CSWE Full Circle April 2014

Volume 2014, Issue 4

The Strengths Perspective Turns 25

Twenty-five years since the first publication on strengths-based practice by social work faculty at the University of Kansas, it has become a standard in social work education. During the early 1980s Patrick Sullivan (Indiana University) collaborated with Charlie Rapp (University of Kansas), who was instrumental in developing the strengths perspective. As Rapp and Goscha (2006) write, “Even though the strengths model is not a panacea … it has demonstrated its ability to make a positive difference in the lives of people we are privileged to serve” (p. xvi). Since its adoption by social work, strengths-based has been identified as one of the 10 components of recovery-oriented practice by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other professions have started to adopt the language as well. Strengths-based practice has also paved the way to new projects and applications in the field, such as the recently developed shared decision-making model.

The University of Kansas showcased the strengths perspective’s 25th anniversary with guest speakers and presentations at its annual Social Work Day on Friday, April 11, 2014, bringing together more than 350 social workers and alumni. Read more here.