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This fall, Adelphi University’s School of Social Work will launch a new virtual program granting a postgraduate certificate in Environmental Justice for Social Workers. The first of its kind in the United States, it is designed to prepare social workers for working with vulnerable communities our rapidly changing world.

The certificate program, created and taught by Kelly Smith, DSW, founder of the Institute for Social Work and Environmental Justice, will incorporate practical and actionable curriculum for social workers by addressing the effects of climate change, environmental hazards and COVID-19 on the most vulnerable populations. The course is being offered through the School of Social Work’s Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development and was the brainchild of Dr. Smith and Renee M. Rawcliffe, director of continuing education and professional development. Prior to coming on board at Adelphi, Rawcliffe worked in disaster response and recovery as a social worker for a large nonprofit organization and saw firsthand the devastating impact climate change had on individuals, families and communities.

“While climate change and environmental justice impact all areas of social work practice, and a majority of surveyed social workers agreed that environmental issues are essential to social work, only 8 percent of those social workers felt their courses adequately covered these issues,” said Dr. Smith. “Increasing continuing education in this area can spark innovative thinking among social workers as they consider the intersections between practice and policy initiatives and work to solve these wicked problems.”

Courses will run on Thursday evenings, September 17 through December 10, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Field instructors and Adelphi alumni will receive a 20 percent discount. Veterans and current students will receive a 35 percent discount.

The School of Social Work is an approved provider of continuing education credits to social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and creative arts therapists. Successful completion of this course will result in the award of 24 CE hours.

Learn more about the School of Social Work’s continuing education and professional development and the postgraduate certificate in Environmental Justice and Social Work.

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