Field Education for Clinical Social Work Practice: Best Practices and Contemporary Challenges
Field education is arguably the most significant component of the social work curriculum in preparing competent, effective, and ethical clinical social workers. Students and alumni characterize it as such, and national accrediting bodies, both in the United States and internationally, recognize its crucial impact on the quality of social work services delivered to the public. In addition, there is likely more scholarship and research conducted on field education than on any other component of the curriculum. And yet, field educators anecdotally describe a crisis in their ability to implement the best pedagogical practices for students. This paper will discuss the developing evidence-base highlighting best practices for field education, the changing context of field education, and analyze current challenges and potential responses.