Message from the Director

Social work is a growing, dynamic profession with roots in the Industrial Revolution era. Early social work leaders include Mary Richmond, whose organizing, writing, and practice help lay the foundations of direct social work practice, and Jane Addams, a dynamic activist and 1931 Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped found the Children’s Bureau (now part of the US Department of Health and Human Services), Juvenile Protective Association (the first juvenile court in the United States, now a social services agency in Chicago), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (more widely known by its initials NAACP), the American Civil Liberties Union, and many others. These leading social workers, and many others, contributed greatly to the children’s rights movement, organized labor, and women’s suffrage as the United States entered the 20th century.

The School of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas’ oldest and largest social work training program, is committed to the development of professional social workers who will carry on this tradition of service to individuals, families, communities, and society. We provide social work education in a style that challenges students to think critically about problems faced by our most vulnerable populations and understand systemic causes and solutions. Across this country, social work professionals serve in public and private agencies provide services, support, and advocacy to those in need.

Consistent with the mission of the social work profession, our students apply the values of social justice and self-determination to their work with individuals, groups, and communities. Empowering students to recognize the implications of race, gender, and economic hardship prepares them to more effectively deal with the complexity of the human condition. Through the application of these values and ideas, students develop the professional knowledge and skills necessary for professional social work.

The UALR School of Social Work provides all students with generalist social work training in the first year of work. Students’ second year offers the opportunity for specialized training for those who plan to practice directly with children, adults, families, and groups through our Advanced Direct Practice track. Alternatively, students may specialize in Management and Community Practice that offers training in policy development, program evaluation, advocacy, and related work. Each specialization is supported by an internship opportunity to apply knowledge learned in the classroom and develop valuable experience and professional contacts.

Your experience at the School of Social Work will prepare you for a rewarding and fulfilling career in social work practice. It is an endeavor that will teach you about joy, about sorrow, and about change. It will give you a new and distinctive view of the human experience. All of us look forward to welcoming you to the School and to the profession of Social Work.

E. Christopher Lloyd, Ph.D., LCSW,
Interim Director