Field Instruction Initiative

Warning message

You are currently visiting the archived CalSWEC website. To return to the new CalSWEC website at any time, go to

Note to participating partner schools: To access the interactive Timeline Tool, scroll to the bottom of the page and allow several seconds for the tool to load for viewing. 

Recognizing that field instruction is a cornerstone of social work education, CalSWEC developed the Field Instruction Initiative (FII) in 2010 to strengthen this important learning arena for students in the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. The goal was to create structures that would support consistent, high-quality, sustainable field experiences for those social work students.  

Title IV-E Field Model 
Tools to Support Implementation
Implementation Timeline Tool
Title IV-E Summer Field Institute

Field Instruction Initiative Archive 

Title IV-E Field Model

CalSWEC engaged a variety of key stakeholders in an iterative feedback gathering process from fall 2012 through summer 2013 to develop a cohesive and integrated model for field education in the Title IV-E program

The resulting Title IV-E Field Model is premised on CalSWEC's mission as a partnership between schools of social work and the practice communities to advance the integration of education and practice to improve public service delivery to all Californians. In concert with this, a goal of the Title IV-E Stipend Program is to increase the numbers of professional social workers in public child welfare by providing support for students committed to service in public child welfare.

Theory of Change

The development of the new model was guided by the theory of change:

By increasing partnership activities between university and public child welfare agencies and by standardizing and enhancing IV-E field seminar, field instructor trainings, and instructional supports, we will better prepare Title IV-E students with increased knowledge and awareness of social work practice expectations within public child welfare agencies and therefore increase retention and the competency of Title IV-E graduates in public child welfare.

Major Components

For an overview of the field model, please watch the model overview video.

The Title IV-E Field Model has the following four components, each of which is explained in a tutorial video (click on the title)

  1. Mutual Partnership Activities;             
  2. Field Instructor Recruitment and Support;   
  3. Placement Selection and Process;                
  4. Field Curriculum

These components are guided by basic principles and understandings between the social work schools within the CalSWEC consortium and the county agencies with which they work.

Each component has functions and activities, described in the timeline tool below, and comes with an array of tools and resources to assist with the implementation.

View and download the complete list of tools.

Tools to Support Participants

A number of tools are now available to participants to support their work involving the new Title IV-E Field Model,

Title IV-E Field Model Implementation Timeline Tool

This provides an overview of each field model component and the general timeline of component activities sequenced according to the academic year. Participants can track each component separately or holistically. A tutorial outlines how to use the tool.

Click on any of the bars in the timeline below to read more about that component or activity of the Title IV-E Field Model and to access implementation tools and resources. You may also view the timeline tool in a separate tab

Training Videos

These user-friendly video tutorials describe the major components as well as an overview of the Title IV-E Field Model

Community of Practice

To support increased partnership activities and resource sharing, CalSWEC has created an online space for our field instruction partners to engage in dialogue about the Title IV-E Field Model and best practices in field education. 

Please visit the Title IV-E Field Model Discussion Forum to participate in and view the discussion.


During 2010–2013, the FII supported four innovative pilot projects that demonstrated promising positive outcomes in student learning in the Title IV-E Stipend Program

The pilots were at:

Read about the history of the FII and the four pilot projects.

In summer 2012, as part of the FII’s and the Title IV-E program’s continuous quality improvement process, leaders in the field identified the need for a more unified and consistent delivery of field instruction.

Consequently, CalSWEC began to explore and develop an enhanced and integrated model for field instruction intended to more effectively address the needs of university, agency, community, Indigenous, and student partners. The core components of the new model were developed in response to the needs and challenges identified by a variety of key stakeholders from those groups.  The inaugural Title IV-E Summer Field Institute in 2013 was dedicated to launching implementation of the Title IV-E Field Model.

With the first issue debuting in September 2013, Title IV-E Field Model Newsletters informed partners about activities related to the Title IV-E Field Model, including a summary of work and relevant resources.

  1. September 2013 newsletter 
  2. October 2013 newsletter
  3. November 2013 newsletter
  4. January 2014 newsletter

For more information

Carolyn Shin, Director, Title IV-E Stipend Program