Marshall University has joined with Concord University and West Virginia State University to advance the profession of social work and improve the well-being of West Virginia’s children and their families.
A $10,000 Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Adolescent Screening Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant will fund this collaborative partnership among these West Virginia universities. The SBIRT grant will allow the schools of social work to prepare students to screen, provide brief interventions and conduct referrals to treatment for substance abuse issues with adolescents, according to Marshall’s undergraduate social work director, Jo Dee Gottlieb.
"Beginning in spring 2016, this grant will give us access to curriculum materials embedded with valuable research that can provide educational resources for our social workers when assisting and assessing those at risk for substance abuse," Gottlieb said.
West Virginia has been identified as having the highest percentage per capita of substance abuse-related issues in the United States with the highest number of drug overdose deaths, as noted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in its 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The social work programs of West Virginia are committed to finding ways to combat the devastation substance abuse has on our population, according to Dr. John David Smith, director of social work for Concord University.
"Social workers across the state are on the front lines of the battle, and they need more evidenced-based interventions to be successful," Smith said.
Rita Brown, associate professor of social work at West Virginia State University, said collaborations like these need to continue because it is very important that intervention methods are explored and implemented.
"Funding and research through grant opportunities are vital in addressing this topic," Brown said. "It is a privilege for West Virginia State University to participate in the long-standing partnership with Marshall University and Concord University to address substance abuse issues within our great state."
"We have a history of collaborating with the other social work programs in the state through the child welfare grant as well as collaborating on the development of curriculum materials for the geriatric population and those with developmental disabilities," Gottlieb said. "We are very pleased to work with West Virginia State and Concord to address the substance abuse issues in southern West Virginia."
The Adolescent SBIRT grant will begin in January 2016 and continue for 18 months. Since the beginning of 2015, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded over $3.5 million for substance abuse prevention. For more information on the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, visit https://www.hiltonfoundation.org/.
To find out more about the Adolescent SBIRT grant, visit http://sbirt.webs.com. To learn more about Marshall’s Department of Social Work, visit www.marshall.edu/social-work; Concord’s Department of Social Work, visit http://hub.concord.edu/social-work/node/1; and West Virginia State University’s Department of Social work, visit http://www.wvstateu.edu/social-work/.