Social Work at FAMU
The Beginning of Social Work at FAMU
The official social work program began with one introductory course in the Department of Sociology during the 1950-1951 academic year. By 1956, a six-course sequence was available as a minor for students majoring in the liberal arts. In 1957, the first “colored” social workers were hired by the State of Florida with FAMU graduates being highly represented in this first group. The liaison built between the program faculty and the personnel director of the state agency made such employment a reality.
With a student enrollment of nearly 250 social work minors, Florida A&M University received its first Formula Grant in HEW Region IV in 1968. Ever since, the social work program has had faculty offering an approved, and later accredited, professional curriculum in social work education.
A bachelor’s degree in social work was first offered in 1979 under the visionary leadership of Dr. Victoria Warner. Under her direction, the program achieved departmental status in the 1990-1991 academic year. Both the departmental faculty and University administrators believed the Bachelor of Social Work program met the “goodness-of-fit test” in relation to:
- The mission of FAMU
- The essential values of FAMU students, particularly those related to issues of social and economic justice
- Local and national needs of the profession, and
- The self-actualization of students choosing social work as their career.
Dr. Warner soon dreamed of a master’s degree in social work at FAMU and took steps within the University and with the Council on Social Work Education to make this dream a reality. When she retired in May 1997, a new chairperson of the Department of Social Work was hired to oversee the development and implementation of a new Master of Social Work program. In 1999, the program applied for its initial accreditation status. In 2002, it received full accreditation. Both the BSW and MSW programs were fully re-affirmed by the Council on Social Work Education in 2008. In 2015, both programs were reaffirmed for the next eight years (2015-2022).
The social work faculty, along with the University, students, staff, and community strive to deliver a high-quality program committed to the enhancement of human well-being, social and economic justice, and the alleviation of poverty and oppression in all forms.