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Kelly Bass

Kelly Bass

Chair, Social Work, MSW Program Director and Associate Professor


Health Science Center - Sioux Falls 369

Phone: (605) 357-1460



Dr. Kelly Bass has a bachelors' of social work degree from the University of Sioux Falls, a masters in social work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and completed his doctorate in clinical social work and leadership at the University of Tennessee in 2015. Currently he is the Master of Social Work program director at the University of South Dakota and continues to engage in clinical and supervisory practice throughout South Dakota. His research focuses on the impact clinical supervision has on clinical competencies and improving integrated approaches for streamlined referral and access to public and behavioral health care services. Dr. Bass continues to provide mental health treatment to at-risk youth, families, and adults who are involved in the social services and court system through forensic evaluations, crisis intervention, and ongoing clinical treatment. On a larger context, he has worked with clinics, healthcare systems, and service providers as a consultant to improve services provided to children and families. He is a nationally approved clinical supervisor and has provided clinical supervision to developing social workers, counselors, and other mental health providers since 2003.

Teaching Interests:

Mental health assessment and treatment. Clinical practice with children, adolescent, and young adults. Clinical supervision and leadership.

Research Interests:

Social work practice and clinical license supervision. Integrating community and institutional interventions and service delivery found at the intersection of healthcare disciplines. Interventions for improving outcomes for vulnerable populations (e.g., adults, youth, and children with mental illnesses) in the criminal justice and welfare systems


  • Doctorate in Social Work (DSW), Clinical Social Work , University of Tennessee - Knoxville, 2015
  • MS, Social Work, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 2001
  • BS, Social Work, University of Sioux Falls, 1998

Licensures and Certifications:

  • Approved Clinical Supervisor, Center for Credentialing and Education
  • Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health , New York University
  • LCSW-PIP, South Dakota Licensing Board
  • Licensed Certified Social Worker, Association of Social Work Boards


  • Practice preparedness from the perspectives and experiences of clinical social work supervisors, Association of Social Work Boards, (2019 - 2020)
  • ASWB Path to Licensure, Association of Social Work Boards, (2017 - 2018)


  • Using Case-Based Learning to Increase Understanding, Promote Competency, and Build Confidence in Child Maltreatment Practitioners, the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI).. Grant Role: Co-Principal. (2021 - 2022)
  • Opioid Training Grant, State of South Dakota Division of Behavioral Health. Grant Role: Supporting. (2018 - 2020)


Citations listed below are presented in a standardized, modified format for display purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect the preferred style and conventions of the faculty member or discipline.

  • BASS, KELLY. Supporting South Dakota Student's Return to School. Child and Adult Advocacy Studies Webinar Series. SIOUX FALLS: Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment, 2020.
  • Bass, Kelly, and Cerny, Shana. Child and Adult Advocacy Studies - Certificate Program..
  • BASS, KELLY. University of South Dakota Path to Licensure Program. Vermillion, SD: University of South Dakota, 2019.
  • Bass, Kelly. Education, experience, and exam, 1. Iss. Summer. Culpepper, VA: Association of Social Work Board, 2018.
  • Bass, Kelly. Curricular Guide for Licensing and Regulation. Alexandria, Virginia: Council on Social Work Education, 2018.

Awards and Honors:

  • Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching Nominee, University of South Dakota, 2020
  • 2015 EPAS Site Visitor Training, Council on Social Work Education, 2019
  • Management Development Program, Harvard Institutes for Higher Education, 2018
  • Sigma Theta Honorary Member, Phi Alpha Honor Society, 2018
  • Path to Licensure Scholar, Association of Social Work Boards, 2017
  • Outstanding Service Award: Family Based Services, SD Department of Corrections, 2004
  • Recipient of the Rural Health Care Association Scholarship, Rural Health Care Association, 2001


  • Cerny, Shana, Bass, Kelly, Sanderson, Carrie. Child & Adult Advocacy Studies: Meeting the Need for Multidisciplinary Prevention & Response. Presented at the AOTA INSPIRE 2022, San Antonio, Texas. (April 2022)
  • Bass, Kelly. In the Shadows: Adolescent Boys in Distress. Presented at the Community Response to Child Abuse Conferencce, Virtual. (October 1, 2020)
  • Bass, Kelly, Cerny, Shana. Child Advocacy Competency among Professionals and Students Working in Social, Health, and Education Services in SD. Presented at the Community Response to Child Abuse Conference, Virtual. (September 30, 2020)
  • Bass, Kelly. From Practitioner to Supervisor: Preparing for Licensed Supervisory Practice. Presented at the Association of Social Work Board Education Conference, Chicago, Illinois. (April 23, 2020)
  • Bass, Kelly. The Impact Experience and Training has on Clinical Supervisor Competencies. Presented at the Eleventh International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision, Garden City, NY. (June 1, 2015)
  • Bass, Kelly. A Framework for Clinical Supervision: Juvenile Delinquency. Presented at the National Forensic of Social Work Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA. (September 25, 2009)