The North American Network of Field Educators and Directors (NANFED), covering the United States and Canada, was founded in 1987 to promote the interests of field education within the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and its Annual Program Meeting (APM).  That year, over 200 field educators participated in the first major Field Work Symposium. The same numbers have continued to consistently take part annually in the Field Education Track up to the present.

History of NANFED 

NANFED Activities

Currently, the work of NANFED is to:

  • Support the development of Regional Field Consortia, and provide communication to and across consortia.
  • Sponsor the annual Heart of Social Work Award, the only national award honoring excellence in field instruction.
  • Sponsor the Dean Schneck Memorial Award for Distinction in Social Work Field Education, recognizing significant contributions by field educators.
  • Host the Heart of Social Work Award reception and NANFED Annual Business Meeting at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting (APM).
  • Ensuring the viability and visibility of the Field Education Track of the CSWE APM, fostering track leadership, abstract submission, and peer review participation by field consortia members and field educators.
  • Identify issues relevant to field education to be addressed by NANFED, the CSWE Council on Field Education, and at the CSWE APM.
  • Mentor new field directors.
  • Provide information and networking through the nanfed.com website.


NANFED’s advocacy on behalf of Field Education spurred CSWE to establish a Field Commission.  The CSWE structure adopted in 2003 includes a Council on Field Education (COFE) made up of 20 members appointed by the Chair of CSWE.

Regional Consortia

Regional Field Consortia promote cooperation and collaboration among schools and agencies to enhance the quality of field education, field placements and field instructor training. Encouraged in their development by NANFED, the number of consortia has more than doubled to some 22 regional field consortia representing 281 schools.


Field educators can join NANFED as individuals or through school or consortia sponsored membership.  Dues are tiered accordingly.

Membership Benefits

  • Access to networking opportunities through the NANFED website
  • Invitation to NANFED Business Meeting and Heart of Social Work Award reception at the CSWE APM
  • Advance notification of Field Education papers, presentations and events at the CSWE APM
  • Support of the Heart of Social Work Award, recognizing excellence in field instruction

Click here for more information on NANFED membership.