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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

Interprofessional Collaboration

Public Health

Social Work Education


Dr. Elaine Congress is Professor and Associate Dean for Continuing Education and Special Programs. She directs the dual MSW/MPH program with Mt. Sinai. She also has served as Director of the Doctoral Program.

At the United Nations, Dr. Congress represents NGOs the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the Institute for Multicultural Counseling and Education Services (IMCES). She has served as the North American Representative to the International Ethics Committee of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) She currently is on the national NASW Pioneer Board and previously was on the National Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and a past President of the New York City Chapter of NASW.

Dr. Congress has written extensively in the areas of social work values and ethics, cultural diversity, social work education, non-profit management, and public health including eleven books and over sixty professional journal articles and book chapters. Three of her books have been translated into Korean.

Her recent book Behavioral Science in the Global Arena: Addressing Timely Issues at the United Nations and Beyond provides clear, comprehensive information about the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals. The book adopts an interprofessional approach as it is co-authored with a psychologist and has contributions from social workers, psychologists, leaders of NGOs, UN officials, and a medical doctor. Dr. Congress is committed to promoting professional development of students and several of the book chapters are co-authored by social work students who are now professionals. A second recent book is the fourth edition of Multicultural Perspectives in Working with Families. This book is interprofessional as psychologists, as well as social workers, have contributed chapters. This approach also characterizes both of the editions of her book Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees which is co-authored with a lawyer.

Other important books edited by Dr. Congress are Health and Social Work: Policy, Practice, and Research as well as a book on Nonprofit Management where faculty and staff from the Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders leaders contributed chapters. Her books on ethics include two editions of Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics: A Curriculum Resource that includes course outlines, teaching modules, class exercises, electronic resources, and an extensive annotated with references on social work values and ethics. An earlier book, Social Work Values and Ethics: Identifying and Resolving Professional Dilemmas presents the ETHIC model of decision-making to use in identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas in social work practice.

Her many 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, groups for immigrant children, and immigrant issues in an urban environment.

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, Germany, 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

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

Select Publication

Congress, E., and Gonzalez, M. (2020). Multicultural Perspectives in Working with Families (4th edition). New York, Springer Publishing Company.

Congress, E., Takooshian, H., and Apgar, A. (2020) Behavioral Science in the Global Area: Addressing Timely Issues at the United Nations and Beyond, Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, Inc

Heyman, J., and Congress, E. (2018). Health and Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Congress, E. (2017) Immigrants and Refugees in Cities: Issues, Challenges, and Interventions for Social Workers Urban Social Work 1 (1), 20-35.

Congress, E, Luks, A.; and Petit, F. (2016) Nonprofit Management: A Social Justice Approach. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Chang-Muy, F. and Congress, E. eds. (2015). Social work with immigrants and refugees: Legal issues, clinical skills, and advocacy (2nd ed.) New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Congress, E., and Gonzalez, M. (2013). Multicultural perspectives in working with families. (3rd edition). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Congress, E. (2012). Continuing Education: Lifelong Learning for Social Work Practitioners and Educators. (Invited editorial) Journal of Social Work Education 48(3), 397-401.

Congress, E.; Black, P.; and Strom-Gottfried, K. eds. (2009) Teaching social work values and ethics: A curriculum resource. (2 nd ed.) Alexandria, VA: CSWE.

Weaver, H., and Congress, E. (2009). Indigenous people in a landscape of risk: Teaching social work students about socially just social work responses' Journal of Ethnic And Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 18(1), 166-179