ABOUT

The Learning Collaborative

This 20-month learning collaborative convenes 10 schools to prepare social work students to lead the charge against the current opioid and drug epidemic. With support from leading experts, participating schools are:

  • Refining and/or expanding existing addiction-related coursework;

  • Partnering with field placement sites that offer addiction-related services; and

  • Recruiting 8 students to take the addiction-related coursework and apply their learnings at one of the identified field placement sites.

 
 

The Schools

Project Team

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Amanda Baer, MPH

Project Coordinator, Practice Improvement, National Council for Behavioral Health

AmandaB@thenationalcouncil.org

maura.jfif

Maura Gaswirth, LCSW

Director, Practice Improvement, National Council for Behavioral Health

MauraG@thenationalcouncil.org

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Tom Hill, MA

Sr. Advisor, National Council for Behavioral Health

TomH@thenationalcouncil.org

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Julia Schreiber, MPH

Sr. Project Manager, Practice Improvement, National Council for Behavioral Health

JuliaS@thenationalcouncil.org

Nick Szubiak, MSW, LCSW

Integrated Health Consultant and Principal, 

NSI Strategies

Nick@nsistrategies.com

Shelly Wiechelt, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore

AaronW@thenationalcouncil.org

Aaron Williams, MA

Integrated Care Consultant, National Council for Behavioral Health

AaronW@thenationalcouncil.org

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the box to see more:

What is this learning collaborative?


This learning collaborative aims to enhance professional social work responses to the current opioid epidemic and other addiction-related consequences in individuals, families and communities. Through an inclusive learning collaborative, this initiative strives to:

  • Help schools refine and expand current addiction-related curriculum;
  • Partner with field placement sites that offer addiction-related services; and
  • Engage seventy-five students to take the addiction-related coursework and intern at identified field placement sites.

From October 2019 through May 2021, schools, field placements, and students will participate in a virtual, peer-to-peer learning collaborative. Schools will implement and integrate new coursework into existing or new curricula to increase social workers’ knowledge of opioid and other addiction-related disorders, including how to assess, treat, and support clients in their communities. Participants of the learning collaborative will receive support from experts in the field as well as access to on-demand educational resources.




Who are the members of this learning collaborative?


The learning collaborative brings together a diverse group of schools with the goal of refining and expanding existing addiction-related coursework, partnering with field placement sites that offer addiction-related services, and engaging students to take coursework and work in their communities. The learning collaborative aims to foster a collaborative, strengths-focused environment to help all achieve this goal.

Schools of Social Work:

Ten schools of social work were selected from across the country to prepare students to lead the charge against the opioid and drug epidemics. Schools will engage in coaching and webinars with experts as well as learn from the unique experiences and current offerings that the other participating schools bring to the learning collaborative. Schools will partner with field placement sites that offer addiction-related services to ensure students are building competency in the field. Click here to see a map of the participating schools.

Faculty Champions:

Each school identified a faculty champion to be the primary point of contact for this initiative. They are responsible for:

  • Attending and engaging in learning collaborative activities;
  • Ensuring the information shared in the learning collaborative is disseminated to other faculty, dean(s) and students;
  • Convening the necessary stakeholders (e.g., students, field supervisors) to coordinate implementation of the coursework and field placements.

If the faculty champion is unable to attend a learning collaborative activity, they should designate an alternative from their organization.

Students:

Each school selected 7-8 students in Spring/Summer 2020 to participate in this learning collaborative through Spring 2021. The selected students will take the refined/expanded coursework while completing their internship at a field placement site that offers addiction-related services. Additionally, the students will participate in various learning collaborative activities, such as group calls that will provide an opportunity to build a network across the country, surveys, and evaluations. The students will offer insight into what content has best prepared them to support children, families, adults, and communities impacted addiction. Students will also share their experience in the field and what they need to be better prepared to do this work.

Field Supervisors/Instructors:

Schools engaged current field placement sites and/or established partnerships with new sites that are offering addiction-related supports. Schools then matched students with those sites for an internship in 2020/2021. Supervisors from identified field placement sites will participate in the learning collaborative and provide insight into coursework that is needed to support field work. Field placement sites will also grow their capacity to support students through improved understanding of the coursework and strategies to reinforce the coursework in the field.

Field placement sites that are acceptable for this learning collaborative are settings that allow students to apply their learnings about substance and addiction. A range of settings are acceptable, including both macro and micro/clinical settings. The following list includes examples of appropriate settings, although it is not exhaustive. If you have a question about a field placement site(s), please contact Amanda at AmandaB@TheNationalCouncil.org.

Example field placement settings:

  • Substance Use and Addiction Treatment
  • Harm Reduction
  • Criminal Justice
  • Children’s Welfare
  • HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C Treatment
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) or a similar entity
  • Homeless Shelter
  • County Health Department
  • Local or state government agency or task force




Which organizations are partnering to host this learning collaborative?


National Council for Behavioral Health The National Council is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with 3,326 member organizations, it serves more than 10 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addictions. The organization is committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. To learn more about the National Council and their work, check out their website: https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/. New York Community Trust This Learning Collaborative is made possible through funding from The New York Community Trust (NYCT). NYCT, a public charity, is a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City and its suburbs. NYCT brings together individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to build a better community and support nonprofits that make a difference. To learn more about NYCT and their work, check out their website: https://www.nycommunitytrust.org/. Council on Social Work Education

The National Council has partnered with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to align this learning collaborative with social work core competencies and requirements as well as similar CSWE initiatives. To learn more about CSWE, visit: https://www.cswe.org/.




How are members being compensated for their participation?


Schools of social work, students and field placements/supervisors will receive a stipend for their participation. All payments will be dispensed by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Stipend payments are contingent on adequate engagement in the learning collaborative. For questions about your stipend, please contact Amanda Baer, Project Coordiantor, at AmandaB@thenationalcouncil.org.




What will members do as a part of this learning collaborative?


The learning collaborative includes assorted activities designed to connect schools of social work to their peers, national experts, and leading resources. The learning collaborative will leverage the collective knowledge of the cohort, while also ensuring guidance is tailored to the unique context of each school. The activities will include group discussions, live virtual trainings, 1:1 coaching, and a technical site visit to support the range of diverse learning styles in the learning collaborative.

Students and field supervisors/instructors will each have their own quarterly cohort calls. For each round of cohort calls, 2-3 times will be offered to accomodate schedules. Check out the Calendar page to see the schedule of events. Please reach out to AmandaB@thenationalcouncil.org if you are not able to attend.

All members of the learning collaborative will also complete periodic surveys to share progress and feedback with the National Council and to inform an evaluation of the overall initiative.




Who can I contact if I have more questions?


If you aren't sure who to contact, please reach out to Amanda Baer and she will ensure you receive a response.

Maura Gaswirth

Director, Practice Improvement

National Council for Behavioral Health

MauraG@thenationalcouncil.org

Julia Schreiber

Senior Project Manager, Practice Improvement

National Council for Behavioral Health

JuliaS@TheNationalCouncil.org

Amanda Baer

Project Coordinator, Practice Improvement

National Council for Behavioral Health

AmandaB@thenationalcouncil.org

Tom Hill

Senior Advisor, Practice Improvement

National Council for Behavioral Health

TomH@TheNationalCouncil.org

Aaron Williams

Integrated Care Consultant/Learning Collaborative Coach

National Council for Behavioral Health

AaronW@TheNationalCouncil.org

Nick Szubiak

Integrated Care Consultant/Learning Collaborative Coach

NSI Strategies

Nick@NSIStrategies.com





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