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Since 2013, 47 American social work students from 12 universities have participated in the BSW/MSW Field Practicum Program in Ghana.  Students have participated in various social work settings that include: local and foreign run children's homes, organizations for the aged, a drug and alcohol treatment center, a school for children with developmental disabilities, a youth leadership institute, work within mental health, work within HIV/AIDS at a local clinic and hospital, community development work with local or foreign organizations, work within social welfare and in public health.  Examples of past student initiatives include:  provided individual and group work with children, teens and adults living with HIV/AIDS, teenage parents and adults in recovery; home visitation with families to ensure children’s basic needs were met; advocated for and accessed health care for children; developed a support group for teens living with HIV/AIDS; implemented a relapse prevention program; trained community members and staff on the cycle of domestic violence, CPR and healthy parenting and discipline; assessed and developed policies regarding volunteer opportunities at a children's home; developed a website and social media presence; and completed program assessments and evaluations of local and foreign NGO’s.

The BSW/MSW Field Practicum Program includes the following:

  • Pre-departure support via email, phone and/or Skype prior to arrival
  • Organization of home stay or student housing,  field placement and field trip opportunities
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Two day cultural and logistical training
  • 24/7 in-country support and open door policy to address concerns, home stay or field placement moves and/or emergencies
  • Use of a local cell phone
  • Ghanaian home stay housing or student housing that includes two meals per day
  • Ghanaian field practicum placement and placement supervisor
  • On-going support to home stay and field placements
  • Weekly one-on-one (1-1+ hour) MSW supervision (12 years US-based direct practice working with homeless adults, chronically mentally ill adults, low income pregnant women, in child welfare and in community development; 9.5 years international-based practice working in community development, health education, child welfare and supervising students and 6 years teaching at the university level) to address concerns or challenges, establish learning goals and objectives and assist with learning agreement
  • Weekly report to university field education director or university liaison and additional follow-up via email, phone and/or Skype (as needed)
  • Complete mid-term evaluation (if applicable) and final evaluation
  • Monthly integrative group seminar to include monthly field trips (including transportation), the opportunity to de-brief, discuss challenges in a cultural context and address termination and returning home
  • Post-departure support via email, phone and/or Skype (as needed)

For more information, please contact Beth Okantey at bokantey@pdx.edu

Palm BSW/MSW Practicum/ Field Placement in Ghana

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