University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
UWM’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare (HBSSW) houses the University’s Criminal Justice and Social Work departments. Since its beginnings in 1965 to the present day, HBSSW has been committed to educating and preparing students for entry-level and advanced careers in human service professions, advancing knowledge regarding social welfare issues, and providing quality services to those in need.

HBSSW alumni work to make a difference in the lives of people who are often times dispirited and in despair. As a group, our HBSSW graduates help to improve policies, solve the vital public issues of our time, and are a strong voice for thoughtful, social change in our society.


For more information regarding how to give of your time and talents back to your alma mater, please visit your Helen Bader School of Social Welfare Alumni Chapter website at

The School boasts six interdisciplinary focus areas which reflect its significant strengths in faculty research:
  • Addictions: The Center for Addictions and Behavioral Health Research (CABHR)
  • Applied Gerontology
  • Child Welfare
  • Forensic Science
  • School Violence
  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare Fundraising Priorities:
ScholarshipsAt the undergraduate level, the priority need of the School is scholarships that will enable us to secure access to a college degree for a diverse student body. Of our minority students who enter our programs but do not complete their degrees, most cite inability to pay for their education as the primary reason they drop out, leaving them with the dual burden of debt from the years they did not complete and no degree to help advance their professional stature.

Additionally, at the graduate level we are in need of resources to attract and retain the best and brightest Masters and Ph.D. candidates into our programs. In 2008 the School admitted a cohort of three talented students into the new social work Ph.D. program. However, the number could have been higher if we were better able to compete with the financial support offered to applicants who went elsewhere. At the MSW level, applications were up in 2008, but some of the most promising applicants, including students of color, turned down our offer of admission in favor of institutions that offered more lucrative packages.

FacilitiesThe School is currently allocated two floors of space in UWM’s 11-story Enderis Hall, sharing the building with one other college and one other school — the College of Health Sciences and the School of Education. We must consistently outsource space off-campus for the sensitive programs and services we provide our students and the community. We are currently pursuing our own building that will provide us with both the current space we are in critical need for today and the room to expand into the School we are rapidly growing to become.

The achievements that have come due to the School’s first professorial endowment, the Helen Bader Endowed Chair of Applied Gerontology, have made significant impacts on the gerontological sciences nationally. With additional endowments to support other critical areas of social welfare research, the School can be at the forefront of groundbreaking discoveries to create considerable changes in the areas of addictions prevention, violence, child welfare, and the forensic sciences, among others.For more information on giving opportunities contact:

Richard Kessler
Director of Development
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare