The online program schedule is searchable by author, day, presentation format, and cluster and topical areas.

January 13, 2016
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm Registration Open
January 14, 2016
7:30 am – 8:00 pm Registration Open
8:00 am – 12:00 pm Research Methods Workshops [learn more]
8:00 am – 12:15 pm Special Sessions on Research Priorities & Capacity Building [learn more]
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon
Senior Scientists: Deborah K. Padgett, PhD (New York University), Beverly Black, PhD (University of Texas at Arlington), Joseph Shields, PhD (Catholic University), Susan Kemp, PhD (University of Washington), Michael Austin, PhD (University of California, Berkeley), Michael Lindsey, PhD (New York University), David Brennan, PhD (University of Toronto) [view photos and bios here]

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) will be holding the “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon to be held at the SSWR 20th Annual Conference in Washington, DC. This special session provides a forum for early career scholars and doctoral students to talk and interact with established senior scholars who are leaders in social work research and the Society. Early career scholars and doctoral students will have the opportunity to ask questions about career development, challenges in the field, research initiatives, and where the field might be heading. Each senior scholar will be seated at a table with up to 6 early career scholars and doctoral students.
` Lunch On Your Own
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
1:30 pm – 7:30 pm Exhibits Open
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm Invited Journal Editors’ Workshop I
“Publishing Research in Peer-Reviewed Journals: Talk with the Editors”
Speakers: Mark W. Fraser [Chair], PhD (Editor-JSSWR – University of North Carolina), Sophia Dziegielewski, PhD (Editor-JSSR, University of Cincinnati), Susan J. Lambert, PhD (Editor-SSR, University of Chicago), Bruce Thyer, PhD, LCSW (Editor-RSWP, Florida State University), James Herbert Williams, PhD (Editor-SWR, University of Denver)

This symposium brings together a panel of editors from five generalist research journals in social work: Journal of Social Service Research, Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, Research on Social Work Practice, Social Service Review, and Social Work Research. The editors will describe their respective journals, offer guidance on submissions, explain the editorial decision-making process, and advise on the process of creating publishable articles. Time will be provided for questions, comments, and suggestions from the audience and responses from the Editors.
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Opening Plenary Session
“Launching  the Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative”
Speakers: Eddie Uehara, PhD (University of Washington), Richard Barth, PhD (University of Maryland) [view photos and bios here]

The Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative specifies ambitious but achievable goals to address  12 major challenges facing society. These challenges range from ending homelessness and stopping family violence to smart decarceration and reversing extreme inequality.  Join the opening plenary to celebrate SSWR’s 20th Conference Anniversary and to experience an energizing introduction to the Grand Challenges for Social Work. The program for this special opening session includes:

  • Welcome to SSWR’s 20th Conference Anniversary and the launch of Grand Challenges for Social Work, Eddie Uehara, PhD, SSWR President, Professor and Ballmer Endowed Dean, School of Social Work, University of Washington
  • Official premiere of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work, Richard Barth, PhD, AASWSW President, Dean and Professor, University of Maryland
  • Grand challenge video premiere : “Social Progress, Powered by Science”
  • Comments from luminaries from within and beyond social work
  • Audience participation in multi-media, interactive stations
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm A Celebration of SSWR’s 20th Conference Anniversary
January 15, 2016
7:00 am – 8:00 am Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings I
7:30 am – 4:00 pm Registration Open
8:00 am – 9:30 am Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Grand Challenge: Increasing Productive Engagement in Later Life”
Moderator: Nancy Morrow-Howell (Washington University)
Speakers: Ernest Gonzales (Boston University), Christina Matz-Costa (Boston College Center on Aging & Work), Emily Greenfield (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)

This session will advance understanding and action regarding the grand challenge: Increasing Productive Engagement in Later Life. We will briefly overview population aging and its implications for societal and individual well-being. Productive aging orients attention to older adults’ capacity to make contributions through employment, volunteering, caregiving. This perspective underscores the challenges of transforming attitudes, programs, and policies to increase engagement for the sake of aging individuals, families, communities, and society. It also addresses the importance for social institutions to better facilitate older adults’ potential to engage in meaningful and rewarding activities.
8:00 am – 9:30 am Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
8:00 am – 6:45 pm Exhibits Open
9:45 am – 11:15 am

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Promoting Smart Decarceration: Social Work’s Call to Social Innovation”
Speakers: Matthew Epperson, PhD, MSW (University of Chicago), Carrie Pettus-Davis, PhD, MSW (Washington University in St. Louis), Jeffrey Draine, PhD, MSW (Temple University)

Evidence indicates that mass incarceration has reached a tipping point, and that we are entering an era of decarceration. The grand challenge of this new era will be to move away from incarceration-based thinking and toward an array of proactive policy, practice, and research innovations that will promote “smart decarceration.” Smart decarceration will not only substantially reduce the incarcerated population, but also ameliorate social disparities and maximize public safety and well-being. Drawing on a combined 60 years of criminal justice practice and research experience, we offer guiding concepts to advance social work’s role in shaping the decarceration era into one that is effective, sustainable, and socially just. Concepts include: 1- Changing the narrative on incarceration and those experiencing incarceration; 2- Criminal justice system-wide innovations: 3- Trans-disciplinary policy and practice interventions; and 4- Grounding in multiple sources of evidence-driven strategies. Building on these concepts, we suggest key questions, approaches, and challenges to facilitate the expansion and influence of social work innovation and research on smart decarceration. We will conclude with a town hall-based discussion with all session attendees to build connections to existing research projects and to explore next steps in joining a concentrated effort in smart decarceration social work.

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Eradicate social isolation”
Speakers: James Lubben, PhD, (Boston College), Melanie Gironda, PhD (Univ. Southern California), Erika Sabbath, ScD (Boston College), Chistina Matz-Costa, PhD (Boston College), Carrie Johnson, MSW (Boston College), Jooyoung Kong, ABD (Boston College)

Social isolation is a silent killer — as dangerous to health as smoking. National and global health organizations have underscored the hidden, deadly, and pervasive hazards stemming from feeling alone and abandoned. Our challenge is to educate the public on this health hazard, encourage health and human service professionals to address social isolation, and promote effective ways to deepen social connections and community for people of all ages. This session examines why eradicating social isolation is grand challenge; why much can be achieved over the next decade towards eradicating social isolation; and what it will take to achieve success. The session concludes with an invitation to participants in the symposium to become engaged in eradicating social isolation.
9:45 am – 11:15 am Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Aaron Rosen Lecture (TBD)
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch On Your Own
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings II
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm Invited Symposium I
“Training Our Next Generation Scientific Work Force to Tackle Grand Challenges”
Moderators: Paula Nurius, PhD (University of Washington) and Jim Lubben, PhD (Boston College)
Speakers: Sarah Gehlert, PhD (Washington University in St. Louis), Lawrence Palinkas, PhD (University of Southern California), Kara Hall, PhD (National Cancer Institute) [view photos and bios here]

Social work’s historic articulation of current Grand Challenges sharpens the imminent need to coordinate a national plan for preparing our doctoral students and early career scholars for high impact careers toward advancing solutions. In this session we convene a national panel to provide interlocking illustrations of research skill and career readiness needs of emerging scholars who will largely be responsible for taking Grand Challenges forward, within contemporary scientific contexts.  This session builds on prior task forces within and outside of social work to delineate the top tasks social work must attend to over the coming decade to prepare our next generation of researchers for leadership in the era of Grand Challenges. This session will include engagement with the audience and should be of interest to a very wide swath of SSWR participants—from doctoral students to early career and senior faculty to school leadership. This vision will include creative attention to linking resources across schools of social work as well as SSWR’s pivotal support roles.
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Invited Journal Editors’ Workshop II
“Journal Editors’ Forum on Publishing Qualitative Research”
Speakers: Jane F. Gilgun, PhD, LICSW (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), Karen Staller, PhD (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor), Noël Bridget Busch-Armendariz, PhD (University of Texas at Austin), Susan P. Robbins, PhD (University of Houston), Sondra J. Fogel, PhD (University of South Florida)

This workshop is for any participant seeking to publish qualitative research and scholarly work in social work journals. The workshop brings together a distinguished panel of editors and researchers from four journals: Qualitative Social Work, Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, and Families in Society. These journals are highly regarded in the profession and share commitments to excellence in social work research and publication. In this session, the editors describe the aim of their respective journals and the editorial decision-making process. Most important, they will create a discussion with participants about what constitutes a publishable qualitative study that influences practice and policy. Before the program starts, participants will be asked to write their publishing questions on 3×5 cards; the chair will collect the cards and sort them during the presentation and use these to facilitate discussion. In this workshop, the editors contribute to the scholarly development of the participants by building skills related to successful publication. The editors will discuss several issues, including how to match topics to specific journals, review processes, features of articles they’ve accepted for publication, and how to address the implications of their research for practice and policy.
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Social Work Grand Challenges:  Reversing Extreme Economic Inequality”
Speakers: William Elliott, PhD (University of Kansas), Susan Lambert, PhD (University of Chicago), H. Luke Shaefer, PhD (University of Michigan), Trina Shanks, PhD (University of Michigan)

Today’s US economy generates more wealth than at any other time in history, yet divisions and disparities are increasing, with concentrated flows of income to the top and capital accumulation only by those who are already wealthy. This inequality creates hardship for households, a suboptimal economy, and social instability. Market forces and misguided public policies contribute to inequality, and more positive policies can be designed and implemented. In this Social Work Grand Challenge, we present promising and achievable policies to shore up the income of the poor, build middle-class stability and wealth, and reverse the mechanisms that concentrate wealth solely among the wealthy. This oral session will include a brief overview of the problem and a speaker panel focusing on specific policy changes to create greater income and wealth equity.  Topics will include work hour and compensation for low-wage workers, social insurance coverage, asset-building for the poor and middle class, and the role of wealth and higher education.  Speakers will pose questions for a moderated discussion between the audience and the speaker panel.

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Ensuring Healthy Development for all Youth: Unleashing Universal, Selective, and Indicated Prevention”
Speakers: J. David Hawkins (University of Washington), Jeff Jenson (University of Denver) and Jordan DeVylder (University of Maryland)

Behavioral health problems in childhood and adolescence take a heavy toll on millions of lives. For decades the approach to these problems has been to treat them only after they’ve been identified – at a high and ongoing cost to young people, families, and communities. Now, we have a 30-year body of research and more than 50 programs showing that behavioral health problems can be prevented through universal, selective, and indicated preventive interventions. The challenge now is to mobilize across disciplines and communities to advance prevention practices and policies on a nationwide scale. Two initiatives included in the Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Grand Challenge of Ensure Healthy Development for All Youth are described in this session. The first, Unleashing the Power of Prevention outlines a national prevention agenda developed by the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health. It will be presented by Jeffrey M. Jenson. The coalition’s first effort to unleash the power of prevention by promoting the provision of family focused prevention services through primary health care settings will be discussed by J. David Hawkins. The second initiative Prevention of Schizophrenia and Severe Mental Illness, reviews emerging evidence pertaining to promise of indicated prevention of schizophrenia and will be presented by Jordan DeVylder. The fourth presentation by Valerie Shapiro and Kimberly Bender will focus on preparation of the social work workforce for emerging roles in universal, selective, and indicated prevention.
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
5:15 pm – 6:45 pm Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Harnessing Technology for Social Good: A Grand Challenge for Social Work”
Speakers: Claudia Coulton (Case Western Reserve University), Robert Goerge (Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago), Emily Putnam-Hornstein (University of Southern California), Benjamin de Haan (University of Washington), Stephanie Berzin (Boston College), Jonathan Singer (Temple University), Chitat Chan (City University of Hong Kong)

Innovative applications of new digital technologies present opportunities for social and human services to reach more people with greater impact and find answers to our most vexing social problems. These new technologies can be deployed to more strategically target social spending, speed up the development of effective programs, and bring a wider array of help to more individuals and communities. However, despite the technological progress, the social sector has been slow to incorporate a continuous flow of data analytics to inform policy and practice. Moreover, while the possibility for practice innovation using digital technologies has been documented, social work practitioners and scholars remain hesitant in driving this movement and embracing it fully.

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“A multi-sector approach to moving the needle on ending homelessness”
Moderator: Benjamin Henwood, PhD, MSW (USC Social Work)
Discussant: Suzanne Wenzel, PhD (USC Social Work)
Speakers: Deborah Padgett, PhD (NYU Social Work), Philip Mangano (American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness), Thomas Byrne, PhD, MSW (Boston University), Gary Blasi, (UCLA)

The notion that homelessness in the United States can be ended, rather than managed, represents a fundamental shift in expectations that has occurred over the past three decades. Yet achieving this grand challenge will require a multi-pronged approach that includes interdisciplinary or cross-sector collaboration. This session will consider efforts to address homelessness that have occurred through various sectors including the federal government, the courts, research, and practice. Presenters will include Deborah Padgett who will discuss her new book that traces a fundamental shift from a “treatment first” to “housing first” model that has taken place over the past 2 decades. Philip Mangano, who played a major role in this shift as the executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness under President Bush, will discuss driving public policy through research, innovation, and consumer preference. Thomas Byrne, who works as an Investigator at the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, will discuss current VA initiatives to address homelessness. Gary Blasi, who is one of the founding and core faculty members at UCLA’s Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, will discuss using the courts in order to implement best practices to address homelessness.
5:15 pm – 6:45 pm Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
January 16, 2016
7:00 am – 8:00 am Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings III
8:00 am – 2:00 pm Registration Open
8:00 am – 9:30 am Preparing Professional Degree Students to Tackle Grand Challenges: Meta-Competencies and “T-Shaped” Pedagogy
Moderator: Jeremy Goldbach, PhD (University of Southern California)
Speakers: Darla Coffey, PhD (Council on Social Work Education), Rowena Fong, EdD (University of Texas at Austin), Wynne S. Korr, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign),  Ruth G. McRoy, PhD (Boston College),  Paula S. Nurius, PhD (University of Washington)

The Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative (GCSWI) reflects the power and potential of social work to accelerate social innovations and resolve major social problems. The complexity of these societal problems mandates profession-wide entrepreneurial readiness to engage in transdisciplinary, interprofessional, and translational collaborations. The GCSWI galvanizes shifts in undergraduate, masters, doctoral and early career supports to equip our graduates at all levels to design, test, disseminate and sustain innovative solutions.  Key to the effective application of Grand Challenge research findings is the preparation of our professional pipeline, namely BSW and MSW programs, with tools that align with preparation in our doctoral programs.  In this session presenters will: a) describe the relevance of the GCSWI to professional education and SSWR’s aims to support pipelined research training to support GCSWI; b) describe pedagogical thinking underlying a T-shaped professional (a competency profile guiding university curricula toward augmenting problem solving and change management skills) and the logic behind translational and innovation meta-competencies- as pipeline connections across program levels and career stages; c) illustrate meta-competencies preparation for professional practice that infuses an innovation mindset and skill readiness consonant with a collective impact framework; d) illustrate application of meta-competencies within Grand Challenge examples, and e) engage in a meaningful dialogue on program challenges and solutions for advancing the GCSWI through all levels of educational programs.
8:00 am – 9:30 am

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Financial Capability and Asset Building for All:  A Grand and Achievable Challenge for Social Work”
Moderator: Margaret S. Sherraden, PhD, MA (University of Missouri-St. Louis)
Speakers: Jin Huang, PhD, MSW (Saint Louis University), Julie Birkenmaier, PhD, MSW (Saint Louis University), David Patterson Silver Wolf, PhD, MSSW (Washington University in St. Louis), Christine Callahan, PhD, MSW (University of Maryland)

In order to achieve lifetime financial security, people must be financially capable and able to accumulate assets. This panel will provide background and rationale for building financial capability and assets in all households in America, including the most financially vulnerable. This is a necessary and achievable goal. Social work scholars have played a significant role in building a theoretical and empirical base for proposals that can improve financial security. Specifically, this team proposes a three-part strategy: The first is to create a universal, progressive, and lifelong system of asset building that begins with a Child Development Account opened automatically for each newborn, to be used to reach social development goals throughout the life span. The second is to create a web-based Financial Capability Gateway that enrolls people automatically in key financial services and provides financial information and guidance. The third part is preparation for all social workers to engage in culturally- and historically-informed practice to improve household financial management and create policies and interventions for household financial capability. This grand challenge requires the profession to commit to making financial well-being a central goal of practice and research.

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Health Equity: Close the Health Gap in the United States”
Speakers: Karina Walters, Ph.D. (University of Washington), Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D. (Washington University in St. Louis)

The nation suffers gross disparity between the standard of health attainable and the poor health and early death that increases as one descends the social class gradient.  At every social level, suffering and loss is greater for racial/ethnic minorities.  The inequity is the result of complex processes involving the political and social realities into which people are born, live, work, play, and age. Meeting the grand challenge of health equity requires expanded attention to social and cultural determinants of health: across generations, over the life span and through the levels of community surrounding the individual. Social work has a strong legacy of incorporating social context into clinical and community-based intervention and is well poised to accelerate transdisciplinary research that advances health equity. The session will outline the current federal approach to disparities and discuss how social factors are getting short shrift and social work is positioned to create change using both big and small data. Collaboration among practitioners and community members most affected by health disparities holds the potential to expand science-grounded community and clinical innovation as a distinctive contribution to closing the health gap. Practice Based Research Networks are among the promising methods.
8:00 am – 9:30 am Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
8:00 am – 3:30 pm Exhibits Open
9:45 am – 11:15 am Invited Symposium II
“Unleashing the Power of Prevention to Achieve Community Impact: Communities in Action, a partnership between UW SSW, practicum agencies, MSW students and the community”
Moderator: Richard F. Catalano, PhD (University of Washington)
Speakers: Margaret L. Spearmon, PhD (University of Washington), Vaughnetta J. Barton, MSW (University of Washington), Edith Elion, MSW (Atlantic Street Center), Raymonda C. Reese (University of Washington) [view photos and bios here]

The Unleashing the Power of Prevention Grand Challenge proposes to will advance the policies, programs, funding, and workforce preparation needed to promote behavioral health and prevent behavioral health problems among all young people—including those at greatest disadvantage or risk, from birth through age 24. The Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health and Prevention of Negative Developmental Outcomes, supporters and developers of this grand challenge, proposes within a decade to reduce the incidence and prevalence of behavioral health problems in this population by 20 percent from current levels. This presentation provides an exemplar of how Schools of Social Work can create a partnership with faculty, practicum agencies, students and the community to achieve these goals locally. The exemplar adapts a tested model for building prevention infrastructure to support quality implementation at scale of evidence based prevention programs in disadvantaged communities.

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment”
Speakers: Susan P. Kemp PhD (University of Washington), Lawrence A. Palinkas PhD (University of Southern California),  Lisa Reyes Mason PhD (The University of Tennessee), Samantha Teixeira PhD (Boston College),  Kristen Wagner PhD (University of Missouri-St. Louis)

The unprecedented environmental challenges facing contemporary societies pose profound risks to human well-being, particularly for marginalized communities. Climate change, escalating urbanization, and environmental degradation threaten health, undermine coping, and deepen existing inequities. As of 2015, 375 million people per year are likely affected by climate-related disasters; over 25 million have migrated due to environmental change. One third of the world’s urban population lives in environmentally marginal locations. Social interventions – to strengthen community resilience, adaptive capacity, and assets, build sustainable socio-ecological systems, and reduce sociospatial inequities – are key to supporting individual and collective well-being in increasingly turbulent environments. Social work brings to these efforts deep expertise in the science and practice of people-in-context and a robust, multi-level portfolio of tested interventions. Priority areas for social work leadership include community-engaged organizing and development, disaster preparedness and response, population dislocation, and mitigation of environmental inequities. Yet creating effective social responses to environmental changes will also require significant innovation: new and unusual partnerships, reimagined systems and social relationships, broadened technologies and data sources, and creative development and application of evidence-based policies and practices. In this session, join a panel of experts to help craft this forward-looking environmental practice and research agenda.
9:45 am – 11:15 am Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Invited Symposium III (Inaugural Annual Policy Forum)
“2016 Children Policies to Address the Grand Challenges of Poverty and Unequal Social Mobility”
Moderator: Sean Joe, PhD (Washington University in St. Louis)
Speakers: Michael Sherraden, PhD (Washington University in St. Louis), MaryLee Allen, PhD (Children’s Defense Fund), Mark H. Greenberg (Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)

The Society for Social Work and Research’s 20th Annual Conference will mark the introduction of the inaugural annual Policy Forum, a prominent plenary session that will highlight outstanding case examples of faculty, organizations, and legislators at the forefront of advancing federal and state policy that is informed by social work research. The annual policy forum was established to provide an opportunity for a coordinated, cohesive social policy outlet that supports SSWR member’s desire to influence important public policy debate. Titled 2016 Children Policy Priorities to Address the Grand Challenges of Poverty and Unequal Social Mobility, the 2016 inaugural forum will focus on policy solutions that address some of the prevailing social justice issues as they relate to children.
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch On Your Own
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings IV
12:30 pm – 1:45 pm Doctoral Student Session and Luncheon
“Research for Good: Enabling Social Work PhD Students to Realize the Transformative Potential of Research”
Speaker: Laina Bay-Cheng, PhD (University of Buffalo) [view photo and bio here]

All doctoral students are encouraged to attend this free networking luncheon and presentation by Dr. Laina Bay-Cheng, Associate Professor and PhD Program Director at the School of Social Work at the University of Buffalo. Dr. Bay-Cheng’s work concentrates on the social determinants of young women’s sexual well-being. In contrast to the dominant equation of youth sexuality with risk, Bay-Cheng contends that young women’s vulnerability to negative sexual experiences stems from unjust social norms and material conditions. Reflecting her interdisciplinary background and perspective, Bay-Cheng uses diverse theories and methods in her scholarship and publishes in well-regarded journals across disciplines. Join fellow doctoral students as we get to know one another and hear from this dynamic and engaging speaker about the future of social work research.
12:30 pm – 1:45 pm NRCBI Roundtable
“Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative (GCSWI): Creating Impact and Producing Social Innovations in the next Decade”
Speakers: Richard P. Barth, PhD (University of Maryland at Baltimore), Rowena Fong, EdD (University of Texas at Austin), John Brekke, PhD (University of Southern California), Edwina Uehara, PhD (University of Washington)

Based on the premise that researchers, practitioners, educators, policymakers, and funders creating and implementing science-informed, social interventions will make an impact in achieving a more just, equitable, and socially cohesive society, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare has announced its 12 Grand Challenges about Healthy Development, Family Violence, Social Isolation, Homelessness, Health Gap, Technology for Social Good, Global Environment, Financial Capability, Long and Productive Lives, Smart Decarceration, Economic Inequality, and Equal Opportunity and Justice.  It is important that the implementation of these Grand Challenge be committed to a strong scientific base and be reflective of creative transdisciplinary social innovations to address vexing problems in our society. This session will review the current activities of the various Grand Challenges as well as ongoing and future implementation plans. Input about future directions for the GCSWI will be welcomed.
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Special Session “The Science of Social Work” (TBD)
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Invited Symposium IV
“Grand Challenges for Social Work: Examples of Campus Compacts”
Speakers: Yannis Yortsos, PhD (University of Southern California), Marilynn Flynn, PhD (University of Southern California), Edward Lawlor, PhD (Washington Universit in St. Louis), Barbara Shank, PhD (St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas Collaborative) [view photos and bios here]

Formulation of the Grand Challenges is the first step in a much longer process.  Leadership and longer-term implementation of the Grand Challenges will ultimately fall to deans, faculty, and community professionals.  There are successful precedents to follow, especially in the efforts in the field of engineering over the past six years.  Our scientific orientation and professional culture will at the same time lend a distinctive pattern to our approach.   This session will examine alternative approaches that have been taken or are planned by two schools of social work and one of the nation’s major engineering programs.  The perspective of a dean from one of the smaller, long-established schools will also be offered in recognition of the distinctive contribution these programs may make.  Roles of faculty, students, research and practice networks, and other community collaborators will be suggested, as well as alternative visions for ways in which the Grand Challenges can be adopted as hallmarks of engaged schools. 

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice”
Speakers: Martell Teasley, Ruth McRoy, Mit Joyner, Sandra Crewe, Marilyn Armour, Jeremy T. Goldbach, Hortensia Amaro, and Bill Vega

The panel will examine institutional barriers and opportunities to create safer environments for higher levels of academic achievement and to address social stigma as a fundamental cause of inequality. Also discussed is how these topics can be formulated into a stronger focus in research, education, and practice.

Invited Grand Challenge (GC) Session
“Grand Challenge: Stop Family Violence”
Speakers: Richard Barth, PhD (University of Maryland), Nancy Dickinson, PhD (University of Maryland), Emily Putnam Hornstein, PhD (University of Southern California), Terry V. Shaw, PhD (University of Maryland), Jeffrey Edleson, PhD, MSSW (University of California at Berkeley), Judy L. Postmus, Ph.D., ACSW (Rutgers), Noel Bush-Armendariz, Ph.D. (The University of Texas)

Crosscutting Opportunities to Reduce Family Violence: The panel will address directions for the field to pursue that would better integrate the social work response to child abuse prevention and gender-based violence and ways that partnerships between these threads of social work—especially child abuse, gender-based violence, and elder abuse—can be better integrated. Also discussed will be a range of other partners we can work with to help to end family violence and how these topics can be formulated into a stronger research and educational focus. Safe Children: Ending Severe and Fatal Maltreatment of Children: Ending fatal violence against children in the United States will not only reduce child mortality, but is likely to reduce other forms of serious maltreatment.  The beneficial effects of such an approach would also be shown in the reduction of permanent neurological impairment, other cognitive and emotional morbidities, and the arrest and incarceration of adults who would not have committed such violence if they had access to other options. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) has recently estimated the lifetime cost of child abuse to be more than $210,000 per victim, with most of these costs resulting from the lost potential of child abuse victims rather than the services they receive. We now also understand that violent parenting—even when it is not fatal—creates toxic stress that may result in a large array of untoward outcomes including changes to brain architecture, abnormal cortisol levels, and a range of health and behavioral health vulnerabilities (Shonkoff  et al., 2012). Ending Gender Based Violence: Gender-based discrimination and violence continues as a major challenge for our society and others around the globe. Gender-based violence is not an epidemic, but rather endemic – at a high and continuing level – in American society.  The scientific evidence indicates there are tested, multi-pronged strategies able to end or greatly reduce gender-based violence over the next decade if there is the community and political will and support to do so.  Social work practitioners and scholars stand at the forefront of these initiatives and have made a significant impact in efforts to expand social responses aimed at ending GBV.  Promoting an end to GBV and encouraging violence-free intimate relationships requires not only “downstream” crisis responses involving criminal justice and social services but also “upstream” universal and selective prevention efforts.
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
3:45 pm – 5:00 pm Membership Meeting, Board Service, Fellows, and Awards
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Presidential Plenary
Speaker: Larry Davis, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Grand Reception for Grand Challenges Launch
January 17, 2016
8:00 am – 9:30 am Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
9:45 am – 11:15 am Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Symposia / Workshops / Roundtables / Paper Presentations / ePosters
1:00 pm Conference Ends