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Information for practice facilities and trainers

for the practical semester

Man sieht ein Spiel in Nahaufnahme.

Before an internship with a social work organisation or institution can be offered or recognised by the university, it must be checked whether the necessary quality criteria can be met. You are welcome to contact the Practice Department of the Faculty of Social Work for clarification. In principle, the internship centre is expected to regard the internship as part of the degree course and to see the professional guidance as a contribution to the quality of the training of future social work professionals.

In addition, it is advisable to clarify the following questions internally before advertising an internship position:

  • Which area of work (if there are several areas) is best suited to a 22-week internship?
  • Which socio-educational specialist from this area of work will be available to provide guidance and will therefore also be involved in the selection of future interns (especially during the interview)?
  • Which tasks and projects can interns be involved in in order to familiarise themselves with the work area as comprehensively as possible, and which tasks can students - under supervision - take on more and more independently?
  • How and to what extent is the internship remunerated?

Ideally, each work placement centre should draw up a so-called framework training plan. Here, the internship centre defines learning objectives, tasks and activities as well as the training concept for the respective area of responsibility in advance in relation to the individual internship phases. The framework training plan thus supports the supervisor in the realisation of their supervisory function on the one hand and, on the other hand, provides students with guidance in the interview regarding the expectations of the position and the expected tasks during the internship.

In the individual training plan, the contents of the framework training plan are linked to the skills and needs of the intern during the first many weeks of the internship and thus customised for each new intern. The individual training plan is continuously reviewed during the internship and adapted to the learning outcomes.

The supervising specialist is expected to structure and manage the framework conditions and learning objectives during the internship and to establish a professional and trusting working relationship with the intern. This is characterised above all by continuity, reliability, openness, the ability to take criticism, partnership and clarity of roles.

The mentor essentially fulfils three functions:

Teaching function
  • Providing information and specialist knowledge relating to the internship position and the field of work
  • Explaining the legal tasks as well as the concepts and methods at the internship location
  • Introduction to the case histories of the clients
  • Classification of professional activities in legal and organisational contexts
  • Role model and orientation aid for the professional practical behaviour of a socio-educational specialist
Counselling function
  • Feedback and constructive criticism
  • Explanation of implementation aids for dealing with specific practical situations
  • Systematic reflection on the practical experience gained
Assessing function
  • Observation, description and prioritisation of the intern's learning process
  • Evaluation of the progress with regard to the objectives of the individual internship phases

In addition to the supervision of students by the university, regular supervision meetings are held with the supervisor during the internship semester (at least every 14 days). These regular meetings include topics relevant to the work area as well as feedback on the intern's performance and learning progress - so-called "door-to-door meetings" do not replace supervision meetings.

In the middle of the internship, a somewhat more detailed interim reflection meeting takes place, in which the learning objectives for the internship set out in the individual training plan can be evaluated and adjusted in order to organise the second part of the internship appropriately depending on learning progress.

A final evaluation meeting is held at the end of the internship. The central element of this final guidance meeting is a comprehensive evaluation of the entire internship semester with regard to the course of the internship, the learning objectives and professional competences achieved, as well as a final professional assessment. This is again based on the individual training plan.
The evaluation meeting is intended to support the interns in their further professional development. For this reason, not only existing strengths, but also weaknesses should be identified in a constructive manner so that they can be worked on in a targeted manner in the further course of the programme. The more differentiated and specific the feedback from the internship supervisor is, the more opportunities students have to develop personally and professionally.

The qualification process as part of the practical semester combines professional practice with the university. Both learning centres assume joint responsibility during this time and are systematically and structurally linked. In this respect, continuous and regular contact between the two places of learning, the university and professional practice, is of great importance. Cooperation in the structural organisation of the internship as well as an early joint exchange in the event of difficulties or problems arising during an internship is therefore sensible and necessary.

The Practice Department of the Faculty of Social Work represents the interface between professional practice and the university or students.