Advocate for MFP Funding with CSWE

Published on : September 30, 2021

Congress continues to work on passing a $3.5 trillion social infrastructure spending package. A version of the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives proposes $50 million in funding for the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  

CSWE’s MFP has been in place since 1974. It is targeted to, but not limited to, racial/ethnic minority social work students at the masters and doctoral levels who are preparing to provide leadership in practice, research, teaching, and policy promulgation in government and private organizations serving underrepresented and underserved persons with or at risk for mental health and/or substance abuse disorders. The MFP provides stipends, professional development  support, mentorship, and  specialized training to awarded fellows. Programs like MFP  should be expanded and replicated to ensure a health care workforce that reflects the communities where health care professionals serve should continue and increase. A diverse and culturally competent healthcare workforce that includes social workers, is critical to addressing the country’s  growing health care needs.  
CSWE has continuously advocated for MFP funding along with other organizations. Now, we can use your help to keep this strong funding level in place. Please contact your senators and urge them to include funding for MFP in the U.S. Senate’s version of the reconciliation bill. You can find the contact information for your senators here. 
Dear Senator [Name], 
I write to you today as a constituent to ask you to work with your congressional colleagues in ensuring that funding for the Minority Fellowship Program will be included in the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. 
It is imperative that the health care workforce reflects the communities in which they serve. With only 20 percent of America’s behavioral health workforce being made up of racial or ethnic minorities, it is vital for programs like these to be expanded upon to meet the diverse needs of the country’s underserved, minority communities with cultural competence.   
Through the Minority Fellowship Program, future social workers and health care providers help improve behavioral and mental health outcomes for underserved populations. By increasing the presence and knowledge of health professionals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, we are better equipped to help reduce health disparities in our communities.  
With the ever-changing diverse health needs of the country, the Minority Fellowship Program is an important part of helping behavioral and mental health professionals become skilled in serving culturally competent services that our communities need. It is for this reason that I am urging you to keep funding for the program in the budget reconciliation bill.  
[Your name]