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Wurzweiler Awarded $1.4 Million Grant to Fund Students in Clinical Field Placements with Vulnerable Adolescents and Youth in NYC

posterWurzweiler School of  Social Work, Yeshiva University,  was awarded a $1.4 Million training grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services in late September to fund students in clinical field placements with vulnerable adolescents and youth in New York City. The award will fund training of Master in Social Work students in their field internships for clinical work. They will develop skills in group work and clinical practice in trauma with NYC adolescents and families.
The funds will be distributed for 3 years under the Human Resources and Services Administration.Over 100 students will be funded during the grant’s time period.Clinical supervision will be provided for interns in field work settings.  Outcomes will be studied.
The project will be conducted with sponsorship and support from Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the David and Dorothy and David Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler, by Dr. Ronnie Glassman, LCSW, Director of Field Instruction, and Principal Investigator, and the faculty ensemble of Dr. Charles Auerbach, LCSW, Dr. Nancy Beckerman, LCSW, Dr. Susan Mason, LCSW, Dr. Jay Sweifach, LCSW, Mr. Eugene Tomkiel, LCSW, and Dr. Wendy Zeitlin, LMSW.
For more information on applying to Wurzweiler School of Social Work or on the opportunities this grant will provide, please visit or contact 212-960-0800.


Clinical Social Work with Adolescents and Transitional-Age Youth in New York City:

Group Work, Individual and Family Methods



The primary purpose of this project is to increase the number of social workers with strong clinical competencies who will work with adolescents and transitional-age youth at risk for developing or who have developed a recognized behavioral health disorder. This will be accomplished by increasing our number of enrolled students; and the creation of increased social work clinical internships for second year students with vulnerable youth.


Educating students in clinical competencies with groups, individuals, and families in order to develop an effective workforce with this population is a major emphasis.


Thirty four students will be admitted to the project every year for three years – a total of 102 MSW students. The grant will award a $10,000 stipend for second year field placement.

Additional scholarship funding will be awarded by Wurzweiler to the student cohorts in their first and second years of field work.


Field placement settings will be in: educational environments or community behavioral health programs designed to support vulnerable adolescents and transitional age youth; and in high risk settings serving this population in care.


Long term clinical social work approaches will be used in dealing with the multiple traumas, often unaddressed, experienced by urban youth, especially those who may be immigrants or living at the poverty level which are major contributors to their behavioral health issues and lack of school success.


The emphasis in the work with these populations will be on:

(a)  Preventing school drop outs and boosting adolescents’ involvement in educational opportunities by utilizing social group work and individual clinical models to provide youth with tools to overcome obstacles to achievement;


(b)  Utilizing social group work and individual clinical models for the development of alternatives to violence, substance abuse, and behavior disorders;


(c)  Providing family interventions that focus on preventing and mitigating risky behavior in youth.


(d)  Strengthening safe school holding environments, particularly middle schools and high schools that further adolescents’ involvement in learning.


The grant is supporting the extra field placements for the students by financing additional field instructors who are licensed clinical social workers to provide the supervision. This model will expand current work to large numbers of vulnerable adolescents which agencies have been unable to serve due to scarce staffing resources.

Training will be provided by the faculty and consultants to the project on content areas relevant to the behavioral health needs of this population.



Project goals include:

(a)  Measured improvement in the wellbeing of interns’ clients. Evidence based practice methods will be used.


(b)  Social work competency attainment in clinical practice with groups, individuals and families will be measured.


(c)  Interns’ commitment to work in this field and to provide leadership in it will be measured over time and after the conclusion of the grant.


(d)  Sustainability of field placement sites post-grant is built in to supervise a larger number of students while they are meeting the needs of the youth population.


We received $457,840 per year for 3 years to support over 100 MSW students in field placements with adolescents and transitional-age youth.