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Sol Gothard Lifetime Achievement
Award Winners

2013 Sol Gothard Lifetime Achievement Award –

Ira Arthell Neighbors, DSW

The National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW) has announced that Dr. Ira Arthell Neighbors, DSW, LCSW, has been selected to receive the organization’s Sol Gothard Lifetime Achievement Award at the NOFSW Annual Conference, April 14th in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Neighbors is a resident of San Bernardino, California. The Gothard Award is the highest honor bestowed by the NOFSW.  It is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the forensic social work profession, public welfare, and humankind.

Dr. Neighbors began his career serving people with developmental disabilities, working in state and community facilities as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His work as an adult education teacher in a correctional facility gave him the impetus to pursue his postgraduate degrees. He earned his Master of Social Work (MSW) at the University of California at Los Angeles and obtained his Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) from Howard University in Washington, DC. His dissertation was titled: “Quality of Life Issues for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: The District of Columbia a Case in Point.”

For over five years, Dr. Neighbors taught a forensic social work elective class at Cal-State University. While at Cal-State, he became a member of NOFSW.  He served NOFSW in a number of capacities: Counselor, Treasurer and President. He was the Founding Editor of the Journal of Forensic Social Work which grew from his editorial work on the book “Social Work and the Law: Proceedings of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work, published in 2000. He furthered his career in teaching forensic social work at Southern University at New Orleans where he also served as Dean of Graduate Studies.


Dr. Neighbors has participated and held offices in a variety of local, state, and national organizations and presented at international conference including the National Association of Social Work (NASW), the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

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