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C.3.  Field Experience

Standard 7

Field Experience of Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisors

In addition to the requirements contained in Title 5, Sections 80632.1, 80632.2 (school counseling), 80632.3 (school social work), or 80632.4 (school psychology), candidates complete a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) clock hours of field experience, under the supervision of a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential holder.

A minimum of 90 clock hours are in a school setting in direct contact with pupils.   A minimum of 30 clock hours are in interdisciplinary experiences in a setting that is outside the field of education, such as law enforcement, juvenile justice, child health and welfare, mental health, social services, child protective services and community based organizations.   The remaining thirty (30) clock hours can be at the discretion of the university supervisor.


PPS credential candidates seeking the specialization in child welfare and attendance must complete a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) clock hours of field experience in addition to the required 450 hours of field experience in school social work. The CWA field experience in supervised by and MSW/PPS field instructor and includes assignments in assessment and intervention with attendance and child welfare related issues. Of the 150 clock hours, a minimum of 90 clock hours are completed in a school setting in direct contract with pupils. Also, a minimum of 30 clock hours are completed in settings that are outside the field of education, including child welfare, juvenile justice and children’s hospital. This field experience is completed in addition to the following requirements for the specialization in school social work:

  1. 450 Clock hours of school based experience supervised by a credentialed practitioner.
  2. 100 of the 450 clock hours shall be with at least ten pupils of racial/ethnic background different from that of the candidate.
  3. The assignment shall be provided in at least two settings (preschool, elementary, middle, high school), with a minimum of 100 clock hours at each setting.

Child Welfare and Attendance field practice

The PPS credential program in the Department of Social Work Education at CSU, Fresno offers the school field practicum in the second year (S Wrk 282/283). Credential candidates are placed in a school setting which has been approved by the Department as one to provide the quality and variety of assignments necessary to develop advanced level social work skills in a school setting. The second year practicum for the MSW program requires successful completion of 600 clock hours of field placement over two semesters. The PPS program with specializations in school social work and child welfare and attendance requires completion of 450 clock hours of school social work internship and 150 clock hours of child welfare and attendance internship. The separation of these hours and their respective assignments is outlined in the PPS learning agreement addendum (see requirement #3, Completion of 150 clock hours of field placement experience in child welfare and attendance). The successful completion of the required CWA hours, in addition to the school social work field experience hours, is documented in the PPS Final evaluation (see Child Welfare and Attendance Specialization Hours (150 Hours)

Therefore, the MSW program requirement of 600 hours of second year internship matches exactly with the credential program requirement of 600 hours of internship (450 for school social work and 150 for CWA). All PPS candidates are supervised by an MSW who holds a valid California Pupil Personnel Services Credential.

PPS candidates enrolled in the second year field internship, S Wrk 282 and S Wrk 283, are required to meet with their field instructors a minimum of one hour per week for supervision. Learning requirements and assignments are outlined in the Social Work 282 and Social Work 283 learning agreements as well as the PPS Learning Agreement Addendum.

The PPS learning agreement addendum includes the CWA requirements for a minimum of 90 clock hours in a school setting in direct contact with pupils and a minimum of 30 clock hours in interdisciplinary experiences in a setting that is outside the field of education. The remaining 30 hours may be completed at the discretion of the university supervisor. Most candidates complete 120 hours at the schools in direct contact with pupils and 30 hours outside of education in interdisciplinary experiences. The PPS program at CSU, Fresno specifies minimum hours in four practice areas to ensure the candidates for the CWA specialization have had adequate exposure to those disciplines most relevant to the specialization. The specification of hours is as follows: 8 hours in child welfare; 8 hours in juvenile justice; 6 hours in medical; and, 8 hours in otherCWA related practice. The inclusion of the “other” category allows for individualization of the learning experience and includes only program approved experiences related to child welfare and attendance. Typical experiences include interfacing with programs that serve developmentally disabled youth, community based organizations that serve disadvantaged families, Police Activities League (PAL), and exposure to domestic violence programs and domestic violence court. The program ensures completion of all hours, including the “other” category, through faculty liaison oversight of the field internship and documentation of satisfactory completion of these hours. This documentation is found in the PPS final evaluation and includes signed CWA Hours Log forms to verify completion of all hours outside of education (see Child Welfare and Attendance Hours:)

In the first few weeks of the field placement, the faculty field liaison who is an MSW with a PPS credential visits the school and meets with the student and the field instructor. The focus of this liaison visit is to ensure that the placement is off to a good start and to assist in the development of the learning agreement. The required assignments for the PPS credential are reviewed and learning assignments are discussed.

In addition to the standard delivery of the faculty liaison role described above, students also participate in a bi-weekly field integration seminar as part of the requirements for S Wrk 282/283. See the FieldIntegration Seminar Calendar Social Work 282. The seminars are organized around practice topics that align with the students concurrent practice classes and are designed to facilitate integration of practice course content and PPS program content with field placement experiences. Regular communication with the PPS field instructors is also maintained by the PPS Coordinator via weekly electronic mail to keep them abreast of concurrent course content and requirements in the PPS classes and to encourage supervisory attention to knowledge and practice areas that need strengthening. Regular faculty liaison site visits occur throughout the year. A final site visit is conducted with each student and field instructor at the end of the year to review learning progress and plan for termination.

By the end of the fourth week of placement, the candidate must submit a learning agreement, which is signed by the student, the field instructor, the faculty liaison, and the Field Coordinator. The learning agreement describes the learning activities/assignments for each semester. Candidates are required to complete advanced (S Wrk 282/283) learning assignments addressing professional development, multisystems social work practice and evaluation of practice.  Examples of the learning agreement templates that are utilized in the MSW and PPS program are located at the end of the field syllabi, S Wrk 282 and S Wrk 283 in the Syllabi section of this document and are hyperlinked in the section above.

In addition to the second year MSW learning agreements, S Wrk 282 and S Wrk 283, PPS candidates also complete a learning agreement addendum. The addendum is organized according to the requirements and competencies of the PPS program. Students indicate the assignments that are planned to meet all of the PPS program requirements and list the range of activities to fulfill each of the eleven PPS competency areas. Learning assignments for the Child Welfare and Attendance specialization must include a broad variety of field experiences in assessment and intervention for attendance and child welfare related issues. Candidates gain experience in the understanding of assessment of attendance problems and child abuse and neglect reporting requirements. They also learn appropriate application of relevant attendance and pupil rights policies such as truancy, dropout, child labor, custody and use of alternatives to regular school attendance. Examples of typical assignments are: assessment of pupils and families with attendance problems; development of an appropriate plan of intervention; carrying out the service plan; serving on a SARB team; providing individual and group counseling related to attendance problems; interpreting attendance laws and child labor laws to pupils, parents, and school personnel; making appropriate assessment and reporting of child abuse; and, linking pupils and families to needed community resources. A sample PPS Learning Agreement Addendumis located at the end of the S Wrk 282 syllabus in Section II of this document.

The learning agreements are not signed by the liaison or Field Coordinator and PPS Coordinator until they meet all of the requirements of the program. Monitoring of the learning progress of the candidate occurs during weekly supervision with the MSW/PPS field instructor as well as during regularly scheduled faculty liaison visits. The learning agreement is reviewed and progress toward accomplishing set goals and objectives is discussed.   PPS candidates are formally evaluated in the performance of all required field assignments twice each semester: at the mid-point and again at the end of the semester. They are required to perform satisfactorily in a minimum of 80 percent of required areas in order to receive credit for the field practicum.

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