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Field Instruction at Jane Addams College

Providing Real-World Experience in the Field Heading link

student in field placement

Field placements are part of a journey that MSW students take with the faculty of Jane Addams College of Social Work. By the end of this journey they will have acquired a knowledge base and practical skills necessary to enter social service networks with the capacity to improve the living conditions and the lives of individuals and families within the communities we serve.

Instruction in the field is an important part of the MSW program. It provides hands-on, real-world experience that prepares students for practice with at-risk individuals, groups, families and communities.

About Field Placements at Jane Addams Heading link

Jane Addams College of Social Work maintains relationships with more than 300 agencies, hospitals, schools and other organizations throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Students work with a field liaison to secure a field placement for each academic year.

Generalist Year Placements

  • Students register for SocW 570 (fall) and SocW 571 (spring).
  • Students must complete a minimum of 450 clock hours in field instruction for the year.
  • Students in the PM Extended program may do their generalist year placement over the course of the Spring/Summer semesters or as a summer block (ask your field liaison).

Specialization Year Placements

  • All students register for SocW 572 (fall) and SocW 573 (spring).
  • Students must complete 630 clock hours in field instruction for the year.

Stories from the Field Heading link

Students tell how their field placement enriched their social work education:

MSW student Brandon Barksdale

Brandon Barksdale

MSW ’25, Mental Health Specialization

With a specialization in mental health focusing on children and adolescents, I provided therapy to outpatient mental health clients at Habilitative Systems Inc. During my field instruction study, I was also charged with leading integrative dual diagnosis treatment (IDDT) with clients, participated in the Health and Safety Council, clients’ IM+CANS assessments, case management, and various administrative tasks such as forming the behavioral crisis team.

Having such hands-on experience in so many aspects of social work during my internship will help inform my career decisions in therapy for underserved populations in urban areas. HSI provided me with a great deal of insight and autonomy and expanded my knowledge by speaking with so many passionate and experienced professionals. This only helped me feel validated in my abilities and future as a social worker.

HSI has such a distinct and lasting impact in Chicago, and I feel an immense amount of pride to be part of the organization and witness firsthand all the great work they do, especially with some of the most underserved populations such as the recently incarcerated, those with developmental disabilities and substance use disorders, and how the staff’s passion has touched and changed so many lives.

MSW student Kristen Hall

Kristin Hall

MSW ’24, Mental Health Specialization

My field placement at Olive Harvey College Wellness Center in Chicago has provided me the opportunity to engage with diverse students and assist them in managing daily stressors to promote their overall well-being and academic success by offering counseling and case management services. During my time there I have learned to work collaboratively with students and build their trust by highlighting their strengths, promoting partnership, and understanding their cultural values.

My fieldwork will assist me in my future endeavors by teaching me how to meet clients where they are and consider how their lives are impacted by their culture and environment.  I have worked with many students from a minority background who are impoverished. As a social worker I must acknowledge the lack of resources allocated to these communities and consider how this may negatively affect clients. In addition, it would be my duty to advocate for these populations and connect them to local social services when appropriate.

MSW student Rebecca Ozaki

Rebecca Ozaki

MSW ’19, Organization & Community Practice Specialization

My field placement was at the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, which is a multiracial, grassroots organization led by concerned seniors in the Chicago metropolitan area. I worked as a Housing Justice Community Organizer alongside our leaders and coalition partners to organize older adults across Chicago. The campaigns I worked on included language justice in public housing, rent control, and tenant organizing through conducting one-to-one relational meetings, community based participatory research, coalition building, policy reform to build power, and direct actions through protest and at times, civil disobedience.

I ended up at the Caucus because I wanted to combine my background working in civil rights/advocacy organizations with my future goals to work with older adults in communities to address quality of life. Growing up in Chicago with civically-minded family, I’ve been surrounded by intergenerational community space and activists my entire life. I decided this was a good time to test if community organizing is a direction I’d want to go in following graduation. The work that the Caucus does strongly aligns with my values and vision for how to achieve equity in the city where I was born and raised.

MSW student Kanooz Siddiqui

Kanooz Siddiqui

MSW ’20, Organization & Community Practice Specialization

My Generalist year field placement was with Youth and Opportunity United (Y.O.U.), a nonprofit organization that provides after school services in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Through Y.O.U., I interned at a middle school during the year. My duties included conducting an informal check-in with the youth and providing on the spot coaching for the after school program. This experience taught me how to support adolescents as they navigate through peer pressure and academic challenges.

For my field assignment, I evaluated the social emotional competencies of youth in the program. I also had the opportunity to co-facilitate a workshop on youth resilience for South Asian immigrant parents and translated cases for referrals to counselors.

This field placement was an important learning experience for me. I found my strengths, as well as my weakness that I needed to work on. Through various activities throughout the year, I explored which area I enjoyed the most and would want to work at on a broader community level, or in clinical social work.

MSW student Ruben Godinez

Ruben Godinez

MSW ’20, School Social Work Specialization

My Generalist year placement was at Advocate Christ Medical Center with the Inpatient Psychiatric and behavioral health unit. My role there as an intern was working with newly arrived patients to the unit which included conducting psychosocial assessments, discharge planning, group therapy, and family meetings. In addition to these roles I also participated in daily meetings with an interdisciplinary team which included social workers, nurses and doctors where we discussed the progress and plans of the patients in the unit.

For my field practice assignment, I evaluated a patient’s social and emotional progress from the time he was admitted in the unit until he was discharged. I tracked the patient’s progress by his participation level in group and individual therapy.

This field placement allowed me to explore the area of social work from a more in-depth perspective. I was able to learn more about the mental health field. I was able to enhance my therapy skills in numerous amounts of topics such CBT, Anger management therapy, and individual therapy. Overall my experience at Advocate Christ Medical Center was very rewarding and a great learning experience.