Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative?
    The Grand Challenges for Social Work is a groundbreaking project to champion social progress powered by science, sponsored by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare.

    We’ve identified 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work—a call to action for social work researchers and practitioners to harness social work’s science and knowledge base, collaborate with professionals from related fields and disciplines, and work together to tackle our toughest social problems.

    Join us.

  2. Why join the Grand Challenges for Social Work?
    We need you! Everyone—in social work and in related fields—has a role in promoting individual and family well-being, a stronger social fabric, and a more just society.

    During the past century, social work interventions have helped lower infant mortality, lift millions out of poverty, and assist people with mental illness through de-institutionalization, aftercare, counseling, and advocacy. The Grand Challenges for Social Work build on social work’s rich history.

    Today’s urgent, interrelated, and large-scale challenges—violence, substance abuse, environmental degradation, injustice, isolation, and inequality—require research, innovation, and leadership more than ever. Building new knowledge and connecting it to practice and policy are critical to driving real, lasting, and transformative social change.

    Learn more about how to get involved.

  3. What are the Grand Challenges for Social Work?
    There are 12 Grand Challenges, addressing big issues in healthcare, longevity, technology, inclusion and safety, equal opportunity and justice, and more. For more information about each Grand Challenge, review the list here.
  4. How do I participate in the Grand Challenges for Social Work?
    There are a variety of ways to join in this important effort, get up to speed about the different Grand Challenges, and create Grand Challenges activities on your campus or through your organization. Learn more about how to participate.
  5. Are there working groups for each Grand Challenge?
    These are still under formation. We will provide more information and contacts in the coming months.
  6. How can I connect with others working on the Grand Challenges?
    The best way to stay up to date is by joining our mailing list; sharing with others on social media, using the #Up4theChallenge hashtag; following the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare on Twitter and LinkedIn; and joining the Grand Challenges Facebook group. Individual Grand Challenges groups may also sponsor activities and create their own networks. As the initiative moves forward, we will provide more information on these exciting possibilities.
  7. Can I contribute to more than one Challenge?
    Yes. We hope the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative and the work that flows out of each Grand Challenge effort will provide a variety of ways for researchers, practitioners, students and people in many related fields to participate. Many of the Challenges are deeply inter-related, so it is likely that more than one Challenge may be of interest.