Thursday, April 4, 2013

Press Release: Launch of Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP)

This press release had been circulating across the Internet. I am happy that such an organization has been launched because I believe social workers need a greater presence (macro-practice social workers already exist in this domain but are virtually unknown to the public) in social policy analysis and development. Please share with colleagues and allies!

April 1, 2013

Towns Announces Launch of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy

Former Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns announced today the launch of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) will take place at a reception on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Monocle Restaurant, 107 D Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.  The institute was created to complement the mission and work of the Congressional Social Work Caucus which then Rep. Towns founded in 2010.

“The Social Work Caucus was created to provide a platform in Congress for the more than 650,000 social workers around the country so that our issues and concerns can be addressed at the federal level,” Towns stated.  “I am committed to seeing that the caucus remains viable and strong and will work through this institute to promote its mission within the guidelines of the House of Representatives.”

Four individuals will be recognized during the reception for their contributions to social work and social policy.  Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, will be honored for her leadership of issues critical to the social work profession and the individuals and families they serve.  Rep. Danny Davis (IL-7) will be recognized for his practice of hosting social work interns in his Washington DC office and for his leadership in passing the Second Chance Act.
Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Clark, the outgoing CEO of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) will be honored for her leadership and advocacy for the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young Social Work Reinvestment Act and for her support of the Congressional Social Work Caucus.  Former Howard University School of Social Work Dean Douglas Glasgow will be honored for his contributions to social welfare policy.

The institute will be directed by Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr., who served as Towns’ deputy chief of staff and communications director.  Both Towns and Lewis are professional social workers.  Towns earned his M.S.W. degree at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY and Lewis earned his M.S.W. degree at Clark Atlanta University and his Ph.D. in social policy, planning and analysis at Columbia University School of Social Work.  Angela Henderson, a M.S.W. graduate of Howard University who will complete her Ph.D. there in May, will oversee the day to day operations.

“At a time when social welfare resources are being reduced dramatically, it is imperative that social work researchers and policy analysts make the case to the federal government that it is in the best interest of our country that we provide adequate resources for social services and social science research,” Dr. Lewis stated.  “CRISP will provide the linkage between valuable research being conducted by social work scholars and the federal government.”

CRISP states as its main goals:
  • to expand the participation of social workers in federal legislative and policy processes and create intern opportunities for social work students;
  • to link social work research to policy and legislative deliberations on the Hill; and
  •  to employ strategies to raise social workers’ awareness about the federal legislative process
CRISP is the latest of several institutes that have been created to complement the work of Congressional Member Organizations such as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Institute, the Hispanic Caucus Institute, and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institutes.  CRISP is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)4 organization.

Contact: Charles E. Lewis, Jr.  917-570-3116

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