A $3 million state grant will fund the expansion of social welfare education at UCLA, part of a broader effort to better serve Californians with behavioral health needs.
The grant from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information will allow the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs to add 25 additional students to its master of social welfare program each year, beginning in the fall of 2024.
Total enrollment in the program will eventually reach 250, and the funds will be used to provide stipends to students and hire faculty, lecturers and staff to accommodate the growing numbers, according to Laura Abrams, chair of Social Welfare.
“This grant will surely strengthen our program and, more importantly, our ability to better serve our communities,” Abrams said.
UCLA is one of 23 California campuses to receive an award through the $59.4 million program, which was launched to grow the ranks of social workers who play a crucial role in the emotional well-being of the state’s residents.
The program aims to increase access to services for mental health, substance abuse and other behavioral health concerns. Training social welfare students to serve children and youth is a priority, according to a statement from the Health Care Access and Information Department.
“Thanks to this new grant program, we are able to help grow this vitally important sector in the health workforce and get children, youth and adults the care they need, when they need it,” said department director Elizabeth Landsberg.