Here we present our vision, our priorities, and our future directions distilled from our strategic planning process, which included an examination of the external environment and trends affecting schools of social work; an internal assessment; and outreach to students, faculty, alumni, staff, University administrators, and leaders in the field.
BCSSW endeavors to improve vulnerable lives through pioneering social work education, research, scholarship, and practice at home and in the world.
In the next five years, BCSSW will commit knowledge and resources to:
BCSSW is pursuing strategies to reimagine social work education and training, to develop partnerships in research and practice, and to draw upon and work across disciplines. Our school will focus on five interrelated and reinforcing strategic areas:
We will expand our pioneering work to train leaders who develop policies, practices, and interventions that advance equity, justice, and inclusion across the University and in diverse communities. At the school, we will continue to build a caring, respectful, and inclusive community that prospers and flourishes because of diversity.
Students reflect on why they chose to join the BLI, a new program that prepares social workers to tackle some of the biggest problems facing Black communities.
The Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee wants to tackle inequalities that contribute to unfair outcomes in the classroom, better prepare students to work with diverse populations around the world, and create a culture steeped in mutual respect and lifelong learning.
Students and faculty in the School of Social Work have reshaped classes and reimagined assignments to address anti-black racism in the wake of the unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
The LLI has been named a 2020 Example of Excelencia by Excelencia in Education, the only national effort to identify and promote evidence-based practices that help accelerate Latinx student success in higher education.
“We need to start thinking more profoundly about the way we approach every aspect of how we live together as a community in order to root out racism,” Vincent D. Rougeau, dean of the Law School, said in a one-on-one conversation with Gautam N. Yadama, dean of the School of Social Work.
We will build a platform of innovative practices and approaches to help improve life in diverse and vulnerable communities in Boston and abroad. We will strategically strengthen our capability in novel problem-solving and engage in inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to adapt, test, and scale evidence-based interventions to address pressing, complex, social problems.
A team of researchers, led by faculty in the School of Social Work and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, has received a $3 million grant to survey residents, collect physiological samples, and measure environmental conditions such as air quality.
Assistant professor Robert Motley has found that Black people aged 18 to 29 experience an increase in anger, depression, and hypervigilance when they are exposed to police violence that is perceived to be motivated by racism.
The Boston College School of Social Work will collaborate with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to evaluate the effectiveness of a program designed to prevent homelessness in students in grades K-8.
Kirsten Davison, the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professor in the School of Social Work, recently received a fellowship from the Institute for Implementation Science Scholars, a program at Washington University in St. Louis that trains researchers to improve the adoption of evidence-based practices that reduce chronic diseases such as obesity.
“Exposure to violence really puts children at a disadvantage in terms of their ability to be as happy and healthy as they can be as adults,” says newly hired professor Catherine Taylor. “It became clear to me that if we could intervene in early childhood, we could set people up for better health throughout their lives.”
We will tailor and offer evidence-based clinical and policy interventions to diverse populations. Over time, we will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new alliances with communities, government agencies, NGOs, and for-profit organizations to develop, adapt, and implement evidence-based interventions and to build and disseminate research expertise and knowledge.
Maggi Price, a newly hired assistant professor, has analyzed clinical interviews and survey data to better understand the experiences that transgender youth have had in therapy. Here’s what she found.
“I’m reminding my clients to use the coping skills they’ve learned to pull them out of an uncertain future and bring them back to the certain present,” says Yvonne Castañeda, a recent graduate who provides mental health care to Latinx patients at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.
Newly hired professor Christopher Salas-Wright is working to develop strategies that social workers, civic leaders, and educators can use to help migrants make the most of their new lives in the wake of natural disasters and political crises.
The videos, created in part by the Research Program on Children and Adversity, provide tips to prevent COVID-19, dispel myths about the disease, and present strategies for parents to help their children cope with the pandemic.
Members of the BCSSW community must complete a short form to apply to receive the videos and companion guides.
Kathleen Flinton, a newly hired assistant professor of practice, provides psychotherapy to political dissidents who have survived torture and struggled to remake their lives in the United States.
“At BCSSW, we are drawing on the foundations of the profession and others to prepare students for social work practice and research to advance the common good. Our faculty is intentional in training MSW students and doctoral scholars to focus on people facing compound needs. We are innovating in research and practice in collaboration with relevant disciplines and professions, social work practice partners, and communities. These networks leverage the strength of diverse fields and draw on the perspectives of communities who are experiencing the social problems of concern to us in Boston and around the globe.”
BCSSW would like to thank the members of our community who contributed to the development of this strategic plan.