Field Education at Daemen College
While interning as a social worker at Horizon Health Services I was able to learn much about the field of addictions. I was excited about having a placement that allowed me to get a substantial foundation in both outpatient and inpatient care by splitting my placement time between the two settings of Horizon Health Services outpatient clinic on Losson Road and the inpatient clinic called Horizon Village. I learned about one-on-one individual counseling sessions, group therapy, intake process, the importance of support groups, addictions and the courts, and the many dynamics involved in working with an addiction client. I was also given the opportunity to learn about different locations of the agency as well as other agencies within the community by visiting them during site visits.
I spent time observing at drug court, mental health clinics, inpatient clinics, and other outpatient clinics. I was also given the opportunity to take part in training sessions provided by Horizon staff that was intended for employees. These training sessions were also recognized by OASAS as certified CEU courses. These courses allowed me to gain credits towards becoming a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). I am fortunate to receive this benefit because these courses are offered to interns and employees of Horizon for free, so I would otherwise incur a fee to participate in them. In order to attain a CASAC credential, one must complete at least 350 hours of training in these courses. The staff at Horizon are very helpful, and constantly encouraged my growth as a potential worker in the field. They were kind, open for discussion, and willing to help with any questions or concerns that I had.
I am pictured here interacting with one of the students at St. Mary's School for the Deaf where I worked as a Social Work Intern. I was doing a play therapy session where I was able to learn about the students through a psycho-therapeutic game called The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game. Through my education in Daemen College's Social Work department I was able to excel in my field education and develop a professional identity.
I completed my internship at KidsPeace, a foster care organization serving Western New York. At my placement, I attended the Pre-Service training that is required when people want to be certified as new foster parents. I also helped prospective applicants become certified as Foster Parents, and conducted ongoing training of current foster parents who are already certified. I worked on behalf of the children in foster care and learned and facilitated the complete process of serving new foster parents. I liked working at KidsPeace because I felt that I learned a lot about what it takes to be a Foster Care Caseworker and I enjoyed the feeling of knowing that I was helping to make a difference in the lives of children.
The Field placement that I chose to go to was Schofield Residence. This is a facility for the elderly for residential care or day treatment. At Schofield Residence, I helped with the admission process, progress reports, and talking to residents as part of their support and intervention. I also worked with the staff in regards to residents’ care plans including their psychotropic medications. The residents make it special every day, and I enjoyed working with them and hearing their stories. It was also rewarding to provide a service to people that have done so much in their life time. Schofield Residence has been an educational field placement where I learned a great deal about the geriatric community. I would recommend this placement to anyone looking to work with the elderly population.
I interned at the Charter School for Applied Technologies (CSAT) in Buffalo, NY. CSAT is one of the top charter schools in Western New York. I interned with Mrs. Marie Dionne who is a school social worker in the CSAT Elementary School. I worked with students in Kindergarten through Grade 3. I was in the role of a Child Associate for a program new to the school called Primary Project. Primary Project is a child-directed form of therapy which follows the Play Therapy Model where the children are the main focus of the therapy as they decide what they want to play and how much they wish to share. It was amazing to be able to work with these children and be able to see their 'transformation' as they personally engage and share more and more of themselves every day. That is what I loved most about being at CSAT - the smiles on every child’s face when you walk into their classroom to pick them up for their counseling meeting, and they know they are going to a place where they can do what they want with someone who they can trust!
This is the Field Education in the Social Work Department
at Daemen College! The start of the student’s Field Placement, or
Internship, is a truly exciting time in one’s academic and professional
career. Students are embarking on a thrilling experience that will allow
them to change and enhance the lives of others. The field placement
experience is also a time of significant personal and professional
growth and development for students. You will have the opportunity to
take what you have learned in the classroom and put it in to practice as
you begin to work with actual clients at the agency or organization of
your choice in the community.
Students are in their internships for a total of 420 hours across
their entire senior year (two semesters). Possibilities for placements
are endless, but can include interning as a school social worker, social
worker in a residential facility for youth or adults, mental health
therapist, addictions counselor, medical social worker, or a child
welfare worker for the Department of Social Services or other agencies
such as with foster care or adoption services. Students may also be
placed in the role of a probation officer, court advocate or a social
worker in a domestic violence program. Students can also have a
placement as a social worker in an international placement. Examples of
placement sites include Erie County Family Court, Veterans Hospital,
Veterans housing Coalition, Women and Children's Hospital, the Neonatal
Unit, Erie County Department of Probation, Erie County Medical Center,
AIDS Unit, Homespace, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Compass House, West Seneca School District, St Mary's School for the Deaf, just to name a few.
The field placement experience is very gratifying but also very
rigorous and students’ hard work pays off as many of our students are
offered jobs from the agencies where they interned.
Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Joanne Cannavo, Director of Field Education (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about field education.