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COVID-19 Updates

Field Instructors

Follow this link for suggested offsite learning activities during field placement closings or disruptions.


Updates from Mark Lamar, Executive Director of Field Education

E-mail sent on March 11, 2020

Dear Field Education Colleagues: 

I am writing to follow up on yesterday’s message from the Rutgers University School of Social work. As you are aware, we are following Rutgers University’s public health approach of adopting social distancing in response to the COVID-19 epidemic and have suspended field education for our students through Friday, April 3. We again want to sincerely acknowledge the potentially disruptive impact of this decision on your agency services. Balancing public and community health concerns with agency service concerns is a complex undertaking, and we did not come to this decision lightly. 

In response to a number of queries regarding remote work, if remote work is available at your agency and your student is interested, please feel free to coordinate it with the student. However, we cannot require remote work at this time as it not available across field education sites. Please note that we will be integrating content concerning service disruption and its impact on agencies and clients into our practice curriculum when the students return from break and will allow for discussion of the impact on communities and clients. 

We know this is an unsettling and challenging time. We greatly appreciate your flexibility, patience, and, as always, deeply appreciate the important work you do for our students and community.  

Again, we are happy to answer any concerns, etc. Please reach out to the contacts below.

Nancy Schley, Associate Director, NB Field Office nschley@ssw.rutgers.edu
Trinay Thomas, Associate Director, Newark Field Office ttrinay@ssw.rutgers.edu
Bernardo Hiraldo, Associate Director, Camden Field Office hirable@ssw.rutgers.edu
Rachel Schwartz, Director, Online MSW Education, rhs31@ssw.rutgers.edu
Amy Stricker, Assistant Director, IW program astrickler@ssw.rutgers.edu

Best,

Mark Lamar
Executive Director of Field Education
Rutgers University School of Social Work 

Cathryn Potter
Dean and Distinguished Professor
Rutgers University School of Social Work 

 

E-mail sent on March 10, 2020

Dear Rutgers Field Instructors, Task Supervisors, and Field Liaisons, 

We are writing to inform you that this afternoon, President Barchi suspended all face to face to classes at Rutgers University from Thursday March 12 through Friday April 3 in response to COVID-19.For the School of Social Work, this includes field education practicum. Thus, students are not to attend field education from March 12 through April 3.

We recognize this may pose disruption to your agencies and the communities you serve.  However, we must comply with university directions at this time and prioritize public health. We currently anticipate students returning to field on Monday April 6, but will be in touch with you and your agencies in the interim given the rapidly changing landscape.   

Please note that all students will be informed shortly of this decision. It will not impact their field hours or their graduation status (hours will be waived for this period). During this period, you do not need provide alternative assignments.

As always, we greatly appreciate the work you do with our students and our communities. We will be in touch later this week with clarifying communications. For additional questions, please contact the appropriate field offices listed below. You can also direct students to these contacts.

Nancy Schley, Associate Director, NB Field Office nschley@ssw.rutgers.edu
Trinay Thomas, Associate Director, Newark Field Office trinay@ssw.rutgers.edu
Bernardo Hiraldo, Associate Director, Camden Field Officehiraldbe@ssw.rutgers.edu
Rachel Schwartz, Director, Online MSW Education,rhs31@ssw.rutgers.edu
Amy Strickler, Assistant Director, IW program astrickler@ssw.rutgers.edu
Mark Lamar, Executive Director of Field Education, Rutgers School of Social Work, mlamar@ssw.rutgers.edu

​My Best,

Mark Lamar

 

E-mail sent on March 5, 2020

Dear Rutgers Field Instructors, Task Supervisors, and Field Liaisons, 

We are writing to inform you about the Rutgers School of Social Work’s response to the coronavirus.

First, we want to express our concern for all the communities, families and individuals who have been impacted by the virus. We extend support to our social work colleagues who are on the front lines of this epidemic throughout the globe and want to share a story of their work with you entitled Chinese social workers fight against coronavirus. As per Rutgers Chancellor Molloy’s recent communication, we also want to remind everyone to practice the social work values of inclusion and respect as we face this public health challenge.

Another important communication from the university describes how to protect yourself and your community against the virus and also addresses recent university travel restrictions. We advise that you review these communications if you have not already done so. 

Please be assured that we are taking this situation very seriously and planning to manage any potential impact on the completion of our students’ classes and field education. Please read the below regarding how potential disruptions to field education will be managed. 

Field Education
We understand that our students’ field education may be disrupted if field agencies experience closures, schedule changes, or other service reductions/changes. If these occur, we are asking our students to follow your guidance and your lead as their field instructors.  We regard you as the appropriate best points of contact regarding field education disruptions. We realize that your organizations may need to respond and we will support and cooperate with the changes that you indicate are happening.

We are communicating all of this to our students at the same time that we are communicating with you. If students’ hours are not possible to earn at your organizations, due to disruptions, we are advising students that you may assign them alternative assignments (please see attached list) to make up for missed field hours. These may include (but not be limited to) agency projects: additional process recordings; journal reflections on social workers’ professional roles in other public health or public emergencies; literature reviews; online trainings, and other assignments that you may recommend.  

We are advising students that if they are unable to attend field due to a coronavirus related illness or self-isolation (i.e., quarantine), they need to inform you, their field instructors, so that, if possible, you may provide them with make-up assignments if appropriate. 

We are anticipating that our students will be able to complete their required field hours by the end of the semester through the use of make-up hours or alternative assignments if there is a coronavirus related disruption. 

We are also advising our students that if they have concerns about their field placement in relation to the coronavirus to which their field instructor is unable to fully respond, to contact the RU field office directly. Below are the most appropriate contacts for these queries. We invite you to also contact us at this address with any questions you may have.

Please notify the appropriate field education contact if a disruption to the students' placement is occurring for a COVID-19 related-reason.

Nancy Schley, Associate Director, NB Field Office nschley@ssw.rutgers.edu

Trinay Thomas, Associate Director, Newark Field Office ttrinay@ssw.rutgers.edu

Bernardo Hiraldo, Associate Director, Camden Field Office hiraldbe@ssw.rutgers.edu

Rachel Schwartz, Director, Online MSW Education rhs31@ssw.rutgers.edu

Amy Strickler, Assistant Director, IW program astrickler@ssw.rutgers.edu

Mark Lamar, Executive Director of Field Education, Rutgers School of Social Work mlamar@ssw.rutgers.edu

Yours sincerely,  

Mark Lamar 
Executive Director of Field Education
Rutgers School of Social Work

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