Field Directors

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  • 1.  Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 20, 2022 10:34
    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Tamlyn Ashford. I am new field director with Missouri Baptist University MSW Program

    We have a couple of students that have asked about finding paid interns or interns that they receive stipends.  There is also a student who found an agency that has offered a stipend.

    I know that it is not common for SW interns to be paid or stipend based.  I am trying to determine the difference between being a paid employee and receiving a stipend.

    I am curious if anyone has encountered these scenarios and if so how do you address?

    Thank you!

    Tamlyn Ashford
    Assistant Professor
    Missouri Baptist university
    Saint Louis MO
    314 392 2245

  • 2.  RE: Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 21, 2022 11:02
    From my perspective, the biggest difference between a stipend and being a paid employee is the involvement of the HR department. It is also whether the status of student is prioritized over that of being an employee.

    Myke Selha
    Field Education Director
    Grand View University
    Des Moines IA

  • 3.  RE: Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 22, 2022 09:54
    We view the stipend as a scholarship from the agency for completing the internship.  The student is not an employee and does not have any other employee responsibilities and learner role is the priority.  


    Traci Lilley
    Associate Director of the School and Field Directo
    LSU School of Social Work
    Baton Rouge LA

  • 4.  RE: Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 22, 2022 10:14
    Stipends and paid Internships  are wonderful and I view them as the Placement supporting the student in their studies.
    It is not a salary but I view it as a grant. students role is clearly defined as an Internship and learning experience and for X number of hours a week or for the total number of hours. VA Medical Center placements are a stipend. I have been Field Director 21 years and in my early day may have had 5-6 placements with Stipends. Those are long gone. The VA is the only one I have currently.

    Deirdre Spelman

    Deirdre Spelman
    Director of Field Education
    School of Social Work, Marywood University
    Scranton PA

  • 5.  RE: Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 22, 2022 19:50

    Hi Tamlyn,

    If an agency offers a student a stipend, they are typically not considered an employee of the agency.  However, agencies should ensure that if they are offering the student a stipend as a "volunteer", they are adhering to all the requirements with the Labor Law.  However, we don't provide agencies with legal/HR advice on this, and encourage them to consult with their own legal/HR to ensure they are following the labor laws when offering a stipend. If the agency offers a stipend, we do not have our students complete the application for internship in place of employment.
    However if the agency pays a student as as an employee, related to hours worked, they are an employee of the agency, and the agency must pay the student at least minimum wage and follow all labor laws regarding employment.   If the agency pays the student as an employee, then we do have to follow the polices set forth by CSWE related to internships in a place of employment.  It's also worth checking with your risk management, as for our students who are in employment based internships, our workman's compensation does not primarily cover students, as their employed agency should provide this coverage.

    We highly encourage our agencies to pay our students stipends if they are able to and many more are offering this.  We also similarly have no objection with students completing internships in their paid employment.  It has become more and more necessary with cost of living and graduate school.  We just have a formalized process and meet with each of these students to discuss the focus on learning, etc.

    Hope this helps!

    Aneesha Bharwani
    Assistant Dean for Field Education, Associate Professor of the Practice
    University of Denver
    Denver CO

  • 6.  RE: Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 22, 2022 22:47
    Hi Aneesha,

    Thank you for your response!  Have you ever come across a situation where the amount of hours expected of the students extends way beyond the practicum requirements where a stipend is attached?  The agency offers the stipend to cover the extra hours students provide.

    Thank you

    Tamlyn Ashford, Ed.D., MSW, LCSW
    Assistant Professor Social Work

    One College Park Drive. Saint Louis, MO 63141. 314.392.2245

  • 7.  RE: Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 23, 2022 20:26

    Hmm, that gets a little tricky.  First the agency should be careful to not tie the stipend to hours worked, as they are delving into potential labor law issues.  But that aside....

    Yes, we sometimes have agencies (stipend or no stipend) that ask for additional hours beyond the required amount.  In those instances we remind agencies first, that this is a learning experience, and not providing staff coverage for their agency.  If the agency insists, we always talk to students and encourage them to draw boundaries as a student and remind them they are not required to accept this internship and that we will help them secure another one, and they should not feel any obligation to accept the internship.  However, some students may still opt into this anyways if it's a learning experience they really want.

    We have implemented what we called an "Extended Field Learning" program.  It basically allows us to pre-approve additional field hours in lieu of elective credit.  Here is a more detailed description:

    Select agencies who work with GSSW interns in the Denver Campus, Western Colorado, and Four Corners program may offer/require additional learning to students in their field placement that require students to complete additional field hours and credits.  

    These agencies must be carefully pre-approved by the Field office to ensure that they are offering substantial field learning to warrant additional field credits.  

    If a GSSW student elects to use their elective credit to complete additional field learning, this means that they will register for extra field credits instead of, for example, taking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (one of the many GSSW electives offered).  

    The Field Office recommends that agencies carefully consider whether their additional field learning is comparable to the education a student will receive in an academic class before completing this form.  

    Agencies may request approval for up to 6-credit hours of approved additional field learning.  Agencies must specifically outline the learning available to warrant the below hours and credits.  

      Regular Required Hours  3-credits of Additional
    6- credits of Additional Field Learning 
    Foundation Year 13.5 hr/week
    135 hr/quarter
    400 hr/year
    18 hr/week
    180 hr/quarter
    535 hr/year
    Concentration Year* 16.5 hr/week
    165 hr/quarter
    500 hr/year
    20.5 hr/week
    205 hr/quarter
    620 hr/year
    24.5 hr/week
    245 hr/quarter
    740 hr/year

    Concentration Year only- the hours per quarter  (which is 10 weeks long) equals 5 hours less than the hours per year.  These extra 5 hours can be made up any time in the year.  In Fall Quarter, students are in field 11 weeks instead of 10 due to the prolonged Winter Break.  Therefore, most students will make up these 5 hours in Fall Quarter. 

    In order to be approved for extra hours for credit, agencies must demonstrate additional learning that allows students to further develop their skills and demonstrate required social work competencies.  Agencies may offer a combination of:

    • additional extensive required training 
    • additional extensive required supervision
    • required certifications

    All additional learning must be specifically for the internship, and not part of outside employment or other courses. 

    Please detail in this form how your agency and internships meet these requirements. Please review the list of core competencies and be prepared to explain in detail which competencies are met by the required activities. 

    Aneesha Bharwani
    Assistant Dean for Field Education, Associate Professor of the Practice
    University of Denver
    Denver CO

  • 8.  RE: Stipend for interns

    Posted Jul 27, 2022 10:43
    Since we're on the subject of stipends, please take a few minutes to take this survey. We're trying to assess the status of field-related funding for BSW and MSSW interns and will share the results at APM this November. 

    Thank you,

    Please take a few minutes to complete this survey related to field-related funding. You do not have to know all the answers. Not having the answers can be very informative. We all know this is an important issue for Texas and all schools of social work.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

    The purpose of this survey is to gain a better understanding about field-related funding in social work programs and schools.

    We have identified five sources of academic institutional student funding not including loans.

    Questions on this survey are specific to 3) field-related funding:

    1) Student employment, e.g., teaching/graduate assistant, work-study positions

    2) Academic scholarships, i.e., supported by endowments but not specific to internship placement or responsibilities

    3) Field-related

    1. Work-based placements, i.e., students are paid as employees, not as student interns
    2. Agency funding, i.e., stipends paid by the internship agency to the interns
    3. Program/School funding, i.e., endowment or grant-related funding tied to internship expectations

    Clinical Professor | Assistant Dean for Field Education | Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    The University of Texas at Austin | Steve Hicks School of Social Work |
    1925 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78712