Enhancing Social Services
Gift from Simmons Family Foundation expands community-academic partnership to Dallas
The Simmons Family Foundation has approved a grant of $1 million over three years in support of the School of Social Work’s Innovative Community Academic Partnership (iCAP), a program that combines the research expertise of faculty members with the frontline knowledge of social service practitioners to identify gaps in social service delivery and develop better evidence-informed practices. The Simmons gift will expand the program to Dallas County agencies.
“The Foundation is proud to support this expansion of the UT Arlington School of Social Work program into the Dallas County community,” says Serena Connelly, foundation vice president. “The iCAP program is an appealing investment because it benefits all stakeholders: providers, clients, funders, faculty, and students.”
iCAP began in 2010 with an initial gift from the Amon G. Carter Foundation to support work with Tarrant County social service agencies. Since then, the program has funded projects that have benefitted Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, Tarrant County Criminal Courts, The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, Arlington ISD, Cornerstone Assistance Network, Mental Health Association, Recovery Resource Council, Safe City Commission Fort Worth, and The Arc of Greater Tarrant County, among others.
This year, iCAP projects are focusing on the impact of housing for homeless children and their families and measuring the effect of integrated health care, among other topics.
Connelly, a graduate of UT Arlington and a 17‑year veteran in the field of social services, notes that 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,” she says. “We are not just counselors but also researchers and administrators who aim to ensure best practices.”
President James D. Spaniolo believes that the gift is a strong endorsement of the UT Arlington School of Social Work. “We are humbled to receive a gift from such an influential organization,” he says. “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.”