Our Mission Statement and Statement of Purpose

The MSW Program at the UW School of Social Work is dedicated to preparing professional social workers through rigorous, community-engaged, critically reflexive research, teaching, and learning. The program is grounded in our commitment to racial, economic, gender, and social justice informed by and for those at the social margins of our local, national, and global communities.

Program Goals and Aspirations:

  • To prepare social workers who possess the values, knowledge, and skills to proactively engage in life-long commitments to achieve racial, economic, and social justice, foregrounded in dismantling systems of white supremacy.

  • To educate future social workers to employ professional standards, ethical principles, and critical thinking that address complex social problems through multiple levels of practice with diverse communities in need.

  • To engage social workers to actively commit to diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial and social justice in practice, critically examining the social-cultural-economic-historical contexts in which they as practitioners, as well as people and communities are situated.

  • To ensure that social work graduates foreground the strengths, resilience, and healing traditions embedded in all socially marginalized persons and communities by implementing culturally respectful, relevant, collaborative, and accountable evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence that aim to prevent and intervene in social problems. 

  • To proactively recruit and support students, faculty, and staff who are underrepresented in higher education to co-create knowledge and practice together in a social work learning community aimed at promoting the health, well-being, and empowerment of those most impacted by racism and other structures of social oppression.

We acknowledge that the above aspirations reflect a set of commitments and organizational processes to which we will hold ourselves accountable as intentional, conscientious, and self-reflexive individuals in community. We know the MSW Program and its students, faculty, and staff are “works-in-progress,” dedicated to enacting the above goals and ideals while attending and working at the University of Washington, School of Social Work, and the MSW Program.

We recognize that the MSW Program Mission is a dynamic representation of those values and practices which we will uphold and strive to achieve. Therefore, we are committed to respond to emerging person-in-environment changes in our community and the world by reflecting those conditions in the statement of purpose, aspirations, and principles of the MSW Program.

MSW Program Guiding Principles:

  1. Honoring the First Peoples
  2. Centering Actions to End White Supremacy
  3. Acknowledging Intersectionality
  4. Valuing Communities and Interactions of Care
  5. Respecting Different Ways of Knowing
  6. Practicing Critical Thinking and Reflexivity about our Profession