Field Directors

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  • 1.  Conflict of Interest

    Posted Jan 22, 2024 17:53

    Good Afternoon! I am looking for input around how you navigate conflicts of interest for students and internship sites. Do you have specific language around this in your handbook or when you vet new sites? We had a student ask about a site for their internship, but there cousin also is employed at the site. They wouldn't be their supervisor, but I am seeking input to see if there are policies already in place. I know in many instances, such as rural settings, its a more nuanced conversation. I was wondering if anyone outlines policy ahead of time, or has any way to ask students to identify any potential conflicts in an internship setting. Thank you in advance for any input!

    (she, her, hers)
    MSW Field Director, Clinical Assistant Professor
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    School of Social Work
    1010 W Nevada St | M/C 082
    Urbana, IL 61801
    217.300.1573 |


  • 2.  RE: Conflict of Interest

    Posted Jan 23, 2024 13:30

    Hi Lindsey,

    Permit me to share with you the language that we have in our field manual. It's under the section titled, "Other considerations regarding placements."

    o   Conflict of Interest. No social work student may be placed at an agency wherein that student was or is, a client or an immediate family member was, or is, a client or employee. Students who are found attempting to secure or who secure a placement in an agency where they, or a member of their family, are or were a client may have their entry into field practicum delayed. Additionally, the field supervisor must not be a family member, friend, spouse, partner, ex-spouse/partner, etc.  Since the MSSW Field Education Department does not ascertain client or employee information from agencies or students, it is the responsibility of the student to decline (or not select) a placement base on conflict of interest.

    We do run into the occasional conflict as we are a rural area. However students are generally good about reporting the conflict (or potential conflict) and we work with their field instructor to mitigate it. (I just had a student who is interning at an in-patient psych facility report that her father was admitted. She immediately reported it to both myself and her field instructor and she has been assigned to a different program within the facility for the duration.)

    Hope that helps.

    Meg DeJong-Shier
    Field Director
    West Texas A&M University
    Canyon TX

  • 3.  RE: Conflict of Interest

    Posted Jan 30, 2024 10:14

    Thank you so much, this was very helpful!

    Lindsey Trout