Mandel School Plays a Major Role in Creating National Trauma-Informed Curriculum

headshot of Kathleen J. Farkas

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences has long been at the forefront of curricular innovation in social work. In fact, the current guidelines used by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) when accrediting schools of social work are based on the 8 Abilities Model first created at the Mandel School.

So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when CSWE announced a new curricular guide for trauma-informed social work this fall, the Specialized Practice Curricular Guide for Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice, the Mandel School’s expertise played a guiding role in creating the standards. Mandel School Associate Professor Kathleen Farkas, PhD, served on the CWSE National Taskforce Steering Committee that developed the guide and chaired the subcommittee dedicated to the assessment of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

“Participating in curriculum development at the national scale like this is a testament to the Mandel School’s leadership in social work education,” says Grover C. Gilmore, PhD, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Sciences. “I am grateful to Dr. Farkas for her guidance in leading the development of guidelines that will train future social workers in trauma-informed practice, a particular strength of our top-10 ranked social work school.”

The Mandel School’s expertise in trauma-informed care, among the faculty and through the research at both the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education and the Center on Trauma and Adversity, make the school a natural leader in guiding curriculum that considers trauma-informed practice as an essential component of social work education.

“The recently released curricular guide reflects what we at the Mandel School know to be true: That all social workers, not only those working specifically with traumatized populations, need to be able to utilize a trauma-informed lens in their practice,” Farkas says. “I’m proud to have participated in the effort to incorporate trauma-informed knowledge and skills across the curriculum in schools of social work. The curricular guide is an important tool to increase trauma-informed practices among future social work professionals.”