I am the field director of a small BSW program. I have seen increased requests from our alumni and other BSW/MSW programs to connect students to field sites in our area to support students from online/out-of-state programs. This has raised a question about whether the very limited resources of our program should be used for tasks that are the responsibility of other programs. While I want to be collaborative with my colleagues and former students, this raises questions about the time and effort we put into establishing relationships with agencies to support our students. Don't online programs have similar requirements to support their students in their search for meaningful fieldwork? As smaller programs have increasingly had our resources cut, we are considering a policy that allows the field director to only support our enrolled BSW students in their field placement search. Have other programs considered addressing this issue? To my colleagues who are Field Directors for online programs, when students who are enrolled in online social work programs seek out help from local social work programs to help them find local field placements, what advice would you give us in terms of how we can redirect these students back to their own social work program for guidance and assistance?
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