Working with interdisciplinary teams of professionals, clinical social workers enable individuals and their families to utilize their natural strengths to manage the ongoing realities and stresses of disability and other emotional or medical conditions that affect individual, family and community functioning and relationships.The social work department provides the following clinical services, as determined by individual and family needs, through any one of the department's inpatient or outpatient programs at Kennedy Krieger:

  • Clinical evaluation of individual and family functioning
  • Development of an individualized treatment plan
  • Individual, family, couple, play and group therapy and counseling
  • Educational, support and stress management groups
  • Case management

To enhance the delivery of clinical services, Kennedy Krieger social workers engage in the following: education and training of staff, inter-disciplinary trainees and social work graduate students, research and outcome evaluation, community outreach, training and technical assistance and advocacy.

Inpatient/Outpatient Clinics:

As part of the treatment team, social workers meet with patients and their families to jointly develop a plan utilizing individual, family and necessary community resources to enhance optimal functioning on discharge from the hospital. Family strengths, identified needs and goals drive the development of this plan. Weekly parent support groups are offered for inpatients.Each individual admitted to the following inpatient units is assigned a social worker to be part of the treatment team:

Clinical Social Workers provide service in outpatient interdisciplinary clinics:

Social workers are also available by consultative requests from individuals being seen at the Institute, family members and other Kennedy Krieger staff.

Days and Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., depending upon individual clinic schedules.

Outpatient Programs:

Clinical social workers specialize in the provision of mental health services -- including diagnosis and treatment -- for individuals and families, including children, adolescents and young adults.

Community Programs:

School Programs:

Social workers provide services for the following Kennedy Krieger programs:

Professional Training:

The Social Work Department participates in the Kennedy Krieger/Johns Hopkins Maternal and Child Health Bureau/LEND training program and has contractual training agreements with the following Schools of Social Work: Catholic University of America, Howard University, University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University.


The Social Work Department is involved in these current research/outcome evaluation efforts:

  • Research project to improve efficiency and efficacy of service delivery involving all inpatient units and some outpatient clinics, and aimed at learning if there are characteristics of parents and family circumstances that will enable the Social Work Department to develop and provide psychosocial interventions targeted to specific problems that influence the family's ability to care for the child at home.
  • Outcome evaluation of attainment of treatment goals in social work mental health program when comparing diagnosis and treatment modality.
  • Part of statewide outcome evaluation project (SUMONE) for children in therapeutic foster homes.

Community Training/Technical Assistance:

  • Problem Solving, Conflict Resolution and Communication: Skills-based training for individuals with disabilities, parents, family members and professionals in problem solving strategies, communication, negotiation and conflict resolution in the home, classroom and community.
  • Developmental/Behavioral Approaches to Common Behavioral Problems in Children: Skills-based training for parents, family members and professionals in how to set developmentally appropriate expectations and limits for children, and how to remedy problematic behaviors such as refusals, back talk, school performance and other behaviors.
  • Social Skills Training: Skills-based training for children, adolescents, adults and/or their parents in how to cultivate positive peer and social relationships, communication and conflict resolution, and appropriate behavior in important and common school, work and community activities.
  • Stress Management: Skills-based training for children, adolescents and adults in identifying initial signs and sources of stress and simple methods of stress prevention and reduction, including problem solving.
  • Relationship and Sexuality Issues for Teens and Adults: Skills-based training for teens and adults with disabilities in creating and maintaining, meaningful and satisfying relationships.
  • Issues for Children in Foster Care and/or Adoptive Homes: Examining separation, loss, attachment, permanency planning and relationships between biological and foster parents. Identification of community resources available.
  • Working with Children with Disabilities and their Families: Addressing psychosocial issues and family dynamics associated with having a child, adolescent or adult family member with a congenital or acquired disability.
  • Psychosocial Issues for Children, Adolescents and Adults: Developmental and life cycle issues for individuals of all ages, including transitional educational and adolescent issues, socialization and sexuality issues, grief and loss, divorce, future and leaving home. Identification of community resources available.
  • Mental Health Disorders Training for School Teachers and other Direct Care Providers: Training in diagnoses common to school children such as ADHD, conduct disorders, depression, separation/anxiety disorders, intellectual disabilities, but not to exclude other diagnoses. Resources available. Instruction taught by clinical social workers of the social work department, parents and other family members.

Professional Certifying Organizations:

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC)


  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW)
  • Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM)
  • Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW)

Staffing (Licensure):

All staff are licensed in the state of Maryland as Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) or Licensed Graduate Social Workers (LGSW). All Staff have graduate degrees (Master's of Social Work) from schools accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).