Springfield College School of Social Work Professors Selected for Faculty Behavioral Health Curriculum Development Initiative

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From left, Dr. Lisa E. Watson and Dr. Joyce Taylor.

During the next four years, Springfield College assistant professors of social work, Joyce Taylor, PhD, and Lisa E. Watson, PhD, have been selected to participate in the Faculty Behavioral Health Curriculum Development Initiative with the National Technical Assistance (TA) Network for Children's Behavioral Health.

"I am very pleased to congratulate Assistant Professors of Social Work, Dr. Joyce Taylor and Dr. Lisa Watson on being selected to participate in the Faculty Behavioral Health Curriculum Development Initiative with the National Technical Assistance Network for Children's Behavioral Health over the next four years,” said Francine Vecchiolla, PhD, dean of the Springfield College School of Social Work. “Professors Taylor and Watson are established experts in the field of child, youth, and young adult behavioral health.  They are ideally suited to contributing to advancements in curriculum that will benefit students in the MSW and Post-master's Certificate Program in Trauma-informed Practice with Children and Adolescents at Springfield College School of Social Work."

The initiative’s purpose is to partner with schools of social work throughout the country to improve the knowledge, expertise, and overall preparedness of graduates of MSW and post-graduate degree programs to provide effective behavioral health services to children, youth and young adults with behavioral health needs and their families.

"Participating in the National Technical Assistance Network for Children's Behavioral Health provides an exciting opportunity for the Springfield College School of Social Work to be at the national forefront of developing and implementing research-informed curricula to increase the practice expertise of our masters of social work students,” said Watson. “This initiative ensures that our social work students will enter the workforce with the practice skills necessary to effectively intervene and address the complex needs within the children's behavioral and mental health system." 

The program will focus on yearly goals that include: supporting social work faculty members in developing curriculum modules on children’s behavioral health in year one; incorporating new modules into existing curricula and classes in year two; implementing new modules and gathering feedback from students and social work educators on integration and effectiveness of modules in year three; and evaluating the effectiveness of modules in the fourth and final year.

"Society's increasingly complex social problems call for new workforce strategies,” said Taylor. “The BHCDI brings us an exciting opportunity to build upon the foundation we've undertaken in the past couple years as faculty trainees with the National Center for Social Work Trauma Education and Workforce Development, in which Dr. Watson taught a Core Concepts for Child and Adolescent Trauma, and I taught a Core Concepts in Trauma-informed Child Welfare Practice."  

The TA Network operates the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC), funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Child, Adolescent and Family Branch. The TA Network is charged with helping prepare the nation to provide effective services to children, youth and young adults with behavioral health challenges and their families.

The TA Network’s mission is to develop effective service systems and build a skilled, informed and well-prepared workforce that can expand and sustain community-based systems of care across the United States for the benefit of children, youth and young adults with behavioral health challenges and their families.

The Springfield College School of Social Work offers multiple programs for students including a full-time, two-year, weekday master of social work program in Springfield, and a part-time, three-year, weekend master of social work program in Springfield and Worcester.  There are also options for graduates of Council on Social Work Education-accredited Bachelor of Social Work programs to choose either a four-semester weekend or three-semester weekday advanced standing program. The combined Master of Social Work/Juris Doctorate is a four-year, full-time program in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law. Students also can work toward a post-master’s certificate in advanced practice with children and adolescents.

Since 1989, the Springfield College SSW has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the official accrediting body for social work programs in the United States.  Graduates are eligible for professional social work licensure in all 50 states. The MSW/JD program is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Graduates are eligible for professional social work licensure and bar examination.