The Grand Challenges for Social Work

Paper instructions

After reviewing the information listed below about the 12 Grand Challenges of Social work, please respond to the questions with a minimum of 1 complete page (not counting the title and reference pages). This paper should be written in APA format.

In order to receive full credit for this assignment, you will need to address each of the following:

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If you had to place these challenges in order – what would be your top 3? Why is number 1 the most important challenge?
Which of the 12 will be the most difficult to accomplish?
What are the social injustices and inequalities as they pertain to the disadvantaged populations? (Relating to your top three challenges)
What future challenges do you anticipate?

The Grand Challenges for Social Work

Together the 12 Grand Challenges define a bold, science-based social agenda that promotes individual and family well-being, a stronger social fabric, and a just society that fights exclusion and marginalization creates a sense of belonging and offers pathways for social and economic progress.

Here is a description of the underlying problems, strategies, and goals of each of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work.

Ensure healthy development for all youth
Each year, more than six million young people receive treatment for severe mental, emotional or behavioral problems. Strong evidence shows us how to prevent many behavioral health problems before they emerge.
Close the health gap
More than 60 million Americans have inadequate access to basic health care while also enduring the effects of discrimination, poverty and dangerous environments that accelerate higher rates of illness. Innovative and evidence-based social strategies can improve health care and lead to broad gains in the health of our entire society.
Stop family violence
Assaults by parents, intimate partners, and adult children frequently result in serious injury and even death. Proven interventions can prevent abuse, identify abuse sooner, break the cycle of violence, or find safe alternatives.
Advance long and productive lives
Throughout the lifespan, fuller engagement in education and paid and unpaid productive activities can generate a wealth of benefits, including better health and well-being, greater financial security, and a more vital society.
Eradicate social isolation
Social isolation is a silent killer, as dangerous to health as smoking. 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.
End homelessness
During the course of a year, nearly 1.5 million Americans will experience homelessness for at least one night. Our challenge is to expand proven approaches that have worked in communities across the country, develop new service innovations and technologies, and adopt policies that promote affordable housing and basic income security.
Create social responses to a changing environment
Climate change and urban development threaten health, undermine coping and deepen existing social and environmental inequities. A changing global environment requires transformative social responses: new partnerships, deep engagement with local communities, and innovations to strengthen individual and collective assets.
Harness technology for social good
Innovative applications of new digital technology present opportunities for social and human services to reach more people with greater impact, 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.
Promote smart decarceration
The United States has the world’s largest proportion of people behind bars. Our challenge is to develop a proactive, comprehensive, evidence-based “smart decarceration” strategy that will dramatically reduce the number of people who are imprisoned and enable the nation to embrace a more effective and just approach to public safety.
Build financial capability for all
Nearly half of all American households are financially insecure, without adequate savings to meet basic living expenses for three months. We can significantly reduce economic hardship and the debilitating effects of poverty by adopting social policies that bolster lifelong income generation and safe retirement accounts; expand workforce training and re-training, and provide financial literacy and access to quality affordable financial services.
Reduce extreme economic inequality
The top 1% owns nearly half of the total wealth in the U.S., while one in five children live in poverty. We can correct the broad inequality of wealth and income through a variety of innovative means related to wages and tax benefits associated with capital gains, retirement accounts and home ownership.
Achieve equal opportunity and justice
Historic and current prejudice and injustice bar access to success in education and employment. Addressing racial and social injustices, deconstructing stereotypes, dismantling inequality, exposing unfair practices, and accepting the super-diversity of the population will advance this challenge.


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