ASWB to invest in research initiatives to advance equity

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ASWB is committed to investing in research as a means of contributing to the future of the social work profession.

As a start, ASWB recently published 10 years of licensure pass rate data from across all U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions and for more than 800 social work programs. The analysis yielded a body of descriptive data that now offer a pivotal opportunity for more in-depth research.

Now, ASWB is taking action to fund additional research that can inform regulatory administration and deepen understanding of how to ensure greater equity within the profession’s systems. To do this, ASWB invites  the social work community to participate in these research initiatives and be part of advancing public protection and professional accountability.

The association shared descriptive data, knowing that this step was only the first in a longer-term journey to advance upstream solutions that could help mitigate the impact of systemic and institutional racism and other forms of marginalization on the profession. Shining a light on disparities reveals many more questions that need to be answered through diligent research rather than through mere assumptions and conjecture. Areas that require research include exploring how the professional standard of competency is defined and measured and gaining a more complete understanding of pipeline variables that account for differences in pass rates.

The ASWB exam data report, interactive jurisdictional maps, and school reports indicate the need for this research. ASWB will provide data sets and limited funding for approved proposals through its research arm, the American Foundation for Research and Consumer Education in Social Work Regulation. Look for upcoming requests for proposals in the first quarter of 2023.

As we learn more, we can collectively do more.

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