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Latino Social Work Task Force
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Latino Social Work Task Force (LSWTF)

In 2000, the Puerto Rican Family Institute (PRFI), and the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NYC) began a collaboration to address the shortage of Latino social workers in New York City. Both organizations had become well aware that more culturally and linguistically competent professionals were urgently needed to address the complex needs of New York’s diverse, largely immigrant, low-income, and rapidly-growing Latino community. As part of that collaboration, in 2002, the two organizations convened a well-attended public policy forum entitled P’alante (Moving Forward) which identified key issues including the service needs of Latinos, social policy and social action issues, and the components of social work training and education. The forum also led to the formation of the Latino Social Work Task Force (LSWTF). The Task Force has the key goal of heightening awareness of the shortage of Latino social workers needed to serve the Latino community and creating a collaborative effort to address this need.

To facilitate the achievement of this mission, PRFI, NASW-NYC and the Task Force enlisted the support of a consortium of New York City’s six graduate schools of social work. This alliance with PRFI, NASW-NYC, and the Task Force, includes matching the scholarship amounts raised by the Latino Social Work Task Force. To date, the LSWTF has provided funding for $129,000 in scholarships for 42 Latino social work graduate students which was then matched by the graduate schools of social work for a total of $258,000 (2010-2011). Additionally, the Task Force has successfully advocated for a loan-forgiveness program to help human service workers pursue an MSW degree. Thus far, this program has accepted 141 worker/students of Latino and other backgrounds who serve in high-need areas such as child welfare and aging.

For more information about scholarships and events, please click here.

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