Ok, just for some context, I did my MSW before I had kids. I was working a non social work job two shifts a week.
I think with most full time MSW programs, you have class two days a week and your field placement 3 days a week. Honestly, the classes weren't that hard, but you do have to do a lot of reading. In both schools I went to (BSW and MSW) we mostly wrote papers, there were very few tests. The papers are very subjective (usually relate your experiences in field placement to whatever theories you're learning in class) so you can't really get them "wrong." In that sense, the classes were fairly easy.
My first year field placement was doing smoking cessation groups and individual counseling. It was a little terrifying to be doing individual counseling (I was 21, my clients were...GROWN UPS!) without any life experience or even too much book learnin' about it yet. The placement felt easier than my second placement, though, mostly because the agency was more relaxed overall and I didn't have too many responsibilities. I didn't have any choice in this field placement, but the school did take my interests into account.
My second year field placement was doing court advocacy for low income people charged with violent felonies. I worked with their lawyers to advocate for them to get more holistic sentences, like job training, rehab, etc instead of just jail time. This was much more stressful because I was dealing with families in serious crisis. It felt like too much responsibility, sometimes. It broke my heart to have a mom of my 16 year old client call me and say, "You have to get him out of jail, you just have to." It was also more stressful just because of the agency. They were losing funding, all the staff social workers were stressed out, and my supervisor (who is supposed to be your mentor, and you're supposed to lean heavily on them for guidance) was totally awol. I chose this field placement for myself--my school had some suggestions, but I suggested this agency and they ok'ed it.
A full time field placement is supposed to be 21 hours a week (3 7-hour days) but both of my placements wanted me there WAY more than that. I had to very seriously advocate for myself with my supervisors to keep my hours there close to 21. I think they tend to forget that you're not a full time employee, you're an unpaid student with a full course load. I actually ended up doing a lot of work for my second placement at home, when I should have been doing homework.
Does that help? Do you have any other questions?
Mama lady to my lady baby born 3/09 on the kitchen floor. Looking forward to seeing which room's floor the next one will be born on in October.