School of Social Work impacting Colorado communities via CSU Extension mini-grants

colorado town main street viewColorado State University Extension has recognized three teams in the School of Social Work with mini-grant awards for exciting new community outreach projects that contribute to the university-community partnership and diversity goals of CSU.

All three projects are collaborative partnerships between multiple faculty members and community-focused organizations aligned in principle with the School of Social Work’s vision to advance social, environmental, and economic justice, promote equity and equality, alleviate oppression, and enhance human health and well-being across local and global community systems.

The CSU Extension mini-grants have been awarded to the following project teams:

Assistant Professor Samantha Brown, Field Education Program Director Liz Davis, and Instructor and BSW Adviser Dana Gaines, in collaboration with Larimer County Extension and the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County

The deteriorating economic well-being of families due to COVID-19 and history of social and systemic inequities in the United States may adversely affect families’ access to and quality of early childhood care, which may in turn place children at risk of poor development and disparate health outcomes. Working in collaboration with early childhood agencies, families, and student interns, this project aims to understand the health and developmental needs of young children in Larimer County as well as the barriers and facilitators in the delivery of early childhood services. This project will support student training in the translation of early childhood research to practice and policy. Findings from this work will also provide opportunities to create equitable decisions and interventions that may reduce disparities and improve lifelong outcomes for Colorado’s children and families.

Assistant Professor Tiffany Jones, Associate Professor Anne Williford, and Instructor Marie Villescas Zamzow, in collaboration with Eagle County Extension and the Prevention Research Center

This project will pilot an intervention designed to assist human service organizations to develop antiracist programs, policies, and practices. The Innovative Change Lab (ICL) process will be applied to identifying and adopting community-driven solutions that promote antiracism and, consequently, equity. The goals of the project are to increase our collective consciousness about the injustices communities of color have experienced for generations; develop a new openness and commitment to antiracism efforts; and adopt actionable innovations to redress racism and promote equity in communities.

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Kiehne and Graduate Research Assistant Sarah Grace Hafen, in collaboration with Larimer and Boulder County Extension and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

This applied research project tells the stories of Coloradans who live daily with the risk of deportation, empowering them with a platform to share lived experiences and advocate for more inclusive and just policies. This project supports the Colorado Immigrant Right Coalition’s policy priorities to end sheriff and police collaboration with ICE, ensure data privacy to prevent ICE overreach, and implement a statewide immigrant legal defense fund. Through this community-driven qualitative research study, the project aims to juxtapose the valuable contributions of immigrants in Colorado communities and the issues and impacts caused by current local, state, and federal-level policies targeting immigrant communities. By magnifying these twin realities through direct testimony, the need for change will be highlighted and the advancement of immigrant rights in Colorado and beyond will be supported.


About the School of Social Work

Since the first baccalaureate social work major was first offered in 1968, Colorado State University’s School of Social Work, part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, has made a continuous effort to develop and maintain a program that is responsive to the standards of the social work profession, to the needs of human services agencies and clients in the state, and to the land-grant mission and goals of CSU. Our mission is to provide exemplary education, applied research, and transformative outreach to advance social, environmental, and economic justice; promote equity and equality; alleviate oppression; and enhance human health and well-being across local and global community systems.

The School of Social Work is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.