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Field Education and EASW:
  A Complement or Alternative to Traditional Social Work Field Education

"The Natural Environment as another system layer in human behavior courses."(EPAS, n.d.)
Children building a fairy house
Venn diagram of theoretical and practical EASW

CSWE-EPAS competencies

The 2015 CSWE EPAS standards included a 'Curriculum Guide for Environmental Justice' (EPAS, 2015), adding another system layer to human behavior courses. However, more is needed to provide social work students with real-life examples of advocacy and community organizing to help their clients meet higher-order socio-emotional goals.


Field placements focusing on environmental conditions and courses on large client systems can expose students to local examples of community organizing around environmental injustices in urban and rural areas. To gain legitimacy and competence, students must understand the impact of climate change, environmental toxins and pollutants, and the complex relationships between populations and the environment (Dominelli, 2011; Tester, 2013)."

EPAS 2022.png
The videos to the right provide a window into field education at an Equine-Assisted Services Community Center.

The “essence” of field work practice happens after the book learning. 
The horse demands balance and harmony between the social worker and client, relying on individual strength, authenticity, and honesty.
Training is nuanced and pairs well with supervision and self-reflection.
Horses reflect the energy of those around them and provide honest, clear communication without an agenda or language processing creating a mirror for each party to see how they impact the other.

Zori and Morgan:

from the perspective of social work field interns.

Professor Ali:

from the perspective of a social work field educator.

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