Building on the existing, robust bodies of research in each of the Grand Challenge areas is a critical
component of the Grand Challenges for Social Work. Scholars from across the country have engaged
in myriad research efforts and have published their findings in journals too numerous to list here.
Some research highlights:
• From the Grand Challenge to Advance Long and
Productive Lives, network co-lead Ernest Gonzales,
PhD, is conducting a study of best practices for
intergenerational programs. He was also invited to
present his work to help shape a research agenda
on work, aging, and health at the National Academies
of Sciences funded by the National Institute on
Aging. Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, network co-lead,
is leading a research project to assess the effects of
tutoring on older adults' wellbeing.
• Related to the Grand Challenge to Create Social
Responses to a Changing Environment, two studies
provided insights and practical recommendations for
the local communities of Flint, MI, (Amy Krings, PhD,
Dana Kornberg, PhD(c), and Shawna Lee, PhD) and
North St. Louis, MO (Joonmo Kang, PhD, Vanessa
D. Fabbre, PhD, and Christine C. Ekenga, PhD, MPH).
Also, Praveen Kumar, PhD, Assistant Professor at
Boston College, is conducting intervention research
on the use of solar lamps to improve study time for
children, reduce air pollution, and provide access to
electricity in rural India.
• Special issues have been developed on many of
the Grand Challenge topics including social
isolation, productive aging, smart decarceration,
and mainstreaming gender.
• Rocío Calvo, PhD, co-lead of the Grand Challenge to
Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice, received a
grant from the Russell Sage Foundation to conduct
a study on how older Latinx immigrants navigate
community resources. The findings and implications
of the study, "How Social Protection Policies and
Institutions Contribute to Older Immigrants'
Wellbeing and Sense of Belonging in America" will be
especially critical in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• University of Washington (UW) School of Social
Work Associate Professor Megan Moore, PhD, and
a university team received more than $1M from the
National Institute of Justice to study intimate partner
violence among youth.
• The University of Maryland and the University
of Washington have created competitive research
awards for PhD students. One recipient of the
University of Maryland award went on to receive the
2021 Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding
Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Award.
• End Homelessness network co-lead Benjamin F.
Henwood, PhD, and his colleagues at the University
of Southern California have been awarded a large
scale Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
(PCORI) grant on homelessness and COVID.
• Research from the Grand Challenge to Ensure
Healthy Development for Youth and the Social
Development Research Group at the University
of Washington School of Social Work evaluated
elementary-school interventions that helped children
form healthy attachments to family and school,
which lead to positive relationships and responsible
decision-making in adulthood.
• The study "Family Centered Treatment, Juvenile
Justice, and the Grand Challenge of Smart
Decarceration" by a team at the University of
Maryland School of Social Work, found that Family
Centered Treatment shows more favorable adult
criminal justice outcomes than group care, making
it a potentially effective community-based service to
support smart decarceration for court-involved youth.
An Impact Report at Year 5 of the 10-Year Initiative | 5