University of Connecticut

Public Engagement

Actively Involved in Outreach and Public Engagement

The University of Connecticut School of Social Work holds active involvement in social work as a pillar of its foundation, to extend far beyond academics and theory, to be involved in the doing and developing of social work practice, to benefit our communities at-large, and close-at-hand. To that end we are engaged – at the local, regional, state, national and international levels. Here are a few of the ways UConn School of Social Work works with individuals, groups and organizations:

Far-Reaching Faculty Engagement

CSWE & NASWUConn School of Social Work faculty are vitally involved in social work academic, professional, and service organizations, helping to guide the practice and scholarship of social workers. Appointments and affiliations include involvement with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Urban Affairs Association, and the State of Connecticut Commission on Health Equity among others. Faculty share expert knowledge and insights in diverse settings ranging from professional conferences and community workshops to legislative hearings.

Our Work with State Agencies – Improving the Lives of the People of Connecticut

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Through our partnerships with the Connecticut Department of Social Services, Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the School of Social Work is able to conduct innovative research to inform policy and practice, provide expert staff training, and provide stipend opportunities for MSW students. Through these collaborations the School:

  • provides a wide range of professional development training opportunities
  • develops social services programs and social work practice standards
  • trains social service staff for service delivery and program administration
  • conducts research to address societal issues
  • evaluates program models and theories and develops best practices for the profession

Read about our work with the Connecticut Department of Social Services.
Read about our work with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services.
Read about our work with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Professional Development for Social Workers

STEP Professional Development ProgramOur STEP Professional Development Program offers social work professionals the opportunity to stay current with new ideas and methods being introduced into practice, from a Post-Master’s Certificate Program – Clinical Issues in Adoption, to courses and seminars designed to address specific issues.


Addressing Contemporary Issues

engagementThree specialized Centers, Institutes, and Projects at UConn SSW address a range of contemporary issues and professional challenges, hosting open conferences, workshops, and other educational opportunities throughout the year. The Centers, Institutes and Projects are: The Center for International Social Work Studies, Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work, and the Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies Project.

Students Reaching Out – and Within the School Community

some building bridges participantsThe Graduate Student Organization, along with nine student sub-organizations that focus on the issues of an identified population within the student body, bring events, seminars and guest speakers onto the campus. Our Building Bridges program pairs returning students with new students to serve as a one-on-one resource and peer ambassador to help incoming students become engaged more quickly to the School community. Students routinely serve in national board appointments such as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the National Association of Black Social Workers, to name a few.

We Are Proud of Our Award Winners

Over the course of 2014, faculty, programs within the School, MSW and Ph.D. students, and alumni have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Here are some highlights:

2014 Award Highlights