Mission Statement

The University of Iowa School of Social Work's mission is to develop, disseminate, and integrate excellent and compelling research-based knowledge, practice, and policy particularly as related to children, families, and older adults. Operating from strengths-based and systems perspectives, we educate our graduates to be culturally competent scholars and practitioners committed to social justice and social work values and ethics, prepared to serve in and have a positive impact on a broad range of family-centered and community-based practice settings throughout the state of Iowa and beyond.

Achieving Distinction

The University of Iowa School of Social Work is innovative in developing, disseminating, and integrating social work education, research, and public service. Some important innovations include:

  • The University of Iowa has provided social work distance education for more than 40 years. Today, the MSW is offered in four sites (Sioux City, Des Moines, Iowa City, and Quad Cities) ensuring that social work education is available throughout the state. We began classes for our new online MSW program in May 2018.
  • Experiential learning through national and international immersion opportunities (past locations include Chicago, Philadelphia, Mexico, India, and El Salvador), collaboration with and sponsorship of "Wild Bill's" a coffeeshop staffed by people with disabilities, partnership on a statewide Latino Conference, and support of a Social Work Creative Writing Seminar, all reinforce our interdisciplinary and intercultural approaches.
  • For more than 40 years, the School's National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice (NRC/FCP) has promoted family-centered, community-based, culturally competent practice within organizations and across systems through research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, and information dissemination. The NRC has worked in all fifty states and through international collaborations.
  • The School has a longstanding and award-winning commitment to advancing cultural competence, which now includes offering a cultural competence certificate program for all University of Iowa undergraduate students. 
  • The NRC/FCP's work on Disproportionate Minority Contact has made Iowa a leader in reducing race-based disproportionality and disparities in child welfare and juvenile justice.
  • The School is nationally known for its outstanding work in Child Welfare, Aging Studies, End of Life Care, and reducing Family Violence.