Social workers bring an important though all too-often overlooked perspective to policy conversations. A new fellowship, organized by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) aims to overcome this and help doctoral students connect their research to policy and emphasize the value of social work research on Capitol Hill.
Through this fellowship, Caro will learn to connect social work research with policymaking in Washington, D.C. throughout the 2022-23 academic year. Caro aims to translate their research to promote policies that support and affirm all LGBTQ people, and especially foster care involved young people.
“Caro’s translational research agenda aims to inform and advance policies that support and affirm LGBTQ people,” says Dr. Tova Walsh, Assistant Professor and Doctoral Program Chair. “They bring personal, clinical, and research experience to this work, and through their participation they will develop skills to help further their goals of impacting policy change.”
Caro’s research interests include the sexual and relational health of LGBTQ folks, particularly those involved in the foster care and carceral systems.
“Caro’s work is critical to social work, particularly considering the oppressive political climate for queer and trans people,” says Caro’s advisor and Assistant Professor, Dr. Lara Gerassi. “As a PhD student, they have already made a tremendous impact by conducting research and evidence-based trainings to improve gender-inclusive practices among social workers across the state. This well-deserved fellowship will provide another avenue and a new chapter for advancing their work.”
As part of this fellowship, Caro will, “work closely with policy practitioners to translate their research agenda into policy proposals or briefs; will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the authorization process,” and hone skills of translating complex research findings into actionable materials.
“We’re very proud and excited for Caro that they were selected for the inaugural cohort of the CSWE-SSWR-GADE Social Work Doctoral Student Policy Fellowship, and can’t wait to see how they apply what they learn to promote equitable and inclusive policy,” Walsh adds.