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January 2021 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
How do you know for certain that social work students are ready to tackle the challenges of field work? It’s an important question many social work programs across the country are asking themselves as they get set to send young social workers into an environment that is unique, to say the least.

This month’s E-News Exclusive spotlights how two University of Indianapolis professors borrowed from a field assessment tool developed at the University of Vermont to create one of their own, one that allows both faculty and students to get a better read on where they stand in their professional development by reducing bias and improving objectivity.

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— Lee DeOrio, editorial director
e-News Exclusive
Field Readiness Tools Promote Professional Development
By Heather Hogstrom

Field education, where students get hands-on social work experience to prepare for professional practice, is a key aspect of social work education. Certain skills, such as being able to apply social work knowledge to the field, communicating with clients and others, understanding social work jargon, and exhibiting professionalism and emotional maturity, are necessary in order to succeed. However, Master of Social Work (MSW) and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs might have a gap in their field placement process in how to assess students’ field readiness, as was noticed by the department of social work at the University of Indianapolis.

In a presentation for the Council on Social Work Education’s 2020 Annual Program Meeting, Lynn Shaw, EdD, MSW, LCSW, LCAC, MSW field director and an associate professor at the University of Indianapolis, and Christie Jansing, MSW, LCSW, BSW field director and an assistant professor at the University of Indianapolis, discussed promoting professional development through student field readiness. They began by finding a field readiness tool from the University of Vermont’s social work program that would work well in their setting and tailored it to suit their needs.

The field readiness tool, which is completed by the student and then discussed with the professor, provides an opportunity for self-reflection and feedback. Some students tend to undervalue themselves because they are new to the field, so the feedback can show them that their educators see them at a higher scoring point and build their confidence. Likewise, those who are overconfident can learn where they are realistically and understand how they can improve.

The tool allows students to get genuine feedback in a supportive way without feeling attacked or that they’ve done something wrong. Due to the clearly defined terminology in the rating section, the tool reduces bias and improves objectivity.

Full story »
Industry Insight
Invisible People Releases Comprehensive New Look at Public Perception of Homelessness in America

Invisible People, a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about homelessness, recently released a comprehensive report detailing public perceptions of homelessness in the United States and communicating recommendations for advocates and policymakers. The report highlights the growing disconnect between public perceptions and the actual root causes that make a person vulnerable to losing their home—from unemployment to rising health care costs and a shortage of affordable housing.

In September 2020, Invisible People surveyed more than 2,500 U.S. residents in 16 cities to identify public attitudes about homelessness and measure support for common policy recommendations. Researchers studied how different audiences receive and interpret messages about homelessness. The report, “What America Believes About Homelessness,” also provides a toolkit for building public and political support designed for policymakers, advocates, service providers, and others working to end homelessness.

“More than three-quarters of the public believe homelessness has increased within their own community this year,” says Mark Horvath, founder and CEO of Invisible People. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the urgency in solving the homelessness crisis in the U.S., as we face a growing wave of evictions and foreclosures across the U.S.”

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Products & Services
FSU Launches New Professional Certification in Human Trafficking Prevention and Intervention

Florida State University (FSU) has launched a new online certification in human trafficking prevention and intervention to help professionals develop skills to better understand the dynamics of the various types of human trafficking.

“The Professional Certification in Human Trafficking Prevention and Intervention offers an economical way to provide access to much-needed knowledge and skills to a broad range of professionals who provide services to human trafficking survivors,” says Jim Clark, dean and professor for the FSU College of Social Work. “Professionals can enhance their career potential and gain a thorough understanding of the core concepts of human trafficking dynamics, prevention strategies, and evidence-based trauma-informed interventions.”

Participants will learn of innovative community assistance programs for victims being implemented nationwide. The certification provides information on protections and services for vulnerable populations like at-risk youth, child victims of trafficking, and adults with developmental disabilities while also touching on trauma-informed judicial practices, survivor-centered law enforcement practices, and criminal justice solutions.

Read more »
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