SSW News

Remembering Camille Baudot Wheeler

March 25, 2021    |  

One of our School's earliest graduates, earning her MSW in 1968, Camille was a long-time adjunct faculty member at the SSW. After beginning her career in Baltimore City, Camille went on to serve as Director of Baltimore County's Department of Social Services for over 19 years.

Of her many accomplishments, Camille was proudest of the quality and diversity of programming initiated during her years as director of the Baltimore County Department of Social Services. These included the state's first specialized independent living preparation program for youth aging out of foster care; a sexual abuse investigation and treatment center; and services to women in the county jail.

Under her leadership, the agency became the first public agency in the county to achieve accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. The values she instilled in her mentees – minimal bureaucracy, high quality and professional staff, a service delivery system that puts clients first, regardless of any barrier – remain an important part of the organizational culture today.

Camille was also highly regarded as a leader by the Child Welfare League of America, a national organization. A stickler for training and high standards, she insisted that all her caseworkers have master's degrees. She held very strong opinions, including the belief that economically challenged people and communities were as entitled to professional social work services as those who could financially afford them. Given the sensitivity of public child welfare work, she believed a highly educated and trained workforce was essential.

After leaving the public agency, Ms. Wheeler taught public policy, management, and community organizing classes at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, until her retirement in 2016. She continued to be active in community and civic organizations, including the League of Women Voters, the Hamilton Club, the Women's Giving Circle, and the Pro Bono Counseling Project.

We have highlighted two funds that were important to Camille: her scholarship and the Student Emergency Fund.

In her life, Camille served as a mentor to many, and was committed to supporting social workers and social work students. A fierce advocate for both social work education and policy, she established and endowed the Camille Baudot Wheeler Scholarship in Policy Studies. This scholarship endowment supports students who emulate her commitment to public service through a career in policy.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a negative impact on many social work students. To assist students facing financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances, the Student Emergency Fund was established to provide emergency aid. Frequently, these funds are used for basic necessities like rent, groceries, transportation, and childcare. Gifts to the Student Emergency Fund will honor Camille's dedication to the next generation of social workers.

Camille Wheeler

Camille Wheeler

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a negative impact on many social work students. To assist students facing financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances, the Student Emergency Fund was established to provide emergency aid. Frequently, these funds are used for basic necessities like rent, groceries, transportation, and childcare. Gifts to the Student Emergency Fund will honor Camille's dedication to the next generation of social workers.

UMSSW Student Emergency Fund

The Camille Baudot Wheeler Scholarship