Call for Papers – – THE SOCIETY FOR SOCIAL WORK AND RESEARCH is pleased to announce that its

22nd Annual Conference
Achieving Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Justice

will convene at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC in Washington, DC, January 10-14, 2018

Submission Deadline: Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Conference Planning Committee of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) invites submissions for presentations within all content areas of social work, social welfare services, and social policy.

The theme for the 2018 conference is “Achieving Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Justice.” The 2018 conference theme builds on the Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative developed by the Equal Opportunity and Social Justice Grand Challenges collective. This theme is timely given the location of the conference in Washington, D.C., and emerging policies that pose significant threats to civil rights, racial, social, gender, and environmental justice, and tribal sovereignty. Many of these anticipated policy changes are likely to exacerbate inequities among the most marginalized populations, thereby increasing their levels of vulnerability. Social work has historically played a significant role and, indeed is mandated as a profession to fight for the rights and well-being of communities, particularly those groups consigned to society’s margins or that bear the brunt of historical and contemporary discrimination and injustice. All of this work is critical to fostering a successful and healthful society. Invited sessions at the 2018 Conference will address this challenge by offering information about the state of the science and/or community-based progress toward this grand challenge. Submissions for presentations in the new Clusters of: American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Global Indigenous populations; Immigrants and Refugees; and, Sustainable Development, Urbanization, and Environmental Justice are strongly encouraged. We recognize that this year’s conference theme is cross-cutting by population, problem and substantive areas, as well as methodological expertise and as a result, we encourage submissions across all Clusters as they pertain explicitly to innovations in research related to the theme of the conference in the form of proposals for individual papers and poster presentations, organized paper symposia, round-table discussions, and workshops.

As illustrated in the cluster areas, submissions are encouraged across all areas of social work. These may span various forms of research. Cluster areas are: Adolescent and Youth Development; Aging Services and Gerontology; American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Global Indigenous Populations (Indigenous Cluster); Child Welfare; Communities and Neighborhoods; Crime and Criminal Justice; Disability; Gender; Health; Inequality, Poverty, and Social Welfare Policy; International Social Work and Global Issues; Immigrants and Refugees; Mental Health; Military Service Members, Veterans and Their Families; Organizations and Management; Race and Ethnicity; Research Design and Measurement; Research on Social Work Education; School Social Work; Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; Social Work Practice; Substance Misuse and Addictive Behaviors; Sustainable Development, Urbanization, and Environmental Justice; Violence against Women and Children; Work, Family, and Family Policy.


The conference will focus on original research that has implications for practice or policy. Research abstracts are encouraged in all substantive areas, using scientifically sound qualitative and/or quantitative methodology. The research may take place in any country and at the micro, macro, or policy level. You are invited to submit abstracts for presentations of one of three types of original research: (1) Oral paper presentation; (2) Symposium (organized by the applicant) of three or more papers on the same topic to be presented in the same session; (3) Poster presentation. Only paper and poster abstracts reporting completed findings will be reviewed. We urge that studies with “findings pending” be submitted for future review after the study is complete.

Abstracts should not be based on research previously published elsewhere. If applying for a paper or poster presentation, please submit an abstract of 500 words or less. References are not required, and if included count towards the 500 word limit. If applying for a symposium, please submit an abstract (500 words or less) for each symposium paper, along with an overall abstract (500 words or less) for the symposium session that describes the symposium theme and its importance. Preference will be given to symposia that demonstrate cohesiveness across presentations. Symposia will be accepted or rejected in total, i.e., abstracts will not be accepted independently.

Abstracts should be submitted in a structured format and include the following: Background and Purpose: description of the problem, study objectives, research question(s) and/or hypothesis (es). Methods: study design, including a description of participants and sampling methods, data collection procedures, measures, and appropriate analytic/ statistical approach. Results: specific results in summary form. Conclusions and Implications: description of the main outcome(s) of the study and implications for practice, policy, or further research. Note: Image(s) and table(s) are not permitted in any abstract.

The conference committee also invites abstract submissions for workshops and roundtable sessions. Workshop and roundtable session abstracts should include a topic that: (1) adds to the current knowledge base in social work practice, policy, theory, and research methodology, and (2) offers clear meaningful implications for social work research, policy and practice. The topic for workshop session abstracts should also offer training opportunities for methodology (study design, sampling, data collection, measurement, and analysis). If applying for a workshop or roundtable session, please submit an abstract of 500 words or less that describes the content and how it will be addressed. For workshops, describe the pedagogical techniques and for roundtables describe the topics that will be addressed elaborating on viewpoints and perspectives which may be discussed.

SSWR seeks to optimize as many people participating in the conference as possible. SSWR, therefore, limits the number of roles that participants can play in the 2018 conference. There is a limit of two (2) presenting-author abstract submissions per person. This limit applies to these presentation formats: oral papers, both individual papers and papers within an organized symposium, posters, and workshops. It does not apply to co-authorship. Participants may, however, perform additional roles such as chairing an organized symposium, leading a special interest group, serving as moderator for a session of grouped oral papers, and a panelist in a round table session. You DO NOT need to be a SSWR member to submit an abstract. However, if your abstract is accepted for presentation the presenter/ speaker MUST be a current 2018 member and register for the conference. This requirement is applicable to oral paper and poster presenters, symposium organizers, symposium paper presenters and symposium discussants, and workshop and roundtable speakers. Co-authors are not expected to comply with this policy. Co-authors attending the conference, however, are required to register for the conference.

Peer reviews will be used to select submissions based upon technical merit and importance of findings. Please note that all abstracts are to be submitted online using the SSWR online abstract management system, which will be accessible March 2017.

Sample Abstracts

Oral Papers (individual papers and papers within a symposium) and Posters:

Please see the following links for examples of model Workshop and Roundtable abstracts. These examples are included to provide guidance to authors; however, there may be instances in which another format is preferable.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 11:59pm, Sunday, April 30, 2017
We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!