Methods: We employed a longitudinal study designed to assess change in student knowledge and skills throughout their advanced field practicum. Three MSW student cohorts (n=38) placed in a Federally Qualified Health Center, completed the SWICCS three times: at placement program orientation, at end of the first semester, and at end of the second semester of placement at the health center. The SWICCS is comprised of 37 items (α = .91) scored 1 to 5. Students’ field supervisors also completed the SWICCS-S (Supervisor) (α = .938) on their students at the conclusion of the second semester. Utilizing Friedman tests (Field, 2013) and Wilcoxon signed-ranked tests (Pallant, 2007), as is appropriate for non-normally distributed data, we examined the differences between each administration of the SWICCS and the difference between student ratings and supervisor ratings.
Results: The difference in student knowledge and skills across each SWICCS administration was statistically significant with a large effect size (r = -0.87). Student SWICCS self-ratings were significantly higher than the corresponding supervisors’ evaluative rankings (p = .046); the difference in student and supervisor rankings is observed with a medium effect size (r = -0.32). Sixty-six percent of the time, students’ self-ratings were higher than the supervisors’ ratings.
Conclusions and Implications: Although the study’s sample size is small, findings suggest student knowledge and skills development improved during their participation in the ICRC field education model. Hence, the ICRC is a viable model for developing the skills of social work trainees to provide culturally relevant behavioral health care in an integrated care setting. The SWICCS fills a critical gap relative to integrated behavioral health care competencies. Although competencies have been developed in this area, the SWICCS is the first tool of its kind to assess clinical competence from a social work trainee and supervisor perspective.