The Congregational Social Work Education Initiative (CSWEI)
What is the CSWEI internship program?
The program offers master and bachelor level social work students from North Carolina A & T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro a non-traditional opportunity to complete their internship requirements by providing community-based social work services to Greensboro area congregants/residents. Partnering with nurses from the Congregational Nurse Program and working with designated churches and other faith-based entities, the social work intern and congregational nurse provide health and mental health/wellness services.
Mission and Vision
Using an interdisciplinary team approach, CSWEI provides social work services to underserved, vulnerable individuals in easily accessible, community based settings within an enriching learning environment to enhance student mastery of social work competencies. CSWEI services target the following high risk population groups; immigrants and refugees, older adults, and individuals and families who lack permanent housing. CSWEI endeavors to provide effective, comprehensive social work services to all clients, regardless of ability to pay or documentation status.
The CSWEI team recently expanded and is currently comprised of 14 students; 7 BSWs and 7 MSWs. Its services are overseen by the Initiative’s Program Director, who is dually credentialed as both a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Nurse.
CSWEI (Internship) Placements
In an overwhelming majority of placements, CSWEI is the only access for social work services.
- 20 Faith institutions encompassing diverse faith practices and religious beliefs
- Three non-profit agencies [Service focus on non-permanently housed clients]
- Interactive Resource Center
- Greensboro Urban Ministry-Weaver House
- Salvation Army
- Three community centers [Service focus on immigrants, refugees, and the aging]
- Willow Oaks Community Center
- Glenhaven Immigrant/Refugee Community Center
- Ashton Woods Immigrant/Refugee Community Center
- Assessments: Using a strength-based, biopsychosocial approach.
- Supportive counseling/therapy: Using evidenced based practices including cognitive behavioral approaches and motivational interviewing.
- Linking and Coordinating (Case Management): Providing access to and navigation of the service system.
- Educational Services: Students research, develop, and present educational modules that address a variety of health and mental health/substance abuse concerns.
The CSWEI Partnership Project addresses mental health, substance abuse, and cooccurring disorders in vulnerable populations
The Congregational Nurse Program and the Congregational Social Work Education Initiative along with the Center for New North Carolinians and faith-based community partners have co-located services and supports focused on mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders in community settings that serve those who are experiencing homelessness and those who are immigrants, including refugees.
People in these population groups often experience many challenges with regard to health care, particularly mental health and substance abuse concerns.
Research indicates that co-located services improves access to care and helps to facilitate community building. Additionally, culturally sensitive services have proven to be more effective and efficient. The Partnership project seeks to provide culturally sensitive and easily accessible services to people in need.
Based on the successful model established through the CSWEI project, the Partnership relies on the interdisciplinary work of professional nurses and social work students as well as lay health consultants who act as interpreters for people who cannot easily speak or understand English. Using evidenced based cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing approaches the Partnership teams provide:
- Educational services and supports
As part of the tapestry of community services, the Partnership is integral to linking and coordinating appropriate care to people who have historically encountered many barriers with regard to access to care.
The Partnership Project, CNP and CSWEI would not and could not exist without the generous support of the Cone Health Foundation.