Field Directors

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  • 1.  Social Work Field Education Policies

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hello, Everyone!

    My name is Morgan Todd and I am a field education office intern for Salisbury University. We had a discussion come up today in our field team meeting regarding the possible addition of a new policy surrounding field placement commitments. We have had an influx of students this academic year who interview, commit to and in some cases, even begin their field placement positions at their respective organizations/agencies then decide they no longer wish to continue at that placement, thus requesting a new one or finding one on their own. We are now looking into developing an additional policy to state that students must stay with their respective field placements they have already committed to, unless otherwise given permission for an extenuating circumstance (i.e safety or ethical concerns, etc.)

    Does anyone already have a policy similar to this in place and wouldn't mind sharing some tips? Does anyone else also seem to be having an influx of this issue? We are looking to develop specific and clear language for the students prior to them signing onto a placement so the expectations are understood beforehand. Any advice, tips or examples you have would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

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    Morgan Todd
    Salisbury University School of Social Work
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  • 2.  RE: Social Work Field Education Policies

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi Morgan,
    we are seeing some of this as well despite clear communication of process and policies in place. Below is the language from our student handbook and a workflow graphic we are sharing with students to outline the process of addressing issues at their placement. I generally try to frame challenges at the placement as a learning opportunity for students and try to "not rescue" from the situation. And we also communicate that students make a commitment for a whole year and that they need to give the placement some time. We are in week 4 of the semester and have several students who are worried about their site and want to switch placements when they didn't even have their first site visit and are still in the onboarding process. I think those sentiments have a lot to do with student anxiety so I really try to validate concerns and students wanting to have a rich learning experience while also explaining their commitment, the learning curve at the placement, and review our policy in place and come up with a plan to give it 4-6 weeks at least at the placement before re-assessing.

    I hope this is helpful,
    Best
    KAT

    Changing Practicum Placements
    Practicum placements are for two semesters. Students are making a commitment to the 60 agency and the clients they are serving and expected to remain in that setting for both semesters. Occasionally, a practicum placement does not meet the expectations of the student, placement site, or the School of Social Work.

    A student may decide to change practicum settings mid-year for any of the following reasons:
    • Administrative changes within the agency, which negatively impact the learning experience.
    • Lack of fit between student and Agency Field Instructor.
    • Failure of the agency to meet the expected standards for ethical professional practice
    • Failure of the agency to provide BSW or MSW-level learning experiences

    In these situations, students are encouraged to work to resolve the problems directly with the Agency Field Instructor and, if necessary, with the Director or Assistant Director of Field Education. It is often possible to resolve problems or issues, especially if attending to them in a timely manner. Students experiencing problems at their practicum site are encouraged to speak to the Assistant Director or Director of Field Education early.

    If, after working with the Agency Field Instructor and Director of Field Education, it is determined that the practicum site does not offer a high-quality experience or the student fails to meet the Agency's expectations, the Director of Field Education will decide if an alternative practicum site is warranted.

    The Director of Field Education must approve any practicum site change. If a change is made in the practicum setting to better accommodate the student's learning, it may result in an extension of the number of weeks or hours of the practicum experience in order to insure a meaningful placement.

    Termination of Practicum
    An agency may terminate a student from practicum for any of the following reasons:
    • Student's inability to follow work-related policies (i.e. timeliness, dress code, professional conduct).
    • Legal or ethical concerns or violations.
    • Student's inability to demonstrate knowledge and skills required by the practicum.
    • Lack of fit between student and Agency Field Instructor.
    • Poor academic performance of practicum student.
    • Lack of professional readiness.

    Academic Review and Special Advising Process
    An academic review process will be held when a student is terminated from practicum due to academic status or misconduct. The Department Chair of the School of Social Work, the BSW or MSW Program Director, or Director of Field Education may request an academic review.
    • A request may be made to the Department Chair in verbal or written form.
    • The Department Chair will set a time for the review and determine who should be present.
    • The student's faculty advisor is invited to attend the meeting as a support-person • All participants are notified. • A meeting is held during which all participants present their views.
    • A final decision will be made by the Department Chair based on the feedback and recommendations of the participants.

    The academic review process is guided by the BSW/MSW Student Handbook policies and University of Montana academic misconduct policies found in the Student Conduct Code website.



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    Katharina Werner
    Director of Field Education
    University of Montana
    Missoula MT
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  • 3.  RE: Social Work Field Education Policies

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi Morgan, we reserve the right to only replace students if there is an educationally sound reason, which gives the field team the ability to make a determination about the requests. Students are required to complete a "Request for Replacement" application in order to be considered for replacement. This documents the attempts to resolve any challenges in the placement, links students to the problem solving phases, and lets students know that the replacement could delay graduation and that they may need to add hours to meet orientation/training needs at a new site. Here is a link to our survey if you'd like to take a look.

    https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2ovkKCzgPnjFETb

    Let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Katie

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    Katie Klakos
    Director of Field Education
    The Ohio State University College of Social Work
    Columbus OH
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  • 4.  RE: Social Work Field Education Policies

    Posted 3 days ago
    Katie,

    Do we have your permission to use the flow chart on the process for addressing problems in field placements?  Of course, stating the source.


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    Annette Franklin
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  • 5.  RE: Social Work Field Education Policies

    Posted 2 days ago
    Sure, the original source was West Virginia University.

    Katie

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    Katie Klakos
    Director of Field Education
    The Ohio State University College of Social Work
    Columbus OH
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  • 6.  RE: Social Work Field Education Policies

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi Morgan,
    We have a form that the student and agency sign. Our policy is that once that paperwork is turned in, it serves as a contract between the student, agency and university.

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    Bonnie Rinks
    Director of Field Education
    University of Southern Indiana
    Evansville IN
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