Practicum

Practical field training is a key component of the social work curriculum. Field experiences enable the students to apply their theoretical knowledge and develop themselves professionally. In social work studies, the field is the lab.
Practical training is provided throughout the three-year program in a variety of social service placements in the college area. Each assignment is accompanied by a training seminar.

The first-year practicum is designed mainly to expose students to target populations and government and complementary services available in the community. Each student is assigned to a social worker in a local welfare agency of human rights organization. These agencies and organizations include, for example, the Office of Social Services at the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, Barzilay Hospital in Ashkelon, and the Center for Social Rights in Sderot. Practical training is provided for one day every week during the second semester.

The first-year training seminar is held in a small group and facilitated by social workers from the school faculty. It is designed to develop the social worker’s personal identity, socialize her for the profession and prepare her for entering the field, as well as discuss issues arising from the field training.

The second-year practicum is designed to apply the intervention methods taught in the relevant courses in real situations with active clients. Field training is provided under close supervision and coaching using both individual and group formats. The student is required to work individually, observe a group or co-facilitate group intervention, as well as experience the planning and implementation of a community project. The practicum is held twice a week in one of the local welfare agencies and services, including welfare offices in regional councils and municipalities, welfare services focused on specific populations, large manufacturing plants, nursing homes and mental health institutions.

The second-year training seminar is designed to work through issues and dilemmas arising from fieldwork, discuss the students’ personal reactions, and hold group consultations on those issues. Its ultimate aim is to enhance the integration of theory and practice.

The third-year practicum is designed to apply intervention methods and practices according to the major problem areas studied in the School of Social Work: employment and unemployment; loss and trauma, rehabilitation and international SW. The practicum is held in local welfare agencies and services for two to three days a week (a total of 14-18 weekly hours), according to the area studied. In the international program, the practicum includes fieldwork in foreign sites. During this year, students are required to provide individual therapy and experience family, group or community intervention based on the work plan determined for their assigned service and problem area.

The third-year training seminars are aligned with each problem area and designed to work through issues and dilemmas arising from fieldwork, discuss the students’ personal reactions, and hold group consultations on those issues, according to the students’ major problem area.