Department of Human Services Field Supervisors
Given that MSU Denver students are undergraduates, they are not trained to perform some duties that might be expected of a graduate student in a field placement. Students who are in practicums/internships should also be made aware of liability risks and safety procedures to limit risk.
The following is a list of activities that may not be performed by a MSU Denver Human Services student in field placement. An exception can be made for students who are paid employees of an agency who are performing the activity as a part of the normal work expectation for that employee and who have received training that supports safety for the student, staff, and clients.
Students MAY NOT:
•Provide individual psychotherapy for a client;
•Lead psychotherapy groups without a qualified therapist present;
•Open or close an agency by themselves;
•Restrain clients without proper training and supervision;
•Be left in charge of the agency without a qualified supervisor present;
•Have a case load of clients for which the student has sole responsibility–an exception can be made for students with previous employment experience working with the client population and/or with the seminar instructor’s approval.
Students ARE ENCOURAGED to:
•Shadow professionals in one-on-one sessions with clients and in groups;
•Co-facilitate groups with a qualified professional staff member;
•Facilitate educational groups with supervision from a professional staff member;
•Participate in staff meetings and training opportunities;
•Conduct intakes after proper training;
•Write chart notes and complete other agency documentation after proper training;
•Assist in grant-writing, fund-raising, event planning and other agency activities;
•Input client documentation and other data into computer systems.
The field supervisor is responsible for facilitating student involvement in appropriate learning activities and experiences, as well as providing training to support student success. A helpful process to follow in supporting student success is to:
1) Offer an initial orientation and training for different agency tasks;
2) Allow the student to shadow professional agency staff performing the tasks;
3) Have the student co-facilitate the process with a professional staff member;
4) Have the student facilitate the process with supervision.
The field supervisor is responsible for determining student readiness for different tasks and responsibilities at the agency. Some students may have lots of experience in the field prior to their practicum and internship and others may have limited experience.