The School of Social Work has established standards for selecting field sites. The ability of the school to provide sound, educationally-focused field experiences relies heavily on a partnership with the community and their vested interest in the training of students. The goal is to utilize field sites which agree not to discriminate based on the diversity dimensions (ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender [including gender identity and gender expression], marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation). While the field site may gain some benefit from having a student, the primary motivation for hosting students should be to teach and mentor the next generation of social workers.
As required by federal and state law and by University of Michigan policy, field education sites, as a whole, must be accessible to students with disabilities. The "as a whole" requirement means that students with disabilities should have the same kinds of educational opportunities — including field education in particular kinds of settings — as students without disabilities. However, given the wide range of disabilities, it is possible that not every placement site will have the capability to accommodate every student. It may not be feasible, for example, for a site to accommodate students who use wheelchairs because of the site's location and existing architecture, but this same site could easily accommodate students with visual or hearing impairments. Every effort is made by the Office of Field Education to ensure equal access to field opportunities. If you have a disability that you are concerned will affect your file placement, please let your OFE field faculty now and we will work with you to find a field placement that matches your needs.
The selection of field sites is largely dependent on the field site's ability to accommodate the broad demands of a multifaceted curriculum, the range of target populations and experiences which it can offer, and its commitment to the training of social work practitioners.