This round table will revisit social work's use of EST. We ask: how can we update the model, by actively incorporating conceptual frameworks of time and place? The workshop will feature three presentations, comments by a discussant, and active participation of attendees who will be invited to discuss social work's use of EST and consider its development moving forward. Specifically, the speakers will address: landscape and place attachment for refugee communities in south west Michigan; gentrification, displacement and avenues for resiliency for African American communities in the southside of Chicago; and trauma-informed care in healthcare and education systems. All three focus on expanding our understanding of EST by incorporating place and history. Additionally, each presenter is aligned with a different social science discipline; developmental psychology, sociocultural anthropology, and sociology. Thus, speakers will offer a variety of disciplinary, positionality, and epistemological perspectives. The discussant will identify common threads from the three papers and invite workshop participants into the conversation. Our aim is to challenge participants to conceptualize how place and critical history fit into EST and how such integration might benefit their own practice.
Ecological systems theory has long been used in social work. We have reached a moment where re-conceptualizing it will not only better meet the needs of the populations with whom we work, but where we could generate a more uniquely social work grounded theoretical framework, less reliant on its developmental psychological origins. This roundtable explores ideas of how to manage this re-conceptualization and urges participants to think about the ways this might benefit social work practice in the future.