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How we lead is a reflection of who w



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At the UW School of Social Work, creative collaborations are essential to how we engage with communities to achieve lasting, meaningful change. That creative impulse is nourished by our diverse leadership team, a faculty and student body with a rich array of backgrounds and life experiences, and a passion for finding common purpose with even the unlikeliest of allies in our quest to improve lives. The stories in this report highlight what researchers have known for decades: that diverse teams are more innovative, creative and effective, and that multiple perspectives lead to more meaningful insights and ideas. This is evident in the work of Cynthia Pearson, who is collaborating with tribal members to develop new standards for ethical research among Native communities, here and around the world. It is demonstrated by the work of Forefront Suicide Prevention, one of our school’s centers of excellence, which has joined forces with the NRA, pharmacists, veterans groups and more than 40 other partners to bring lifesaving conversations and firearm and medication locking devices to communities across the state. That openness to new models is exemplified by Scott Winn, a School of Social Work alumnus who is a leader in social justice advocacy that places racial equity at the center of every change effort. These are just a handful of the people and projects at the School that are defining new ways of leading and serving in a culturally complex world—and preparing a new generation of thinkers and innovators who will transform how we do social work. (from left to right)

Eddie Uehara

Professor and Ballmer Endowed Dean in Social Work

Karina Walters Associate Dean for Research; Co-Director, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Tessa Evans-Campbell Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Co-Director, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute; Snohomish Tribe Margaret L. Spearmon

and Diversity

Chief Officer, Community Engagement




Study of LGBT aging leads to new model of inclusive senior services Social isolation is a known risk factor for health problems among the elderly. And social isolation is even more widespread among older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults than in the senior population overall, according to a landmark study of health and well-being among LGBT adults ages 50 and older led by Professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen. “Social isolation is as deadly to human health as heart disease or cancer,” observes Fredriksen Goldsen, who was awarded a $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging in 2013 to conduct a five-year longitudinal study, called Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging and Sexuality/Gender Study (NHAS). The study is the first of its kind in the nation and involves an ambitious collaboration with 17 community agencies serving LGBT older adults in every census division in the country. “Isolation among older LGBT adults is often rooted in chronic stress from stigmatization or the inability to find a safe place to socialize and build community,” says Fredriksen Goldsen, who is working with her research colleagues to quickly translate their early findings into substantive action. The researchers, in partnership with local government and service centers, have formed a nonprofit organization, GenPride, establishing the first-ever LGBT senior center in Seattle / King County. “We want to change the notion of how we think of a senior center by starting with a historically disadvantaged group and then opening it to all people,” says Fredriksen Goldsen. The center will provide activities and programs that encourage connections and community, such as Rainbow Walks. “We’re using the science to build infrastructure for services and give practitioners working with LGBT seniors the information they need to reach out, engage and effectively serve this group,” she says. For her research, the Gerontological Society of America awarded Fredriksen Goldsen the 2018 Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging. She is the first University of Washington faculty member to receive this prestigious award.

RESEARCH THAT STRESSES POSITIVE ASPECTS OF RACE Assistant Professor Charles Lea is part of a diverse new cadre of talented researchers and teachers who have recently joined the School’s faculty, adding more voices and perspectives to the School’s rich body of social work scholarship. Lea’s research on incarcerated boys and young adults has provided valuable insights into the importance of recognizing positive race-identity links when developing policies, practices and interventions, in order to tap the potential of men of color and address social disparities that disproportionately affect them. When researchers and educators talk about achievement gaps, they invariably zero in on black youth. But focusing only on negative factors related to race, ethnicity or culture means that positive connections are often overlooked, says Lea. “Policies affecting men of color are often deficit-focused,” he says. “If 10 men are released from jail, nine may recidivate. But what about the one who doesn’t? We can learn a lot by examining the support systems available to that one individual.”

for more information, go to Age-pride.org 4



The School has expanded its network of more than a dozen innovation and practice centers by adding the Center for Education Data and Research (CEDR), an organization that conducts policy-relevant research on complex education issues. Founded by Dan Goldhaber in 2010, CEDR brings a wide range of analytic approaches to questions of educational opportunity, access and success. A recent study authored by Goldhaber identified inequities in the distribution of quality teachers across Washington state and showed that these inequities help explain gaps in test scores and course-taking outcomes among students. Another study examined the labor-market benefits of prison-based education for the state’s incarcerated youth. “There is a real synergy between our work and social work in how we tackle social problems,” says Goldhaber. “We want to address the disconnect that often exists between research, policy and practice, focusing on the intersection of education and social services.”


UW and UK recognize impact on the profession In a show of support for the School’s leadership in establishing the Grand Challenges for Social Work, the UW announced funding for graduate student research in the Grand Challenges topic areas. The School will match $25,000 from the Office of the Provost to offer financial awards during the next five years to competitively selected social work graduate students whose dissertation or thesis focuses on one of the 12 Grand Challenges. “The collaborative Grand Challenges approach has energized the field of social work,” then-Provost Jerry Baldasty said in announcing the funding. In earmarking the funds, Baldasty became one of the first university-level leaders to partner with a school of social work to provide financial support to emerging Grand Challenges scholars. In Sept. 2018, Dean Eddie Uehara spoke to an enthusiastic international audience about the Grand Challenges for Social Work at the Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference, held Sept. 3–4 at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, England. The conference provided a platform for discussing progress on the Grand Challenges and formalizing an international approach. The Grand Challenges initiative in the United States now has a formal partnership with its UK counterpart. In this country, the initiative has drawn the wide participation of social work schools and has led to scores of conferences and influential books and articles. To recognize Uehara’s contribution, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare named her as one of three inaugural honorary fellows in 2017. That same year, she was inducted as a regular fellow, becoming the first person to hold both designations within the academy.

A social work first WITH THE Gates Foundation The daughter of Hmong refugees, Houa Lee (MSW ’19) chose a career in social work to honor her forebears and explore ways to heal future generations. Lee was selected as the inaugural 2018 School of Social Work summer intern with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Community and Civic Engagement team. The foundation has partnered with other UW schools and other universities in the past, but this is its first internship partnership with a school of social work. Lee plans to pursue a joint doctoral program in social work and anthropology, where she can examine how being stateless has affected the health of Southeast Asian hill tribes. UW SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK


Finding Common Purpose in S

Forefront Suicide Prevention’s partners in new campaign range from p



Saving Lives

pharmacists to gun rights groups

It began with a cold call to the NRA.

Jennifer Stuber, co-founder and director of Forefront Suicide Prevention, a center of excellence based at the School of Social Work, called the National Rifle Association in 2015 to ask how the organization viewed firearm suicide.

Forefront Program Coordinator Brett Bass joins fellow veterans for an early-morning hike organized by the Irreverent Warriors veteran support organization. UW SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK


Stuber, whose husband died by firearm suicide in 2011, learned two vital pieces of information in the ensuing two-hour conversation: that NRA members also suffer the loss of friends and family to firearm suicide, and that they, like much of the American public, mistakenly believe that nothing can be done to avert suicide. The following year, Stuber worked with legislators from across Washington state to brainstorm the concept that led to Safer Homes, Suicide Aware, a campaign that promotes safe storage of firearms and medications—two easily accessible and common methods used in suicide attempts and deaths. With overwhelming bipartisan support and more than 40 partners ranging from the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation to the Washington State Pharmacy Association, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and gun retailers, the campaign launched in 2017 with seed funding from the state. The Safer Homes legislation was sponsored by state representative and School alumna Tina Orwall (MSW ’91). Accomplishments to date include: A comprehensive website (saferhomescoalition.org) that offers information, videos and training courses on suicide prevention n A one-hour online suicide prevention course for firearm retailers and gun safety instructors n A three-hour online training course for pharmacists n

n n


A six-hour online training course for medical professionals Distribution of more than 1,500 free locking devices for firearms and medications at gun shows and other events Distribution of suicide prevention materials at dozens of firearm retailers and health care organizations across the state

Outreach at gun shows and other community events is at the core of the campaign. A trained volunteer offers attendees a free firearm locking device and a device for safely storing or disposing of medications and engages them in a conversation about storage practices and suicide risk.

Washington State Suicide Facts



1,300+ Suicide deaths per year


70% Suicides involving medications or firearms


20% Suicides by veterans


70% Veteran suicides involving firearms


These conversations often lead attendees to reveal something about the impact of suicide on their lives—for example, that they have lost a loved one to suicide or that they or someone they know has struggled with suicidal thoughts. The volunteer offers brief guidance and helpful informational materials. All told, the entire conversation takes about 15 minutes. The online courses that Forefront has developed for various target audiences are based on rigorous research and aim to make suicide prevention knowledge as commonplace as CPR skills. They focus on five critical skills: spotting signs of suicide risk; empathizing and listening; asking directly about suicidal thoughts, plans and means; addressing access to lethal means; and ensuring that individuals have the support they need. In the current campaign and all of Forefront’s advocacy and outreach work, the organization is serving as a model of creative collaboration with lawmakers, state agencies, the private sector and community partners. “We are building a powerful and inclusive grassroots movement to bring suicide prevention to the forefront of our state legislative agenda, school curricula and public awareness,” says Stuber. “Our research shows that reducing the alarming rate of suicide in our state requires a collaborative effort among committed partners with diverse perspectives. Together, we can change the conversation about suicide and save lives.”

Forefront Impact at a Glance



First state to require suicide prevention training for all health and behavioral in the U.S. health professionals


New suicide prevention bills in Washington state shaped by Forefront advocacy efforts


Partners involved in the Safer Homes, Suicide Aware campaign


Higher education institutions and high schools building sustainable capacity in suicide prevention


Lifesaving conversations to increase safe storage of medications and firearms and to increase suicide prevention awareness


Professionals and community members statewide trained in suicide prevention awareness

Following a statewide conference in Wenatchee on serving veterans, Forefront director Jennifer Stuber (left) and the state director of veterans affairs, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, discuss their collaborative efforts to address veteran suicide.

Washington State Veterans and Suicide The suicide rate of veterans in Washington is almost three times the state’s overall suicide rate, with dramatically higher rates for veterans ages 18 to 54 than for older veterans. By 2027, our state is projected to have the 10th-largest population of veterans in the nation, due to a national trend of veterans moving to the West and the South. Firearms are the most common method of suicide for both veterans and civilians in the United States. Among veterans in Washington who die by suicide, nearly 70 percent use firearms, compared to 50 percent of civilians. When a firearm is used in a suicide, it is almost always lethal, whereas other means, such as medication, can allow opportunities for rescue.

In addition to reaching veterans through the Safer Homes, Suicide Aware campaign, Forefront offers a core module on the needs of veterans within its All Patients Safe online training course for medical professionals, which is based on rigorous research. The module features the perspectives of real patients who are veterans, coupled with practical skills and techniques for engaging with them and spotting risk factors such as PTSD, depression and suicidal thoughts. Partners in this effort include the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, led by U.S Army veteran Alfie Alvarado-Ramos. “Our close collaboration in education and advocacy has made it possible to better serve our veterans and their families, enhancing their emotional wellness and quality of life,� says Alvarado-Ramos.




Yakama tribal leader Patricia Whitefoot and School of Social Work researcher Cynthia Pearson on the Yakama Nation Reservation in south central Washington state.



DEFINING THE RULES OF RESEARCH How new research standards can support self-determination and improve the health and well-being of indigenous people





Mt. Rainier



long history of exploitative, culturally insensitive and harmful studies conducted on Native peoples—including forced sterilization, exposure to tuberculosis and radiation, and misuse of blood samples—has hindered critically needed research that would help close the health gap for indigenous people in the United States.

School of Social Work Associate Professor Cynthia Pearson considers these kinds of abuses avoidable. Acting on the principle that research with American Indian and Alaska Native health should be an equal partnership, she worked with colleagues and tribal members to tailor a human-subjects research standard for federally funded research to Native communities.

“Researchers must respect tribal sovereignty and resonate culturally to build ethically sound research,” says Pearson, who serves as director of research at the School’s Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. “We partnered with more than 30 Native American community leaders and scholars and developed a human-subjects research training curriculum from an indigenous perspective.” The curriculum is based on the premise of community-based participatory research, in which tribal members help plan and implement studies as well as help interpret the data and disseminate the results. Pearson, in partnership with Native leaders and scholars, went on to create rETHICS: Research Ethics Training for Health in Indigenous Communities, an online training curriculum for scientists and indigenous investigators that clearly explains the elements of informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, tribal sovereignty and the conduct of culturally respectful study, focusing on indigenous values and concerns. They compared



An 1855 treaty between the United States and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation established the 1.2 million-acre Yakama Reservation, which excluded 11.5 million acres of ancestral land.

their training curriculum with the current standard training curriculum in a study among 490 Alaska Native and American Indian community members from across the country. The study found that the curriculum significantly increased participants’ knowledge of how to conduct ethical research and their trust in the research results. The participants also reported significantly higher satisfaction with the rETHICS curriculum, as well as better comprehension, compared with the standard curriculum. rETHICS takes into account the potential benefits and harms of research not only to individuals but to tribes as a community, and it acknowledges the inherent right of tribes to govern research that takes place on their lands. Examples of other culturally tailored considerations include: n Respect

for privacy and confidentiality regarding deceased tribal members, their stories and their belongings, and tribal practices n The need to obtain tribal approval before identifying a tribe or revealing cultural teachings n Adherence to tribal regulations and ethical principles



Yakima Toppenish


AIR FORCE THYROID STUDY Air Force researchers recruited 120 Alaska Natives and Eskimos, including children, for a study on the role of the thyroid gland in acclimatizing to cold weather. The subjects, many of whom spoke no English, were given doses of a radioactive isotope of iodine that exceeded recommendations for medical uses such as treatment of overactive thyroid. The researchers did not retain any records relating to recruitment or consent and did not follow up with the subjects to screen for adverse health effects.



Through a partnership with CoMotion, the UW’s innovation hub, Pearson and her colleagues have made the curriculum available for download, along with a trainer’s toolkit and an online form that can be used to inquire about in-person trainings.

Collaborative efforts with Washington “universities are so important. Researchers like Cynthia bring data and analysis that our coalition uses and has come to rely on in making decisions.


Since its release in the spring of 2018, the rETHICS curriculum has been downloaded 177 times and distributed across 84 institutional review boards, universities, research institutions, and federal, state and tribal goverments. Pearson is currently working with several organizations to modify the rETHICS content for institutional review board administrators, research on American Indian and Alaska Native children under age 18, and underserved communities worldwide. The rETHICS training curriculum can be downloaded for free at http://bit.ly/2xCyC2S

Researchers studied alcohol use among the Inupiat community in the tiny town of Barrow, Alaska, and issued findings to the press before briefing the local community. The resulting stories in major media outlets played into negative stereotypes of Native peoples, with headlines such as “Alcohol Plagues Eskimos” and references to an “epidemic of alcoholism” and a “society of alcoholics.” In a retrospective analysis 10 years later, one of the researchers acknowledged that the study should have included much broader community participation and greater sensitivity to community values and other social and ethical factors.


ARIZONA STATE STUDY OF HAVASUPAI TRIBE Members of the Havasupai Tribe gave blood samples to Arizona State University researchers for a study of possible genetic links to diabetes risk, but they later learned that their samples had also been used to study schizophrenia, migration, inbreeding and other topics that were sensitive or taboo for the tribe. This led to a lengthy legal battle and a settlement in 2010. The Havasupai, who live deep in the Grand Canyon and have high rates of Type 2 diabetes, contended that tribal members—some of whom spoke English as a second language—were recruited with oral statements about the diabetes study and then asked to sign consent forms that included broader language.





at the center of c



Advancing racial justice is a lifelong pursuit for School of Social Work alum and lecturer Scott Winn, MSW ’94


collaborative change F

OR MORE THAN 25 YEARS, Scott Winn has explored injustice through community organizing, classroom teaching and his consulting practice, furthering a new strategy for advancing social justice that places racial equity and structural transformation at the center of every change effort. Winn’s commitment to equity has its roots in his childhood. Raised on a farm in Illinois, he grew up hearing hateful comments about race and gender. “My father was openly racist and homophobic,” he says. “Basically, I grew up not wanting to be like him. When I was 25, I came out as a gay man, delayed in part by my fears that my dad’s hatred would be turned on me. This experience was crucial to my journey.” The first in his immediate family to graduate from college, Winn attended the University of Illinois and earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology. “I started out wanting to become an obstetrician,” he says, “but in college I worked with at-risk youth, an experience that changed my career focus. My later work with homeless and queer youth and around HIV prevention solidified that decision.” In 1993, Winn joined the School’s first cohort in the multi-ethnic practice concentration, an experience he remembers well. “I was mentored by amazing faculty and supported professionally and personally,” he says. “I saw that social work could have a huge impact on economic justice and help in the fight against racism.” He entered social work determined to contribute to creating change. “At first, I thought I needed to immerse myself in communities of color to ‘save’ them,” he said. “But the experiences I had at the School of Social Work—in particular, my field placements at El Centro de la Raza and with the Muckleshoot Nation—helped me realize that I needed to involve myself in my own community. As a white person, I have a unique relationship with other white people. That’s where I can have the most impact.”

Winn’s work to deepen white people’s understanding of systemic oppression and how privilege affects individuals in our society led him to co-found the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW) in 2000. This grassroots organization works to eliminate structural racism by educating and organizing white people to support organizations led by people of color. For example, CARW supports the Duwamish Nation through its Real Rent Duwamish campaign, which encourages individuals who live or work in Seattle to pay rent for their presence on the tribe’s lands. Sparking these kinds of collaborations is characteristic of Winn’s approach. As a policy lead with the Seattle Office of Civil Rights’ Race and Social Justice Initiative for eight years, he worked with Seattle Public Schools to raise awareness of educational inequity issues and disproportionate discipline affecting children of color. This experience and others helped him understand the importance of working with government institutions, not merely against them, to bring about change. “The ultimate work of equity is to achieve an inclusive democracy.” Winn says. “It is about looking at how decisions are made and by whom. It’s a strategy to transform institutions, not dismantle them.” Winn also frequently teams up with consultants of color to co-facilitate workshops on racial inequity. “It’s understandable that tensions exist between racial groups,” he says. “When that happens, we get called in to support conversations that move people through the friction toward collective action.” Recently, Winn and Eric Ward, executive director of the Western States Center, made the news when they spoke out against an assault by the Proud Boys, a white nationalist men’s group, on a black youth in Vancouver, Wash., who was wrongfully charged in the confrontation and later cleared by the Clark County prosecutor.

“ The ultimate work of equity is to achieve an

inclusive democracy. It is about looking at how decisions are made and by whom. It’s a strategy to transform institutions, not dismantle them.

Winn urges talking about race and racism, even when it’s uncomfortable. “We need to think about what happened throughout our nation’s history,” he says, “from the Civil War and slavery to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. I believe we are at a similar historical moment right now. How we act now is going to determine what our future as a country will look like.” Creating a more equitable future has taken on new meaning for Winn in the past few years. In 2014, he became a parent for the first time. Daughter Hazel is being raised in an intentional co-parenting situation with another father. “We all have a stake in ending racism, no matter what our race is,” says Winn. “Racial equity is a strategic consideration. Once racism is gone, then I’m free, too. We all gain.” UW SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK








arely has a single individual exemplified the combined power of philanthropy, scholarship, partnership and advocacy as impressively as Lynn Behar, a tireless proponent of oncology social work education and better psychosocial care for cancer patients, cancer survivors and their families. After earning her MSW in 1986, Behar worked as an oncology social worker at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle. Her specialty was helping cancer patients and their families navigate the emotionally difficult and often prolonged consequences of diagnosis, treatment and living with cancer. More than a decade later, she returned to the School to earn a doctorate in social welfare, specializing in psychosocial oncology research. A deeply personal loss led Behar to make her first philanthropic contribution to the School. Her mother, Carol LaMare, diagnosed with leukemia and recurrent breast cancer, died in 2005. Behar and her husband, Howard, endowed a scholarship fund in honor of her mother to support the training of the next generation of oncology social work leaders. The Carol LaMare Scholars Program provided mentorship and a small scholarship for MSW students specializing in oncology social work. Thanks to the Behars’ continued generosity, the program expanded in 2010, admitting several MSW students each year as well as doctoral students, and selecting Taryn Lindhorst for an endowed professorship and to serve as the program’s director. With Lynn Behar’s active involvement, Lindhorst and field faculty member J’May Rivara have built the program into a national model of oncology and palliative care social work education. Scholarship recipients receive intensive mentoring through a yearlong clinical seminar in addition to practicum placements in more than a dozen local cancer centers, intensive care units, and hospice and palliative care settings, including UW Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Swedish Cancer Institute, Providence Hospice, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Veterans Administration hospital in Seattle. Behar takes time to meet with each student and provides ongoing mentorship after graduation. To date, the program has supported



94 Carol LaMare scholars. About 30 percent have been people of color, and 10 percent have been cancer survivors. Most have gone on to work in the Seattle region, providing medical social work services to people with serious illnesses. Interprofessional training is a key part of the program, with faculty from the UW nursing, medical, public health and law schools providing seminar instruction on aspects of cancer, end-of-life care and related issues. Students also take advantage of classes in those schools during their time in the program. Demand for UW Carol LaMare social work students and graduates is high. “We now have many institutions clamoring for our students for practicum placements,” says Behar, “and when they graduate, many are hired into the prominent treatment centers in the Seattle area and elsewhere. The graduates are seen as extremely well trained and having the deep experience of social workers with more years of service because of the quality of our program.”

A NEW CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE ONCOLOGY AND PALLIATIVE CARE SOCIAL WORK The Behars recently made a significant gift to expand the program into a full-fledged center: the UW Center for Integrative Oncology and Palliative Care Social Work. The center will build on the program’s successful integrated practicum and classroom experience, with the goal of becoming the global leader in training culturally adept practitioners and researchers in this specialty area. The new center takes a social justice approach to oncology and palliative care services, says Behar, with a particular commitment to addressing “well-documented and alarming” health disparities in cancer care based on race, ethnicity, disability, gender and sexual identity, income, education and other characteristics.

The center envisions a world where “ people with cancer and those at the end of life receive the care they want from compassionate, competent and familycentered practitioners.


“The center envisions a world where people with cancer and those at the end of life receive the care they want from compassionate, competent and family-centered practitioners,” Behar says. “I’d like to see oncology and palliative care social workers and the treatment team meeting all people with new cancer diagnoses with a perspective of treating the person and the family. That team would follow the person and family throughout their cancer trajectory, no matter what comes, and move toward palliative care incrementally as needed.”

The Behars’ gift provides seed funding to launch the new center by supporting three of its major components: an endowed research acceleration fund, an endowed professorship and an endowed scholarship program for students. The gift, along with state and School matching funds, brings total support for the center to more than $2,465,000. The center will emphasize a collaborative approach to research that involves patients and families, oncology and palliative care

researchers, and practitioners. “More research and clinical work are imperative with diverse groups, including LGBT and immigrant populations,” Lindhorst says. “The social work researcher of the future must have a firm grasp of social theory and practice, a solid foundation in a diversity of research methods, an ability to bring a social justice lens to entrenched social problems that cut across scientific areas, and a willingness to cultivate interprofessional relationships to address these interconnected issues.”

Lynn Behar and Professor Taryn Lindhorst are creating a center that promotes a highly collaborative approach to care so social workers and medical specialists can work together with a deep understanding of cultural, racial, economic and other social factors when caring for patients and their families.

THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS OF CANCER The rate of cancer diagnoses is growing as the baby boom generation ages. Advances in treatment have helped more people live longer with cancer, and some can now be cured of their disease. But cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, and more services such as palliative care are needed to bridge treatment with life at home and to provide long-term social and psychological care. increase in U.S. cancer incidence, 2010–2030 67% Projected




69% Caucasians 59% African Americans

15.5 million in 2016

Cancers diagnosed in people over age 55

20.3 million in 2026 (projected)



Working Across


SMART PARTNERSHIPS are critical to making the

most of cutting-edge research and training, especially when an organization’s mission is to train child welfare workers who are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of children and strengthening families. The Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence, which unites the resources of five organizations that are committed to improving child welfare in Washington state, including the UW School of Social Work, is transforming how child welfare workers and foster parents are trained. In March, the Alliance began offering free online training for foster parents that draws on research in child development conducted by the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), a UW interdisciplinary center that focuses on discovering the fundamental principles of human learning, with an emphasis on early learning and brain development. Eighteen modules explore topics such as early literacy, bilingual language development and understanding emotions. The modules can be accessed anytime, making it convenient for foster parents to fulfill their training requirements. The modules can each be completed in 30 minutes or less and are available in Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese as well as English. “The partnership with I-LABS is a win-win,” says Sandra Kinney, the Alliance’s acting executive director. “The online modules give us access to more information that we can offer to our foster parents. At the same time, we are helping create visibility for the innovative research undertaken by I-LABS.” For foster parents who prefer a more interactive learning approach, the training modules are also available in a classroom setting, paired with discussions facilitated by Alliance staff. In the first six months of the program, more than 100 foster parents attended these in-person sessions. Partners for Our Children, an Alliance member and a leading research and innovation center based at the School of Social Work, is collecting and analyzing results from these trainings.



Another Alliance partnership is helping to integrate hands-on learning and real-world scenarios into the state’s Regional Core Training (RCT), the required six-week course for newly hired state child welfare workers. When redesigning the RCT curriculum, the state took into account consistent feedback from frontline social workers by including more field-based learning. In partnership with the UW Court Improvement Training Academy, it added simulations to teach techniques for interviewing children and adults and mock trials where trainees can practice testifying in court. The mock trials take place in an actual courtroom with practicing attorneys and judges in attendance.

Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence In 2010, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) invited the University of Washington, University of Washington Tacoma, and Eastern Washington University to collaborate on improving the professional expertise of the state’s child welfare workers and the skills of those caring for adoptive and foster children. The resulting collaboration, the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence, manages all training of child welfare workers in the state and has freed up the DCYF to focus on its core mission of providing services to vulnerable children and families, including the more than 10,000 children who enter the child welfare system every year in Washington.

Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence staff, pictured here, are joining with UW schools and research centers to create cutting-edge training programs for the state’s child welfare professionals and caregivers.






Boundless Support The University of Washington is engaged in the most ambitious fundraising effort in its history—Be Boundless for Washington and the World, a campaign that mirrors the School’s unwavering commitment to transform the student experience, promote the public good, drive innovation and expand impact. As of June 30, 2018, the School had raised 87 percent, or just over $64 million, of its fundraising goal—one of the largest on record for a public school of social work. This figure includes the largest donor gift in the School’s history— $20 million—to fund student scholarships with a focus on social impact.

$64.1 million AS OF JULY 2018


$70 million

We are deeply grateful to our donors for their commitment and generosity. Through their support, we’re cultivating a smart new generation of thinkers and doers who are intent on making real and lasting change while strengthening our vision to serve as: • A laboratory for learning—placing students at the center of partnershipbased initiatives where they learn to address entrenched practices that stand in the way of systemic change With three-quarters of MSW degree-holders staying in-state after graduation, the School of Social Work serves as a vital source of leadership and expertise for the state’s social service sector. Scholarship support, with a focus on first-generation college graduates, is essential to building the social-impact pipeline in our state and around the world. Take Ghana-born Eric Agyemang (MSW ’18), one of 100 students who received Excellence in Social Impact Scholarships in 2016. The fund, established with a $20 million gift in 2015, not only helped pay his tuition and expenses but also enabled him to complete his field education as a life skills trainer for middleschool children in the School-sponsored Communities in Action program in Southeast and Central Seattle. Post-graduation, Eric’s goal is to develop national policy in Ghana to reduce child trafficking and income inequality among the country’s most vulnerable populations. Expanding our scholarship and fellowship support will help us prepare more highly gifted students like Eric Agyemang to lead, innovate and serve—whether in Washington or beyond.

• An engine of innovation—leading the new discipline of impact science, in which our researchers, students and community partners co-create solutions to pressing social problems • A connective hub for social services—collaborating across academic disciplines and professional domains to expand the capacity of the communities we serve to make measurable change Today, the School provides nearly $5 million annually in scholarships and other forms of financial support to students, whose talent and diversity were the focus of this year’s scholarship breakfast. This popular annual event gives friends and funders an opportunity to sit down with students and see firsthand how donor support is changing student lives and the communities in which students serve as part of their field education experience. More than 100 alumni, donors, faculty, staff and students joined with emcee extraordinaire Aleksa Manila (MSW ’19), shown at left, to celebrate our scholarship students and recognize their impact. In fiscal year 2018, the School provided $3.8 million in scholarships and fellowships to 303 MSW students—about 58 percent of those enrolled in the program.

To make a gift, go to socialwork.uw.edu/giving-opportunities 22


Strength in Numbers


The demand for social work education and expertise is growing at a rapid rate. The School of Social Work is meeting this challenge to prepare a new generation of social innovators by augmenting student financial support, diversifying revenue sources, and hiring high-caliber faculty to attract the best and 10% brightest students and to maintain a high level of research funding. 20%


As competition for research dollars intensifies, team science is an increasingly viable approach to maximizing scarce resources. But it’s not just about the money. Collaboration enhances problem-solving and sparks innovation as diverse partners bring unique talents, knowledge and perspectives to the table. Social workers, who are schooled in collaboration and community engagement, are ideally positioned to adopt a team approach to scientific research.


The School’s Social Development Research Group (SDRG), led by Kevin Haggerty, who was recently appointed to an endowed professorship in prevention, champions team science with projects that connect faculty and staff across universities.

70% Externally Funded Research AND TRAINING $49.4M _______________________________________________ 20% UW Educational and Operational Revenue $14M _______________________________________________ 10% Philanthropic Contributions and Gift Interest $6.8M _______________________________________________

Recently, Haggerty and SDRG colleague Richard Catalano partnered with Washington State University to produce a handbook for parents of college students that brings proven research down to the practical level.



Letting Go and Staying Connected offers specific tools to support youth in the often-difficult transition from home to campus. Along with information on young adult development and parental strategies, the handbook contains role-playing scenarios, conversation starters, and a list of health and wellness resources.

HYBRID FUNDING STRUCTURE Our current fiscal strength is built on a hybrid funding structure that has generated revenue growth of nearly 60 percent during the past nine years.

“The team approach combines prevention science, intervention design and advanced analytics,” says Haggerty. “Our goal is to create impact that is measurable and meaningful.”

FY08–FY18 Cumulative Revenues $80,000,000 $70,000,000 $60,000,000 $50,000,000 $40,000,000 $30,000,000 $20,000,000 $10,000,000 $0 FY08











n Operating Finances

n Research Cost Recovery

n Extended Degree Program / Field Education

n Gifts and Discretionary Income

n Externally Funded Research and Training



Box 354900, Seattle, WA 98195-4900 / socialwork.uw.edu



Profile for UW School of Social Work

University of Washington School of Social Work 2018 Annual Report  

At the University of Washington School of Social Work, collaboration is essential to how we engage with communities to achieve lasting, mea...

University of Washington School of Social Work 2018 Annual Report  

At the University of Washington School of Social Work, collaboration is essential to how we engage with communities to achieve lasting, mea...