The COVID-19 pandemic evolves daily. We are working continuously to keep our policies and protocols up to date with the rapidly changing environment: public health guidance, CSWE requirements, and leadership from the UMBC President, USM Chancellor, and Maryland’s Governor. While we are committed to our ethical responsibility to the clients we serve in our field placement settings, we must work to ensure the health of the clients and our students, and so we have tried to include some flexibility in our response as well.
Our email last week was intended to allow for some flexibility for students who wanted to remain in field and for those who could not remain in field for a number of reasons. However, as of March 23rd, UMBC has directed that all students in a field setting must switch to remote learning activities, starting today. We know this is very late notice and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Students, please be sure to do the following:
1. Contact your field instructor (if you have not already done so) to discuss ways in which you might continue to provide services to your clients remotely. The State of Maryland, like many other states during this public health emergency, has relaxed restrictions and embraced tele-health. There are options for using tele-behavioral health that may be useful to you and your placement: https://personcenteredtech.com/
2. If you are not able to provide remote services to your clients, discuss with your field instructor ways in which you can terminate with your clients as appropriately as possible.
3. Explore with your field instructor how and when you will have weekly supervision.
4. Be sure that your time sheets, prior to spring break, are accurately reflecting your field hours.
5. Please DO NOT enter hours prior to completing field activities. Prepare to participate in 16 hours per week (or more, if needed) each week from March 23rd through the week of April 20th.
6. Prepare a Remote Field Placement Plan using the Remote Competency Development form, uploaded in IPT, and the supplemental materials that include a number of remote activities consistent with the 9 CSWE core competencies. Please review email we sent on March 13th for a list of potential remote activities and online trainings. Contact your liaison if you need more guidance on remote activities.
7. Students should be sure that the activities on the Remote Field Placement Plan account for your time remaining in field. For example, if you select a webinar, include, on your timesheet, the time you spent participating in the webinar as well as the time you took to process and reflect on what you’ve learned. Be reasonable and ethical with the time you assign to tasks.
8. There might also be volunteer opportunities available in your communities. If you wish to pursue any of these, please discuss with your field instructor to determine the time commitment and evidence for them.
9. When you have completed a draft of your Remote Competency Development form, let your field instructor and liaison know so that they can review it. If field instructors have unique activities for students to complete that are relevant to placement, please include them.
10. Field instructors and liaisons must also approve your Remote Competency Development form; the student, field instructor, and liaison will sign once all activities are completed and the student reflection is complete. Students should complete their Remote Competency form with field instructor guidance and then let their liaisons know that the form is ready for review. If students need assistance with planning from their liaison, the student should email the liaison directly.
UMBC and our Department’s goal is for all seniors to complete their field hours and course work required for this semester. This will enable all graduating seniors to graduate on time.
Please let us know if you have any questions in these challenging times. And be confident in our partnership with you as we move forward together in this new reality. And finally, we hope all of you and your families remain safe and healthy.
Questions? Concerns? Please email Dr. Adrienne Ekas-Mueting at email@example.com.