Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Study Shows that Social Work Schools Need to Prepare Students to Work with LGBT Youth

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and Lambda Legal jointly published a study that found a relationship between social work educators’ knowledge of LGBT issues and how prepared students are to work with LGBT populations. In the study, program directors and faculty were asked about institutional policies, program policies, course offerings, curriculum, educational environment, and instructor training.

The report showed that a majority of social work schools do not provide classes or training opportunities on LGBT issues. Lambda Legal’s Youth-in-Out of Home Care project attorney, Flor Bermudez, commented on the study’s findings about social work curricula regarding LGBT youth. “Preparing the next generation of child welfare advocates so they are better equipped to help LGBT youth in out-of-home care is a critical first step in addressing the problems we’re hearing from youth.

It is clear that faculty and students need more LGBT youth specific training. Working in partnership with CSWE we can offer resources and suggestions for curriculum development.” The CSWE Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression has agreed to assist with developing a series of resources and opportunities for program directors and faculty members to better prepare students to work competently with LGBT adults and youth. The Council will be working on the resources this fall for launch in 2010.

To read more about this study, please visit the website for the Council on Social Work Education.

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