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Practicum IV

Course Code: SOWK 4240
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Social Work
Credits: 4.5
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Seminar, Practicum
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this course students will undertake assigned social work roles and tasks within a social service organization under professional supervision. In these field activities students will practice and demonstrate their ability to integrate social work skills, ethics, values, theory, and research in their work with clients, colleagues and the broader community. Students will report and reflect on their field experiences with faculty and peers throughout the semester in small group seminars and within individual assignments. Students learn about a range of social work field settings through their participation in seminar. This course follows SOWK 4140 (Practicum III) and students will maintain their placement and seminar group throughout both courses.

Course Content

Course content will be guided by research, empirical knowledge and best practice. The following values and principles, consistent with professional standards, inform course content.

  • Field experience is fundamental to social work education and the development of a professional identity.
  • Social work values and ethics are integral to good practice.
  • Social work skill, theory, and knowledge are integrated through practice, experimentation, critical reflection, and feedback from others.
  • The ability to form a strong working alliance with a wide variety of clients is an essential element of social work practice.
  • Collaboration with colleagues is an essential element of professional growth.
  • Professional practice requires the ability to reflect and critically evaluate one’s work and relationships with clients and colleagues.

Methods of Instruction

Field practice

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of assessment may include some or all of the following:

Practice report
Seminar discussion
Research paper
Field assessment
Reflective journal
Presentation (individual or group).

Learning Outcomes

Following the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate the following skills in a manner consistent with the ethics and values of social work. Students are expected to demonstrate increasingly advanced skills throughout the progression of all practicum courses.

  1. Engage client(s) in an effective working alliance
  2. Apply social work theory and knowledge, as well as personal experience, to assess situations
  3. Make accurate assessments of observed/experienced situations and systems
  4. Develop plans for intervention and be able to modify one’s perspective and actions based on critical reflection, feedback, and new information
  5. Consider multiple perspectives as a method of learning and self-evaluation
  6. Communicate ideas and describe actions for the purpose of learning, supervision of practice, and building ethical relationships
  7. Adapt and demonstrate the effective use of a variety of communication, documentation, and reporting methods as needed
  8. Apply administrative policies to diverse areas of work; meet administrative requirements
  9. Develop networks of professional relationships and resources to serve the clients of the agency
  10. Assess and discuss the effectiveness of program services including the extent to which a program addresses client needs and goals; identify limitations
  11. Assess and discuss the extent to which system processes and outcomes are consistent with social work values and ethics
  12. Identify the main administrative and program delivery roles within the organizational structure and describe key organizational processes
  13. Accurately self-assess the level of competence in performing the skills described above
  14. Identify practical learning goals for professional development

course prerequisites

SOWK 4140



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.