Disaster and Traumatic Stress

Chair: Robin Ersing (University of South Florida)
APM Assignment: 2014–2016

Co-chairMichael Zakour (West Virginia University)
APM Assignment: 2014–2016

This track focuses on social work research, education, and practice following disasters. Disasters can include natural, technological, and environmental disasters; large-scale transportation and industrial accidents; organizational crisis; mass violence; terrorism; warfare; and complex emergencies. Proposals that address issues of social justice related to access to disaster response/recovery services and resources are especially encouraged. Proposals on disasters in cross-cultural and international settings are welcome in this Track, as are proposals that focus on refining concepts and building theory in disaster social work. Research and evaluation proposals may describe case studies, qualitative or quantitative research, or a combination of approaches. Proposals are invited that discuss (1) preparing social work educators, researchers, and practitioners in the field of disaster social work; (2) addressing access to disaster services and resources for persons with a disability, including persons with cognitive/intellectual, mental health, or health disabilities and/or visual, mobility, or hearing limitations; (3) fostering disaster resilience through improving access to services and resources for otherwise vulnerable populations, including children, recent immigrants, people of color, low-income populations, and older persons; (4) perspectives on disaster prevention, planning, preparedness, response, or recovery; (5) educating the public; (6) fostering community disaster resilience and resistance; (7) handling organizational and interorganizational issues; (8) treating groups; (9) covering issues in disaster policy; (10) working with disaster volunteers; (11) providing field-focused services and field education opportunities; (12) assessing the relationship between disasters and social development; (13) building sustainable communities for future generations; and (14) determining the future of disaster social work.