What is the role of a school social worker?

A school social worker in her role gesturing to a student to assist him with his issue Have you ever been asked, or ever wondered, what it is that a school social worker does? The question is understandable; it’s an incredibly diverse position. The role of a school social worker involves communicating and collaborating with students, parents, teachers, administrators, government officials, and anyone else who can help them encourage students’ success. With the increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide rates in children, school social workers are also at the forefront of a movement to understand and address the stresses in students’ lives from a young age. Due in part to this need and other rising issues, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the social work field will grow by 14 percent by 2026.… Read more >>
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Course Spotlight: Master of Social Work Electives

Student in Sweater on Laptop Taking a Online Social Work Course Trying to decide how to customize your degree or pick a professional development course from our more than 20 online social work course electives? We hear you—there are a lot of options to consider! We prepared a closer look at three of our popular MSW electives, including feedback from students who have taken the courses, to help guide your unique educational journey. A quick reminder: While these courses are electives for the Master of Social Work program, they can also be taken individually (without enrolling in a degree or certificate program) for personal or professional development.  Feel free to jump ahead to the course that interests you most (or explore all three): Contemporary Controversies Narrative Therapy Social Work Practice in Read more >>
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The MSW Field Experience at UNE Online

MSW Fieldwork Field experience is at the heart of any social work education. The field of social work is one of interaction, and the field experience is where students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in order to tackle challenges they’ll only encounter outside of the classroom.  Field experience enables students to explore different settings, issues, and communities to better identify their strengths. And it fosters collaboration with a diverse group of social work professionals. Finding a field placement Field placements are required to complete the UNE Online Master of Social Work (MSW) program. It’s up to each student individually to find a placement, but each student takes a field planning orientation in preparation for the placement process. Each student also… Read more >>
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Student Spotlight: Frank Myers, MSW Program

Frank Myers Master of Social Work Frank Myers is a student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of New England. We spoke with Frank recently about what attracted him to the field of social work, his experience in the UNE Online program, and what drove him to create and host an outreach event for homeless people in his area. What got you interested in becoming a social worker? I was homeless and on my own when I was 11, so the homeless population has always been in my heart. For the past three years now I’ve been working full time with the homeless, but really I’ve been working with the homeless for pretty much all my life. I try to help out… Read more >>
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Alumni Spotlight: Nicole Petrin, MSW Program

Nicole Petrin, social work mentor, with penguins Nicole Petrin is a student in the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She has her undergraduate degree in social work, works in the field, and is also very active as a mentor for rising social workers. She just recently returned from an international social work conference in South Africa, and she shares her experiences with us here. Can you tell me a bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? I am originally from Rhode Island, where during my childhood and adolescence I was a very active member of Girl Scouts, even going on to earn the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award. My early exposure to… Read more >>
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Faculty Spotlight: Susan Osofsky, MSW, LCSW

Faculty Spotlight: Susan Osofsky, MSW, LCSW By her own account, Susan Osofsky has never been one to plan too far ahead, so it seems fitting that an inherent characteristic of social work perfectly complements her agile approach: “One of the reasons I love this field is you can do all sorts of jobs and try things out,” she said. And that’s exactly what she did as she found her way to UNE Online. A spectrum of experiences Susan began by studying speech pathology and audiology but quickly learned that it wasn’t for her. “When I did my field placements and career counseling, I found I had little in common with speech pathologists,” she said, discovering that her passion was in social work. Inspired by her… Read more >>
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Student Spotlight: Angsana (Angie) Spiller, MSW Program

Angie Spiller, MSW Angie Spiller is a student in the Master of Social Work program here at UNE Online. We spoke to her recently about what led her to earn her MSW, and how she applies her knowledge of the field on a daily basis. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? I am originally from Thailand, where I was a marine in a skydiving unit. When I got married we moved to the United States, and I was not able to speak or understand English at all. After some time, I decided to pursue a Master of Psychology, and when I earned that master’s degree, I went into the… Read more >>
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Faculty Spotlight: Stephen Dougherty, LMSW, Ph.D. – Social Work Program

Stephen Dougherty, LMSW, Ph.D. Stephen Dougherty didn’t always intend to have a career in social work, but his propensity to help others in times of need made him a natural fit as both a practitioner and a professor. His involvement in human services began in the late ‘60s as a medic in the Air Force, when he tended to wounded or sick patients during the Vietnam War. By the time he made his way to working in foster care a few years later, he had begun to recognize how he could meet community-wide needs — especially through social work. While social work as a field at that time prioritized behavioral science, Freudian concepts didn’t appear to have much practical application to Stephen’s work with… Read more >>
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Faculty Spotlight: Judith Boudman, MSW – Social Work Program

Judith Boudman and her dogs Community service has been part of Judith Boudman’s family for centuries. “Most of my ancestors were doctors,” she explained. “I feel as though community service is in my genes.” Her intrinsic passion for improving public welfare has translated to a number of roles within the realm of social work, proving that not only does one have the power to make a difference in people’s lives, but there are innumerable ways to do it. A dynamic journey As a college student during the ‘60s, Judith was affected by many events that sparked discussion about social issues: the Women’s Movement, the Kent State shooting, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. – just to name a few. “The… Read more >>
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Ambassador Spotlight: Melina Paiewonsky, MSW Program

Melina Paiewonsky Melina Paiewonsky is a student in the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. Since last fall her family has endured two category five hurricanes and has been evacuated and relocated three times. Through it all, she was able to face these challenges and still stay on track with her education. Here, Melina discusses her experience with the MSW program, her thoughts about getting feedback from her instructors, and imparts some words of wisdom for students entering the program. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? I am from the United States Virgin Islands, St. Thomas. I’ve worked as a teacher for a few years on… Read more >>
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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Amy Storch, BSW, MSW, Ph.D., LCSW – Social Work Prog

Dr. Amy Storch, BSW, MSW, PhD, LCSW Broadening perspectives. Fostering community. These missions have guided Dr. Amy Storch for nearly a decade as she’s taught foundational and practical courses, created landmark programs, and has advised hundreds of future social workers throughout their academic journeys and into their careers. She approaches her work from the rich vantage point of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, global traveler, nationally Certified American Sign Language Interpreter and lifelong helper. The next step in a helpful path Assisting others has always been a way of life for Amy. She grew up as a child of two Deaf parents. As the only one in the family who could hear, “they depended on me for a lot of things,” she said. Even today, she continues… Read more >>
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Ambassador Spotlight: Jacqueta Miles, MSW Program

Jacqueta Miles MSW Student Jacqueta Miles is a student in the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. Despite a number of challenges, she never gave up on the pursuit of her Master’s degree and her commitment to the field of social work. Read her story, and see what advice she has for incoming students. What encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Social Work? Growing up, I lived between my mom’s and my grandmother’s houses. My grandmother took me, my sisters, and my cousins in – we all grew up pretty much like sisters. She’s was always teaching us to help, and so growing up, I discovered that I have a heart for people. I love to help. I was in the… Read more >>
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The 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work

12 grand challenges of social work Make the most impact in the areas of greatest need The profession of social work aims to help people and advance the values of self-determination, diversity, human dignity, and social justice. But given today’s changing priorities and social issues, how can you focus your social work career on the areas of greatest need—with opportunity for professional growth? In fall 2016, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare released its 12 Grand Challenges. It’s a “dynamic social agenda” for our profession’s work with individuals, families, and society. Learn how your current skills and interests fit in—and where to focus for future growth. And link through to delve deeper into a specific Academy challenge. The 12 Grand Challenges for… Read more >>
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Program Director Spotlight: Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW – Social Work Program

Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW, is the Program Director for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online.  We spoke to her about the program, how she came to the field of social work, and her thoughts on preparing students for life after graduation. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what drew you to UNE Online? My background is in social work. I earned my undergraduate degree in my late 30’s as an adult learner, and then was accepted and went directly into a Master’s of Social Work program. After I graduated with my MSW, I practiced at an agency that worked with substance users and people who are HIV positive. While I was practicing… Read more >>
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Five Cross-cutting Social Work Skills that Put you Ahead

5 cross cutting skills in social work Transferrable Social Work Skills Earning your MSW prepares you with a set of in-demand abilities and social work skills that nearly every organization needs, and puts you in an exclusive pool of candidates, opening a world of career possibilities. With these adaptable skills, you’re more than hirable – you’re invaluable. Government relations personnel are hired for their policy knowledge and ability to make things happen. HR professionals thrive because of their knack for anticipating needs and understanding human motivation. Researchers bring to the table their affinity for data and analysis. FEMA seeks employees who can stay calm under pressure. Journalists excel with their ability to paint a vivid narrative. With an MSW, you have a royal flush. Team management No… Read more >>
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Careers in Social Work: Now is the Time to Earn an MSW

MSW Careers Now is the time to earn an MSW. The future is bright for social workers as the field of social work evolves to accommodate the ever-changing needs of vulnerable populations. Political turbulence, climate disasters, widening class divides, an increasing emphasis on mental health—these have all combined to open and solidify, a promising job market for social workers. As different populations across the world face unique struggles, social workers are primed to improve their conditions, health, and wellbeing. Despite global unrest, it’s a good time to be a social worker. Opportunities abound The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects social work employment to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026—faster than the average of all other professions. Although those entering the field… Read more >>
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Meet our Team: Mollie Kaubrys

Mollie Kaubrys, MSW Enrollment Counselor at UNE Online Meet Mollie Kaubrys, an Enrollment Counselor for the Master of Social Work degree program. Mollie joined UNE in the spring of 2017 and has a background in higher education and a degree in International Studies from American University. At UNE Online, students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day. What do you do at UNE Online? I am an Enrollment Counselor for the Master of Social Work Online program. Where are you from? I grew up in Rumford, Maine. I attended college in Washington DC, and then… Read more >>
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Alumni Spotlight: Dee Manatowa, MSW

Dee Manatowa, Student, MSW program You could say it’s in her DNA. An Oklahoma Sauk Native, Dee Manatowa inherited her passion for social work along with a devotion to environmental justice. Her father—the late Chief Elmer Manatowa Jr. of the Sac and Fox Nation in Stroud, Oklahoma—instilled in her a love for all people and the Earth. As a tribal member, Dee knows all too well the intergenerational trauma that comes with finding your place in a society that is not your own. “I was born into a world that was foreign to me,” she explains. To add to the emotional burden, she says, “I’m not full blood, so I was rejected by both my tribe and greater society.” Like her father, Dee turned to… Read more >>
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Social Work and Human Trafficking – Spotting the Signs, Ending the Crisis

Social Work and Human Trafficking Social work and human trafficking are linked in that social workers have a unique and valuable role in the fight against human trafficking, helping victims and fostering a greater understanding around the issue. Victims of human trafficking A 15-year-old runaway in a rural roadside motel. A middle-aged man picking tomatoes in a Georgia field. A twenty-something woman babysitting children at a New York City playground. These seemingly disparate individuals have one thing in common: They’re among the estimated 27 million people in the world who are victims of human trafficking, in which vulnerable individuals are brought into sexual acts, labor, or other forms of exploitation through fraud, coercion, or the use or threat of force. Social workers are in a… Read more >>
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Social Workers Help with Independence and Reintegration after Abuse

help for sex trafficking What are the next steps after sex trafficking or domestic violence? Social workers help people regain their independence and reintegrate into society after escaping domestic violence or sex trafficking. How social workers help those who’ve escaped domestic violence or sex trafficking make the transition and heal For people who have experienced sex trafficking or domestic violence, escaping their dangerous circumstances is only the first step. Fresh challenges await in the struggle to heal and create stable lives afterward. Yet rehabilitation and reintegration resources for these victims are often limited, stretched thin, or nonexistent. Enter social workers. With their knowledge of trauma-based therapies, connections to community resources, awareness of intersectionality (including race, class, gender, and ethnicity), and passion for social justice,… Read more >>
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Meet Our Team: Laura Schulz

Laura Schulz, MSW Student Support Specialist Meet Laura Schulz, a Student Support Specialist at UNE Online. Laura earned her BA in Education and Psychology from Stonehill College and her M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laura joined UNE Online in the spring of 2017 and is dedicated to supporting the students of the Master of Social Work program. Laura is also enrolled in UNE Online’s Master of Public Health program, and heads up the College’s Green Team! At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen Read more >>
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Faculty Spotlight: Christine Rogerson, LCSW – Social Work Program

Christine Rogerson, Practicum Coordinator Christine Rogerson, LCSW, is the Practicum Coordinator for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Maine and went on to earn her Master of Social Work right here at the University of New England. Prior to teaching at UNE, Christine spent several years working in multiple clinical social work capacities, including work within the crisis system, inpatient hospitalization with children and adults, foster care, school social work and social work within the medical setting. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what drew you to teaching at UNE Online? I’m actually an MSW grad from the University of New England! I really enjoyed… Read more >>
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Faculty Spotlight: Mary White, LCSW – Social Work Program

Mary White, MSW Clinical Assistant Professor Mary White, LCSW, is a Field Planner and Clinical Assistant Professor for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She graduated with a BA in Behavioral Science from the University of Maine in Presque Isle and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Maine at Orono. For 18 years Mary was employed at a community mental health center working in both clinical and administrative social work, in charge of a staff of 100+ people. She also worked for four years at a high school, providing support and social work services to approximately 500 students. She has been working full-time for UNE since June of 2011. Prior to her full-time position with the University, she was Read more >>
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Children of Abuse - How Social Workers Help Them Heal 

Children of Abuse Abuse takes many forms, and child victims may experience it differently. Whether they are victims of violence themselves or witnesses, even audibly, the effects can last a lifetime. There are many reasons that parents stay in abusive relationships— and it’s often mothers, who represent up to 85% of the victims of domestic abuse, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The reasons for staying in an abusive relationship include a fear of retribution, the inability to provide for children alone, the belief that abuse is normal or deserved, lack of resources, and simply nowhere to go. But even if they flee, the damage of domestic violence may already be done, posing a serious threat to children’s emotional, psychological, and… Read more >>
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