UW News

School of Social Work


October 7, 2019

Pop-up galleries and data: Visualizing the lives of homeless people and their animals

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Sparked by a grant from the UW Population Health Initiative, the UW’s Center for One Health Research has created a series of pop-up galleries featuring autobiographical photographs made by people experiencing homelessness with their animal companions. The first gallery was Oct. 4 in UW’s Red Square. Other pop-up gallery events are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday,…


October 4, 2019

Health disparities, strong social support among state’s LGBTQ community

Two gender nonbinary people sit on steps outside and talk.

A report released Oct. 4, the Washington State Equity and Diversity Project, is the first study of its kind to examine the health of LGBTQ people of all ages throughout the state.


September 26, 2019

Income gains for many, but no change in poverty rates for Seattle and King County

The share of Washingtonians living below the federal poverty threshold declined from 11.0 to 10.3 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to new Census data released Thursday. 


August 8, 2019

Study shows gun shops can aid in preventing suicides

Man behind the counter of a gun shop talks to a customer.

Firearm retailers throughout Washington are willing to learn about suicide prevention but are reluctant to talk to customers about mental health issues, according to a new study by Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington.


July 25, 2019

Decades after a grade-school program to promote social development, adults report healthier, more successful lives

Photo of adult helping a boy in class with a paper.

University of Washington researchers have found that that “good life” in adulthood can start in grade school, by teaching parents and teachers to build stronger bonds with their children, and to help children form greater attachments to family and school.


June 24, 2019

B-roll: Karen Fredriksen Goldsen and the GenPride Center

The GenPride Center is the first and only multipurpose LGBTQ senior center in Seattle and King County. It was founded by Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, a University of Washington professor of social work, with the goal of combating social isolation experienced by many LGBTQ older adults.


Creating community, battling loneliness among LGBTQ seniors

Research shows that LGBTQ older adults are at higher risk for social isolation. To that end, UW social work professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen helped establish an LGBTQ senior center in Seattle.


May 6, 2019

Security cameras in nursing homes aim to protect the vulnerable but present ethical dilemmas

With reports of crimes against nursing home residents gaining media attention around the country, seven states have passed laws regulating the use of cameras in care facilities. An assistant professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work outlines the list of legal and moral issues that surveillance raises.


April 8, 2019

How societal attitudes, political rhetoric affect immigrants’ health

This 2007 photo shows the border between California, left, and Tijuana, Mexico, right.

For immigrants to the United States, the current political climate, and debates over issues such as a border wall, become part of the environment that influences their health, according to a new University of Washington study.


March 21, 2019

How discrimination, PTSD may lead to high rates of preterm birth among African-American women

African-American women give birth prematurely at a higher rate than white women, a trend a University of Washington study suggests is attributable to racial discrimination and PTSD. Photo of woman and her baby.

African-American women are nearly twice as likely to give birth prematurely as white women. Amelia Gavin, an associate professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work, connects preterm birth to racial discrimination via PTSD.


March 11, 2019

University of Washington graduate and professional disciplines rank highly in US News’ Best Graduate School lists

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The University of Washington’s graduate and professional degree programs were widely recognized as among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Graduate School rankings released March 12.


February 6, 2019

Parenting in the age of legal pot: Household rules, conversations help guide teen use

The legalization of marijuana in Washington state in 2012 gave parents the opportunity for a new teachable moment. Many say that as society has become more permissive, they want information and advice.


January 29, 2019

Organizations come together to show support for suicide prevention

Mock headstones outside the State Capitol mark the number of people who died by suicide in Washington in one year. Forefront Suicide Prevention, based at the University of Washington, places the headstones as part of its annual Education Day event in Olympia. Photo of hundreds of headstones on the lawn in front of the State Capitol building.

Community impact and public health solutions are the focus of the Forefront Suicide Prevention Education Day, to be held Feb. 11 at the Washington Capitol in Olympia. Forefront, based at the UW School of Social Work, is leading the event, a series of speakers and events aimed at raising awareness, providing training and pushing for change.


January 22, 2019

Forefront, UW Tacoma receive Boeing grants for veteran career services, suicide prevention

Forefront Program Coordinator Brett Bass joins fellow veterans to build awareness about the Save Homes, Suicide Aware program. Photo of Brett talking to two veterans.

Boeing has awarded $300,000 to Forefront Suicide Prevention and University of Washington Tacoma for work with veterans. Forefront, at the UW School of Social Work, received $205,000 to expand veteran-specific outreach, and UWT received $95,000 for career services for veterans.


January 16, 2019

UW opens Othello Commons in Southeast Seattle

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The University of Washington today opened the doors to Othello-UW Commons, a new multifunctional partnership space in the heart of Southeast Seattle’s Othello neighborhood.


October 24, 2018

New center to recognize American Indian and Indigenous Studies

As the discipline of American Indian Studies approaches its 50th year at the University of Washington, a new research center is in the works: the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, which is supported by multiple colleges and schools.


September 26, 2018

Significant gift from Lynn and Howard Behar funds new UW School of Social Work Center for Integrative Oncology and Palliative Care Social Work

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A substantial gift from Lynn and Howard Behar will expand the University of Washington School of Social Work’s support for the next generation of oncology social work scholars by providing funds to launch a new Center for Integrative Oncology and Palliative Care Social Work.

The Center will take a social justice approach to oncology and palliative care services, with a commitment to addressing documented health disparities in cancer and end-of-life care based on race and ethnicity, disability, gender and sexual identity, geographic location, income or education.


September 13, 2018

Poverty rates hold steady, average incomes continue to increase in Seattle area and Washington state

image of piggy bank

The share of Washingtonians living below the federal poverty threshold declined slightly from 11.3 percent to 11 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to new Census data released Thursday. While this change was not statistically significant, the 2017 poverty rate remains below the post-recession high of 14.1 percent in 2013. Washington was one of 28…


August 20, 2018

Student volunteers help expand UW’s outreach to homeless youth

The University of Washington's Doorway Project has been offering pop-up cafes for homeless youth in the U District since last December. The event is a partnership with YouthCare to coordinate services in the neighborhood, which has one of the largest concentrations of homeless youth in King County.

The University of Washington’s Doorway Project has offered a cafe for homeless young adults each quarter, while students have helped add services, from preventive health care, to establishing a fundraising organization to designing a permanent café home. Its summer pop-up cafe event is Aug. 24.


April 26, 2018

Community efforts to prevent teen problems have lasting benefits

A University of Washington study finds that a community-based approach to substance-abuse prevention, which can include after-school activities, can affect young people into adulthood.

  Want to prevent kids from using drugs and make it stick into young adulthood? Get the community involved and intervene before they’re teens, say researchers from the University of Washington. A new, longitudinal study from the UW Social Development Research Group shows that young adults who grew up in communities that used a coordinated,…


March 19, 2018

University of Washington graduate and professional disciplines rank highly in US News’ Best Graduate School lists

library at night

Nearly 50 different graduate and professional programs and specialties at the University of Washington are among the top 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Graduate School rankings released March 20.


March 12, 2018

UW study offers help to soldiers with signs of PTSD

The University of Washington is launching a study to identify soldiers experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms and to determine whether free, confidential, over-the-phone counseling can help them navigate resources and spur them to seek further support.


February 22, 2018

New curriculum prioritizes tribal sovereignty, cultural respect in scientific research of American Indian, Alaska Native communities

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    When scientists have conducted research in Native American communities, the process and the results have sometimes been controversial. There have been a few well-known cases, such as the 1979 Barrow Alcohol Study, in which researchers examined substance use in the tiny Arctic Circle town and issued findings to the press, before briefing the…


January 30, 2018

Depression, anxiety affect more than one-fourth of state’s college students

A study of college students from around the state shows the prevalence of depression and anxiety. Suicide prevention advocates say this illustrates the need for more mental health resources on campuses.

  Nearly one-third of Washington college students have experienced depression in the last year, and more than 10 percent have had thoughts of suicide, according to a new survey of young adults attending schools around the state. The survey of more than 10,000 students at 13 of Washington’s two- and four-year institutions shows the need…


November 27, 2017

UW’s Doorway Project kicks off services for homeless youth

The University District includes a significant portion of King County's homeless youth population. A new effort by the University of Washington aims to help homeless young people become more self-sufficient.

  Seattle’s homeless crisis isn’t confined to one part of town – nor does it hinge on one solution. The University District community includes as much as one-third of King County’s homeless youth over any given year. It’s a neighborhood where a food bank and youth shelter are available, and where young people on the…


November 22, 2017

Two UW professors named to the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare

Edwina Uehara, dean of the University of Washington School of Social Work, and social work professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen have been named fellows of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. The two are among 14 new fellows to be inducted by the organization, which honors scholarship, leadership and high-impact work in the…


October 11, 2017

In Seattle, cost of meeting basic needs up $30,000 in a decade

map of washington state with county boundaires

A Seattle family of four must bring in $75,000 annually to pay for basic housing, food, transportation and health and child care – an increase of 62 percent since 2006, based on a new report from the University of Washington. The city’s escalating cost of living may not be a surprise. But across the state,…


September 14, 2017

Poverty decreases, income increases in Seattle area and Washington state

The share of Washingtonians living in poverty dropped from 12.2 percent to 11.3 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to new Census data released Thursday. This is the third straight year that poverty has decreased since the post-recession high of 14.1 percent in 2013.


September 5, 2017

Gun dealers, suicide-prevention advocates partner to save lives

Forefront logo

  With 80 percent of firearms deaths in Washington related to suicide, the scenario isn’t hard to imagine: A person thinking of ending their life enters a gun store to buy the means to do it. Unfortunately, other scenarios play out, as well: A person filling a lethal dose of a prescription medication at a…


August 24, 2017

Lesbian, gay and bisexual older adults suffer more chronic health conditions than heterosexuals, study finds

A new University of Washington study funds that lesbian, gay and bisexual older adults are more likely than heterosexuals to suffer chronic health conditions.

  Lesbian and bisexual older women are more likely than heterosexual older women to suffer chronic health conditions, experience sleep problems and drink excessively, a new University of Washington study finds. In general, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) older adults were found to be in poorer health than heterosexuals, specifically in terms of higher rates…


June 1, 2017

Why pot-smoking declines — but doesn’t end — with parenthood

Becoming a parent doesn't necessarily deter adults from smoking marijuana, a University of Washington study has found. Marijuana has been legal in Washington state since 2012.

  Adults who smoke marijuana often cut back after becoming parents — but they don’t necessarily quit. The influence of a significant other and positive attitudes toward the drug overall, in addition to the onset of parenthood, also are factors in whether someone uses marijuana. It’s a changing landscape for marijuana use, as laws ease…


May 15, 2017

Where you live may impact how much you drink

Neighborhoods with greater poverty and disorganization may play a greater role in problem drinking than the availability of bars and stores that sell hard liquor, a University of Washington-led study has found.

    Neighborhoods with greater poverty and disorganization may play a greater role in problem drinking than the availability of bars and stores that sell hard liquor, a University of Washington-led study has found. While there is evidence for the link between neighborhood poverty and alcohol use, the new twist — that socioeconomics are more…


May 11, 2017

Suicide prevention messages are top priority for UW’s Forefront

University of Washington advocates for suicide prevention were busy pushing for legislation in Olympia, working on programs with more than a dozen local high schools and organizing the fourth annual Husky Help & Hope walk when an online TV show about suicide suddenly captivated a teenage audience. To the staff of UW-based Forefront: Innovations in…


May 3, 2017

UW School of Social Work to host May 9 event ‘How Shifting Federal Priorities Impact the Poor’

For social service agencies, pinning down funding is par for the course. But there is heightened interest in the new administration’s priorities, and whether services to the poor will be among them. That lack of certainty — and a need to share information — prompted the University of Washington School of Social Work and the…


April 24, 2017

Military service boosts resilience, well-being among transgender veterans

  Transgender people make up a small percentage of active-duty U.S. military personnel, but their experience in the service may yield long-term, positive effects on their mental health and quality of life. A study from the University of Washington finds that among transgender older adults, those who had served in the military reported fewer symptoms…


April 13, 2017

Married LGBT older adults are healthier, happier than singles, study finds

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  Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land for nearly two years — and in some states for even longer — but researchers can already detect positive health outcomes among couples who have tied the knot, a University of Washington study finds. For years, studies have linked marriage with happiness among heterosexual couples….


March 22, 2017

Race, health, justice topics for March 31 UW symposium on medical ethics

The interdisciplinary 2017 Benjamin Rabinowitz Symposium in Medical Ethics on March 31, titled “Race, Health & Justice,” will explore inequities in health and health care and place them in political, economic and historical context.


January 31, 2017

UW’s Forefront to recreate memorial, advocate for solutions at Suicide Prevention Education Day in Olympia

Photograph of 2016 memorial

The UW-based Forefront will host a memorial for Washington state residents who died by suicide and join firearms dealers, veterans’ organizations, pharmacists, health care providers and suicide attempt and loss survivors to advocate for two legislative bills as part of Suicide Prevention Education Day.


December 19, 2016

$5 million will expand UW-developed technology to help West Coast children and families

Technology developed at the University of Washington to improve service delivery in child welfare, foster care and homeless youth systems will soon be expanded to other states through $5 million in new funding. The grant will allow Oliver — a social service management solution developed by Partners for Our Children, an organization in the UW…


November 7, 2016

Telephone-based intervention shows promise in combating alcohol abuse among soldiers

Alcohol abuse is pervasive in the military, where a culture of heavy drinking and the stress of deployment lead many soldiers down a troubled path. Almost half of active-duty military members in the United States — 47 percent — were binge-drinkers in 2008, up from 35 percent a decade earlier. Rates of heavy drinking also…



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