Field Agencies

The mission of the Jane Addams College of Social Work is to educate and train professional social workers, develop knowledge, and provide leadership in the development and implementation of policies and services on behalf of the economically and socially oppressed, racial and ethnic minorities and other at-risk urban populations. We would like to work with agencies with similar missions who are willing to become our partners in educating future social workers.

Field Agency Resources

The Jane Addams College of Social Work has three academic levels through which students have an opportunity to acquire experience in a social service agency as an intern. The levels of students are:

  1. Foundation Year MSW students in full time study in the College
  2. Specialization Year students in their final year of study
  3. PM Extended Study Program foundation year MSW students in our evening program

The specializations offered by the College offers are: Child and Family, Mental Health, School Social Work, Community Health and Urban Development. Our Foundation year placement students must acquire 450 clock hours (2 days or 16 hours per week) in a field agency, and our Specialization year placement students must acquire 630 clock hours (3 days or 21 hours per week) in the field.

Field instructor requirements:

  1. The agency will provide an M.S.W. level social worker who will be identified as the student’s field instructor.
  2. The field instructor has at least two (2) years experience in the field.
  3. The field instructor has been an employee of the agency for at least one year.
  4. The field instructor will provide at least one hour of direct supervision with the student per week.
  5. The field instructor will provide the College an evaluation of the student twice during the academic year.

The College will assign a Faculty Field Liaison to work with the Agency Field Instructor and the student.  We also provide a number of orientations and workshops for our Agency Field Instructors throughout the year.

The mission of Jane Addams College of Social Work is to educate professional social workers, develop knowledge, and provide leadership in the development and implementation of policies and services on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, racial and ethnic minorities, and other at-risk urban populations.

The College fulfills this mission by:

  1. Providing excellent academic programs which prepare competent and effective social work professionals who are committed to practice that includes services to the poor and oppressed and who work to alleviate poverty, oppression, and discrimination.
  2. Increasing the cultural and racial diversity of the student body, faculty and staff and infusing a multicultural perspective throughout the College.
  3. Conducting organized programs of research that advance knowledge about pressing urban social conditions and human needs and effective social policies, programs, and services.
  4. Working in partnership with individuals, communities, and organizations to promote social and economic justice and improve the quality and effectiveness of social programs and services.
  5. Providing a work and study environment that is intellectually stimulating and physically attractive and supports the achievement of personal development and organizational goals.

The College is committed to the provision of quality social work education for practice and research relevant to the needs of urban communities.  The College provides its students with intellectual and career opportunities that challenge their abilities.  The College’s programs recognize the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Chicago area in its focus on the issues and concerns related to the character of the urban environment.

The Field Instruction Division of JACSW is responsible for all field instruction. Field instruction is an integral part of the social work education curriculum.  It is the practice activity which integrates the entire educational experience. The College subscribes to the rationale that intellectual understanding of the classroom content is translated into practice competence when it is exemplified, reinforced, extended and challenged in the context of serving client systems. The curriculum is designed to provide the student with the competencies necessary to practice social work with all client systems. Integral to this process is comprehension and skill development relevant to practice with diverse cultural and racial groups, the economically and socially oppressed, women, gay and lesbian persons, and other urban populations at-risk.

The goals of JACSW field instruction, in general, are:

  1. To educate professional personnel to provide social services in urban areas.
  1. To provide opportunities for students to acquire and demonstrate the competencies and practice behaviors of the foundation curriculum and the advanced standing specializations.
  1. To provide opportunities for assessment of student performance in the field.

The College prepares MSW Foundation Students with knowledge, values and skills for entry level generalist practice, and prepares other MSW students with advanced knowledge, values, and skills in one of four areas of specialization.  MSW education is composed of two major parts: generalist education for practice (the first year of the MSW program for full-time students) and education for advanced practice in a specialization (the second year of the MSW program for full-time students).

A Faculty Field Liaison is provided by full-time clinical faculty who are responsible to the Director of the Field Division. Faculty Field Liaisons have contact with each Agency Field Instructor, assist students in selection of field placements, and monitor the learning of students in the field.

Responsibility of field liaisons:

Select agencies for field instruction:

  1. Review agency programs for identification of diverse learning opportunities.
  2. Evaluate agencies as field placement sites.
  3. Consult with agencies for improvement and/or expansion of field learning opportunities.

Collaborate with field instructors:

  1. Identification with the overall Mission and educational program and goals of the College.
  2. Understanding college curriculum and expectations for field instruction.
  3. Liaison with field instructors and academic faculty on curriculum content and best practice.

Place students in field settings:

  1. Collaborate with students to identify educational goals.
  2. Coordinate student interviews with field agencies.
  3. Confirm agency field assignments.

Monitor student progress.

  1.  Review learning plans, assignments and evaluations.
  2.  Consult with field instructors regarding student’s progress and development.

The College has a long-standing relationship with a number of agencies throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.  Agencies are chosen on the basis of their professional standards, the variety of their programs, and their commitment to ethnic and racial populations, the economically oppressed, women, sexual minorities.

Agency Responsibilities:

  1. Provide instructors who meet the basic requirements of the Jane Addams College of Social Work, that field instructors possess at least three years of post-MSW experience and have been employed at the agency for at least one year.
  2. Provide adequate office space, telephone, and support services to assist the student’s field instruction in the agency.
  3. Include students in appropriate staff meetings and in-service staff development programs.
  4. Assign as appropriate, culturally and racially diverse clientele to students as well as other at-risk urban clientele to meet college requirements.

Responsibilities of Agency Field Instructors:

  1. Teach content in areas of curriculum as specified in the evaluations.
  1. Plan a diversified range of learning experiences to enable each student to achieve the field instruction objectives as defined by the learning contract.
  1. Assess each student’s performance, capacity, learning patterns, needs and.
  1. Provide regularly scheduled weekly supervisory, individual and/or group sessions (minimum of one hour weekly) to assure continuity in the teaching of content and the administrative review of performance.
  1. Provide and review with the student written evaluation of student learning and performance.
  1. Consult with the assigned Faculty Field Liaison regarding educational planning, assignments, and student progress.
  1. Recommend grade to Field Liaison.
  1. Assist the students’ critical evaluation of their own practice.


Selection of field placements

Every effort is made to provide placements that meet the student’s educational needs and career plans. Students are expected to participate in the selection of their field placements.


Exemplify professional behavior including:

  1. Prompt and regular attendance on all field days.
  2. Conformity with conventions of dress and other norms of field agency.
  3. Submission of all administrative material promptly in accordance with agency needs and requirements.
  4. Use field time only for field instruction activities.
  5. Completion of field responsibilities during assigned field instruction time.

Demonstrate commitment to own educational program by:

  1. Participation in identification of learning needs.
  2. Preparation for supervisory conferences including the preparation and study of agendas and the submission of appropriate materials prior to conferences.
  3. Using supervision to identify client system needs and determine appropriate interventive techniques.
  4. Seeking opportunities for a broad based practice which includes services to populations-at-risk, culturally and racially diverse clientele including the economically oppressed, gender and sexual orientation.
  5. Continued use of evaluating own practice with a variety of client systems.

Use process recording in the learning environment.

Use agency materials according to the ethical standards established by the agency and the National Association of Social Workers.

To protect confidentiality, students must obtain permission from the Agency Field Instructor or other agency personnel before using agency records, cases, or reports in class.

 Jane Addams College of Social Work cares greatly about the health and well-being of our students. Federal law, specifically Title IX, and university policy require that all faculty members serve as mandated reporters of incidents involving sexual violence/harassment.

If the student informs a faculty member about experiencing sexual or gender harassment, sexual assault, rape, dating violence, domestic violence and/or stalking on or off campus (this applies to field instruction sites as well), they have to bring it to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator. Student participation in any process is always voluntary.

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