Erick Guerrero, assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, has been selected by the National Network for Social Work Managers to receive the Mark Moses Distinguished Fellowship Award for his work in finding evidence-based solutions for social work managers.
Guerrero is one of two recipients of the award, which has honored exemplary practitioners and academics working in the field of social work management every year since 2008.
“This is quite an honor because it’s an award by a professional and academic organization,” Guerrero said. “It is especially important for me because it tells me that my research is relevant to management practices.”
As a former clinical manager in the Latino behavioral health services program at Lifelink Corp. in Chicago, Guerrero has seen how research models help answer relevant questions for social work managers, such as how to best implement evidence-supported practices or what managerial and leadership competencies are most likely to help them achieve their goals. He said the partnership between academics and managers signals the future of the field.
“As professors, we hope to prepare future leaders to be sophisticated consumers of research,” said Guerrero, who studies organizational cultural competence and racial and ethnic service disparities in substance abuse treatment. “We also hope they use this research to guide their management practices and to develop information systems that improve decision-making.”
His sentiments were echoed by his mentor Jeanne Marsh, who served as dean of The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration while Guerrero was a member of its Ph.D. program.
In his dissertation, Guerrero explored the adoption of culturally competent practices in the nation’s outpatient substance abuse treatment field. He currently is conducting an evaluation of the effective implementation of culturally responsive treatment of people with substance abuse and mental health disorders by publicly funded substance abuse treatment providers in Los Angeles County.
“Erick Guerrero’s research is at the forefront of understanding and developing culturally competent management practices,” Marsh said. “He is a most deserving recipient of this award.”