Session: Grand Challenges for Social Work Roundtable: Grand Challenges Framework for Creating Social Work Impact (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

247 Grand Challenges for Social Work Roundtable: Grand Challenges Framework for Creating Social Work Impact

Saturday, January 15, 2022: 12:45 PM-1:45 PM
Archives, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Lisa Reyes Mason, PhD, MSW, University of Denver, Jill Messing, MSW, PhD, Arizona State University, Trina Shanks, PhD, University of Michigan, Michael Sherraden, PhD, Washington University in Saint Louis and Michael Spencer, PhD, University of Washington
At its midway mark, the Grand Challenges for Social Work (GCSW) initiative has accomplished a considerable amount. Through partnerships with leading social work organizations (i.e. CSWE, NASW, SSWR, and others), and over 40universities, the initiative has gained awareness and engagement from faculty, students and stakeholders committed to improving the communities in which we live. The impetus of the initiative’s success thus far can help make even bigger strides against the greatest challenges of our society, many of which have been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the pandemic arrived and grew in the U.S. in early 2020, GCSW network leads quickly provided resources and guidance for protecting our most vulnerable members of society. Webinars addressed the intersection of economic and racial disparities with the spread of the virus and the need for social welfare policy responses. The movement toward child development accounts and universal basic income have long been key to the work of the Grand Challenges. These developments will be put into context and future opportunities and scientific directions will be deliberated. With a renewed emphasis on addressing racial, ethnic, and gender disparities that exist within each Grand Challenge, and society as a whole, the initiative is ideally designed and uniquely positioned to address the massive inequities and challenges in our communities. The network structure has enabled and supported collaboration across campuses and disciplines. This approach encourages innovation in designing state and federal level policies and interventions to address the challenges of our society, which we have seen in the Grand Challenge to Ensure Healthy Development for Youth and the Grand Challenge to End Homelessness. In 2020, the Grand Challenge to Eliminate Racism was added and a movement to mainstream an intersectional approach to gender within the Grand Challenges was established. The network is examining the intersection of racism, sexism, and each of the Grand Challenges of our society to identify interventions and solutions, which will be discussed in this session. The undeniable effect of structural and institutional racism cannot be separated from the need to tackle our changing environment and its impact on existing health, economic, and social inequities. The national racial justice movement calls for strategies that replace criminal justice and punitive institutional responses with social work responses, including in the service sectors of school security, child welfare, juvenile justice, intimate partner violence, and behavioral health crisis response. GCSW’s commitment to the “social is fundamental� and the pursuit of social interventions for society’s greatest challenges will be addressed. A changing global environment requires transformative social responses: new partnerships, deeper engagement with local communities, and innovations to strengthen individual and collective assets. The GCSW framework provides an ideal opportunity to create these social responses. In the remaining years of the initiative, GCSW will broaden its impact by targeting the social work pipeline, expanding interdisciplinary partnerships, and further supporting innovative and collaborative approaches to solving society’s greatest challenges. This roundtable will focus on ways the Grand Challenges framework can increase its impact on research, education, policy, and practice.
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