Supervised Field Placements at CESAR
Supervised Field Placements (H-VFU) are part of the social work programme and are delivered during semester 5. The base for these studies are businesses and organisations where social work is performed, and where there is an experienced social worker who supervises the student. Workplaces of this kind are found across the broad field in which qualified social workers work, including in elderly care, social care, addiction units, student health, social psychiatry, treatment centres and investigation centres, supported accommodation and a range of voluntary organisations.
The aim of the course is to facilitate opportunities for the student to combine theory with practical social work, as well as to gain experiences, knowledge and skills that contribute to their further studies and, later on, their professional working life. The supervised field placement represents a unique opportunity for the student to work in practice in the field while also having the opportunity to engage in supervised reflection of both their professional role and the theoretical problematisation of the conditions of social work as a whole.
Since the autumn of 2020, CESAR has offered specific support to placement supervisors affiliated with the social work programme. The purpose of this from the University’s perspective has been to provide supervisors with both skills development and positive support for their roles. Seminars on a range of themes are held for supervisors, with a final seminar held jointly for both students and supervisors.
Seminar themes have included the role of the supervisor during placements, reflective supervision, inter-professional collaboration, and writing reports on students’ performance during placements. In each instance, educational films on the topic were sent out to supervisors beforehand, and then during the seminar itself the issues raised in the films were discussed, giving the supervisors the opportunity to share their experiences with each other. Feedback shows that these supervisor seminars have been appreciated both in terms of their themes, and facilitating opportunities for supervisors to share their experiences with each other. We are gradually developing our supervisor seminars to make them even more constructive.
In parallel with the supervisor support we offer, we are now working on an introductory course for placement supervisors, worth 3 credits, as part of a collaboration between CESAR, the Psychology programme and the Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics. This supervisor course, which will start in the autumn of 2021, targets supervisors who want to deepen their knowledge. The focus lies on the educational role of the supervisor in the student’s development and training in applying their theoretical knowledge during their placement. Fields to be included are critical reflection, feedback on conversations and treating the student in a professional way, ethics, assessment and inter-professional learning. You can find more information on the Basic Education for Supervisors in Practice Placement Learning course and a link to apply.
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