Financial Social Work Certificate Program

The FSW Certificate Program is offered periodically, beginning in January. In years it will be offered, information is posted here in the late fall for the following year’s monthly sessions. In early 2021 an online version of the FSW Certificate Program will be offered, which will extend participation and CEUs to practitioners outside the Maryland region for the first time. To learn about the course content, dates, CEUs, cost, and application process at any time, please contact Dr. Christine Callahan at or 410-706-7051.
I have used the information obtained through the FSWI training to enlighten my workers on the  stress that financial issues can have on a family and how it can manifest itself in other ways,  such as child abuse and neglect. I have also provided pointers on how clients can maximize the community resources that are provided to supplement their income and reduce financial stress

— Comments from a recent graduate of the FSW Certificate Program

UMSSW’s Financial Social Work Initiative (FSWI) is launching the online version of its Financial Social Work (FSW) Certificate Program through UMSSW’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Office in March 2021, which will extend participation and CEUs to practitioners outside the Maryland region for the first time. The FSW Certificate Program continues to meet an identified need for greater financial capability and empowerment knowledge on the part of social workers who practice in non-profit and other social service agencies, as well as in schools, medical settings, and justice and court settings, and beyond.

In FSWI’s work and research over the past 10 years, social workers and human service organizations have expressed a significant, ongoing need for financial social work (FSW) training and skill-building strategies to enable them to intervene appropriately and effectively with financially distressed individuals, families, and communities. Beyond providing resources, however, social workers must have sophisticated knowledge about issues in typical daily financial life, such as credit, debt, budgeting, and working towards identified financial goals. Social workers who work with clients on their complex financial struggles and how these intersect with other psychosocial stressors must be knowledgeable about and familiar with financial issues and behaviors, and feel comfortable in addressing these directly and effectively. From a macro, policy perspective as well, social workers who work within FSW must also be well versed in historical and current policy issues that influence and affect people’s paths towards greater financial stability; conversely, those policies that hinder financial stability and/or that perpetuate economic injustice must also be understood.

The FSW Certificate Program will run over multiple sessions from March 2021 to September 2021. Each session will occur sequentially in half-day segments. The dates are:

  • March 4 and 5, 2021
  • April 1 and 2, 2021
  • May 6 and 7, 2021
  • June 3 and 4, 2021
  • July 1 and 2, 2021
  • August 5 and 6, 2021
  • September 2 and 3, 2021

The online formatting design of the FSW Certificate Program will enable rich class discussion and learning through interaction among the macro and clinical practitioners from across the nation. Besides key educators, the program will feature guest speakers from this important, emerging area. In addition, 3 hours of ethics content will be included and will go towards satisfying requirements for ethics CEUs.



  1. To increase social workers’ knowledge of and skills with financial social work concepts and practice, and to integrate this content into how complex financial activities are navigated on a daily basis;
  2. To increase the capacity for the social work profession to engage clients in financial empowerment and strategies for working on self-identified financial goals and paths toward greater stability and well-being;
  3. To train social workers in skill building in making their financial social work practice responsive and effective to individuals, families, and communities struggling with financial and other types of stressors;
  4. To train social workers to be powerful change agents and advocates within their communities of practice.

The cost is $1,200 and the total number of CEUs for the FSW Certificate Program: 42.

Applications are being accepted now; the application deadline has been extended to 2/12/21. You will be notified of acceptance by February 19, 2021.

Send applications to: Christine Callahan, PhD, LCSW-C University of Maryland School of Social Work Financial Social Work Initiative at

Contact Dr. Callahan at or 410-706-7051 for questions.