NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Rosemary Fitts Funderburg
Rosemary Funderburg was awarded her Masters of Social Work from Atlanta University in 1947.
She began her social work career as a caseworker in several family service agencies in Durham, North Carolina; St. Louis, Missouri; and Atlanta, Georgia. From her first position at the agencies "Family First" she headed a research project to study the results of the agencys counseling services which gave the agency great insight to their work. Later, she became the Assistant Director for Program Operations. Her leadership and hard work in this position influenced and shaped all of the services at "Family First." The results were very positive. Also, in this capacity, she developed the agencys Mental Health Review process that focused on both quality control and enhanced learning. She didnt stop there, but went on to expand the agencys Continuing Education program for all professional staff with emphasis on professional development. She became very concerned and interested in the crises of murdered children and missing children. Ms. Funderburg took the leadership in forming a group of professional social workers to work with parents and children, helping them to cope with their fears and anxieties during the stressful period.
Ms. Funderburg considered education to be foremost and the keystone of hope for all people. She supervised countless students and caseworkers, and she herself provided a role model by continuing her own education throughout the years. She has been an advocate for children and their families.
Even in her retirement, Ms. Funderburg has continued to make contributions to the profession. Her passion for education and quality social work practice is an important ingredient in her current position as the Director of Continuing Education, School of Social Work, Clark Atlanta University. Ms. Funderburg has continued to urge students and her colleagues not to lose sight of their role as advocators for people.
She has a genuine love for human beings and has been active in stimulating educational programs for social workers. She has done much to alleviate, where possible, injustices and prejudices. Her diligent and courageous efforts to bring about changes in the social work profession through teaching, service, and advocacy gives us a feeling what a life dedicated to social work and the community is all about.
Social Work Pioneer - 1997