Transforming the profession: Social workers’ expanding response to the environmental crisis

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Meredith C.F. Powers, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: With mounting scientific evidence about the global environmental crisis, an urgent call to action exists promoting sustainable environmental practices that enhance the wellbeing of humans and the ecological systems in which they live (Besthorn 2002, 2013, Coates 2005, CSDH 2008, Dewane 2011, Dominelli 2012, Gray, Coates and Herrington 2013, Hoff and McNutt 1994, Humphreys and Rogge 2000, IPCC 2007, Weber 2012). As ecological degradation occurs, it disproportionately affects vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed client populations, making it an issue of social and ecological injustice (Besthorn 2013, Bullard 1994, Coates 2003, Dominelli 2012, Hoff and Rogge 1996, Norton, Holguin and Manos 2013, McKinnon 2008, Weber 2012, Zapf 2009). Due to this, social and ecological justice issues related to the environmental crisis are increasingly becoming of great concern to social workers, as evidenced in national and international professional agendas (e.g., The Committee on Environmental Justice for the Council on Social Work Education in the United States of America (USA); the tenth Grand Challenge of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, ‘Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment’, see Kemp and Palinkas 2015; the third agenda item in the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development: Commitments to Action, ‘Working Toward Environmental Sustainability’, see IASSW, ICSW, and IFSW 2012).

Additional Information

A.-L. Matthies & K. Narhi (Eds.), Ecosocial Transition of Societies: Contribution of Social Work and Social Policy
Language: English
Date: 2016
social workers, environmental crisis, professional socialization

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