The Office of Field Education has developed a plan to address temporary disruption to students’ social work field placements due to national or local events such as communicable diseases, natural/manmade disasters, and/or crises (i.e. civil unrest, government shutdown).

If students are advised by the University, their agency, supervisor, and/or government not to attend their field placement, or if safety concerns warrant a temporary disruption in field placement, students should immediately consult with BOTH their NCSSS Field Liaison/Seminar Instructor and their Field Instructor (and Task Supervisor if applicable).  The Office of Field Education will work closely with Field Liaisons, students and agencies to ensure students are given the opportunity to complete field education requirements.

In efforts to fulfill the intern’s hour requirements and educational competencies during temporary field placement stoppages, we are providing potential alternative field learning activities that can be completed off site. Decisions made regarding alternate field activities will be made by the Field Instructor, the Field Liaison and the student.  Once an approved alternative plan has been determined, students are responsible for electronically sharing the document/plan with their NCSSS Field Liaison. The Office of Field Education will review and grant approval of these activities.  This information will be placed in the student’s file.

The Office of Field Education will work individually with students who are behind in their hours and need additional time to complete the Field Education requirements.  

This policy is meant to address short term field placement disruptions, with a maximum of 30 days.  If the field placement stoppage continues beyond a 30-day period, a review will be conducted by the Office of Field Education to determine the most appropriate response to support students in completing their field placement requirements. 

All potential Alternative Remote Learning Activities and Online Training information is located in the Google Folder and will be updated accordingly.  

The Office of Field Education


 Opportunities to Virtual Volunteering 

Opportunities for Virtual Conferences

  • 7th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference
  • Reenvisioning Our World: Seeing What Works, Broadening our View, Seeking Innovative Alternatives Millersville University of Pennsylvania • School of Social Work 
  • April 15-17, 2020 

LIVE Free Webinars 

NCSSS Panel Presentation: Clinical Social Work in the Time of a Global Pandemic (contact us to receive a copy of the recording)

 Social Work and COVID-19 Related Articles

April 1, 2020

Dear Students, 

We hope that you continue to be safe and well. 

The reduction in field hours listed in the March 23rd communication applies to students in placement during the time frame of August 2019-December 2020.  See the guidelines below as they apply all students in placement during this time frame. Spring and Summer start students are able and encouraged to incorporate remote learning activities in their placements.  Students should work with their Field Instructor in developing a plan.  

March 23, 2020

Dear Students,

We hope this message finds you well and safe.

On March 23, 2020, we sent all students an update regarding the reduction in field education hours.  

In light of the Field Education disruption caused by COVID-19, NCSSS has made the following adjustments to Field Education requirements for our students:

  1. BSW Juniors will not continue in Field Education this year.
  2. BSW Seniors will stop Field Education once they have completed 400 hours for the year.
  3. MSW Foundation year students will stop Field Education once they have completed 400 hours in Field Education
  4. Advanced Year students have the option of stopping Field Education once they have completed 500 hours of Field Education work. All students must remain in Field Seminar for the full semester.

Students who are still in placement for this semester (spring) are strongly encouraged to work with your placement agency to complete remote activities only. 

 March 17, 2020

Dear Students, 

We are hoping this message finds each of you well and safe! You may refer to this website for updates regarding Field Education during this situation.  This webpage will be updated as new information becomes available. 

As of today, a shared google folder titled Disruption of Field Placement (including the full information sent Friday, March 13, 2020) with additional remote activities, online trainings, and tools has been created for all students.  This folder will be updated as new information becomes available. 

We stand with you and are here to help during this time!

The Office of Field Education

March 13, 2020

CSWE website states:
Field agencies may work with students to allow/support telework. For example, can students do client case/paperwork on a secure server, call into meetings, work on projects from home, engage in professional development activities, and meet virtually with their field instructor? Of course, these ideas may not replace all field hours that may be missed due to a crisis, yet perhaps can serve to close the gap. Such telework solutions can be temporary while the program convenes to develop longer term solutions.
Components of student field education can be temporarily facilitated via technology. Some programs have had students work on crisis response policies, procedures, notifications, and education (e.g., handouts, PowerPoints, webinars, PSAs, etc.) based on the crisis or natural/manmade disaster. Find additional detailed information here. (CSWE, 2020) 

Potential Alternate Learning Activities  

Field Instructors and Task Supervisors with the involvement of the Field Liaison should assign students off-site alternative field learning activities that the student may complete in the event of a temporary field disruption.  Examples of alternative field learning activities are listed below. 

  • Seminar Class (applies to on-campus): Classes may be conducted in an asynchronous and/or synchronous (during your scheduled class time) format with the use of Blackboard and other video conferencing platforms if necessary. Students will receive information if this change is scheduled to enter into effect.    
  • Supervision:  Weekly supervision can occur over the phone and/or through other virtual teleconferencing applications.  Some teleconferencing applications are: Zoom offers free 45 min video conferencing, Google offers free video conferencing--your CUA email is a Google email, Free Conference Call offers video and phone conferencing, etc.
  • Meetings with individuals, families, and groups utilizing teleconferencing applications that can be accessed via computer, tablet, and/or telephone; provided teleconferencing applications meet any agency requirements regarding HIPPA and/or confidentiality.
  • Trainings for Agency:  develop trainings that will benefit the agency (ex- self-care, ethics, etc.)
    Groups/Workshops for Clients: develop curriculum for future implementation with clients (ex- life skills, grief, trauma, domestic violence, etc.)
  • Written Materials for Clients or Community:  develop handouts/flyers/brochures (ex- explain voting rights, informed consent policies, resources regarding the current crisis, etc.)
  • Public Health Issue: students may engage in potential activities such as educating the public about staying healthy, contact clients to inform of service delivery changes, craft awareness via the agency’s social media platforms, create a list of community resources, etc.
  • Organizational Policy Review: review agency policies with suggestions/recommendations where appropriate (ex- safety policies, diversity policies, use of social media, utilization of technology, etc.)
  • Legislative Policy Review: review relevant laws and policies impacting the population students work with (ex- Child Welfare Act, Immigration, Emergency Mental Health Holds, Homeless Camping Ban, etc.) and provide a synopsis of key takeaways or prepare advocacy materials (letter to editor, develop key talking points, etc.) 
  • Literature Review: conduct a literature review on a specific topic relevant to field placement (ex- effectiveness of an intervention, how interruption of services impacts mental health or economic stability, etc.)
  • Grants: research potential grant opportunities and/or prepare aspects of the grant writing.
  • Community Networking/Resource Development: teleconference with various service providers, participating in resource mapping, and develop a list of resources for clients with services offered, referral process, etc.
  • Complete online trainings:  complete assigned trainings and provide a certification of completion and/or a short written reflection and/or prepare a presentation to disseminate knowledge gained.  Discuss potential options with your field agency. 

Please see the google folder (Disruption of Field Placement) for the full list of additional remote learning activities, online trainings, and forms.  This folder will be updated as new information becomes available. 

Additional Resources