International Student Exchange as a Valuable Approach for Social Work Education, Practice and Research: A Model of Collaboration between Babes Bolyai University and Springfield College *
Dr. Karen Clark Hoey, Springfield College, Massachusetts
Dr. Cristina Baciu, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Date and time: Thursday, November 8th, 9:00-11:00
Location: Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, 90 Panduri Street, Sector 5, Bucharest
The proposed workshop is geared towards students and faculty of Social Work as well as NGO and human service workers and will illustrate the graduate student exchange program between Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj and Springfield College in Massachusetts. The presenters will describe and discuss the model of their collaboration and how and why it was determined that this student exchange program would be primarily centered on child welfare, the most popular area of interest for Springfield College Graduate Students of Social Work. With marked increases in the number children removed from their parents in Massachusetts and the increasing rate of parental rights termination in this state, the experience these students had in Romania has led to insight into alternatives interventions and child-centered care in their own child welfare work.
The workshop will compare/contrast social work education in the child welfare field between our two countries and draw upon student fieldwork experience to achieve the following cross cultural learning objectives:
- Ideas for a more effective practice structure for students from both countries practicing in the area of child welfare (e.g. weekly practice vs. block practice or combined: advantages and disadvantages; number of hours etc.) cross cultural comparisons
- The role of the student in a child welfare setting – # cases and whether caseloads should be child centered, parent centered or both? cross cultural comparisons
- Understanding child welfare practice principles in a government vs. non-governmental agency setting – cross cultural comparisons
- Supervision: individual or group? cross cultural comparisons
- How to work with the collateral organizations encountered by students practicing in the area of child welfare (health care, education, etc.) cross cultural comparisons.
- Practicing self-care in high-stress areas of social work practice – cross cultural comparisons
- What was learned from this child welfare-centered educational exchange that will inform ongoing exchanges between our two schools of social work?
- Vision going forward for exchanges, incorporating what was learned into practice, managing student expectations, design of collaborative protocols for organizing child welfare practice exchange and potential for universal applicability.
* Social workers participating in the workshop are eligible to receive 3 professional credits from the National College of Social Workers in Romania.