What will I do there?
Student assignments will differ depending on the level/focus of the TPF sequence (as described above), the agency, and according to specific student learning needs. Both TPF sequences provide the pinnacle learning experience for students to develop micro practice skills. They are expected to function as a practitioner and not an observer. This does not
mean that we expect them to be using advanced skills in sophisticated counseling, but they
should get the opportunity to work with individuals, families and small groups.
The student is viewed as a part of the agency and attendance at staff meetings, in-service training programs, and clinical team meetings should be expected of the student if these meetings are held on the days the student is in field placement.
The TPF sequences, which run concurrently with the field placements, focus on the
problem-solving model of the helping process. Students are expected to apply the following
concepts to their work with client systems in their field placements, both in their foundation year
and in a more in-depth manner for their concentration year:
- Engaging with client system(s);
- Identifying the problem(s);
- Data gathering – bio, psycho, social, spiritual history;
- Completing an assessment – summarizing and understanding causation while also considering alternate intervention plans;
- Developing an action or intervention plan;
- Contracting with the client system(s);
- Intervening – in an array of social work roles including: educator, enabler, advocate, broker, counselor, and case manager;
- Evaluating the interventions;
- Identifying literature and research studies which justify the intervention method chosen; and
- Terminating with the client system.
In order for students to experience the “helping process” with a client system, it is necessary for
part of their assignment to be working with an “ongoing” client, an individual, family, or group
experience which extends for several months. It should be understood that at the beginning of
the field placement experience, the student may not have the skill set necessary to intervene with many clients.
How will I know that I am doing the right things at the agency?
During the school year, the professor of your section of the practice course will follow your experiences in the field. In class, all students are expected to discuss fieldwork in relation to the course topics. Your field liaison will maintain contact with the agency to monitor performance and progress.
An individual Learning Contract will also serve as a guide to ensure that you are completing tasks that align with the learning competencies outlined by the program’s accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education.
When will I know my placement?
After the interview, you will be notified if any further requirements are necessary prior to moving forward. Once all requirements are met, placement letters will be sent to both students and agencies via the online platform. In the student placement letter, students will be provided contact information for the agency discussed during the placement interview. Students will be instructed to reach out to the agency to schedule an interview to secure the placement. Please attend that interview as soon as possible to confirm the placement. Unless you or the field instructor find a major reason why that placement is not appropriate, it is considered confirmed. Agencies also receive a letter notifying them of the potential match. Students should know that this involves receiving the student’s resume. Students should make every effort to have an adequate and updated resume.
Please be aware that an increasing number of social agencies now require criminal background checks and/or fingerprints. These might be at either the agency or student expense.
Students are not placed in competition with other Ramapo students for a placement. Only one student per available site is sent for an interview. Agencies are not placed in competition with each other for a student. Students are sent to one agency at a time for an interview. Please do not ask to interview at several agencies and then expect to pick one. Ramapo College is only one of 15 colleges and universities seeking to place students in these agencies.