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Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The spread of COVID-19 around the country and globe continues to present significant challenges for social work education. Each social work student, teacher, and program is unique, and so have been their responses to this pandemic.

CSWE offers the following resources and guidance for programs and students to help address these challenges and highlight modifications and innovations implemented by programs that may be helpful to others. This page also serves as a resource for accreditation information, especially as it relates to field, and for event updates for social work education. The page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Join the conversations at CSWE's Spark community to talk with other educators, students, and affiliated professionals about COVID-19 response and a host of other social work topics.


Tools for individual and program members to use in the classroom or otherwise to demonstrate the value of social work education and our response to our communities during the pandemic. 

Members Modifying Field Placements 

Updated March 23, 2020

To assist CSWE members in better understanding the quickly changing landscape they and their students are operating in, CSWE conducted two brief "pulse" surveys, one of deans and program directors and another of field directors. The resulting data provide member programs with new ideas for modifying field placements, including potential alternative activities, ways to incorporate the COVID-19 pandemic into coursework, and general information on how institutions and programs are currently modifying their operations. Find those examples at this link.

Curricular Resources Mapped to CSWE Competencies

Updated April 23, 2020

Recently shared on CSWE Spark by Dr. Laura Nissen, this curated list of curriclar topics and resources will be steadily updated with added material to help social work students and faculty stay informed and inspired during these challenging and uncertain times when it may be difficult to focus on education. Topics include teaching and learning to practice on digital platforms, areas of specialized practice, and much more.  

Indiana University Presents Teleheath Basics for Social Workers

Updated April 29, 2020

Indiana University School of Social Work presents a free introductory course called "Telebehavioral Practice Basics for Social Work Educators and Clinicians Responding to COVID-19." It is available online and provides strategies for engaging with clients virutally. 


Information and guidance on maintaining or earning accreditation during the coronavirus pandemic. 


Webinar: Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice

Updated April 8, 2020

This webinar on Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice will be rescheduled for September 2020. Find scheduling updates on the Education Resources page and in CSWE's monthly Compass e-mail newsletter. 

2020 Spring IPEC Institute & Summer Program 

Updated March 20, 2020 

The May 19‒21, 2020, IPEC Faculty Development Institute in Washington, DC, and the June 16‒18, 2020, Interprofessional Leadership Development Program in Atlanta, GA, have been postponed until later this year. Read the full announcement here.

Fulfilling Field Hours 

Updated March 19, 2020

The question most frequently asked of the CSWE accreditation team is: How does my program remain aligned with CSWE requirements when students are unable to practice on-site in their field settings due to a crisis? Four accreditation standards in the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) guide this response, though programs should decide how best to meet field education requirements in a manner that is appropriate for their students, their community, and their unique challenges.

  • Current CSWE Commission on Accreditation interpretation of Accreditation Standard 2.2.4 allows “in-person” contact to be accomplished through digital technologies.
  • The required minimum of 400 hours of field education for baccalaureate programs and the minimum of 900 hours for master’s programs in Accreditation Standard 2.2.5 cannot be waived, because these minimums are related to licensing requirements in many states.
  • Accreditation Standard 2.2.7 requires that programs have policies, procedures, and criteria in place for supporting student safety in field placements.
  • When a credentialed field instructor in unavailable or unable to continue student supervision due to the field placement site closing, the program assumes responsibility for reinforcing a social work perspective directly with the student, per Accreditation Standard B/M 2.2.9. For example, field seminar instructors may add additional supervision time to the end of the seminar class for students who do not have access to the credentialed field instructor.

Visit CSWE's accreditation page for full details.

Supporting Student Safety in Field Placements 

Updated March 10, 2020 

The Accreditation Standard 2.2.7 in the CSWE 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards requires that programs have policies and criteria in place for supporting student safety in field placements. Programs should decide how best to meet that requirement in a manner that is appropriate for their students, their community, and their unique challenges. Programs are encouraged to work with their host institutions to provide a consistent approach for students across all programs in an institution. Legal counsel, health-care providers, or other educational programs, such as schools of nursing or education, may provide input on consistent safety policies. 
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of social work programs in conjunction with their host institutions to make decisions about and accommodations for risk management and the educational experience of students, including field placements. CSWE accreditation specialists are available to talk with programs who have concerns about meeting field education requirements and other accreditation standards. 

Site Visits 

Updated March 12, 2020

Option of Voluntary Virtual Site Visits Extended Through April due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The CSWE Department of Accreditation and the Executive Committee of the Commission on Accreditation have extended through April the option for site visitors to employ a virtual site visit protocol to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been classified by the World Health Organization (2020) as a pandemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) recommends that business travelers

  • use videoconferencing for meetings when possible,
  • consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings, and
  • assess the risks of business travel. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Keeping the workplace safe.

World Health Organization. (2020). WHO director-general’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 -11 March 2020