Social progress powered by science

From reducing income inequality and stopping family violence to closing the health gap and ending homelessness, the most pressing issues facing America today have one thing in common: a social factor.

To galvanize social work expertise, education, research and practice, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare recently launched the Grand Challenges for Social Work. This groundbreaking initiative champions social progress powered by science—and provides a structure to explore innovative approaches, build surprising partnership and work across sectors to strengthen the social fabric in 12 key areas.

Read the latest research on how a UW School of Social Work community-based initiative is creating healthy futures for all youth.

Grand Challenges have an illustrious history in increasing progress in other fields, including mathematics, global health and engineering, but the concept is a first for social work. “This is an opportunity to catalyze the profession in a way that’s never been done before,” says Richard Barth, president of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, which oversees this national effort.