The GSSWSR Field Education Office was selected in a national competition as an awardee of the CSWE Policy Practice in Field Education Initiative grant, effective August 2016. The initiative is intended to seed innovation and develop new models for an integrated approach to heighten the policy skill set of social work students, regardless of specialization. In addition to improving student knowledge and application of policy-related skills, the project also aims to deepen their ability to understand and analyze the intersections of race, ethnicity, and poverty within a policy context. Lead authors on the grant include Nancy Morrow and Beth Lewis (Field Education), and Janet Shapiro (faculty).
The GSSWSR will utilize this funding opportunity to focus initial efforts on settings employing the model of "integrated care" - a burgeoning area of practice bringing together physical and mental health care. Adds Janet Shapiro, Professor of Social Work at the GSSWSR: "An important thematic focus of the MSS curriculum is on health and mental health across the lifespan, and this grant provides an opportunity to deepen students' understanding of the policy context in this important area of work."
The CSWE Policy Practice in Field Education Initiative grant, reflects the "interests of our students, faculty, and field agency partners in policy practice,” said Beth Lewis, Director of Field Education. "Students frequently inquire about opportunities in field placement to address the policies that impact their clients, whether at the organizational or wider community/legislative level, and Field Instructors express interest in providing opportunities for students to gain skills in addressing ‘big picture’ issues. This grant will enable us to work closely with field, faculty and students to explore best practices in enhancing opportunities for students to gain policy practice skills, applicable across a range of field settings.” Adds Nancy Morrow, Assistant Director of Field Education, “This initiative is a pilot that provides a framework which we hope to replicate and apply to other contemporary social policy and practice issues in future years.”
A series of forums addressing policy issues and policy practice in integrated care will be planned for the spring. Stay tuned for more information!