Robert Newell

Social Work, we have a problem: Increasing LGBTQ competence in social work education

Robert Newell is a Doctoral Candidate at the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. He holds BS degrees in social work and psychology from Roberts Wesleyan College, his MSW for Boston University where he studied clinical practice with individuals and families, and his MBA from Fitchburg State University with a concentration in management. Robert has worked as a social worker with multiple populations and settings including residential treatment with children and adolescents in rural Massachusetts, school counseling in the Alaskan bush, homeless shelters in urban environments, and private practice. He holds LICSW licensure in Massachusetts where he is currently the Manager of Behavioral Health within Cape Cod Healthcare. As such, he manages social workers in several different service lines including an inpatient behavioral health unit, a partial hospital program, psychiatric admissions, and the emergency center. As a manager, Robert operates from a strengths perspective where he tries to help those he supervises to recognize and further develop their strengths and talents. He has served as a field instructor for several years with a variety of different schools of social work nationwide. It is from this experience he recognized the lack of education around LGBTQ issues in social work programs today and was able to develop his capstone. Robert’s capstone focused on the need to increase LGBTQ competence in social work education given the current state where the forces of homophobia, transphobia, heteronormality, and cisgenderism that are often at play in social work programs. Other research interests include social work practice with children and adolescents, LQBTQ issues, and suicidology. Robert studied in the education concentration while at University of Kentucky and served as an instructor in the College this past year. Robert holds membership in both Sigma Beta Delta business honor society and Phi Alpha social work honor society.