Importance of Field Practicum in Social Work

Why Filed Work is important in Social Work?

The field practicum gives students the opportunity to take on professional roles in order to learn skills, render services and participate in the provision and development of social work services. The hands-on experience reinforces the student’s identification with the purposes, values and ethics of the profession; fosters the integration of empirical and practice-based knowledge, and promotes the development of professional competence. Fieldwork gives a reality check to the students. It is important to read about theories, but it is equally (if not more) important to use the understanding of theories with the reality outside of the institution of Social Work.


Fieldwork plays a pivotal role and provides the basis to apply the theoretical content covered in the classroom, to real-life situations as part of a student’s preparation to become a professional social worker. It offers an environment where students are given opportunities to align theoretical knowledge and learning with the needs of society and the marketplace. Furthermore, fieldwork is an opportunity for aligning theoretical knowledge and learning, with the needs of society and the marketplace. It also gives students the opportunity to take responsibility for addressing people’s problems. If handled effectively, fieldwork becomes an important tool that is appropriate and responsive to social development issues. It is designed to give the student exposure and experience on the functioning of social welfare agencies and social welfare provisioning.


“Fieldwork is important that students should be helped to develop the attitude of mind ideas them to make connections between study & relief…it is needed vital that this should be done if students are to become professional practitioners in the field rather than goods nature & amateurs of techniques applying narrow skills by the rule of thumbs method.” (Robert, 1995) The field practicum is a dynamic course that challenges students to apply social work knowledge, skills & values within an organizational context. It is a vital dimension of students' graduate & postgraduate social work education.


Educators from different institutions of Social Work expressed that fieldwork practicum helps the students to draw learning at all the levels of social work practice.

  1. At the micro-level, the students develop an understanding of the client system.
  2. At the mezzo-level, they learn to assess the needs of a community and, accordingly, learn to develop intervention strategies to fulfil them.
  3. At the macro-level, they understand the various tactics of dealing with the establishment and advocate the rights of people.

According to the United Nations report “It is important that students should be helped to develop the attitude of mind which leads them to make connections between study and relief ……it is needed vital that this should be done if students are to become professional practitioners in the field rather good natural amateurs of technicians applying narrow skills by the rule of thumbs methods.”

Read: What is Social Work?

Read: NASW Code of Ethics for Social Workers

Read: Significance of studying Social Work

Read: Why you should study Social Work?


Major Nine (9) importance of Fieldwork in Social Work 

In “Field Work Manual” M. A. Momin (1970) has mentioned the following importance of fieldwork practice: Through the fieldwork, the students can learn how to apply social work methods in the situation of given individuals, groups or communities’ problems.

  1. They are exposed to agency practice in which they are in a systematically, preplanned approach to solving problem processes such as study, diagnosis & treatment. 
  2. The students achieve self-awareness & discipline to use them as a helper & as an agent of change in an individual & group situation.
  3. The students develop facilities in the use of organizational structure. They come to know foster & use relationships within a structure & gain insight regarding his/her network of relationships in the organization.
  4. It helps the students to apply the theory & principle of social work into actual practice.
  5. The students acquire social work knowledge & are given an opportunity to try a variety of social work methods, skills & techniques.
  6. The students become familiar with the administrative procedure & process. They learn how to run an office, what kind of routine needs to be established, how to facilitate the administrative arrangement, relevant to the discharge of the responsibilities of their own assignment.
  7. The students have an opportunity to learn the organizational framework of services. They understand structure & policy & how to facilitate such policy through practice. They become familiar with different institutional styles & tempos of agencies associated with various field practices.
  8. The students acquire significant substance substitute knowledge in the specified field of practice characterized by the agency. They become acquired with the causes of the problem & with social welfare programs, agency structure, laws, & policies, related to its solution.
  9. The students acquire knowledge regarding community structure and process. They know the kinds of formal & group & force that a community. They should have to ability to utilize community resources in support of social welfare.

So, Field practicum is an integral component of Social Work Education. Fieldwork in social work is recognized as an instrument of socialisation that prepares the student for a future role as a professional social work worker. It is considered to be ‘learning by doing. A meaningful fieldwork placement enhances the students' understanding of the social work profession and the nature of the problems addressed by the profession itself. Learning, therefore, takes place at various levels, that is, intellectually, emotionally and practically.

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