The Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS) has received funding in the amount of $27,000 from the Fund for Change for the general support of SWCOS programs. SWCOS’ mission is to create and implement innovative models of social work education and service that strengthen individuals, families, organizations, and communities in Baltimore and Maryland. Within the School of Social Work, SWCOS was launched in September 1992. SWCOS concentrates its efforts in vulnerable communities with marginalized people to achieve the following goals: 1) Identify and build the capacities of individuals, families, communities, and community-based organizations to solve their problems; 2) Demonstrate that the problems our society faces can be solved by creating, implementing, evaluating, and publicizing model solutions; 3) Demonstrate to the larger society that all members have something valuable to contribute to the problem-solving process; 4) Remind people that inclusion and participation in the problem-solving process will lead to more effective solutions; 5) Inspire people to enter the struggle for social justice and to create new professional roles in this struggle; and 6) Inspire and strengthen the social work profession to take a stronger role in the solution of society’s problems.
SWCOS is a recognized leader in the use of community-university partnerships to create and implement innovative models of social work education and practice that address pressing community issues. SWCOS programs cover three areas: direct services, community organizing, and organizational capacity building. The general support from the Fund for Change will enable SWCOS to make significant strides in continuing to develop community-based programs and services through a Strategic Planning Process.