Voter Engagement and Awareness: Field Assignments
Dear Field Educators,
As we respond to the evolving global pandemic, we recognize the need for alternative field education opportunities that offer students in a range of agency settings a way to accrue additional field hours as well as develop skills in the required competencies.
Voting – access to, awareness of, and mobilization for – represents a timely issue nationally, incorporating themes of social and racial justice and advocacy. Many clients and communities remain among the least represented electorally/politically and will most likely face a wide range of unnecessary barriers as they try to exercise their right to vote, particularly during the pandemic.
The National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign (also known as “Voting is Social Work”) has developed a packet of assignments focused on voter mobilization/awareness. Featured are two assignments generously shared by their authors, Katharina Werner, Director of Field Education and Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Montana School of Social Work (“Voter Awareness & Engagement during a National Pandemic – A Field Education Activity”), and Tanya Rhodes Smith, MSW, Instructor in Residence and Director, Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work, University of Connecticut (“Integrating nonpartisan voter engagement into social services: Organizational assessment and step by step guide”).
These assignments highlight the role of social workers in providing accurate information and assuring that eligible clients and constituents can vote on election day. The options in this packet will allow students to accrue hours in their field placements or through other supervised settings such as assignments in a field seminar. Our aim is to support this activity and skill-building as an integral part of social work education; voter engagement is a year-round activity, and these assignments can be used every year.
For more information and an informal Q&A about using these assignments, please join us on September 17th, 2020 at 4:00 pm, Eastern Time. Look for a link to join us on our upcoming events on our homepage. This session will also be recorded and made available on the website.
The Field Work Group of the National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign
Patricia Digby, University of Mississippi
Beth Lewis, Bryn Mawr College
Kanako Okuda, George Mason University
Becki Sander, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
Katharina Werner, University of Montana
Field Assignment Tools
- Voter Awareness & Engagement during a National Pandemic – A Field Education Activity
- Integrating nonpartisan voter engagement into social services: Organizational assessment and step by step guide
- EPAS Competencies and voter engagement: Sample practice activities
- PowerPoint presentation: Voter engagement activities and assignments for students to use in field
- Refer to our “For Students” web page for more ideas and activities on ways they can be involved