Field Education is an important component of graduate social work education. Included in a student's Plan of Study will be two different field placements in social services agencies, departments or other service delivery systems located throughout the State of Maryland and surrounding areas.

The Office of Field Education (OFE) is comprised of Field Coordinators, Field Instructors, Faculty Liaisons and other staff.  Field Coordinators work closely with students to locate field placements prior to the start of the academic year.  Field Placements are determined based on concentration/specialization for advanced students and geographic location for foundation students.  Field Coordinators work diigently to ensure that placements are a good fit for the students and our agencies. 

At the beginning of each academic year, students are provided access to the Electronic Field Notebook (EFN) so they can submit assignment troughout the year.  During the year, important information will be collected and disseminated throughout the EFN. 

COVID-19 Field Updates

“We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not.”
—Audre Lorde
 
Greetings, Field Stakeholders! It is hard to believe we are already into November, already at the doorstep of the Holiday Season, already nearing the end of this unique fall semester. Gratitude seems to underlie all that is meaningful and brings joy if you allow it. We hope you will. 
 
We are not blind to what we have. The Office of Field Education is incredibly grateful to our Field community -- agency partners, field instructors, task supervisors, liaisons, seminar instructors, students, School of Social Work colleagues and even to each other -- for the incredible effort we have all undertaken to engage in field education this semester. Though it has been far from perfect, this experience has certainly offered something from which we can all learn and grow. We are grateful for that.
 
As we enter the winter months, and as we know from public health modeling, COVID is surging once again. We are grateful for the many remote field opportunities our students are in, and we are acutely aware of, and concerned for those experiences where students are working in-person, or in a hybrid model to fulfill their field requirement. As we learn more from our governor, the University System and UMB leadership, it is probable that field education could be disrupted by the COVID surge.
 
Preparation is critical, so we ask all agencies to please:
  1. Assess any impact the COVID surge may have on your agencies, service delivery and the students placed with you. 
  2. Please discuss any impact and plan for managing the surge with your students and their liaisons. We hope you will include our students in your planning process.
  3. Determine any possibility of remote field instruction, and lean on the OFE (liaisons, field coordinators, OFE leadership) to provide you with assistance. 
  4. Continue provision of remote field learning for your students – their experiences do not need to be disrupted if they are fully remote.
  5. Inform the OFE of any necessary changes to your In-Person Proposal for field instruction.
We are also planning for any impact on the continuity of field education, and are considering possible adjustments to manage interruption of in-person placement, including the following:
 
  1. Further reduction of required time in field for our students. We started the year at 85% of our usual required time, and may further reduce this requirement to make field education more manageable for all.
  2. Encourage students to “bank” time in field. The semester ends on December 18, but it may be beneficial for students to continue working in field over the winter break. Students may accumulate up to 12 (advanced students) or 14 (foundation students) days of field between December 18 and January 18 when classes resume.
  3. Appeal to agencies to modify accumulation of field time. Students in hybrid placements would discontinue any in-person fieldwork, but continue or expand remote work. Students fully in-person at field would temporarily suspend going to field placement and resume when permitted by UMB leadership. This assumes agencies are unable to provide remote experiences, and relies on agencies’ willingness to hold student placements for them.
  4. Employment-based students may continue with field. Students completing field in the workplace may continue field placements if they are required to remain at work. This may also apply to DSS employees who are in the Title IV-E program, or who are otherwise placed in a DSS agency.
  5. Planning additional field experiences during a suspension of field education. The OFE may resume offering remote field learning experiences similar to those provided this fall, and possibly inclusive of simulation experiences, to students who cannot continue their field placements.
 
In cases where client interaction is suspended, field instructors may have students complete process recordings remotely as well. We are attaching two models for remote process recordings for review and use:
 
 
Once again, we deeply appreciate you, and are grateful for all that you do – not just for our students, but for our community. We wish you a restful holiday.
 
Be Well,
 
 
Samuel B. Little, Phd, LCSW-C                                                                Laura Loessner, LICSW, LCSW-C
Associate Dean, Field Education                                                              Assistant Director, Field Education 
 

Experiential Learning Plan

The spread of COVID-19 around the country and globe continues to present significant challenges for social work education. Each social work student, teacher, field instructor, and program is unique, and so have been their responses to this pandemic. In response to the continuing impact of the pandemic, the University of Maryland School of Social Work created a COVID-19 Task Force, which addressed matters as they related to Field Education.

The following documents will provide a better understanding of policies that have been implemented for Field Placement agencies to better navigate issues as they pertain to MSW students during this pandemic.  Please note that the agency coordinator will need to review these documents, sign them electronically and return them to the Office of Field Education.  The forms should be returned to the Office Manager, Donna Earling at donna.earling@ssw.umaryland.edu.  If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the office at fieldeducation@ssw.umaryland.edu

Field Orientation 2020-2021

Welcome to 2020-2021 Academic School Year.  Field Orientation is mandatory for Advanced Standing students and Foundation students entering field for the first time.  Advanced Standing students are those students admitted with a BSW and will complete the program in one year.   Students must watch pre-orientation videos prior to attending orientation next.  If you have not watched the video or registered for orientation please click the link below. 

The Student Field Orientation was comprised of two parts. Part 1 is a series of short videos, and Part 2 was a “live zoom meeting”/Student Field Orientation, which you were required to attend for one day during the week of August 17.   You can access short videos by clicking the link above.  In the event that you were unable to attend orientation last week please email the office at fieldeducation@ssw.umaryland.edu and you will receive information on make-up sessions.  

Click the link below to access the Field at a glance