Field Education

Bachelor of Social Work students will complete a 350 hour educational placement in both their third and fourth year of studies for a total of 700 hours of direct practice experience in approved social services settings. Students are mentored in placements by agency based social workers, referred to as Field Instructors.

Field Instructor Orientation and Resources

Welcome! To better prepare you for your role, please review the two short Field Instructor Orientations.

BSW Field Instructor Orientation Part 1 - Before Placement Begins

BSW Field Instructor Orientation Part 2 - Once Placement Begins

Field Education Experience from Field Instructor (Mentor) and Student

Rebecca Marentette, Social Worker

My name is Rebecca Marentette, and I am the sole social worker at Wexford Creek Seniors Community, a 110-bed subsidized long-term care home. My scope of practice includes managing admissions/discharges, advocating for Residents and families, behaviour intervention planning, education, family support groups, psychosocial assessments, assisting with challenging family dynamics, resource gathering, collaborating with community partners, and so much more! I am incredibly passionate about gerontology, and I love sharing this passion with others, especially students.

Mentoring VIU BSW students has been a great experience! My main goal is to help them build confidence in their practice. Each student is unique, with their own set of skills and natural talents. I just help them recognize what those are while providing them a safe space to learn, make mistakes, and challenge their biases.

I involve students in my day-to-day as much as possible. Here at Wexford, they are an extension of the social work department. While I do give students a great deal of independence, I am available every step of the way and encourage them to ask as many questions as needed. BSW students can expect to manage a “caseload” of about 5 Residents, assist with admissions, make referrals to community agencies, as well as participate in/shadow meetings with Resident's and families, interdisciplinary rounds, Resident care conferences, discussions/care planning with Island Health, ethics committee meetings, etc. Students can also expect to leave their practicum at Wexford Creek with a great understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, relevant legislature, ethics, Resident-centred care, person-centred language, anti-oppressive practice, and the systemic challenges of working with older adults.

I look forward to continuing to partner with the VIU BSW program for as long as they’ll have me.

Stephanie Bonnar, BSW Student

I had the incredible privilege of completing my third-year BSW placement at Wexford Creek Seniors Community with Rebecca Marentette. Rebecca is an incredible mentor and has gifted me with many skills I will bring into my future social work career, regardless of the population I choose to work with. Rebecca taught me so much about person-centered care and understanding how previous trauma, mental health challenges, substance use, etc., can create additional considerations around an individual’s experience in Long Term Care [LTC]. There is significant overlap between LTC residents and other populations that social work students may be interested in working with, as there is a wide range of individuals who age into LTC. Rebecca provided me with many opportunities to learn about assessment, working in interdisciplinary teams and navigating services on behalf of residents. A resident even taught me how to play pool during my placement! I will look back fondly on my practicum experience with Rebecca, and I can confidently say it has shaped my future social work practice and given me the confidence and tools to create my own style as a practitioner – Stephanie Bonnar