Introduction for placement agencies

Field education is a cooperative endeavour between Flinders University Discipline of Social Work, the student, the agency and the professional supervisor of field educator. Placements are a mandatory requirement of AASW accreditation standards, which stipulate that students must meet the required learning outcomes within two different placements of 500 hours duration each (1,000 hours). It is through the placement experience that students learn to integrate social work theory into practice and develop the skills, values and knowledge to work effectively in contemporary social work settings. The following information aims to assist agencies that are interested in offering a student placement:

  • Hosting a student placement
  • Placement expectations
  • Field educator responsibilities
  • Timing of placements
  • Placement process
  • Field educator support


Hosting a student placement

The Australian social work profession is built on a tradition of Social Workers and other host organisations offering placements to students. Agencies can benefit from students bringing new knowledge about theoretical approaches and frameworks, and by engaging staff in critical reflection of agency programs and activities. Hosting students also supports the development of a skilled workforce and robust profession into the future.

Placements are sought in a range of human services that administer, develop or deliver social welfare, health or education programs – including agencies that do not employ social workers. The university will appoint an external field educator where an agency does not have an onsite social work field educator. The role of the external field educator is to provide professional supervision to the student and focus on professional development and social work learning. In these situations the agency field educator will supervise the students activities and learning on a day-to-day basis, and will contribute to the student’s assessment in collaboration with the external field educator and university Field Education Coordinator.

If your agency is interested in finding out more about student placements or if your agency wants to offer a placement please email