Our faculty and staff extend a warm welcome to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, Ally (LGBTQIA) students. We are committed to providing and maintaining a "Safe Zone" for LGBTQIA students where social work values are modeled. We believe in providing students an open space for dialogue, and support so you will be successful in your field placement.
Social work graduate students want a field placement that will provide them with a good educational experience. They have the right to a safe and comfortable field environment. Transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, questioning, intersex and ally (TBLGQIA) people may withhold personal information about their lives because they fear discrimination, rejection, or isolation. They also may decide to be “out” in all areas of their lives. This “Management of Disclosure” is a personal decision made by each individual student based on age or stage of life, length of time they have been aware of their sexuality, level of TBLGQIA community connections, along with the intersection of class, race, and abilities.
The University of Michigan School of Social Work (U-M SSW) Office of Field Instruction, faculty and staff are committed to providing and nurturing a “safe zone” for our students. U-M SSW has a nondiscrimination policy, which includes a commitment to inclusivity. We ask all fieldwork sites and field instructors to sign an Affirmation Agreement with U-M SSW that states they will “support the assignment of students without discrimination.”
UM-SSW Field Faculty along with the Director of Field Instruction, want to hear from all students who may have questions or concerns:
Talk to an OFI Field Faculty about your fieldwork site. Does it have:
U-M SSW students from the Out in Field community share some of their experiences:
“I was uncertain how I would be accepted by my clients because I am a gay, multi-ethnic male. Out in Field helped me understand I have to do what feels appropriate for me. Since I am “out” at field, it has fostered discussions about the TBLGQIA community and has allowed me to be a resource for TBLGQIA clients.” – John McDowell, MSW, 2014
“My sexual orientation is part of me that I am now allowing myself to get to know and is, at this point, my lightly guarded secret. Being able to introduce my queer identity—and my whole self—at my discretion, has been strengthening. I couldn’t imagine having taken the steps I have without the guidance found through Out in Field.” – MSW, 2014