As Climate Crisis Worsens, Need for EcoSocial Work Becomes More Dire

By Paul R. Pace

book cover of Ecosocial Work

There’s a growing population of social workers who are doing ecosocialwork, says Kelly Smith, DSW, director at the Institute of Social Work & Ecological Justice, and adjunct professor at Columbia University and Adelphi University.

“I have been thinking about how to capture the voices of those doing this work in one volume for some time now, and when the opportunity to publish a book with NASW on this topic came up, I didn’t hesitate,” she says of the NASW Press book, Ecosocial Work: Environmental Practice and Advocacy.

“I see this book as the first of multiple editions because the number of social workers doing ecosocial work keeps growing and the need is becoming so much more dire,” Smith says. “I also love that this book offers continuing education units for social work licenses through NASW.”

“It is important that all social workers understand this information and are able to bring it into their practices.”Smith and Rachel Forbes, MSW, associate professor and the Western Colorado MSW program director at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, are the book’s editors.

When asked how the text offers hope to the plethora of problems facing the environment, Forbes says, “We are very fortunate to have partnered with such a wide range of people working on these issues across the discipline, helping to achieve our goal of building a more profound sense of community inclusive of practitioner and academic perspectives.”

“The book shares adaptable solution-building while centering the voices of people most impacted by climate and environmental problems,” Forbes notes. It also highlights available interventions and inspires future solutions simultaneously.

No matter what your practice area may be, a healthy environment for all animals and humans is essential, says Smith. “It’s up to each and every one of us to collectively care and show up.”

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cover of October / November 2023 issue

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