Advocacy & Policy

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in this country.


CSWE is a national association of social work education programs and individuals that ensures and enhances the quality of social work education for a professional practice that promotes individual, family, and community well-being, and social and economic justice. CSWE pursues this mission in higher education by setting and maintaining national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work, by promoting faculty development, by engaging in international collaborations, and by advocating for social work education and research.

Public Policy Initiative


Through its Public Policy Initiative, CSWE strives to promote the value of social work education on the national stage. With the help of its membership, CSWE advocates for issues important to social work education by interacting with the U.S. Congress, the various agencies within the federal government, and other organizations throughout the social work and higher education communities. CSWE's Public Policy Initiative seeks to enhance social work education and the profession through developing and implementing thoughtful public policy that is focused on providing the very best education, training, and financial assistance for social workers. It addresses the educational needs associated with fostering a sustainable and competent social work workforce. 

A Reliable Resource

CSWE’s Public Policy Initiative keeps its members and the public informed about the latest policy developments affecting social work educators, students, and practitioners. It can serve as a reliable, regular resource for understanding and navigating how the nuances of policy change can affect their lives. Contact CSWE's government relations staff.

White House Briefing

On September 25, 2013, CSWE and the White House convened the briefing, “Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in a New Era: The Role of Social Work Education.” This event coincided with the rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and presenters provided information to guide CSWE and its members in preparing the next generation of social work practitioners for a new paradigm in health care, including preparing for collaborative practice. The briefing also helped focus CSWE legislative advocacy efforts to promote social work education and initiatives to address social determinants of health.

To follow up on the briefing, CSWE developed the following sets of principles to help guide its activities in the changing health-care environment. These working documents were written to inform policymakers, with the goal of helping to advance CSWE’s role in health care in a way that represents its membership and the community served by social workers.