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California State University Fullerton
Department of Child and Adolescent Studies

Finding a Fieldwork Site

Searching for an agency

  • Start your search early—two to three months before class begins is a reasonable amount of time to allow for the process.
  • Allow ample time for special requirements such as trainings or orientation sessions
    • Some agencies require interns to meet clearance requirements; this may take four to six weeks to complete. (fingerprinting, background check, TB test, and/or DMV report) before beginning the internship.
  • Start by looking through the Approved Agency Directory on our website and a hardcopy is always available to students in our office.  The directory provides information on all the approved agencies for fieldwork placements.  These agencies work in conjunction with CSUF to provide a supervised learning experience for the student similar to on-the-job training.
  • Call the agencies and introduce yourself as a Human Services major from Cal State, Fullerton.  Ask to speak with a supervisor and set up an appointment for an interview.
  • Remember, your Fieldwork Placement Form, indicating your confirmed site, is due in the Fieldwork Office three weeks before classes begin.

Exploring Your Options

  • Focus on your interests as you decide which agencies you want to call for interviews.
    • What population would you like to work with?
    • What do you want to do?
    • What skills do you want to develop?
    • What location is most convenient for you?
    • What hours will you be available to work?

Call to Schedule Interviews

  • Call several agencies that interest you and schedule interviews at three or four sites.  Interviewing several agencies will help you:
    • Gain clarity about the different populations and work environments that are best suitable for you.
    • Achieve a good match between the agency’s needs and your own needs.
      • Be prepared to answer questions the interviewer may have about your educational and career goals, background and previous experience.
      • Be prepared to ask your supervisor about the type of responsibilities you will have, such as:
        • What specific tasks will I be doing as an intern? Can I shadow a caseworker? What type of administrative work is required?

At the Interview

    • Dress appropriately
        • Business suits, pants suits, slacks (and/or dresses and skirts for women) and jacket or sweater is considered appropriate business attire.
        • Men should wear a tie. Shoes should be closed-toe, business style. No sports’ shoes or sandals.
        • Be clean and well-groomed from head to toe.  No strong perfume or cologne.
        • Keep jewelry simple.
        • Business attire is always modest—not tight, indecent, or revealing.
    • Prepare questions that you may want to ask.  For instance:
        • How much direct client contact will I have?
        • What are the goals of the agency?
        • What population do they serve?
        • Will I get training and hands-on experience?
        • What is the supervisor’s educational background and experience?
    • Be prepared to give a preliminary schedule based on your availability.
    • Provide an updated resume indicating previous experience and/or coursework.
        • Schedule to attend a Titan Resume Builder workshop with the Career Center at LH – 208 to review your resume.

SECURE THE PLACEMENT

    • A follow-up call, after the interview, may help secure the placement—it is appropriate to contact the agency regarding your status if you have not heard from them within three to five days after your interview.
    • Once you have been selected as an intern by the agency supervisor and accepted the offer, you must complete and return the Fieldwork Placement Form to the Fieldwork Office (EC-479)—due three weeks before classes begin.
    • You may begin your fieldwork hours and complete up to 20 hours towards the 120-hour requirement before the semester begins. Students are responsible for keeping track of their own fieldwork hours. Be sure to log all hours you work on the “Student Hourly Recording Form.”

WHEN THE SEMESTER BEGINS

    • Turn in your Placement Form to the Fieldwork Office, if you have not done so. All students must turn in a form each semester even though you interned at the same site previously.
    • Begin working on the Learning Contract with Site Supervisor.  This is due to your course instructor by the second or third week of classes.
    • Turn in the Voluntary Release of Liability and Indemnification Agreement to course instructor by due date.
    • All required documents can be viewed and downloaded by selecting Fieldwork Forms on the navigation pane, on the left.
    • Continue working on your hours.
    • If you are experiencing challenges at your agency site (no supervision, nothing to do, meaningless work, etc.) discuss this with you fieldwork instructor immediately.
        • Our hope is for you to remedy the situation and stay at your agency.

 

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