Knowledge of social work's global commitments will enable students to integrate internationally accepted standards into practice, as well as prepare them for a variety of positions in organizations ultimately committed to the promotion of world citizenship, and for the improvement of the quality of life for every person, everywhere.
If we didn't have the field of social work, we would need to invent it. And then we would have to invent the many partner-training institutes and agencies that help bring to life the study of social work practice in the field in pursuit of a new generation of social work practitioners prepared to meet the increasing social, emotional, and health demands of a rapidly changing world. The need for a highly trained professional corps has never been greater, and Springfield College School of Social Work is in a strong position to meet this need through its classroom focus on advanced generalist practice and its broad ranging relationships with service agencies that address human issues across the lifespan.
Thomas Harrigan, Assistant Professor of Field Education
This is an exciting time to be an MSW student whose focus is professional social work with older adults and understanding the burgeoning field of gerontology. The Springfield College School of Social Work is now offering an area of emphasis in gerontology, which will enable our social work students to concentrate on developing their skills and knowledge in working with older adults and facing the challenges of an aging society.
Anthony Hill, EdD, assistant professor of social work, focused his dissertation on the “cost of caring” for elementary educators who teach and work with children that live in challenging social environments characterized by ongoing stressors such as physical abuse, sexual assault, neglect, community violence, bereavement and loss issues, homelessness, and parental mental health and substance abuse issues.
Anthony Hill, EdD, Assistant Professor of Social Work
SCSSW advanced generalist perspective fosters the opportunity to develop a strong foundation of diverse social work skills. In addition, the field education component allows the student to put into practice and truly master those skills. It is an opportunity second to none, in allowing the student to manifest that passion which is alive within and has brought one to this point.
Glenn G. Gemma, L.C.S.W., M.S.W. Assistant Director of Field Education
Children arrive in the world with an incredibly strong 'push' to engage and explore their environments. However, obstacles can arise that prevent this natural, lively engagement. Social workers in the fields of child welfare and children's mental health help parents and caregivers to identify such obstacles, remove them, and clear the path for the child to socialize, explore, and learn.
Beginning in fall 2010, an area of emphasis in gerontology will be offered to SCSSW students interested in gerontological social work. By 2025, it is projected that 40,000-60,000 more social workers will be needed to adequately respond to the needs of older adults. This area of emphasis will provide specific coursework, a specialized internship, focused assignments, enrichment seminars, and advisement by a specialist in gerontology.
School social workers assist in helping children get the most from their school experience and often are a liaison between home and school. Springfield College does a great job in preparing school social workers because of our advanced generalist perspective, which enables us to navigate successfully through complex education systems.
There are endless opportunities in the classroom and practicum for students to pursue their interests in specialized areas of child and adolescent mental health, school social work, juvenile justice, and child abuse and neglect. They emerge with a strong sense of the clinical and psychosocial characteristics of children who have trauma histories or serious emotional disturbance, along with the teamwork perspective and competence to promote child well-being within systems of care.
The role of the social worker in community practice is varied. The Springfield College School of Social Work considers the importance of having knowledge and practice skills in all levels and phases. The Springfield College School of Social Work embraces a generalist practice which is informed by ecosystems perspective. It prepares graduate social work students to promote the general welfare of society and the development of people and their communities.
At the SCSSW, we learn to support adult mental health by emphasizing the ways to capture a person’s natural capacities for positive functioning, knowing how to support a good ‘fit’ between the person and the environment, and working with reliable interventions that improve mental health. The world is a better place when individuals are mentally healthy.
Field education is critical to effective social work education and the Springfield College School of Social Work works with about 300 agencies across New England and New York State to provide educationally challenging field experiences. In fact, field education has been named the 'signature pedagogy' of social work education by the Council on Social Work Education, meaning that field education is how students put theory into practice, bring practice to theory, and fully prepare to join the profession upon graduation.
William T. Fisher, Jr., EdD, MEd, MSW Professor and Director of Field Education
The spectrum of the reach of the social work profession is broad and powerful. In no other field might one be professionally prepared to successfully conduct work as diverse as international advocacy on behalf of the mentally disabled, interfacing with members of Congress and the executive branch of the U.S. government to organize White House events showcasing the impact of foreign aid programs, and traveling throughout the United States to conduct evaluations of refugee resettlement agencies on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.
Karen Clark-Hoey, MSW, Assistant Professor
Fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education