Mission and Values

The mission of the School of Social Work is to educate a diverse cadre of professional social workers who will translate our vision into practice, to produce applied and evidence-based knowledge to push this vision forward, and to create and sustain interdisciplinary and collaborative partnerships with communities toward this vision.

We are committed to human dignity, diversity, and self-determination and the struggle against domination, exploitation, and violence in all forms. Our vision is firmly grounded in human resilience, capacity building, and the potential for individual and collective transformation at all systemic levels and within all organizations. This includes a professional obligation to combat and dismantle barriers to human dignity and to advocate for resource equity and social justice. We respect people's memberships in groups and communities distinguished by class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, and culture while honoring each person's individuality. Our program advances growth and change, global and local equity, and relational connection among all people.

As a program within the UNE Westbrook College of Health Professions, the School embraces a comprehensive definition of health as a state of complete physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. We believe that health, defined in this way, is a universal right. The majority of human suffering is embedded in inequity in the distribution of resources, with vulnerable populations at greatest risk. Thus, our focus is on changing those structures and relationships that foster the inequities that undermine the promotion of health. The School realizes this goal by teaching empowering theories for practice and developing collaborative relationships based on mutuality and respect, at all levels, from direct practice to societal movements.