The School of Social Work Addresses Grand Challenges through Research

The 12 Grand Challenges of Social Work is a dynamic initiative led by The American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare to develop strategic partnerships with social work’s national organizations, interest groups, and academic institutions. The organization combed through the receipt of more than 80 concepts from a national call for ideas and synthesized dozens of academic papers before landing on the 12 Grand Challenges. The Grand Challenges are to:

·         Ensure healthy development for all youth

·         Close the health gap

·         Stop family violence

·         Advance long productive lives

·         Eradicate social isolation

·         End homelessness

·         Create social responses to changing environment

·         Harness technology for social good

·         Promote smart decarceration

·         Reduce extreme economic inequality

·         Build financial capability for all

·         Achieve equal opportunity and justice


The School of Social Work stands committed in working within the grand challenges to empower our faculty and students to lead critical advancements in social work. Many of our faculty engage in the challenges listed through ongoing research and initiatives to lead community change.  Examples include the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership (FACHEP), a multi-disciplinary team study focusing on the potential relationship of Legionnaires’ disease and the Flint water system. This study aligns with two challenges; Closing the Health Gap and Achieving Equal Opportunity and Justice. For more information about the School of Social Work’s 10-year initiative, visit us here.

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