The social work community has a new online resource thanks to second year UCLA Luskin Social Welfare students Nick Thomas and Justin Kumar.
Dubbed a “centralized database for all things social work,” Thomas’ and Kumar’s new website, Social Work Stories, includes stories about outstanding Social Welfare students and professionals, offers a number of online news sources specifically for social workers, has a helpful page detailing various jobs students can have with a social welfare degree, and offers career and school resources.
“We decided to create this website because we were truly inspired by the stories of the MSW students in our cohort,” Thomas and Kumar said. “Each one had a unique and intriguing story for deciding to pursue an MSW, and irrespective of their background, each individual we talked to shared a common goal – to help others.”
The MSW duo also said they created the website because they want to change the perception of social workers.
“It seemed that, either due to media portrayals or other factors, social workers were largely considered individuals who worked for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and would try to separate families from their children,” they said. “We found through our program that the vast majority of social workers did not want to work for Child Protective Services (CPS) or DCFS, and those that did care much more about family reunification than separation.”
Kumar and Thomas hope social work professionals, people interested in the field of social work, and individuals looking for social work services will come to use the site. The hope is that the website will give social workers a place to show their passion for the field and the lasting impact they aim to have. This, they said, can help attract new people to the field, change negative perceptions about social work and social workers, and be a centralized database for users to easily find information about schools, resources, and services – something Kumar and Thomas said currently takes a lot of searching as content is spread across various webpages and other types of media.
Social Work Stories currently features the stories of UCLA Luskin Social Welfare professors Laura Alongi and Ian Holloway, MSW alumnus Stephen Cheung, and numerous MSW students. Thomas and Kumar hope to widen their scope to include the stories of faculty and students from other schools as well.
“We are definitely proud of the incredible UCLA MSWs and PhDs we have on the website, but our goal is to expand to other schools and areas to become a nationwide media outlet for social workers,” they said. “The field is so broad and full of amazing stories that it would be impossible to limit ourselves to one program or region, so we will feature any social worker or social work student who would like to be featured.”
The website is updated daily with new stories, news, and resources. The pair plan to continue the website after they graduate.
To learn more about Social Work Stories, go to http://www.socialworkstories.com.