CSWE Tackles Standardizing Substance Misuse Curriculum


Published on : July 28, 2022

Author: Kianna Mckenzie

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) hosted a Prac-Ed Faculty Development Institute event on Thursday, June 23, that focused on the topic, Preparing Future Practitioners to Address Substance Misuse. During this complimentary event, Dr. Audrey Begun highlighted a free collection of curriculum, assessment, and field education resources developed by CSWE and our partner programs to address the lack of a high-quality standardized curriculum in substance use and misuse. Dr. Begun served as the curriculum development consultant during the project's first two years and as the project coordinator during its final extension period.

"CSWE created this collection knowing that substance use is something that social workers frequently encounter and often are the first to encounter when individuals, families, communities appear for practice situations,” said Dr. Begun.
Dr. Begun and two other social work program representatives, Dr. Patty Stoddard Dare, professor and director of Women's and Gender Studies Program, and Dr. Taylor Hall, assistant professor at Bridgewater State University, came together to share three years of data detailing their experience implementing these educational resources. Some programs described the curricular resources as “concrete readings, resources and activities to utilize that are already mapped to competencies and learning object themes.” Universities were able to “easily integrate the content into their courses and field experiences,” said Dr. Hall.
Furthermore, CSWE staff members Tanya Smith Brice, PhD, vice president of education, and Heather Donahue, MSW, director of grants and special projects, announced a new project that will expand on the curricular guides, resources, and materials nationally. 

Donahue further commented, “The great thing about Prac-Ed is that the substance use disorder curriculum and competency-based resources can be implemented by all social work programs. The goal of the webinar was to share the resources with social work programs and share challenges/lessons learned from our Prac-Ed cohort, so that social work programs can hit the ground running with implementation!”
This event and the compendium of resources are part of the CSWE Substance Use Disorder Expansion of Practitioner Education in Social Work initiative and was made possible with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.