NASW, NASW Foundation and CSWE award scholarships to help social workers improve health care delivery

May 15, 2015


A social worker visits a hospital patient.

A social worker visits a hospital patient.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) have awarded 10 universities with scholarships under the Social Work HEALS: Social Work Healthcare Education and Leadership Scholars program.

The scholarships, which are provided due to funding from The New York Community Trust, will be used to educate and train social workers to improve delivery of health care in the United States.

“Tens of thousands of social workers work in health care settings, improving the quality of care that patients receive,” NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, said. “NASW is honored to work with CSWE and The New York Community Trust to enhance the training of social workers so they can provide millions more Americans with access to quality health care, including older adults, children, and veterans.”

The schools that will take part in the scholarship program are:

  • Arizona State University
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Michigan State University
  • Saint Catherine and Saint Thomas School of Social Work
  • Southern University at New Orleans
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Texas at Austin

CSWE President and CEO, Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, MSW extends congratulations to the selected programs.  “While we know that many of our programs are focused on preparing students for practice in integrated health care, this grant provides an opportunity to develop a stronger presence and leadership in this area.  We expect that we will learn a lot from these programs that will bring great value to social work education.”

Social Work HEALS was developed and implemented by CSWE and NASW and aims to educate and train social workers from the BSW to post-doctoral levels to strengthen the delivery of health care services in the United States. This will be accomplished by creating a cohort of health care social work leaders at every professional level (including BSW, MSW, and PhD/DSW students and post-doctoral graduates) together with practice, research, and policy mentors and leaders. The New York Community Trust provided the generous funding for this project.

The 10 schools of social work that were selected will serve as the hub for scholarships to support education in the field of health care for baccalaureate and master’s social work students and field instructors.

Each school will select four students annually (two baccalaureate and two master’s) over a five-year period who will become Social Work HEALS Scholars. Each HEALS Scholar will commit to focused health care social work education, a health care-based field placement, and travel to a 1.5 day health care social work education and policy event in Washington, DC.

Selected students will receive $5,500, with $4,000 of that amount in scholarship funds and $1,500 of it in travel support to attend the policy and education event. Selected schools will form a consortium to share resources and lessons learned over the course of the five years.

Information from joint CSWE, NASW and NASW Foundation press release