Today, first and foremost, we are grieving. We are grieving the losses of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. We find ourselves confronted by these losses as we continue to struggle with our grief over the losses of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray, and countless other Black folks who have gone unnamed, whose stories have gone untold or been obscured from us. We are grieving the terrible violence that took these people from us and the terrible violence that continues to affect Black and Brown folks every day.
We see these acts of police brutality as firmly rooted in our country’s long historical legacy of racism, from settler colonialism, slavery, and segregation to mass incarceration, redlining, gentrification and racialized health disparity. At our supposedly neutral baseline, even as we make small movements to push the dial towards a more equitable future, this country’s history of violence towards people of color continues to haunt us all. To remain neutral in the face of injustice is taking the side of the oppressor; as social workers, we must not idly stand by and watch structural racism destroy the lives in our community. There is much work to be done.
- We must uncover, claim, and take accountability for our racist history, both individually and collectively.
- We must dismantle systemic oppression across race, gender, sex, ability, age, etc.
- We must remain creative and open in our approaches to change, and intentional in creating community that will propel us forward in these efforts.
- We must stay present and engaged in the larger movement.
- We must bear witness to the struggles of our communities, amplify the voices and stories of those silenced, and stand in solidarity against social injustices.
To our faculty, staff and administration, and colleagues this is our call to action — join us! We have work to do.
Student Organization Board of Directors
Boston University School of Social Work
President: Eunice Kwon
Secretary: Jasmin Choi
Treasurer: Tina DuBois
Social Workers for Action: April Tang
Students of Color: Nandini Choudhury
Unpacking Privilege: Nicole Brooks
Admissions and Financial Aid: Tina DuBois
Alumni Relations: Jasmin Choi
Curriculum: Laura Heller
Macro Practice: Nandini Choudhury and Tina DuBois
Self-Care and Wellbeing: Jaleesa Bell
Equity and Inclusion: Eunice Kwon
Assistant Professor Tom Byrne received a Special Recognition for his proposal, “Adapting Critical Time Intervention as a Scalable Solution to Crisis Homelessness” at the Pioneer Institute’s 25th annual Better Government Competition, which was held in June of this year. The Pioneer Institute is a non-partisan Boston-based public policy research institute.
Each year the Pioneer Institute hosts a gala recognizing the winner and finalists of the annual Better Government Competition. The 2016 contest explored improving quality and access to care for individuals living with mental illness, and received hundreds of submissions from throughout the country. Byrne’s proposal was one of four that was awarded a Special Recognition designation.
Byrne co-authored the proposal with Professor Dennis Culhane of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. The proposal focuses on utilizing evidence-based practices and an innovative financing model to scale-up programmatic responses intended to prevent and end homelessness.
Currently, Byrne told BU School of Social Work, there is great interest in an intervention known as permanent supportive housing, which combines subsidized housing and ongoing supportive services. The results are impressive. Such permanent supportive housing initiatives have “been linked with nationwide 22% and 35% declines in chronic and veteran homelessness, respectively, between 2009 and 2015.”
Byrne believes we need a “less resource intensive” but equally as effective model to tackle those impacted by “crisis” homeless, 85% of the current homeless population. Crisis homelessness is described a homeless episode trigged by an event such as eviction or transition out of foster care, prison, or inpatient hospitalization. Those experiencing crisis homelessness are likely to require only short-term financial and case management assistance to regain housing stability. An emerging program model known as “rapid re-housing” provides exactly this type of help. However, the availability of rapid re-housing is highly limited in most jurisdictions, placing many of those experiencing crisis homelessness at risk of becoming chronically homeless.
Byrne and his co-author propose leveraging an existing evidence-based intervention known as Critical Time Intervention to expand rapid re-housing efforts with funding from Medicaid. This intervention provides time-limited assistance and support (typically 9 months) and is designed to assist those with mental illness and complex social needs, such as homelessness.
Want to know more? Read the full proposal here.
On Monday, May 23, the BU School of Social Work (BUSSW) Field Education Department hosted its annual field instructor appreciation breakfast to honor field advisors who provide incredible support to students. This year’s theme was, “What’s Policy Got to Do with It? Integrating Policy Practice into MSW Field Education.”
Assistant Dean for Field Education Trudy Zimmerman, who introduced the event, said the morning celebrated field instructors who “pushed students out of their comfort zones” and who made a student say, “she is the kind of social worker I want to be.”
The 2016 honorees include:
Paul Bender, Gosnold on Cape Cod
Debbie Jenkins, Connections of Cumberland County in North Carolina
Patricia Ciampi, Grafton Memorial High School
Lynne Markey, Whaling City Alternative High School
Robyn Isman, Italian Home for Children
Cheryl Azza, Boston University School of Law Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
Patty Contente, City of Somerville
Joe Connors, Roxbury Prep Charter School
Jackie Savage-Borne, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Laila Swydan, VA Medical Center in Boston
Deandra Williams, Cambridge School Volunteers Program
This spring also marked the first year that BUSSW honored a field placement agency. The inaugural winner was Gosnold on Cape Cod.
Deb Berglin, Director of the BUSSW Off-Campus Program at Cape Cod, said, “Gosnold has been on the Cape since 1972, providing substance abuse and mental health treatment. They are one of the few agencies that offer our students on the Cape a continuum of care experience. I cannot think of an agency that more highly deserves this award.”
After the awards were handed out, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Mary Collins discussed the social welfare policy curriculum at BUSSW. Next, Kate Audette, Director of State Government Affairs at Boston Children’s Hospital, spoke about translating policy to practice in the field.
The morning concluded with roundtable discussions.
The Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health cordially invites you to the CISWH Spring Symposium.
The Spring Symposium is the debut of The Center’s seven Learning Communities, bringing together
trans-disciplinary groups to discuss social work and health and showcasing their work.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
11pm – 3pm
Hiebert Lounge, Boston University Medical Campus
To RSVP, please fill out the form below
and contact email@example.com with any questions.
Dr. Ruth Paris, associate professor of clinical practice and director of the Family Therapy Certificate Program at Boston University School of Social Work, has received confirmation from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars that she was selected for a Fulbright Specialist Program grant in social work at Bar Ilan University (BIU) in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Throughout March, Dr. Paris will work in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Dekel of BIU to share her expertise in community-based clinical research and family therapy practice. Dr. Paris will assist in the systematic study of the social work interventions currently offered through clinics at BIU’s School of Social Work. She will work in partnership with Bar Ilan faculty to provide an overall needs assessment of clinical research capacity, and will subsequently lead seminars, meet with individual faculty to develop research proposals, assist with clinical research training for the doctoral program and conduct joint research.
Social work plays a critical role in Israel, where there are unique challenges, given the diversity of the population and their stressful circumstances. For example, students work with veterans dealing with the aftermath of military service, immigrant families from Russia and Africa and young children struggling with the traumatic effects of bombings.
“It is delightful to have Dr. Paris be able to collaborate on such important research with her long-time distinguished colleague, Dr. Dekel,” Boston University School of Social Work Dean Gail Steketee said. “This Fulbright award will enable them to exchange ideas and work together on research while in Israel. Both of our institutions will benefit greatly.”
Dr. Paris is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the faculty and students at Bar Ilan. “I will approach this work—just as I do when partnering with community agencies—knowing there are many strengths already in place,” Dr. Paris said. “I will also be learning a great deal about different interventions, particularly those that are trauma-focused, and will bring that expertise back to BU. I am hopeful that we will build a bridge between Bar Ilan and Boston University so that we may continue to partner on joint research programs.”
The Fulbright Specialist Program promotes linkages between U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas through short-term collaborative projects and is sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
Welcome Sabrina Di Rito, the new part time, Student Services Coordinator for OLP. Sabrina joins us with a diverse background in education and administration. She started her own foreign language institute in Italy, where she held multiple roles as director, advisor, and instructor. She also has experience teaching at Kaplan, working as a Project Coordinator at Children’s Hospital, and being an online student where she earned a master’s degree in psychology.
The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics projects the following through 2022:
- 19% growth in all social work jobs—faster than the average for all occupations
- 15% growth in demand for child, family and school social workers
- 23% growth in demand for mental health and substance abuse social workers
- 27% growth in demand for healthcare social workers
For more information, click here.