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Elaine Congress

Elaine Congress, Faculty Profile

Associate Dean and Professor
Associate Director, The Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders
Phone: 212-636-6667
Office: Lincoln Center 726E


BA, Brown University

MAT, Yale University

MSW, Columbia University

MA, New School for Social Research

DSW, CUNY (Hunter)

Research Interests


Cultural diversity

Clinical practice

Social work education


Before entering academia, Dr. Elaine Congress worked as a practitioner, supervisor, and administrator at a community mental health clinic.

Dr. Elaine Congress is Professor and Associate Dean for Continuing Education and Extra Mural Programs. She also has served as Director of the Doctoral Program.

Dr. Congress is the North American Representative to the International Ethics Committee of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and serves on the United Nations team for IFSW. She also was on the National Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and is a past President of the New York City Chapter of NASW.

Dr. Congress has written extensively in the area of social work ethics, cultural diversity and social work education, including seven books and over forty professional journal articles and book chapters.

Her most recent book Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics: A Curriculum Resource (2009) includes course outlines, teaching modules, class exercises, electronic resources, and an extensive annotated bibliography with references on social work values and ethics. Another recent book Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees: Legal Issues, Clinical Skills and Advocacy (2008) looks at immigration trends, legal and practice issues, policy and advocacy methods in the areas of health, mental health, and employment with children, families, LGBT immigrants, women, and older people.

A previous book Multicultural Perspectives in Working with Families Second Edition (2005) published by Springer Publications examines assessment, life cycle, and practice issues from a cultural perspective. Dr. Congress developed the culturagram, a family assessment tool for understanding and working with culturally diverse families, which has been the subject of a number of journal articles and professional presentations.

An earlier book , Social Work Values and Ethics: Identifying and Resolving Professional Dilemmas (Wadsworth,1999) presents the ETHIC model of decision-making to use in identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas in social work practice. This book was recently translated into Korean.Her professional journal articles and book chapters have focused on dual relationships, teaching social work ethics, resolving ethical dilemmas, confidentiality, comparative international codes of ethics, social group work, empowering communities, ethical issues in administration, and groups for immigrant children.

Dr. Congress has presented on social work ethics, cultural diversity and immigrants at national conferences in San Francisco, Anaheim, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Charleston, Orlando, and international conferences in Canada, France, England, Australia, Finland, Holland, Korea and Singapore. Dr. Congress has two podcasts, one on the culturagram a family assessment instrument she developed and the second on social work with immigrants and refugees. These podcasts can be accessed at

Select Publication

Congress, E.; Black, P.; & Strom-Gottfried, K. eds. (2009) Teaching social work values and ethics: A curriculum resource. Alexandria, VA: CSWE.

Chang-Muy, F. and Congress, E. eds. (2008). Social work with immigrants and refugees: Legal issues, clinical skills, and advocacy. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Congress, E. (2008) Comparative Codes of Ethics. In T. Mizrahi and L. Davis, Encyclopedia of Social Work (20th Edition). New York: Oxford University Press.

Congress, E. (2008). The culturagram. In A. Roberts, Social work Desk Reference (2nd ed.) (pp.969-973.) New York: Oxford University Press.

Congress, E. (2008). Individual and family development theory. In P. Lehman and N. Coady, Theoretical perspectives for direct social work practice: A generalist-eclectic approach. (2nd edition). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Congress, E. and Kim, W. (2007). A Comparative Study on Social Work Ethical Codes in Korea and the United States: Focused on Confidentiality, Dual Relationships, Cultural Diversity and Impaired Colleagues. Korean Journal of Clinical Social Work 4 (2).

Congress, E. and McAuliffe, D. (2006). Professional ethics: Social work codes in Australia and the United States. International Social Work 49(2), 165-176.

Congress, E. (2006). Teaching social work values, ethics, and human rights. In Social work around the world IV. Berne, Switzerland: IFSW.

Congress, E. and Brownell, P. (2006). Application of the culturagram with culturally and ethnicially diverse battered women. In A. Roberts, Battered women and their families. (2nd ed.) (New York: Springer Publishing Company).

Congress. E. and Gonzalez, M. (2005). Multicultural perspectives in working with families (2nd ed.) New York: Springer Publishing Company.