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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Public health social work in the workplace

Sarah Sisco, MPH, MSSW1, Tinka Markham Piper, MPH, CSW1, Jamie Wyatt, BSW2, Sally Bachman, PhD2, and Betty J. Ruth, LCSW, MSW, MPH2. (1) Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029, 212-419-3584, kmarkham@nyam.org, (2) School of Social Work, Boston University, 264 Bay State Rd., Boston, MA 02215

Over the past twenty years, the popularity of master’s level dual degree programs in social work and public health has grown. Currently, 18 such programs exist throughout the country. Despite the strengths of both the programs and the graduates, those trained in public health social work encounter certain challenges in the workplace. There is a lack of consensus about the definition, content, and roles of public health social work in the 21st century. There is also a paucity of evidence about what roles MSW/MPH graduates assume once they are working As a first step in identifying dual degree graduates’ perceptions of their profession and how they function in the workplace, we undertook an exploratory study of how alumni experience public health social work in a variety of work environments. We assessed (i) how alumni of these programs define public health social work, (ii) how graduates negotiate the workplace, from job acquisition to employment roles and responsibilities, (iii) what professional challenges and benefits derive from holding two degrees, and (iv) to what degree graduates forge professional syntheses between the two fields. We conducted two focus groups of graduates of dual degree programs in New York City. We also administered a structured, self-administered survey with 40 graduates of two MSW/MPH programs in New York and Boston. Results are being collected. Our goal is to provide recommendations to three separate constituencies: academic dual degree program administrators, graduates of MSW/MPH programs, and employers in the public health social work arena.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to

    Keywords: Social Work Roles, Public Health Careers

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Performance Standards, Evidence-based Practices and SW Workplace

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA