Cal State LA has been awarded a $3.4 million grant by the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) to expand its social work graduate program and help develop a culturally sensitive and competent behavioral health workforce.
“There are tremendous needs to provide well-trained social work professionals in behavioral health care, such as mental health, substance use, intimate partner abuse, child maltreatment and more,” said Siyon Rhee, the grant’s lead principal investigator and director for the School of Social Work in the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services at Cal State LA. “With this program expansion grant, we will be able to address these needs.”
The five-year grant is funded by HCAI’s Social Work Education Capacity Program, which is designed to increase the supply of social workers trained to provide behavioral health care.
The university’s Master of Social Work program aims to respond proactively to behavioral health needs of the surrounding Los Angeles immigrant and economically underprivileged communities. The program’s curriculum will be designed to prepare social work majors to become competent advanced generalist practitioners who are sensitive and culturally proficient in serving children, youth and families in these underserved communities.
“As the School of Social Work at Cal State LA is particularly mindful of the richness and complexity found through socially diverse and multicultural surrounding communities, we are truly excited with this grant opportunity,” said Rhee.
Recognized in the field of social work, Rhee’s research is on health, mental health, intimate partner violence, and social work practice with children in Asian American immigrant families. She has collaborated on child welfare workforce development activities with the California Social Work Education Center at UC Berkeley and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
The social work faculty participating in this grant project also include co-principal investigators Ga-Young Choi, Anh-Luu Huynh-Hohnbaum, Tirmazi Taqi Mohammad and Hermila Melero.
In California, expanding access to behavioral health care and increasing the workforce are critically important, said California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Mark Ghaly.
“This new grant program is an important investment to train social workers who play a crucial role in behavioral health care delivery,” he said. “Our goal, under the governor’s vision, is to reimagine behavioral health and emotional well-being for all children, adults and families in California. Awards like these will help us reach that goal.”
The HCAI’s mission is to expand equitable access to quality, affordable health care for all Californians through resilient facilities, actionable information and the health workforce each community needs.
# # #
California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.