Research focal areas

The School of Social Work and the Center for Social Work Research strive to conduct and disseminate research and forge community partnerships in six focus areas of practice and research. Select a focus area to view a list of our currently active grants in that area.

Social Work with Older Adults

This focus area explores important perspectives, knowledge, and skills that are necessary when working with older adults and their families in settings including housing, senior centers, hospitals, nursing homes, multiservice agencies, and community-based organizations.

Children and Families

This focus area provides a comprehensive look at working with children and families across the micro-macro continuum including perspectives on intervention for both policy and interpersonal practice.

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Community Change, Social Entrepreneurship, and Social Justice

This focal area focuses on how to advance human rights, social, economic, and environmental justice.

Social Work in Criminal Legal Settings

This focal area looks at each intercept of the criminal/legal system (police, courts, jails, prisons, probation/parole). It explores the foundation on criminological theory and current policy responses, and practical tools for assessing the risk and needs of individuals charged and/or sentenced with criminal offences.

Integrated Health, Behavioral Health, and Substance Use

This focal area explores the integration of physical and mental health and substance use. In addition, it offers perspectives on the impact of health disparities, poverty, oppression, and the urban context on physical health, behavioral health, and substance use outcomes and services.

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Trauma, Stress, and Violence

This focal area examines the impact of exposure to violence and toxic stress on individuals across the lifespan and across bio-psycho-social-spiritual domains. It also includes interventions that reduce the potential impact of violence and traumatic stressors on human development and functioning as well as resilience and protective factors.