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Home > Arhiva > 2010 > Numar: 4 > Evaluating the One-Year Block Placement in Field Instruction

 Evaluating the One-Year Block Placement in Field Instruction

  • Letnie Rock (Head of the Department of Government, Sociology & Social Work, Lecturer in Social Work, Faculty of Social Science, The University of the West Indies, P.O. Box 64, Bridgetown, Barbados, 246-417-4288, E-mail:
  • Karen Ring (MSW, LCSW, Lecturer in Social Work, Department of Government, Sociology & Social Work, Faculty of Social Science, The University of the West Indies, P. O. Box 64, Bridgetown, Barbados, 246-417-4292, E-mail:

This study investigates the efficacy of the one-year block placement in a B.Sc. programme at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. The block placement was initiated in September, 2000. The main rationale for this structure was due to: 1) the necessity of having indigenous-based social work practice and experience in a region where the majority of social work educational resources and materials were from outside the Caribbean, 2) feedback from students and agency personnel about the challenges of concurrent placements, and 3) the necessity to provide opportunities for students from other Caribbean countries to complete their placement in their home countries if desired. The block placement was designed to maximize student practice in an agency setting and address the needs of students and agencies in the Caribbean. Students are placed in two different agencies both semesters of their final year (Level 3) with the emphasis on gaining experience at all levels of practice – micro, meso and macro. Data for the study were collected through the use of focus groups that involved students and field instructors as respondents, and through individual interviews with the field coordinator and liaison supervisor. The data were gathered from these respondents at intervals between the years 2000 and 2009. The results of this study indicate key areas for consideration critical to the improvement of the field placement in the social work baccalaureate degree. Implications of the findings for social work education and practice in the Caribbean are discussed.

Keywords: social work, field instruction, evaluation, block placement, Caribbean