Focus for the Decade: January, 2011
A. The future of the profession depends on our collective appreciation of the diverse fields of social work practice at all levels of human organization.
B. Social Work education must include current and emergent theories, competencies and research for leaders, facilitators and managers to focus on community and organizational systems locally, nationally, and globally.
C. Social Work must promote community research and prevention science by participating in the discovery, translation and dissemination of effective practices that prepare competent, ethical, and collaborative practitioners who will work to enhance the healthy development of communities everywhere.
D. Recognizing that most social workers serve in human services organizations and within community structures, social work professional practice must incorporate the use of community, administrative, management, and organizational competencies (including the application of ethical decision practices required in complex systems) for workers in the 21st Century.
E. Social Work should actively support building inclusive communities so that knowledge that contributes to prevention and solutions comes from collaborative understanding, including from the people most affected by the problems, and based in a framework of human rights and social justice.
F. Young social workers are drawn to the ideals of social work that empower our constituents and citizen stakeholders. They seek solutions that include people at all levels, especially the most vulnerable, to address the deeper issues at the root of social, economic, and environmental justice. We are obligated to prepare these emerging leaders to be effective practitioners and to connect them with local, national and global social work structures.
G. Any decline in the social work curricula of community organization, social administration, community planning and development, and policy practice courses severely limits our profession to effectively provide future leadership for the organizational, program and developmental structures that guide our professional work. Social work leaders, with their rich knowledge of human behavior and social structures, their deep understanding of effective and ethical change interventions, and their commitment to social justice and opportunities for human development will continue to provide guidance toward improved social, economic and environmental wellbeing for the next decade.