Social work

  • MSW students in their cap and gown on the left and in the middle it is the msw logo and on the right it is a group of msw students holding posters with their hands in the air

Social Work

Mission Statement and Program Goals

The mission of the California State University, Department of Social Work is to prepare professional social workers to be anti-oppressive, socially just agents of change by promoting well-being in urban settings. As an advanced generalist program with a focus on urban communities, the Department will teach and create collaborative learning experiences with students.

Read more about the Master of Social Work Program's focus and goals.

Language Shift: CSUN Practicum Education Program

Dear CSUN Students, Staff, and Faculty,

As we continue our anti-racist work combatting anti-Blackness, CSUN's Social Work Department Field Education Program has decided to no longer use the term "field" to refer to internships. "Field" and "fieldwork" connote the antebellum south, where slaves and indigenous people were sent to work for free on behalf of their owners. We recognize and honor the contributions made by Black and indigenous people in building our society and we refuse to be complicit in perpetuating white supremacy. Standing in solidarity with activist Joyce McMillan, we want to be mindful and considerate on how we send social workers into the field to police rather than liberate. We want to stand in conviction by implementing this language shift which will demonstrate our refusal to be complicit in perpetuating colonialism.

In taking action to do our part in moving the social work profession past these white supremist ideologies, we are adopting the name of the CSUN Practicum Education Program and our Practicum Education Faculty/liaisons will be addressed as Practicum Education Liaisons.

Dear Social Work Colleagues, Students, Agencies, and Allies,

The CSUN Department of Social Work expresses our sadness and outrage at the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade due to racist police actions and institutionalized white supremacist violence. We strongly believe that BLACK LIVES MATTER.  We wish the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others weren’t violently cut short.  We recognize that racist policing policies and white supremacist violence have been legally used as tools of terror against Black people for over 400 years. Our Department understands and is outraged by this shameful, long-standing state-sanctioned violence. We recognize that state-sanctioned violence extends its reach of harmful policies and practices toward Indigenous people, People of Color, LGBTQ communities, homeless and economically vulnerable people, Immigrants and Refugees, Deaf people, and people with disabilities and lived experiences with mental health. 

Read the full statement from the CSUN Department of Social Work.

Statement of Solidarity with Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community

We write this statement from a place of outrage, anger, and sadness in response to the rise in violence toward Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) family members, students, colleagues, and communitiesWe are outraged by the blatant public attacks on AAPI elders while bystanders stand by and look away; we are appalled with the racist and dehumanizing language used by political leaders, law enforcement, and media outlets that continues to fuel anti-Asian violence; and we are deeply saddened by the death, harm, and trauma inflicted onto AAPI communities. While anti-AAPI violence and racism has been consistent throughout US settler colonial history, according to the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, “Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149% in 2020.”  As a Department, we denounce this violence, which we believe is rooted in the ideology of white supremacy and settler colonialism. 

Our shared outrage, anger and sadness is balanced by an unending optimism and hope. We recognize the generations of past and present AAPI activists, social workers, teachers, and community members who have tirelessly fought for justice and healing. We take strength and inspiration from their actions, and their belief that a more just world is possible. In the context of so much violence, we practice optimism and hope, as tools to continuously search for ways to support and uplift AAPI communities.

Read the full statement from the CSUN Department of Social Work.

A Call to Action

Reports of harassment during the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 2022 Annual Program Meeting (APM) appeared on Twitter and were met with outrage, disgust, and in some cases, indignation or resignation. The field of social work is not immune, and the CSUN Department of Social Work applauds and supports the individuals who came forward demanding justice. CSUN MSW took this call to action to continue our anti-racist work combatting anti-Blackness by having conversations about how reactions to reports of harassment differ depending on the intersectionalities of the individuals involved. We are committed to ensuring that all spaces of the Social Work profession are harassment free. The work continues.