Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement Award Guidelines

The Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes an individual or group that has had a significant impact on national health and/or mental health public policy, professional standards, or exemplary program models. The contribution may be in the development, interpretation, implementation, institutionalization, or expansion of health or mental health policy or legislation. Such achievement should be reflected in positive improvements in the social work profession and in the services provided to clients (individuals, families, communities, or institutions). This award includes but is not limited to social workers.

Nominations will be accepted September 20 - October 25, 2017.

Application Requirements

Summarize the nominee's accomplishments by using the criteria listed below.

The following must be submitted online:

  • Completed nomination form.
  • Describe specifics of nominee's achievement as it relates to the field of health/mental health policy. What is the intended extent of the policy? What is its national impact?
  • What are the professional or programmatic attributes which uniquely characterize the nominee?
  • How has the policy innovation or refinement improved the delivery of health/mental health services and what has been the impact on individuals, families, groups, and/or communities?
  • How has this been evidenced in legislation, regulations, research, teaching, administration, clinical standards, or public health/community mental health programs?
  • 3 additional endorsements with support letters.
  • Curriculum Vitae (preferred) or list significant special recognition, awards, or honors which the nominee has received for this or other policy achievement.
  • 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 Deadline 

Online Recognition Award nominations are accepted biennially.  Nominations  will be accepted October 6 through November 18, 2021 for the 2022 NASW and NASW Foundation Recognition Awards.


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