Competency Development
for Public Health Social Workers

This page is designed to help public health social workers assess skills, gain professional development guidance, and discover appropriate learning opportunities and resources to meet their goals.

In September 1998, the Beyond Year 2010: Public Health Social Work Practice Project held a Future Search Conference in Chapel Hill, N.C. Conference participants included public health social work leaders, practitioners, educators, community advocates, representatives of national organizations and foundations, policymakers and consumers. Participants worked intensively for three days to create a future vision of pubic health social work practice and action plans. The Standards Working Group was formed at the conference and took on the enormous challenge of developing a definition of public health social work and practice standards.

Along the way, this group held numerous conference calls and in-person meetings. The group worked with Paul Halverson at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and solicited feedback from state public health social work departments, practitioners and social work educators. Sponsors of this initiative included: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work, Beyond 2010 Public Health Social Work Initiative, Association of State and Territorial Public Health Social Workers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association Social Work Section, National Association of Social Work, Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration. The results of their collaboration and persistence are the "Standards and Competencies for Public Health Social Work Practice" brochure, published in May 2005.

Public Health Social Work in North Carolina (brochure)

Your professional roadmap

step 1Review the competencies for health educators

step 2Assess your skills

step 3Search for learning opportunities

Last updated June 11, 2014