Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award Guidelines

The Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a professional social worker who, over the course of his/her career, has made an exemplary contribution to health/mental health practice. Professional social work practice includes direct or clinical social work, social work education, research, consultation, planning and administration in medical, psychiatric, community mental health, or public health settings. Health/mental health practice includes direct influence on health/mental health problems, issues, populations, or settings. Lifetime career means a person who has spent at least twenty-five (25) years in the field whether currently active or retired.

Application Requirements

Summarize the nominee's accomplishments by using the criteria listed below. Nominees should have 25 years of experience in the social work profession.

The following must be submitted online:

  • Completed nomination form.
  • Describe specifics of nominee's lifetime achievement as it relates to the field of health/mental health.
  • What are the personal and professional attributes that uniquely characterize the social work career to the nominee?
  • How has the nominee's work improved the delivery of health/mental health services and their impact on individuals, families, groups, and/or communities?
  • How has this been evidenced in leadership, policy development, consultation, research, teaching, administration, clinical practice, or public health/community mental health programs?
  • 3 additional endorsements with support letters.
  • Curriculum vitae (preferred) or list nominee's awards, honors, or other special recognition.
  • Additional information or comments.

Nominations are considered for two consecutive years. NASW national staff, current members of the NASW Board of Directors, and members of the Award Committee are ineligible.

Please send questions to

Nomination Application

Recognition Award nominations are accepted biennially.


Please contact us at or 202-336-8270.

To learn more about the NASW Foundation Awards, please visit the Foundation's website

2020 Distinguished Awardees