Concurrent field work is sacrosanct to any course in social work. Students are placed in an agency appropriate to their learning requirements as part of concurrent field work. On an average, each student is required to put in 14 hours of field work in a week. In addition to the concurrent field work, observational visits to development agencies are organized for students, usually at the beginning of each academic session.
Following are the agencies/communities that partner with the Institute for concurrent field work placements and observational visits of students:
Rural Camps are an Integral Part of the Field Practicum of BSW Part II and MSW part I. The Institute organizes one combined rural camp every year, attendance in which is mandatory for these classes. Besides helping the students to understand the rural social systems and the nature of governmental and non-governmental interventions in relation to poverty groups, such camps also help them in acquiring skills in group living, and improving skills in planning and organizing socially relevant events. The students also undertake activities that are beneficial to rural people during village camps. The villages where such residential camps have been held till date are as follows:
Skill is understood as an expertise and practiced ability. Skills assume importance in any professional practice. Field practicum by and large provides opportunities for students to gain mastery over certain sets of skills that are useful in social work practice. Nonetheless, field experiences in real life situations have certain limitations due to the involvement of the human element, where trial and error methods of learning are not desirable. Classroom teaching on the other hand minimizes student participation and restricts hands-on skills learning. The structured experience learning or ‘skill development laboratory’ provides opportunities to overcome the above limitations.
The Institute provides ample opportunities in structured experience learning. In the skill laboratory, the focus is on the development of skills that are important for social work practice and matching abilities through various types of participatory exercises. Exercises and sessions are conducted to sharpen skills pertaining to : perception; sensitivity; self-awareness; communication; skills for working with individuals, groups and communities; presentation; organization; and administration. The skill-lab provides a safe and supportive environment where students are allowed to make mistakes and learn in a non-threatening atmosphere.