Session: Challenges and Potential Solutions to Supporting and Rewarding Community Engaged Scholarship (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

338 Challenges and Potential Solutions to Supporting and Rewarding Community Engaged Scholarship

Sunday, January 15, 2023: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Maryvale A, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Communities and Neighborhoods
Mary Ohmer, PhD, MSW, MPIA, University of Pittsburgh
Mary Ohmer, PhD, MSW, MPIA, University of Pittsburgh, Kirk Foster, PhD, University of South Carolina and Daniel Brisson, PhD, University of Denver
Social work has historically sought to battle complex social problems and inequities through engaging community members in problem-solving and capacity-building. Social work research extends this practice through community-engaged scholarship (CES), which centers community members in the research and knowledge building processes. While universities and schools of social work are increasingly promoting CES as an important form of research, very few have developed ways to support and reward it.

In 2006 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the accrediting body for institutions of higher education in the US, created an elective classification for community engagement which provided a framework to document the degree to which various forms of community engagement and scholarship are used to advance institutions' civic mission. While CES is highly promoted for its benefits to the academy and communities, very few institutions of higher education and schools of social work have provided assurances or mechanisms to commensurately value and reward CES in the same ways as other forms of research, such as lone or solely academic PI research and secondary data analyses. The Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land Grant Universities identified potential reforms related to CES, including policies to appropriately review CES within promotion and tenure at institutions that consider themselves engaged campuses. Other national bodies have also supported reforms to promote the evaluation of CES relative to other forms of scholarship, including the Imagining America Tenure Team Initiative (TTI) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

It is also important that universities and schools of social work promoting CES develop stronger supports and capacity building resources for community organizations to work alongside academic researchers, such as community-based research ethics trainings that certify community partners in human subjects research, and training programs along with resources to conduct CES. However, these resources and supports are very sparse.

CES has the potential to address complex social problems and address inequities in ways that advance shared knowledge production and co-ownership that move science away from pathologizing people to changing the systems that perpetuate the problems on which social work researchers focus. Centering the community's voice locates the roots of the problems in power and policy. CES ultimately focuses on changing organizations, systems, and structures including our own systems that continue to perpetuate the lone ranger researcher as the gold standard.

This roundtable session will advance a dialogue on the role of social work science in building and supporting CES in ways that support and reward both researchers and communities. The first presenter will discuss the role of CES in social work science and ways to reward and promote CES through the promotion and tenure process. Another presenter will discuss ways to advance support for scholars with CES agendas, including ways to support junior scholars and doctoral students. A third will discuss ways to support CES among community partners, including examples from the field, including joint funding mechanisms, training and other supports that help to level the playing field between academic and community researchers.

See more of: Roundtables