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CSWE Responding to Coronavirus


The spread of COVID-19 around the country and globe presents significant challenges for social workers, students, and educators. Each student, teacher, and program is unique, and so must be their response to this pandemic. Educators are encouraged to work with their institutions and community on appropriate contingency plans to continue to deliver quality education to social work students. To assist in that planning, CSWE offers the following guidance on a variety of accreditation and education-related topics.

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. 





Additionally, CSWE members can visit these organizations for updates on COVID-19.

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, identifying ways to incorporate the COVID-19 pandemic into coursework, and providing general information on how institutions and programs are currently modifying their operations. Find those examples at this link.

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. We regret this opportunity is not available at this time. Read the full announcement here

Fulfilling Field Hours

Updated March 19, 2020

The most frequently asked question of the CSWE accreditation team is: How does my program remain aligned with CSWE requirements when students are unable to practice onsite in their field settings due to a crisis? Four accreditation standards in the 2015 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 COA 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 since they 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.
  • For cases in which 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

Programs should decide how best to meet that requirement in a manner that is appropriate for their students, their community, and their unique challenges. 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 are encouraged to work with their host institutions to provide a consistent approach for students across all programs in an institution. Legal counsel, healthcare 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 and accommodations about 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.

Curricular Guide Workshop in Chicago Canceled

Updated March 12, 2020

CSWE and the Erikson Institute have decided to cancel the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) and Developmental Neuroscience Task Force meeting, April 3-4. We will plan to meet virtually with the work group chairs. If you have any questions about the meeting or next steps for your work group, please reach out to Jessica Holmes at

2020 Social Work HEALS Student Policy Summit in Washington, DC, Canceled

Updated March 4, 2020

The Social Work HEALS Student Policy Summit will not be held March 17–18 in Washington, DC. This event is held in partnership with the National Association of Social Workers Foundation. For more information, please contact Katherine Lord, CSWE program associate, at

2020 MFP Master’s Training in Washington, DC

Updated March 12, 2020

The MFP Master’s Training program "Looking Back, Looking Forward" scheduled for March 22–24 in Alexandria, VA, will not be held in-person. Staff are currently evaluating options to deliver the training content to the 44 fellows nationwide, who are committed to mental health and substance abuse practice with racial/ethnic minority populations. For more information, please contact Duy Nguyen, MFP director, at

Center for Global Leadership Practice Cancels Italy Trip

Updated March 4, 2020

CSWE, its Council on Global Learning and Practice (CLGP), and Milano Bicocca University have canceled a workshop that was to be held in Milan, Italy, from June 24‒26, 2020.

Site Visits

Updated March 12, 2020

Extending Option of Voluntary Virtual Site Visits Through April due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The CSWE Department of Accreditation and the Executive Committee of the Commission on Accreditation are extending through April the option for site visitors to employ a virtual site visit protocol to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has now been classified by the World Health Organization as a pandemic (WHO, 2020).[1] 
The U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)[2] 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.


[1]World Health Organization (WHO). (2020). WHO director-general’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 -11 March 2020.
[2]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Keeping the workplace safe.