Field education is an integral part of each student's journey. Rutgers School of Social Work's field education program is based upon educational policies and standards established by the Council on Social Work Education and provides practical learning opportunities that serve as a foundation for students to become successful practitioners. MSW students spend 1,125 hours in the field working alongside professional social workers while being supervised by experienced field instructors.

The School of Social Work has longstanding partnerships with a variety of nationwide organizations working in addictions, aging, child welfare, criminal justice, housing, LGBTQIA+ programs, schools, and more. Youth Consultation Service (YCS) is just one of the many agencies that has collaborated with Rutgers School of Social Work for several years. YCS works to support at-risk children who have special needs and adults with developmental disabilities to build happier, healthier, and more hopeful lives within their families and communities. Through the School's field education program, Rutgers students pursuing various degrees and certifications are placed in positions throughout YCS and are fully integrated into the organization's daily activities. Students become an essential component of the therapeutic treatment and services YCS provides to the youth and families they serve.

“Our students who complete their social work field placements at YCS receive an invaluable opportunity to put their theoretical (classroom) learning into action,” said Mark Lamar, Associate Professor of Professional Practice & Executive Director of the Office of Field Education. “We recognize YCS as a ‘name brand’ partner agency—one that is well known, with a robust mission, whose reach is wide and whose impact is profound. Our students become part of the mission and life of the YCS family of programs when they are placed there, and they have an authentic opportunity to learn what social practice really is.”

Most Rutgers students are placed in one of YCS’s therapeutic homes while other students complete their field work in one of YCS's special education schools or community-based programs. Students assist in treating children with behavioral, mental health, and intellectual/developmental challenges and learn how to complete documentation, improve their critical thinking, provide case management, and develop their advocacy skills. Students also participate in monthly clinical care rounds and collaborative peer-to-peer sessions to develop their abilities, resolve issues, and work towards achieving their professional goals. Additional trainings on service delivery, agency policies, and therapy modules assist students in effectively providing therapy to their clients.

In a cover letter applying to complete her field work at YCS, Nimit Kaur SSW'23 wrote, “Although I am blind, I am deeply passionate about [helping] individuals from various backgrounds and abilities and helping them thrive and reach their full potential." With courageous honesty, she continued, “I will communicate with you clearly and openly if I have any limitations and concerns that might interfere with the goals of the program. I want to provide the best care to the clients and youth." True to her word, Nimit met every challenge she faced to fulfill all work-related requirements. With her trusted canine companion, Chardonnay, by her side, Nimit conducted individual and group therapy sessions for the youth at two YCS therapeutic residences. "Nimit and Chardonnay were such a light at the YCS home," said YCS clinical supervisor Michelle Robbins. "Nimit’s professionalism and adaptability to the challenging residential environment has been an amazing inspiration to staff and clients alike. We have all grown in our abilities to understand each other and appreciate differences."

At the end of each semester, YCS posts job openings and encourages Rutgers students to apply. Over the years, YCS has hired many Rutgers students after they graduate given that they already have a support system and knowledge base to start their job successfully.

Recent Rutgers School of Social Work students share how their field work experiences with YCS prepared them for careers.

Emily Miller, Class of '23
Before coming to YCS, I always knew I wanted to work with children, but I had only worked with elementary-aged students. At a YCS therapeutic residential program, I learned more about how to communicate and build healthy relationships with young women. I have gained a better understanding of the struggles they go through, their triggers, coping skills, and the benefits of building a therapeutic relationship. Mental health is a very significant topic for me, and now I feel more confident about achieving my future goals. The field work broadened my understanding of mental health and the importance of support systems. My goal is to continue to advocate for mental health services and ensure the stigma around it is lowered.

Carlie Taurosa, Class of '22
My field work at YCS has solidified my desire to have a career in social work. Working at a therapeutic residential program for young children has given me a sense of purpose. I discovered pieces of my own identity and have become more compassionate. Getting out of the classroom and into the field has been eye opening. I now understand what it is to be truly passionate about something. Completing my field work at YCS has allowed me to learn how an organization is structured, coordinated, and managed, and it enhanced my communication and leadership skills. I am honored to be part of such an empowering YCS team. During my field work, I assisted in group therapy sessions with children and took on the responsibility to design a PowerPoint presentation about the facility to show parents of prospective clients, case management organizations, and Division of Child Protection & Permanency workers.

Frank Franceschini, Class of '23
Completing my field work at YCS reinforced my desire to change careers. I spent several years as an elementary school teacher before I made the leap into social work. I feel as though YCS did a great job preparing me for my future career in social work. I had the great opportunity of working at two different houses, which allowed me to gain even more experience with different types of youth. I was constantly encouraged to implement the various therapeutic techniques that I was taught and could not ask for a better support system. The staff was always helpful and welcoming, which really put my nerves at
ease. One of the benefits of working at YCS is the collaboration that I got to experience. We were encouraged to reach out to one another for anything at all, whether it was a question about a therapeutic strategy or a question about documentation. Another benefit of working at YCS was the real-world experience that I was given. I was able to learn to be more flexible and learn how to change plans on the fly because that is exactly what social work entails.

Interested in becoming a field supervisor or getting your organization involved? Visit to fill out our interest form.