Chapter 2

Role and Responsibilities of the Field Director

Janet Bradley and Page Walker BuckThe authors, present their original study and synthesize additional research that offer strategies for managing the competing demands and multiple roles that field directors juggle.

In chapter 2, Roles and Responsibilities of the Field Director, Janet Bradley and Page Walker Buck give the reader a clear, broad brush view of how the responsibilities of the field director are related to the EPAS 2015 introduced in the first chapter. They acknowledge that the expectations are at times overwhelming and demands are often competitive. This chapter will whet the reader’s appetite for more in-depth information about responsibilities related to policy development, selecting field settings, employment-based placements, the placement process, student evaluation, and gatekeeping. These and other critical job requirements are introduced but explored in more detail in other chapters.

The strong take-away message from chapter 2 will be evident after a semester on the job: the professional life of the field director has many positive aspects, yet barriers to a wrinkle-free academic year are likely to arise when the field director manages a myriad of stakeholders including field liaisons, field instructors, students (sometimes in large numbers), faculty who have field responsibilities and who are tenured and of a higher rank than the field director, field advisory committees, administrators, and legal counsel. The role of the field director often resembles that of a magician: handling changing student demographics (need for flexible time, days of the week, and distance from students’ homes) with the decreasing resources of human service organizations. Building strong relationships with community partners can reduce the impact of competing demands and provide satisfactory solutions.

see Authors...




Bradley,J. & Buck, P.(2015) Roles and Responsibilities of the Field Director. Retrieved from

Buck, P. W., Bradley, J., Robb, L., & Kirzner, R. S. (2012). Complex & competing demands in field education: A qualitative study of field directors’ experiences. Field Educator, 2(2).
Retrieved from

Council on Social Work Education. (2015). Findings from the 2015 State of Field Education Survey. Retrieved from

Council on Social Work Education. (2017) On Line Training for New Field Directors.




Note: Cover design and material from Social Work Field Directors: Foundations for Excellence
by C.A. Hunter, J. K. Moen, and M. S. Raskin (Eds.), (2014) Chicago: Lyceum.
Copyright 2014 by Lyceum Books, Inc. Reprinted with permission.