Social work

Capstone Q & A’s for Field Supervisors

My field placement student wants to collect data at my agency; what should I say?

You are in no way obligated to allow a CSUN MSW intern to collect data from agency service users or professionals. While some field placement sites have historically allowed CSUN MSW interns to collect data for the purpose of their Capstone study, every agency has its own set of priorities, and may not be able to make accommodations for the collection of research data.

My agency has a research project that we would like our CSUN MSW intern to work on. Is that okay?

Typically, yes. Each MSW student will have a Capstone instructor, who will evaluate the merit of each project to determine if it meets the learning objectives of the Capstone course. Your MSW intern will inform you of the appropriateness of the agency research project. If deemed appropriate, a letter from you or a person in authority at your agency will be required in order for the student to meet the requirements of the CSUN Institutional Review Board (IRB). The student will inform you of the content required to be included in this agency approval letter. The agency approval letter must be on letterhead and must be signed. Every Capstone project involving “human subjects” must be approved by the CSUN IRB. If your agency has its own internal IRB, it is unlikely that the CSUN MSW intern will be in a position to conduct your suggested study. CSUNMSW interns have only 4 months to design their study, recruit participants, analyze their data, and present their findings. As such, it is not feasible to meet the requirements of two IRB procedures.

If I allow my CSUN intern to collect data at my agency, what procedures should s/he follow?

The CSUN intern will require that each study participant sign a CSUN approved informed consent document. MSW students are required to ensure that the confidentiality of each subject is maintained. 4In addition ,they have been advised to avoid recruiting vulnerable populations such as children, incarcerated persons, or persons who may not have the capacity to provide informed consent. The CSUN MSW student will require a confidential physical space to interview research participants, if this is part of the research protocol. It is critical that the CSUN MSW student meet with you to determine the most appropriate procedures to collect data ensuring that the procedures meet the unique needs of your agency.

Can my agency get a copy of the final report?

CSUN MSW interns are not obligated to provide the field agency with a copy of the final report. Field supervisors are encouraged to broach this subject directly with the CSUN intern prior to providing approval for the collection of data.