WASHINGTON, D.C. – The New York Community Trust
(NYCT), one of the nation’s largest community foundations, has renewed a grant with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Foundation and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to continue the Social Work Healthcare Education and Leadership Scholars (HEALS) program initiative for another two years.
The aim of the $2.5-million
project is to educate and train social workers to bolster the nation’s
healthcare delivery system. The decision to renew the grant will allow the
program to run its full five years.
“Social Work HEALS gives social
workers a comprehensive experience in health care by connecting practice,
research, and policy,” said CSWE President and CEO Darla Spence Coffey. “This
approach — with a focus on both practice and policy — is essential to ensuring
quality care for underserved populations. We are grateful for the NYCT’s
continued support of this program that will prepare social workers to
collaborate interprofessionally and improve health-care systems and policies.”
workers play a vital role in the nation’s healthcare system, helping thousands
of people each day get the best possible care and successfully reintegrate back
into their daily lives after experiencing illness,” said Angelo McClain, PhD,
LICSW, NASW’s CEO and NASW Foundation President. “Other social workers
work to help shape this nation’s healthcare policies to ensure everyone has
access to good health care.”
“NASW is excited that the New
York Community Trust has renewed the grant with NASW and CSWE and the funds
will be used to ensure social workers continue to work with doctors, nurses and
other health care professions to improve healthcare delivery.”
The HEALS initiative allows
the NASW Foundation, CSWE and 10 partner schools to provide educational support
and enhancements and leadership opportunities so more social workers are ready
to become a key part in the U.S. healthcare delivery system and provide better
services to clients.
To date, 160 scholarships and
fellowships have been awarded through the HEALS grant to support education and
training of healthcare social workers at the bachelors, master’s degree,
doctoral and postdoctoral levels. This support helps to ensure healthcare
practice excellence and expand social work research and policy on the
improvement of the delivery of health care services.
As part of the program, HEALS Scholars take part in a Student
Summit each year in Washington, D.C. to learn about and take part in the
policy-making process. At the March 2018 Student Summit, 48 HEALS
bachelor’s degree and master's degree scholars heard personal stories from
social workers in healthcare, the former HEALS Policy Fellow, and social
workers who work on Capitol Hill about the important role of social work in
shaping and implementing health policy.
The two-day Summit concluded on Capitol Hill where students met
with their representatives to discuss (H.R. 129) The Improving Access to Mental
Health Act and (H.R. 1484) the Social Worker Safety Act and Public Service Loan
The grant also provides
training and networking opportunities to the HEALS Scholars’ field instructors
and supports the 10 partner schools to hold policy events focused on the
intersection of health care and social work across the country.
Funds for Social
Works HEALS are derived from The New York Community Trust’s Robert and Ellen
Popper and Lois and Samuel Silberman funds. These two couples created
permanent funds in The Trust to make the field of social work more effective by
using scholarships and training.
Founded in 1952, the Council on Social Work
Education (CSWE) is the national association for social work education
in the United States. Its members include more than 750 accredited
baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs, as well as individual
social work educators, practitioners, and agencies dedicated to advancing
quality social work education. Through its many initiatives, activities, and
centers, CSWE supports quality social work education and provides opportunities
for leadership and professional development, so that social workers play a
central role in achieving the profession’s goals of social and economic
justice. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for
Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work
education in the United States and its territories. Learn more at www.cswe.org.