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Section 3.10.02: Appropriateness to Begin Field Placement and Return To Field Placement: Policy and Procedures

The University of Michigan School of Social Work is fully committed to supporting and educating students as they progress through their education and prepare to enter the social work profession. Given the ethical responsibilities of professional social work practice to promote and protect the well-being of the clients and communities being served, problems arise when students struggle to meet minimum professional and technical standards and expectations that interfere with field and put clients and community well-being at risk.

If significant concerns are identified prior to starting field placement, the student will be reviewed for readiness for participation in field placement and an appropriate plan of action (including delaying the start of field) will be developed by the Student Success Team. If an agreeable resolution and plan cannot be established the matter will be referred to the associate dean for educational programs and the Academic Concerns Committee.

If a student experiences an unnatural break in field placement for any reason, they are required to complete a "Return to Field Placement Action Plan." Should the field instructor, student and
field faculty agree that the "break" was acceptable/approved, then an action plan does not need to be completed. The goal of the action plan is to ensure that the student is ready and able to fulfill the responsibilities and expectations associated with field education. This plan must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the posted start date of field education for the term.

The student’s action plan will be reviewed and approved by the assigned
field faculty member and must also have the approval of the assistant dean for field education. A Student Success Team meeting may also be scheduled at the recommendation of the field faculty. This review will evaluate the student's proposed action plan, and if requested, any restrictions and/or accommodations that will involve the fieldwork site. If the fieldwork site is unable to provide the requested accommodation, and an equally effective accommodation is not available, the student will need to work with the Office of Field Education to obtain another field placement. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the U-M Office of Services for Students with Disabilities if accommodations or restrictions are anticipated to be part of the student's action plan.

If a student has been under the care and/or supervision of a physician or other health care professional during the period of time he/she was unable to participate in field placement, a memo will be sent to the identified health care provider after the student has signed a release of information, requesting that the provider submit a healthcare release which indicates the student is ready and able to return to the field placement with or without accommodations.

If the release from the health care provider includes any restrictions or need for accommodations, then the statement must include the duration of the restrictions or need for accommodations, and the necessity for any follow up care that may impact the field placement. All documentation will be submitted to the Office of Field Education. If accommodations are indicated, then the information will be sent to the U-M Office of Services for Students with Disabilities for review. This office will advise OFE regarding the implementation of the requested accommodations.

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