Social Work in the Workplace and Employee Assistance Sub-specialization
Chair: Jodi Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 706-3607
GIVING: The EAP Fund
The Social Work in the Workplace and Employee Assistance Sub-specialization (formerly, Employee Assistance Program Sub-specialization) is recognized as a global leader in the preparation of social workers to enter and provide leadership to the workplace in Employee Assistance (EA) and related fields of workplace social work. Workplaces continue to report rapid growth in the demand for social work and human services in the workplace, including but not limited to workplace behavioral health and worker well-being. Workplace and EA social workers provide a wide array of organizational or macro level and clinical or direct practice and consultation services for employers, employees and their family members. The University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW) program is unique as it is the oldest and largest social work program in the world focused on the interaction between social work, employee assistance, and broader workplace health and well-being. We prepare graduates to understand and practice within settings that incorporate holistic well-being perspectives of employees, family members and work environments to implement innovative, ethical and just policies and practices.
Social work in the workplace and EA focuses on prevention, assessment, and short-term counseling for mental health and substance use problems, personal problems that can negatively affect productivity and work performance, services to support work/life balance and well-being, crisis intervention, and stress management. Additionally, social workers in the workplace and EA social workers partner with diverse work organizations to develop and implement policies, consult with managers, and assess organizational functioning and human resource management. The spectrum of what social workers in the workplace and EA social workers can offer to employers is broad. For example, we partner with workplace leaders to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and also work with individuals and departments to address complex problems affecting employees such as opioid use disorders, suicide, and workplace violence. Social workers fill a critical role in the workplace, supporting the employer’s most valuable asset, their employees.
The Social Work in the Workplace and Employee Assistance Sub-specialization is offered within the UMSSW’s Behavioral Health specialization and offers students opportunities to select either a Clinical (or Clinical/macro) or MACRO (or MACRO/clinical) concentration. Classroom learning and field placements focus on employee assistance programs (EAPs), work/life integration, mental health, and substance use in the workplace. Faculty members and field instructors are recognized experts in the EA and related social work in the workplace fields. Our graduates join a rapidly expanding group of social workers in the workplace and EA professionals who are well qualified to develop and manage programs in private and public settings. Employment opportunities exist at all corporate and government levels, as well as internationally.
Students must complete all coursework required for the Behavioral Health specialization for their chosen concentration (MACRO or CLINICAL). All EAP students take SOWK 725, “Work, Well-Being and Social Policy” for their advanced policy course and SWOA 736, “Administering Employee Assistance Programs” for their advanced methods course. Students who pursue a primary or secondary CLINICAL (CLINICAL, CLINICAL/macro, or MACRO/clinical) concentration also take SWCL 705, “Clinical Social Work with Addictive Behavior Patterns”. While SWCL 705 is not required for MACRO students, it is strongly recommended.
All students will complete their advanced field placement within an approved organization focused on social work in the workplace or employee assistance. Placements are approved by Dr. Frey and the Office of Field Education. Students are required to meet with Dr. Frey for a face-to-face advising session PRIOR to submitting their application for advanced field placement. This can be done online. Please email Dr. Frey at email@example.com before the end of the fall semester to schedule this required appointment. Be prepared to discuss your interest in the field and interest in possible field placements during this meeting.
For Additional Information about Social Work in the Workplace and Employee Assistance
Do you work in Employee Assistance or related social work in the workplace field?
Are you an alumnus of the University of Maryland School of Social Work?
Do you value the importance of Networking with other Employee Assistance Social Workers in the Workplace?
YES? Then please join our online Networking Group. Our group offers University of Maryland School of Social Work alumni the opportunity to network with other alumni who are working in the EAP and related social workers in the workplace field. Currently, we have a private group on Facebook that you can request to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UMEAPAlum/. In the future, we will also create a LinkedIn group as an alternative to the Facebook group. We regularly post employment and training opportunities and provide an online meeting space where alumni can converse and share updates and best practices.