencies must meet the Department of Social Work standards and procedures for the selection and appointment of field agencies and field instructors. If the agency is not already an approved field agency, the process for gaining such approval should begin with the student notifying the Director of Field Education in the semester prior to the placement semester that the student wants to begin her/his field placement at the place of employment. Completed applications submitted to the MSW or BSW Field Coordinator. Electronic submission is preferred. Field Placement will not be given until the agency and student complete and sign the form and get Department approval from FIeld Coordinator.

Procedure for initiating a request for a placement in the place of employment:

In developing a field placement in the place of employment, the student will take the initiative by making the proposal to the Director of Field Education and coordinating the administrative requirements of the agency. The following steps must be completed:

1. Prior to the beginning of the placement semester, the student must discuss intent to request an Employment Based Field Placement with the Director of Field Education and/or Field Coordinator.
2. Following this discussion student must submit the Employment-Based Field Placement form to the Field Director.
3. The Field Director reviews the Request and notifies the student within three weeks as to whether the placement is acceptable. Any adjustment in the request may be included in this notification.
4. The student must obtain documented approval of all relevant agency personnel, including the agency administrator, the immediate employment supervisor of the student, the proposed Field Instructor, and Director of Field Education before beginning the placement.
5. A member of the Field Office may make a visit to the agency to review the placement plans in relation to the Department’s objectives with the administrator and/or Field Instructor.
6. The student is advised that if the field internship in an employing agency is found to be unacceptable, the student must coordinate with the Director of Field Education to find another placement approved by the Director of Field Education.
7. It is the responsibility of the agency supervisor/agency field instructor to determine throughout the placement period that the placement is consistent with the educational objectives as outline in the request for Employment Based Field Placement. Deviations from the approved plan may result in the student’s placement being terminated.

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