Department of Social Work
Our mission is to prepare competent, ethical, anti-oppressive social work professionals for practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities thereby improving quality of life in the region and beyond.
In Social Work, the professional mission “… is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” (NASW Code of Ethics, 2021, p. 1) Wherever humans exist, social workers interact with them in an effort to improve their well-being and meet basic needs. We view people in a holistic way that encompasses all parts of them. These interactions may occur in the realm of art as social workers use art to bring joy or healing to others, in computer science as social workers work with coders to remove bias from artificial intelligence, or in a hospital where a social worker helps a family deal with a life-threatening diagnosis. By bringing social justice into discussions and keeping human well-being as a focus, social workers are uniquely well suited for interprofessional collaboration which makes our profession truly distinctive among WKU’s professional programs.
Tornado Relief Fund
In 2022, the WKU Dept. of Social Work worked together with the National Association of Deans & Directors and the Council on Social Work Education to raise $11,469.10 in support of community members affected by tornados and severe weather in our region. Our Social Work Scholarship Committee granted these funds to 14 students who needed assistance with rent, transportation, tuition, and replacement of property and educational materials, amongst other things. Thank you to our donors and those who took the time to apply for financial assistance.
Additional fundraising was undertaken to provide donations for individuals impacted by devastating flooding in Eastern KY the past year, as well.
In order to share results from their ongoing research projects, Social Work faculty and students produce a variety of exceptional research products every year. These include peer reviewed scholarly articles, book chapters, presentations and posters as well as textbooks, infographics, and one page research summaries. There are many opportunities to become involved in our departmental research projects, and we encourage students to do so.