David Wilkerson, David Kondrat, and Takiya Paicely, IU School of Social Work, IUPUI

Principal Investigator: David Wilkerson, Assistant Professor, IU School of Social Work, IUPUI

Co-principal Investigators: David Kondrat, Associate Professor, and Takiya Paicely, Adjunct Lecturer, IU School of Social Work, IUPUI

Project Title: Post-MSW Training and Certificate Program in Telebehavioral Health Social Work Practice

Funding Level: $15,000

Abstract:

Telebehavioral health practice is a new frontier for social work. Hundreds of thousands of social workers and their clients routinely access digital networks. Significant increases in network accessibility and affordability are expanding telebehavioral mental health and substance abuse services. However, training and certification specific to social work is not yet available in any social work education program across the United States. Indiana University School of Social Work can lead the nation by becoming the first social work program to meet the need for social work-specific training in telebehavioral health practice.

Indiana University School of Social Work’s contributions to education and training are especially important, because large-scale access to telebehavioral mental health and substance abuse healthcare cannot emerge without a trained work force. Social workers are a majority of the traditional mental health workforce. At this time, social workers only have access to nonsocial

Work-specific training and workforce. At this time, social workers only have access to nonsocial

Work-specific training and certification programs in telebehavioral health services delivery. With the support of the Curriculum Enhancement Grant, we plan to address these training needs. We plan to develop three online advanced specialty courses for a post-MSW training and certification program. Future courses, involving leadership, policy and advanced practices like community disaster relief may be added, based on the current project’s outcomes.

Indiana has not yet established licensing requirements for social workers, who deliver telebehavioral health services. Our certification training program can be an important step toward aiding state government decision-making on the training needs for social work licensing in telebehavioral health practice.