The Simmons Family Foundation
has approved a grant of $1 million to a program that could apply academic
research intervention ideas from UT Arlington School of Social Work to Dallas
County community agencies.
The Innovative Community Academic
Partnership, or iCAP, initiates, supports and funds research ideas among
educators to help social service agencies develop better evidence-informed
practices. The aim of iCAP is to leverage the evaluative skills of professors
with the frontline knowledge of practitioners to identify gaps in social
service delivery, then institute those new practices.
The funding will flow through
the Simmons Family Foundation Advised Fund of The Dallas Foundation.
“The Foundation is proud to
support this expansion of the UT Arlington School of Social Work program into
the Dallas County community,” said Serena Connelly, foundation vice president.
“The iCAP program is an appealing investment because it benefits all
stakeholders: providers, clients, funders, faculty and students.”
President James D. Spaniolo said
the gift is a strong endorsement of the UT Arlington School of Social Work,
whose enrollment has increased 63 percent during the past five years to 1,500
students this fall.
“We are humbled to receive a
gift from such an influential organization,” Spaniolo said. “The Foundation has
had a significant impact in our world. We’re pleased that they have the
confidence in our School of Social Work to invest at this level.”
The iCAP program was founded in
2010 through an initial gift from the Amon G.
Carter Foundation to support work with Tarrant County social agencies.
Those initial funds helped refine initiatives of agencies such as Catholic
Charities of Fort Worth and a Tarrant County juvenile court.
Through Common Threads, UT
Arlington researchers validated the benefits of a program that teaches weaving
skills to Bhutanese refugees served by Catholic Charities of Fort Worth.
Through the Youth Offender Diversion Alternative study, UT Arlington students
and faculty helped a juvenile court reduce repeat offenders through alternative
methods of dealing with misdemeanor family violence.
Connelly, a UT Arlington School
of Social Work alumna and 17-year veteran in the field of social services, said
iCAP already has increased effectiveness with its partner agencies.
“The iCAP shows the range of
skills that social workers bring to the field of human services — we are not
just counselors but also researchers and administrators who aim to ensure best
practices,” Connelly said.
Proposals considered for iCAP
support are reviewed by national peers so that the best ideas receive funding,
said Scott Ryan, dean of the UT Arlington School of Social Work. This year,
iCAP projects are focusing on the impact of housing for homeless children and
their families and measuring the impact of integrated health care, among other
“We are building synergy and
momentum through the success we’ve experienced with iCAP to date,” Ryan said.
“Support from the Simmons Family Foundation will enable us to expand the reach
of this research-based program throughout North Texas and beyond.”
http://www.uta.edu/ssw/ for more information about the UT
Arlington School of Social Work.
University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of
nearly 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.