Field Instructor Resources

Notice regarding COVID-19 concerns to Field Agencies/Field Faculty and students

FIrst, I want to thank everyone for their patience during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Thursday afternoon, President Ferrini-Mundy spoke to that University Community outlining the University’s response to Governor MIlls and Dr. Shah’s  (Maine Center for Disease Control) health advisory to stem the spread of COVID-19.  Earlier, the University System Chancellor  Dannel Malloy provided this statement: ( For updates on the University System COVID-19 and operational policies use this link)


“The University of Maine System will transition all of its in class academic programming to distance modalities when classes resume March 23 following spring break.  The universities will also be notifying on-campus residential students to make plans to depart campus by Sunday, March 22, with personal and educational belongings necessary to complete their semester requirements remotely.  

The universities will provide housing and meal options to students who must remain in or return to their on-campus residence due to extenuating personal circumstances.  

The prospect of university students traveling domestically and internationally over spring break in the face of the World Health Organization’s pandemic declaration for COVID-19 prompted Chancellor Dannel Malloy to direct the transition to remote instruction and take steps to significantly limit occupancy in the university’s residence halls.  The academic and operational changes are being made to limit exposure to the coronavirus and limit travel back to Maine following spring break.”

In the spirit of all of the above, and in consultation with Field Agencies in our communities, Field Departments across the country with special attention to the other Social Work programs within the University of Maine System  the following policy will be in effect starting March 12th and will continue until further conditions and updates put an additional policy in place.

For students whose home situation has not been disrupted by recent University policies

  • All BSW seniors and MSW students are being asked to remain in their field placements as long as conditions in Maine remain safe and their agency remains open. 
  • We ask that the agency evaluate the student’s safety and assign learning activities which will minimize the student’s potential exposure to situations where they may contract/spread the virus.
  • We suggest that students are asked to report any out of state or out of country travel and that the agency assess the student’s potential risk to the agency and to the clients by using the CDC travel guidelines.
For students who can not return to campus
  • If a student resides in a now closed dorm, and has returned to their home residence which is an unreasonable commuting distance from the Orono/Bangor area, that student should contact their Field Agency to arrange to work remotely, even if they are now out of state. 
  • We are asking agencies to understand the situation of student who cannot return to the University  and we ask that they allow the student to participate in either the suggested activities attached or contact the student’s faculty liaison (or me) to work out alternative activities so the students can complete the balance of their hours. 
For students whose agency has requested that they not return to the agency due to potential exposure to COVID-19 or other illness symptoms.
  • We ask that the agency provide alternative activities for the student to work from home or in a location where they are able to maintain safe social-distancing.
For students who fall into the high risk category determined by the CDC and are feeling uncomfortable being in a situation which would potentially put them at risk.
  • We ask that the agency provide alternative activities for the student to work from home or in a location where they are able to maintain safe social-distancing.
The School of Social Work appreciates your individual assessment of each student’s situation and hopes that there is minimal disruption to their education and to the functioning of the agency. We also recognize that these requests to provide alternative assignments when the student can not be physically present in the agency may increase the amount of time necessary in supervision.
As we move through this strange time we hope that each and everyone of us stays safe and works to keep each other and our communities safe. This message is for today. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. We are staying in touch with the University administration and other schools of social work and will let you know as situations change. 
Please email either or me (contact below) with questions, comments and suggestions.
Nancy A. Kelly, MSW, ACSW

Field Director, School of Social Work 

University of Maine 
Orono Maine 04469-5770
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

UMS COVID 19 Policy Update_FINAL 3.12.2020

field standards during coronavirus (1)

COVID-19 Directives SHARE 3.9.20

Field Instructor Resources

The following resources will be helpful in supporting your work as a University of Maine School of Social Work Field Instructor.

Field Forms and Policies.

Instructions for Completing Student Progress Evaluation Forms

The Student Progress Evaluation Form Instructions  provides details on using the TK-20 system to enter information in your Student Progress Evaluation Form.  All Field Staff – Field Instructors, Site Supervisors, and BSW/MSW External Consultants – will complete the Student Progress Evaluation Form. 

Materials from the New Field Instructor Orientation:

The University of Maine Field Instructor Orientation (PDF) provides the slides for the PowerPoint presentation given at the New Field Instructor Orientation. Several articles are also provided at the orientation:

Developmental Stages in Field (PDF) describes the developmental stages of field education from the student’s perspective. Orientation Plan for Students (PDF) is a checklist for field instructors to consider in orienting students to their agencies.

NASW Code of Ethics – Revised 2017 

Further readings – From Royse, Dhooper, and Romph (2003) Field Instruction: A guide for Social Work Students, Allyn & Bacon: Getting Started (PDF), Partnership with Agencies (PDF), Field Instruction and the Social Work Curriculum (PDF). From: Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger (2011). The Practicum Companion for Social Work: Integrating Class and Field Work, 3rd Edition, Allyn & Bacon: Safety in Social Work Settings (PDF)

Other articles related to field education:

Emotional Reactions of Students in Field Education (PDF)

Maintaining Physical and Emotional Safety: A Primer for Social Workers (PDF)

Field Education Bibliography (PDF)

Online resources are also available:

Becoming a Successful Field Instructor

Essential Ethics Education in Social Work Field Instruction: A blueprint for Field Educators:
Ethics Education for Field Instructors

Conducting Macro-Level Work in a Micro-focused Profession

Student Mental Health and Field Education: Responsibilities and Challenges of Field Education:
Student Mental Health