Chapter 5

Placing Students

Riva Zeff, Lynn Kaersvang, and Miriam RaskinChapter 5 authors address Placing Students including program policies on student admission to field and various models that programs utilize for placing students in practice settings. Student orientation, change of placement, and employment-based field placements will also be discussed.

Chapter 5 authors Riva Zeff, Lynn Kaersvang, and Miriam Raskin address program policies on student admission to field, the placement process, and factors in decision making when placing students. The authors describe orientation,applications, and interviews as common practices that underpin an array of placement models. The authors recognize that field directors lack empirically tested processes and procedures for this time-consuming task. They discuss inherent challenges of placement disruptions and working with students who are experiencing academic difficulties. Finally, the authors argue that programs require criminal background checks, and argue that these need to become part of the next accreditation standards.



LYNN KAERSVANG, MSW, is a professor of social work at Metropolitan State University of Denver where she directed the field education program for 18 years.  Professor Kaersvang has served as a member of the Council on Field Education of the Council on Social Work Education and the Baccalaureate Program Directors Field Committee. She has written or co-authored training manuals on case management in child abuse, joint child abuse investigations by law enforcement and child protection, and interagency work with youth.  She has trained professionals in Colorado and nationally on supervision and management issues in social services and child abuse investigations.  Her current teaching and research focus include field education, ethics, practice, women's issues, and supervision.

RIVA ZEFF, MSW, is the field director since 2006 in the undergraduate social work program at Seattle University.  She was both a field liaison for three years and a field instructor since the 1980’s. She has co-authored and presented on field instructor orientation, academic writing, and assessing core competencies and learning.  She is a member of both Baccalaureate Program Directors Field Committee and the Council on Field Education of the Council on Social Work Education where she trains new field directors at the annual meetings.  Ms. Zeff coordinates the Northwest Field Director's Consortium.

MIRIAM RASKIN, EdD, MSW, ACSW,, is professor emerita and served on the faculty of George Mason University, Department of Social Work for more than thirty-five years. She served as the field director for seventeen years and as department chair for fourteen years. She is a founding member of the Baccalaureate Program Directors Field Committee and the Mid-Atlantic field consortium. She has chaired accreditation site teams for Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and published numerous articles on field education in top-tier refereed journals. She has edited a book on field education, Empirical Studies in Field Instruction, and presented at major state, national, and international conferences. She also serves as a manuscript reviewer for three social work journals. She was selected as CSWE’s first senior scholar, where she researched the entire archives of CSWE in order to trace the development and rationale for field standards from the beginning of CSWE (1950) until the EPAS of 2001. The editorial board of the Journal on Social Work Education recognized her and her coauthors as having written the best conceptual article in 2010. In 2012 she received the Habit of Excellence Award from the College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University.




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.