LSU School of Social Work’s Dr. Scott Wilks receives $1.92M grant to increase and enhance behavioral health labor force across Louisiana


Scott WilksBaton Rouge, LA – LSU School of Social Work’s Dr. Scott E. Wilks received a $1.92 million, four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Human Resources and Services Administration. The primary purpose of this program is to develop and increase the skilled, professional social work labor force across Louisiana to meet the increasing demands of integrated behavioral health care across the lifespan.

The grant supports a research, education, and training program called Louisiana State University School of Social Work (LSU SSW) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program: Targeted Enhancement in Integrated Behavioral Health Care across the Lifespan.

“This grant demonstrates that social workers play a critical role in improving quality of life, including behavioral health, across the lifespan. I remain committed to training the next generation of social work scholars and practitioners in areas of healthy aging” said Wilks.

Dr. Wilks’ interdisciplinary program team consists of academic scholars and expert practitioners in fields that includes LSU Schools of Social Work and Mass Communication and Southern University School of Nursing.

This grant will provide a select number of social work students stipends during each academic year between 2018 – 2022 to receive specialized curriculum and training toward social work careers in integrated behavioral health settings. Integrated behavioral health is a systematic coordination of general and behavioral healthcare, mental health, substance abuse, and primary care services.

The target client/patient population of the program addresses Louisiana residents, with particular emphasis on two groups: transitional age youth (ages 16-22) and older adults (ages 65+) at-risk for negative behavioral health outcomes.

 “I commend Dr. Wilks’ program. It directly supports LSU’s strategic initiative to improve health and well-being in our state, nation, and the world,” said College of Human Sciences & Education Dean Damon Andrew. “It’s so rewarding to see our faculty engage in rich collaborations across multiple campuses, as our College is uniquely positioned to solve global issues that we face in Louisiana and the region.”

Scott E. Wilks, PhD, LMSW, is a Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Fellow and Hartford Faculty Scholar in Geriatric Social Work, both lifelong titles. GSA is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The John A. Hartford Foundation is the nation’s largest private philanthropy dedicated to the health and well-being of older adults. Dr. Wilks is coordinator for the Graduate Specialization in Gerontology and associate professor at the LSU School of Social Work. He is also a faculty member at the LSU Life Course and Aging Center. His research interests center primarily on dementia disease (AD) care, particularly the interactional process of coping and resilience among dementia caregivers.

About SSW
The LSU School of Social Work (SSW) aspires to be a leading graduate school of social work, a vibrant center of intellectual development, a leader in promoting and supporting diverse communities, and an advocate for an integrated and inclusive model of social work, all within a learning environment that supports best educational practices. The SSW offers a Child and Family Studies (CFS) undergraduate degree, MSW, online MSW, and PhD. SLHRD is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education. SSW is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  
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About CHSE
The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree programs, enrolling more than 2,020 undergraduate and 879 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.
Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at