Since its founding in 1963, the School of Social Work’s Developmental Disabilities Training Institute (DDTI) has worked to ensure the well-being and inclusion of people with intellectual, developmental, and co-occurring disabilities.
Much of the institute’s focus has centered on providing training and technical assistance to the professionals and paraprofessionals serving the state’s I/DD population. The mission: To help foster and support the transition of individuals from institutions back into their own communities. While the agency’s efforts have impacted thousands of North Carolinians over the last 50 years, including in securing employment and in accessing daily personal care services, a lot of work remains, reflected Chris Egan, DDTI clinical program director.
As a child growing up in a small North Carolina town, Trenette Clark watched as substance use wreaked havoc on the lives of those she cared deeply about.
“I saw people who were very close to me living a lifestyle that was severe as it relates to the social and health consequences of substance use,” said Clark, an assistant professor at UNC’s School of Social Work. “I saw people lose their children to the child welfare system and never get them back. I saw 16- and 17-year-old teenagers convicted of felonies for drug possession. I saw people die—that was probably the most profound. Seeing people die young, in their 20s and 30s, had a real impact on me, and I started wondering, ‘Why do people use drugs?’”
The UNC School of Social Work is holding several information sessions for prospective master's students. Each event includes an overview of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program, tips on admissions and financial aid, and opportunities to ask questions.