Chair: Melissa Bellin, PhD

Social workers specializing in healthcare practice know that treating an illness biomedically does not necessarily solve the patient’s problems. Acute, chronic, and life-agencies threatening health conditions often cause emotional, financial and social challenges, for both the affected patient and surrounding family. Clinical health social workers provide supportive counseling, crisis intervention, care coordination to link patients and families with community resources, serve as advocates to promote understanding of and sensitivity to social determinants of health, and collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare team members to implement evidence-supported psychosocial interventions. Healthcare social workers also engage in macro practice in social administration and community organization leadership roles to study patterns of illness, develop and implement programs to prevent disease, administer services to improve health, and advocate for an equitable health care system accessible to all patients with healthcare needs.

The School takes advantage of its location on a campus that includes several major medical centers, a trauma center, and diverse interprofessional education opportunities for social work students to partner with professional students from nursing, medicine, pharmacy, dental, and law. Field placements are available in renowned health organizations throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Graduates are well-qualified to work in one of the largest fields of social work practice–one in which employment opportunities in recent years have been excellent.

The specialization is available to students in both the Clinical and Macro concentrations.


UMBs Global Health Multidisciplinary Research Committee

A Sub-Specialization in Child, Adolescent and Family Health is available within the Health Specialization.

Child, adolescent, and family health social workers practice in a variety of settings, including prenatal clinics, well-baby centers, pediatric intensive care units, school-based health centers, programs for pregnant and parenting teens, and child development centers. They also practice in settings for children with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and handicapping conditions in state and local departments of public health, and in child advocacy organizations. Depending on the setting and their position, they may provide direct services, organize parents and other constituencies, administer programs, formulate policy or advocate for improved services.

The Child, Adolescent, and Family Health Subspecialization is part of the Health Specialization.

This subspecialization is available to students in both the Clinical and Macro concentrations.

Ready to be a Changemaker?