We hope our newest COVID-19 outreach message finds you healthy and managing well. We continue to do our best to keep you updated on developments as they emerge, and so we are reaching out today to inform you of a few key developments for field education in 2020-2021.
• The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) recently announced additional flexing of accreditation standards in light of COVID-19. These changes involve relaxing requirements for employment-based field placement. Students currently employed in social/human service agencies* may possibly apply work hours toward field practicum hours if your job duties provide learning/skill development opportunities consistent with the nine (9) core competencies. Students interested in this option must contact Coretta McKenzie at email@example.com no later than July 17, 2020. Students already secured in placement for 2020-2021 may still be considered for this option. Interested students must:
• Notify Coretta McKenzie (firstname.lastname@example.org) of your interest
• Contact your field coordinator to ensure your employment circumstances meet the requirements of this option, including: 1) appropriateness of agency and job duties; 2) availability of a licensed social worker as field instructor, and 3) ability to complete the employment-based proposal in the Electronic Field Notebook.
• The Office of Field Education (OFE) will reduce the total required time in field to 85% of the School of Social Work (SSW) requirement for all students. This means 51 total days in field for foundation students, and 76 total days in field for advanced students. “Days” are defined as a standard business day. Time in field will be monitored through the use and approval of time sheets.
• The OFE continues to work diligently and flexibly with partnering agencies to secure field placement experiences. In many circumstances, agencies are able to provide either remote, hybrid, or in-person experiences that will begin on the scheduled first day in field (September 8, 2020). Other agencies may be able to provide a modified approach to field, including: modified start dates, hybrid placements (combine remote and in-person activities), and/or block placements (full time placement for shorter duration). We advise students to contact your field coordinator for more information about your particular placement.
• Students who have agreed to in-person field placements must obtain approval from the SSW before beginning field to ensure your safety and the safety of all within the placement experience. The SSW is developing specific criteria for this process under the guidance of the University of Maryland Medical System.