CalSWEC Celebrates 25 Years

In 1990, California’s social work educators and practitioners came together to create a unique partnership dedicated to improving the education and training of social workers for all of the state’s publicly supported social services: the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC). Emulated by many during its ground-breaking quarter of a century, CalSWEC today remains the largest coalition of its kind in the nation.

In honor of its 25th anniversary, CalSWEC hosted a reception on September 16 that included a program honoring some of its former leaders.

RELATED: Read about CalSWEC's Past, Present, and Future

“CalSWEC’s expansion over the past 25 years from 10 schools of social work to 22 is a testament to its university and county founders, led by UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare Dean Harry Specht,” stated CalSWEC Executive Director Dr. Rodger Lum, (above, pictured with former Executive Director John Cullen, right).

”The vision of Dean Specht for a professional, skilled, culturally competent social work workforce reflective of the populations they served has been realized with the growth of the consortium and, more significantly, the  8,500-plus graduates who have worked and continue to work in every region of California. Indeed, this is a milestone to celebrate.”

RELATED: CalSWEC's History

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Initially focused on child welfare, CalSWEC expanded to include the Aging Initiative in 2004 to address the dearth of social workers for the adult and aging population and in 2005 launched the Mental Health Program based on the successful principles of its Title IV-E Stipend Program. More than 8,500 graduates have made careers in child welfare and mental health since CalSWEC’s inception.