CSWE Full Circle August 2013

Volume 2013, Issue 8

Social Work, Science, and Education

Two recent invitational social work conferences were held over a week in July 2013 at Islandwood, Washington. During the first 2 days representatives from schools of social work and CSWE gathered to address how science and social work can be infused into our PhD, MSW, and BSW curricula. This section was organized by Michalle Mor barak (University of Southern California [USC]) and Jim Lubben (Boston College). The topics ranged from how to grow translational science teams in social work research education, to building the identity of our scholars in social work. One purpose of this conference was to develop strategies for building momentum and participation throughout all the educational levels of social work education for infusing science into the curriculum, although a primary focus was on PhD education. The papers from this conference will be disseminated in a social work education journal.

The second 2-day conference focused on the science of social work. It was organized by John Brekke (USC) and Jeanne Marsh (University of Chicago) with invited participants from universities in the United States, England, Switzerland, and Japan, as well as from CSWE and NASW. Papers were delivered on refining a framework for a science of social work, issues of causality and research methods, and linking values in social work science, as well as perspectives from within the profession and from an international point of view. These papers will appear as a special issue of Research on Social Work Practice. A fundamental goal of these two conferences was to build on the momentum of previous conferences at USC and Islandwood over the last 2 years. It is expected that the Islandwood conferences will continue for the next 5 years with support from the Society for Social Work and Research and USC. Over the course of this time, there are a number of discussion forums and presentations planned to be held at various social work professional, educational, and research conferences to engage the entire social work community.