Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Laurel N. Bidwell


This banded dissertation examines the use of interprofessional practice as a framework to increase efficacy in military social work practice and consists of three distinct but related scholarly products. The first scholarly product is a conceptual article that explores the alignment between the Air Force’s resilience initiative Comprehensive Airman Fitness (CAF) and the Council on Social Work Education’s Advanced Social Work Practice in Military Social Work Standards. Conceptualizing interprofessional practice and the ecological perspective, this article endorses the efforts to advance military social work practice competencies by connecting with CAF and other Department of Defense (DoD) resilience initiatives. Leveraging resources and building upon congruent practices between CAF and the advanced military social work standards can enhance outcomes for military members. Complementary themes between CAF and social work are discussed including recommendations and implications for social work education, research, and practice. The second scholarly product is a qualitative study that examines the collaborative efforts between social work and military professionals through the historical work of the National Committee on Social Work in Defense Mobilization (NCSWDM) from 1950 through 1955. The research question examines the interprofessional themes identified in the NCSWDM record to promote military social work education and practice. The findings suggest that the NCSWDM provided a comprehensive collaborative effort that engaged military and civilian entities to improve social welfare within defense-affected contexts. This study contributes to interprofessional practice literature in military environments and documents the historic work of the NCSWDM, which is absent in the literature. The third scholarly product of this banded dissertation provides an overview of a peer reviewed interactive workshop facilitated on October 20, 2017 at the 63rd Annual Program Meeting for the Council on Social Work Education. The workshop entitled “Leveraging Efforts to Foster Resilience in Military Social Work” utilized an interprofessional framework to demonstrate the connection between the values, skills, and perspectives of social work and the Air Force’s Comprehensive Airman Fitness (CAF). The overview challenged participants to consider how aligning with CAF and other Department of Defense (DoD) resilience initiatives can optimize practice efficacy. Interprofessional practice and education provide an excellent framework to advance collaboration between military systems and social work. The ecological perspective compliments interprofessional practice endorsing the relationship between reciprocity and improved outcomes for service members. Interprofessional practice advances military social work education and practice as characterized through the historic work of the NCSWDM as well as evidenced through CAF and other resilience initiatives. Keywords: military social work, Air Force, airman, resilience, comprehensive airman fitness, CAF, council on social work education, interprofessional practice, national association of social workers, national committee on social work in defense mobilization, national social welfare assembly, united community defense services

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.