NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Joan Levy Zlotnik
Dr. Zlotnik has some 36 years of pioneering efforts to her credit commencing after she received her MSSW, University of Wisconsin. Her fIrst professional social work activity as Staff Clinical Social Worker was at the Belchertown State School in West Massachusetts. It was during this program, she served as a member of the interdisciplinary team, counseling residents and families, assessing needs, planning admissions and discharges and determining eligibility for fInancial aid. A pioneering highlight involved Dr. Zlotnik becoming the fIrst Sex Education Coordinator in the state of Massachusetts where she spearheaded efforts to develop programs and policies in residential and community settings. This also involved curriculum development, consultation and implementing training for staff, residents and community programs.
Continuing interest in this area of practice culminating into the area of mental retardation and she served as Mental Retardation Coordinator and subsequent Director of the program at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Newton- Wellesley- Weston-Needham.
Dr. Zlotnik's social work practices in Virginia and the Washington, D.C. areas give impetus to her on-going pioneering spirit. In 1978 to 1983 she served as Director of Special Programs, Northern, Virginia Family Service, developing and implementing a Special Foster Care Program and the Family Preservation Program. This was followed by Dr. Zlotnik becoming Director of Linking Infants in Need with Community Services. This was an early intervention program providing psycho- educational counseling, support services and outreach to at-risk parents of young children. She worked closely with the Department of Child Protective services and other county agencies on prevention strategies and intervention methodologies.
Dr. Zlotnik served as Director of Special Projects and Special Assistant to the Executive Director at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and worked in this Program from 1995 to 2000. Her activities included the implementation of CSWE's government relations and fund development efforts and the facilitation of relationships with other associations and governmental agencies.
Dr. Zlotnik is an educator's educator as evidence by her pioneering efforts in directing the CSWE's Strengthening Aging and Gerontology Education for Social Work (SAGE-SW) multi-year initiative to develop gerontological social work competencies and the dissemination of models of best practice in teaching gerontological social work.
Her work with the National Association of Social Work is well recognized as the Staff Director for the Commission on Families and Government Relation Associates. She developed and implemented legislative and regulatory strategies for the prevention and early interventions services for vulnerable children, families and older persons. This also involved working with Congress and other federal agencies and providing national leadership on child welfare, family and aging issues.
Dr. Zlotnik's research acumen represents a monumental pioneering achievement in the field of social work. She has directed grants and projects in the total order of magnitude of$ 1,192,872.00 from the following private agencies and the Federal government: Annie E. Casey Foundation, John A. Hartford Foundation, Kellogg, Ford Foundation, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Children's Bureau and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Dr. Zlotnik's received her Ph.D, Degree in 1998 from the University of Maryland. Her academic teaching and field educational experiences have been highly respected and she has utilized her vast knowledge and skills in this areas of social work as evidenced by her variety of academic appointments.
She has served as the Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR) since 2000, working to build social work research resources and to translate research to practice, policy and education.
She is actively involved in the national policy arena working on the promotion of social work, behavioral and social science research opportunities. Thus, responding to the demographics of the aging, promoting evidenced-based practices addressing the child welfare crisis.
A review of Dr.Zlotnik's resume provides an extensive look at the many other
activities in which she has been involved. These include some 21 professional
presentations, 20 peer review articles, collaboration on five books, five chapters,
eight monographs. MONOGRAPH: Vourlekis, B., Zlotnik, J .L., Simons, K.(2005). Evaluating
Social Work Services in Nursing Home: Toward Quality Psychosocial Care and Its Measurement- A Report to the Profession and Blueprint for Action.
She is affiliated with nine major professional organizations relative to her field of practice.
She is a very active member of Temple Emanuel and served on the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees, She also served as a member of the Board of Directors, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes.