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EMU MSW Behavioral Health Workforce Fellowship Program

Eastern Michigan University School of Social Work is delighted to announce that Dr. Deborah Willis, Principal Investigator, was recently awarded a three-year $948,811.00 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Professionals grant.   


Fellowship Purpose

The Fellowship Program is designed to increase the number of MSW graduates who are prepared to serve children, adolescents, and transition-aged youth at-risk for, or in need of, behavioral health interventions. The fellowship program will prepare advanced MSW students for employment across the continuum of child-serving systems and organizations (child welfare, juvenile justice, community programs for homeless youth, substance abuse and violence prevention programs, anti-truancy and behavior problems in the schools, prevention programs for young parents, and community mental health). Fifteen Fellowships were awarded in 2014 and twenty-five fellowships will be awarded in 2015 and 2016.


Fellowship Requirements

Advanced Field Placement students (students entering their advanced field internship in the fall of 2015) accepted into the EMU MSW Fellowship Program will be required to attend an orientation for new fellows during the Fall 2015 semester, enroll in (or audit and complete all assignments in) a one credit hour elective course that will be offered during the Fellowship/advanced placement year, and complete a project that will provide their placement organization with information about a best practice option that could enhance their ability to serve their clients at risk for, or in need of behavioral health interventions. Students will submit a proposal to present their project at a professional conference. (Funding will be available if the project is accepted.) Students will also attend monthly Fellowship meetings beginning after the orientation in September and culminating in a final presentation of their project.


Fellowship Placement Options

While some students must complete their advanced field placement at their worksite, others are able to take advantage of placements with a wide variety of organizations across southeast Michigan. There are some designated HRSA placements within the advanced field placement options that HRSA Fellows will be eligible to apply for once the Fellowship selection process has been completed. Options include placement at the Washtenaw County Court, at the Family Assessment Center in Washtenaw County working with children who have been sexually abused, and placement options in a wide variety of settings in Wayne County connected to the Community Mental Health System. This last option includes placements with CMH providers who serve infants, toddlers, children, youth and young adults in community mental health outpatient settings, prevention programming, and policy development and evaluation settings. Placements supported by Detroit- Wayne County Community Mental Health Authority will also provide students with the training required to take advantage of these practice settings and to be ready to move into jobs in the county upon graduation. DWCCMHA is particularly interested in students who plan on making Michigan their home and who may be looking at employment in Wayne County as an option after graduation.


Fellowship Benefits

Fellows will receive the following benefits:

  • A stipend of $10,000 to be dispersed over the course of the advanced placement semesters. The stipend is meant to be used by the Fellow as support for living expenses but can be used in any way the student decides. Please read the description of the restrictions around the stipend and the rest of the student aid for which you apply under the stipend section of the website.
  • Advanced training in Evidence Based Practice -- how to identify and implement (with the client at the center of the process) interventions that have been empirically tested and found to be effective.
  • A seminar targeted on the inter-disciplinary nature of achieving wellness – how to partner across disciplines to support the whole person.
  • Training in culturally and linguistically appropriate practice.


Field supervisors will receive the following benefits:

  • $1,600 will be given to the agency to enable them to provide appropriate levels of support to the Fellowship students. The money may be used to further train field supervisors in how to work with students, give field supervisors opportunities to gain skills in areas of practice students need support in, or to provide funds to complete the student project.
  • Field supervisors will be eligible to sign up for up to 8 CE credits from EMU to further support their ability to provide support to students.


Contact Information

EMU School of Social Work

Dr. Deborah Willis



Contact Us: School of Social Work | 317 Everett L. Marshall Building | Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | Tel.: 734.487.0393 | Fax: 734.487.6832

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