Agencies and Community Partnerships

Information about Becoming a Field Learning Site

The Silver School welcomes agencies to apply for consideration as field learning sites. In order to qualify as a placement site, agencies must have a social work student program with standards and philosophy acceptable to the School, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the professional community. Agencies must be committed to training social work students and willing to meet School requirements outlined in:

Agencies must also complete the following forms:

The Field Instructor

Field instructors play an essential role in the education and professional development of our students. Field instructors review and comment on students' process recordings, complete evaluations, meet with students' faculty advisors on their site visits, and provide crucial guidance on social work practice.

In order to be a field instructor for students in the bachelor’s or master’s program, a social worker must meet the following criteria:

  1. Graduate from an accredited MSW program;
  2. Have at least three years post-graduate professional experience as a social worker in an agency;
  3. Obtain appropriate licensure for the scope of social work practice for which you will provide field instruction (LMSW or LCSW*); and
  4. Completed or enrolled in a Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI).

*Please refer to the NYS Office of the Professions for definition of the scope of practice for LMSW and LCSW.

Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI)

The Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) provides training for new field instructors and enables them to effectively meet the educational responsibilities of this new role. Lectures, presentations, and role plays are utilized to train SIFI participants the skills necessary for teaching field-based social work practice.

SIFI educates social workers on adult learning styles and provides them with methods and techniques that are essential in teaching the skills required for competency in the field. The Silver School of Social Work offers the SIFI course series in the fall and spring.  

SIFI participants must attend all 13 sessions, submit required course assignments, and actively participate in the class. SIFI certified social workers will be credentialed to provide field instruction to students from any school of social work.

SIFI participants will qualify to receive 26 Continuing Education hours for the SIFI, attendance at all 13 seminar sessions is mandatory.