Where theory meets practice
Field education is an integral part of our overall MSW curriculum, allowing students to encounter real-world learning experiences directly related to their classroom curriculum. By working with SP2’s partner agencies, students gain the opportunity to test what they have learned as a means of evaluating their own social work practice.
Field education is systematically designed, supervised, and evaluated based on criteria developed in accordance with CSWE education standards. Field placements are determined based on academic expectation, the students’ educational needs and objectives, and agency opportunities. Field practice provides students with:
- Learning experiences directly related to the academic/classroom curriculum;
- Opportunities to test what they have learned; and
- Means of evaluating their own social work practice.
Student experiences in field practice are also integrated into classroom work and learning.
MSW students must complete two internships in social service. We have an ever-evolving database of over 900 agencies. We strive to have diverse learning opportunities for our students that include, among many areas of practice, child welfare, justice, health, and education. Each year, the Field Office is responsible for ongoing evaluation of agency placements, maintaining existing agency relationships and developing new sites. In a typical year, up to 35 new agencies are developed.
All field placements and arrangements are made by the School.
State law and/or particular field placement sites may require background checks before a student will be permitted to do fieldwork in a number of contexts. Certain kinds of criminal convictions may affect a student’s ability to obtain a field placement, which, in turn, could affect the student’s ability to complete degree requirements.
Where Do SP2 Students Work?
SP2 students have completed field placements at agencies, schools, and hospitals across greater Philadelphia.
Placements | A-F
- Abington Family Medicine
- Abington Hospital – Hospital Homecare and Hospice
- Abington Jefferson Memorial Hospital – Ambulatory Services
- Abington Jefferson Memorial Hospital – Muller Institute for Senior Health
- Abramson at Penn – Patient and Family Services
- Abramson Cancer Ctr at Penn Presbyterian UPenn – Outpatient Hematology Oncology
- AJ Drexel Autism Institute – Philadelphia Autism Project
- Albert Einstein Medical Center – Transplant
- AVP – Family of Murder Victims Counseling Center
- Beachwood Elementary
- Belmont Behavioral Health
- Belmont BH – Adolescent Inpatient Unit
- Bensalem High School
- Bethesda Project – Our Brother’s Place Shelter Social Services
- Capital Health Regional Medical Center – Trenton
- Carson Valley Children’s Aid – Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS)
- CASA Phila – Education Decision Makers
- Catholic Charities Berks County Office – Reading Office
- Catholic Charities/ Diocese of Trenton – Family Growth Program
- Catholic Social Services Archdiocese of Phila – St. Charles Senior Center
- Catholic Social Services Archdiocese of Phila – Star Harbor
- Center for Family Services – Family Preservation Services
- Center for Family Services – Juntos Program
- Center for Family Services, Inc. – TIP Program (TANF Initiative for Parents)
- Children and Families First – Foster Care and Adoption
- Children’s Crisis Treatment Center
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Community Legal Services
- Cooper University Hospital
- Creative Health Svcs MH OP Dept – Family Based Services
- Crozer Chester Medical Center Community Hospital
- Davita – Renal Center of Philadelphia
- Davita Healthcare Partners, Inc.
- Defender Assoc of Philadelphia
- Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc.
- Drucker Brain Injury Center – Elkins Park (Main Hospital)
- Early Childhood Treatment Program
- Edison Court, Inc. (Mathom House and Ravenhill Psychological)
- EducationWorks – Philadelphia Office
- Episcopal Community Services
- Fairmount Behavioral Health
- Families Forward – Community Housing Program
- Family Support Services – Healthy Start Program
- Family Svc Assoc of Egg Harbor – Outpatient Adolescent and Adult
- Friends Hospital
Placements | G-L
- Goldring Reentry Initiative
- Good Shepherd Penn Partners LLC – Brain Injury Floor
- Greater Trenton Behavioral Health Care – Adult Day Treatment
- Hampton Hospital – Behavioral Health Center
- Hartnett Health Services
- Health Federation of Philadelphia – Trauma Advocacy Program
- HIAS – Asylee Outreach Program
- HIAS & Council Migration Services of Philadelphia
- Hispanic Family Center of Southern, NJ
- Horizon House
- Horsham Clinic
- Hospice of Lancaster County – Hospice and Community Care
- Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Social Work
- Inglis House – Adult Day Program
- Jefferson Northeast Hospital – Torresdale Cancer Center
- JEVS Human Services
- Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Philadelphia
- Journey’s Way Geriatric Counseling Service
- KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy
- KIPP Phila – Middle School
- KIPP Phila Elementary Academy
- KIPP West Phila – Elementary Philadelphia
- Lankenau – Oncology
- Life Counseling Services
- Livengrin – Partial Hospitalization/IOP
- Lutheran Children and Family Service of Pennsylvania
- Lutheran Settlement House
Placements | M-R
- Mastery Charter Schools
- Maternity Care Coalition
- Mazzoni Center
- MCC – Warwick House
- Medical Examiner’s Office of Phila – Bereavement Support
- Merakey – PACT Program
- Merakey Delaware County
- Merakey Lehigh
- Merakey Parkside Recovery
- Mural Arts – Color Me Back; A Same Day
- Work and Pay Program
- Mural Arts – Kensington Storefront
- Mural Arts – Southeast By Southeast Community Center
- Nationalities Service Center
- Nemours-AI duPont Hosp
- Netter Ctr – Government and Community Affairs
- NewVitae – Philadelphia South Street
- Oaks – Family Learning Center
- Office of Climate and Safety Philadelphia School District
- Pathways – Supervised Independent Living
- PCCYFS – Southeast Regional Office
- Penn – Cognitive Outpatient Neurology
- Penn Foundation for Mental Health
- Penn Home Care & Rittenhouse Hospice
- Penn Integrated Care
- Penn Internal Medicine Associates
- Penn Medicine Princeton House BH – Adult Programs
- Penn Presbyterian Hospital
- Pennsylvania Hospital Social Work
- Pennsylvania Law School – Child Advocacy Clinic
- People’s Emergency Center
- Philadelphia Family Court
- Philadelphia FIGHT
- Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center – Walker House (Coatesville)
- PIC – Family Medicine
- PMHCC – Office of Addiction Services
- Policy Lab at CHOP Research Institute – Roberts Center for Pediatric Research
- Preheim Center
- Project H.O.M.E.
- Public Health Management Corporation
- Red Shield Family Residence Salvation Army – Reed House
- Resources for Human Development
- Restore Health at University City – Chestnut Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
- Rittenhouse Hospice – Bereavement
Placements | S-Z
- Saint Gabriel’s System
- Saint Gabriel’s System – Residential Treatment Program
- Saint Gabriel’s System – Saint Gabriel’s Hall
- Salvation Army – Booth Manor
- Salvation Army – Human Trafficking
- Salvation Army – Human Trafficking – Police Assisted Diversion (PAD) Program
- Salvation Army – Ivy Residence
- Salvation Army – New Day House
- Sayre Health Initiatives, Education, and Leadership Development program (SHIELD)
- Springfield School District – Sabold and Scenic Hills Elementary Schools
- St. Christopher’s Hospital – Center for the Urban Child (Outpatient Ambulatory Clinic)
- GABRIEL’S SYSTEM COURT SERVICES
- Temple University Clinical Resource Management – Palliative Care
- Temple University Clinical Resource Management – Social Work Department at Episcopal Hospital
- The Center for Autism – Outpatient Therapy Services
- The Village – Outpatient
- Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hospital Behavioral Health
- Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hospital Social Work
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospital – Med/Surg Unit
- Thomas University Dept. of Pscyh. – IOP
- Turning Points for Children
- Twin Oaks – Charles Yates Center for Children & Families
- Twin Oaks – Family Learning Center
- United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
- University of Pennsylvania HIV Clinical Trials Unit – HIV Prevention Research Division
- University of Pennsylvania Princeton House – Moorestown
- Upper Dublin School District – Sandy Run Middle School
- Valley Youth House – Lehigh Valley Programs
- Valley Youth House II – Supervised Independent Living
- Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center – Philadelphia
- Veteran’s Multi-Service Center – Education Center
- Veteran’s Multi-Service Center – Permanent Supportive Housing & Rapid ReHousing Programs
- Veterans Upward Bound Program
- Vitas Health Care Corp. Innovative Hospice Care – Inpatient Unit at Nazereth Hospital
- Wedge – Frankford Avenue
- Wedge – North Broad Street
- Wedge – Psychiatry: Juniper Street
- Wissahickon Charter School – Awbury Campus
- Women Against Abuse
- Women Organized Against Rape
- Wordsworth Academy
- Y.A.L.E. School
- Y.A.L.E. School – Camden County College
- Y.A.L.E. School – Cherry Hill
- Youth Detention Intervention Unit
- Youth Service, Inc.
Field Placement Dates & Details
The field education calendar is partially dependent upon the MSW program of enrollment.
Full-time students begin field placement in September and finish at the end of the spring semester for both years of the program.
Advanced Standing students begin field placement in the first week of July and finish at the end of the spring semester.
Part-time students have two different start and end dates for field placement:
- The Foundation (1st year) placement begins in September alongside the full-time two-year students. In order to complete the required number of hours, students finish placement in the last week of June.
- The Advanced (2nd year) placement begins in early August in order to provide ample time to complete required field hours. Students finish placement at the end of the spring semester, allowing them to graduate with their cohort.
View specific start dates, end dates, trainings, and holidays:
|Full time 2 year:|
Foundation (1st year)
|N/A||M, Th, F||M, Th, F|
|Full time 2 year:|
Advanced (2nd year)
|N/A||M, T, F||M, T, F|
M, W, F
|M, T, F||M, T, F|
(1st year placement)
|N/A||Days/times depend on student availability and agency options.||Days/times depend on student availability and agency options; however, 8 of the 16 hours/week occur during typical business hours. Students are expected to continue in field through the end of June.|
(2nd year placement)
|August start||Days/times depend on student availability and agency options.||Days/times depend on student availability and agency options.|
Field Education Manual
Find answers to frequently asked questions, as well as an in-depth explanation of the purpose and function of field education at SP2. This manual includes information for current students, prospective students, field instructors, and those interested in providing field education opportunities for SP2 students.
Supporting Trans & Gender-Nonconforming Youth in Schools
In Spring 2019, a group of students enrolled in SWRK 713: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender created Understanding Policy 252, a resource guide for social work interns placed in Philadelphia public high schools around supporting trans youth.
Frequently asked questions
Can I choose my field placement?
Students do not arrange their own placements. Your field placement is a significant part of your academic record and, as such, originates from SP2’s Field Education Office. The Field Education staff works in conjunction with practice faculty and students to ensure that field experience will support academic coursework and enhance professional growth.
For Foundation Year (1st year) and Advanced Standing students, the Field Education Office takes into consideration incoming students’ learning needs, prior educational experience, previous work or volunteer experience, place of residence, transportation, agency availability, and other information students provide to match students with agencies. Staff uses this information to make thoughtful decisions regarding where to place students. Students are notified of their placement by the Field Office.
Advanced (2nd year) students begin the process of securing their placement in January of their Foundation year (1st year). These students meet in-person with field liaisons to identify agencies and areas of practice for their Advanced Year field placement. The Field Education Office provides a large selection of placement options to consider.
Can I do my field placement where I work?
Some students are able to use their work site as a field placement. In order for a worksite to be a field placement, the following is required:
- You must have been employed for at least six months and passed the probationary period.
- You must have a new supervisor for the hours dedicated to your field placement.
- You must be assigned to a new area of practice in your agency for the hours dedicated to your field placement.
Will I receive a grade for field placement?
Students will receive an evaluation of their performance in field each semester of both years. Placement performance is evaluated in terms of Pass, Marginal Pass, or Fail standards. This evaluation will be factored in determining grades for Social Work Practice courses: SWRK 6040, SWRK 6140, SWRK 7040, SWRK 7140, SWRK 7080, and SWRK 7180.
Are there specific requirements that may impact my choice of a field placement site?
Some agencies require flexible work hours and/or days. FBI, Criminal Background, and/or Child Abuse clearances may be required. Occasionally a car for travel is required. Some agencies state that foreign language skills are beneficial for a successful placement experience.
If I am a part-time student, how many hours a week will I need to commit to field placement?
Part-time students complete 16 hours in the field per week. In the Foundation Year students are in the field from September through June. Advanced Year students complete their field hours from August through April. Each week, at least 8 of the 16 hours must be completed during the agency’s regular business hours.
Does my supervisor have to be an MSW?
All first-year field placements include supervision by an MSW. In the second year, the School offers an Integrative Seminar for students placed in agencies who are supervised by a non-MSW supervisor.
Will I get to interview at my field placement?
It is the expectation that students will interview at their field sites before they are accepted for placement. Some agencies are agreeable to phone or video interviews for students who are unable to interview in person due to geographical distance.
If I do not have a car, how will I be assigned to a field placement site?
The Field Education Office takes into consideration whether students have their own car or will require the use of public transportation to their agency. Students who do not have a car are expected to utilize public transportation, which may involve 45-60 minutes of travel time.
If I am planning to live outside of Pennsylvania and commute to classes, can I be placed in an agency near my residence?
On rare occasions, the Field Office offers opportunities for placements in locations outside of the Philadelphia tristate area. Students are encouraged to discuss a need for placement outside of the Philadelphia area early in the placement process to determine if such an opportunity can be secured.
Family Law, Gender Equity, and Reproductive Rights – Melissa Weiler Gerber
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Defender Association Presentation
A team of staff and social workers from the Defender will be talking about the mission and work of the Defender Association and the role of social work in serving […]
SP2 announces Amber Hikes, MSW’08, as 2023 commencement speaker
Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) announced today that SP2 graduate Amber Hikes, MSW’08, (they/she), current Deputy Executive Director for Strategy & Culture for the ACLU, will deliver the School’s 2023 Commencement speech on May 13. Learn more from today’s message from SP2 Dean Sara “Sally” S. Bachman, PhD.
Leslie A. Daniels, MSW, LSW
Associate Director of Field Education
215 573 9688
215 573 2099 (fax)
Jacinto J. Grant, MSW
Associate Director of Field Education
215 573 2099 (fax)
Erica Glazer Gershon, MSW, LSW
Field Education Administrator
215 573 5680