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Library: Policy

340:75-1-241. Educational practicums

Revised 7-1-13

     Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Child Welfare Services (CWS) provides educational practicums for qualified students recruited by colleges and universities with accredited social work or other human services curriculums.  Per OAC 340:2-17-3, when appropriate, the College Recruitment Program expedites the hiring process for students who graduate from accredited social work programs. 



Revised 7-1-13

1.General information regarding educational practicums.Each college and university is responsible for the recruitment of non-Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) employees interested in a career in public child welfare.Other terms for "educational practicum" include internship, field placement, and learning experience.

  • (1) The student's educational practicum activities depend upon the student's skills and experiences

    • (A) The practicum focuses on the student's educational and professional development.
    • (B) The student is exposed to broad experiences without full case responsibility.
    • (C) Child protective services and permanency planning are the primary areas for the student's educational practicum.
  • (2) Appropriate activities for an educational practicum student placed in a CW district office include, but are not limited to:

  • (A) serving as the assigned secondary CW specialist, to a permanency planning case;

  • (B) completing assessments or individual service plans;

  • (C) shadowing a child welfare (CW) specialist conducting an investigation and other investigation assignments, as appropriate;

  • (D) transporting children;

  • (E) copying records, delivering documents to court, and performing limited support activities;

  • (F) completing pre-CORE activities, as appropriate;

  • (G) supervising visits between children and parents; and

  • (H) visiting children in out-of-home care when serving as the assigned secondary CW specialist on a permanency planning case.

2.College and university disciplines related to the CW practicum.

  • (1) College and university programs that utilize the CW practicum include:

  •       (A) human relations, family relations, and child development;

  • (B) behavioral sciences;

  • (C) psychology; and

  • (D) social work.

(b) Each discipline has different requirements regarding practicum experiences, activities, and supervision.The Child Welfare Services employee assigned student supervision coordinates with the student and the school to ensure the student's educational needs are met.

(c) Schools of social work require the student, field instructor, and school personnel to develop a Teaching/Learning Agreement that defines the student's learning experiences and specific activities.

3.Field instructors.The Council on Social Work Education accredits the school of social work and requires the assignment of a field instructor to each social work student. The field instructor has a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and two years of post-degree experience.

  • (1) The field instructor's role is that of a teacher.The field instructor is required to meet with the student a minimum of one hour per week.Field instructor responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    • (A) evaluating the student's progress;

    • (B) documenting concerns regarding the student's performance; and

    • (C) communicating with the college or university regarding the student.

  • (2) The field instructor educates the practicum student regarding CW confidentiality requirements per OAC 340:75-1-42 and 340:75-1-44 through 340:75-1-46.

  • (3) The college or university is a resource to the field instructor and provides guidance and consultation as needed.

  • (4) A CWS employee who does not have a BSW or MSW degree may supervise and assign work to the student.

  • (5) A district CW office without a BSW or MSW degreed employee may serve as a practicum site when the college or university arranges the field instructor component.

4.Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP).CWPEP students are recruited as potential CW employees and enter into a contractual arrangement with his or her university and OKDHS.Participants receive a stipend through federal Title IV-E dollars and in exchange take specific CW classes, complete a practicum in a CW office, and complete CORE training.The student is obligated after graduation to work in a child welfare office for a specific amount of time or repay the federal Title IV-E funds expended for the student's education.

5.College recruitment project.Graduates with a BSW or MSW degree from, or the student in his or her last semester of the BSW or MSW program in, an accredited social work program may be hired through the OKDHS College Recruitment Project and may be direct hires.

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