Growing the Environmental Social Work Research

By Peter Craig

Throughout the history of environmental social work, studies like Cacel B. Germain’s “An Ecological Perspective in Casework Practice” (1973), with its emphasis on “person in environment,” have regularly broken new ground.

Still, environmental social work has lagged in acceptance by the social work profession overall, says Dr. Amy Krings, associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Social Work, who is a co-lead of the environmental Grand Challenge—“Creating Social Responses to a Changing Environment”—so building a larger research infrastructure has been vital. 

Adds Dr. John Mathias, associate professor at the Florida State University College of Social Work and also a co-lead of the environmental Grand Challenge, “A lot of the research going on in environmental social work is multidisciplinary, collaborative work where the focus is on the social justice, community engagement and human impact components of various environmental issues.”

Following are recent samples from the burgeoning research in environmental social work:

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