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Section 3.02.02: Background Checks

The U-M SSW has had a long-standing commitment to assist individuals with criminal conviction histories so that they can pursue their MSW. We understand that some of you may have had contact with the legal system in your past and we value the lived experiences that you can bring to the MSW program and your field placement. The State of Michigan and other states have set forth exclusionary criteria for criminal conviction histories of both felonies and misdemeanors for professionals working in certain settings with specific populations. This includes workers in hospital settings, adult foster care, work involving children, and psychiatric settings. As a result, there are some field placements settings that may not be available based on an individual's criminal convictions history.

If you do have this type of history, we would encourage you to inform the Office of Field Education before you start interviewing for field placements so that we can find a field placement that works for you. Even if you’ve had something expunged from your record, sometimes background checks still show this history. Please let our office know so we can assist you in navigating your placement selections. Please know will we not share this information with field placements sites without your permission.

The following question appears on the field placement application:
Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony including alcohol or drug-related driving offenses? Driving convictions such as operating while intoxicated, operating in the presence of drugs, operating without a license, etc., are generally misdemeanors or felonies and should be included. Please provide a short explanation which includes the date(s) of occurrence, what happened, and the outcome.

The criminal history record check is a process whereby the student completes a set of forms that are sent to the State of Michigan and reviewed for previous criminal activities and convictions that would prevent the student from working with a specified group of people. Information obtained through a criminal history record check includes registered home address, driving status, aliases, criminal history (including drug possession arrests), and personal protection orders.

Students interested in field placements in public school settings and hospitals should be aware that they will be required to complete and pass a criminal background check. Other setting may require background checks as well. The fee for this service is the responsibility of the MSW student and is typically about $70.00, but fees may vary. MSW students should be prepared to provide 3 references during this process.

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