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Advances in the Grand Challenges have come not only from educating students, social work

practitioners, and our interdisciplinary colleagues, but by working toward policy changes at the

local, state, and national levels. There has been a variety of activity on the policy front over

the last five years, including:

• The annual Social Work Day on the Hill brings

together students and practitioners to Washington,

DC, to discuss current social work-related policy

issues and learn skills to become better advocates.

The GCSW has also co-sponsored several

legislative briefings.

• Members of the Grand Challenge to Build Financial

Capability and Assets for All are leading a

statewide policy experiment testing universal child

development accounts (CDA), and findings have

informed design and implementation of CDA policies

in several states.

• In advance of the 2020 election, the Grand Challenge

to End Homelessness released a comprehensive

policy brief to educate state and federal officials on

the issue.

• Members of Grand Challenges networks have

contributed to several reports from the National

Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and

Medicine (NASEM).

• Members of the Grand Challenge to Ensure Healthy

Development for Youth have participated in

creating the Colorado Statewide Strategic Plan for

Primary Prevention, and have worked to promote

the infrastructure necessary to increase the use

of tested and effective preventive interventions in

Colorado, Utah, Massachusetts, and Delaware.

• Research by members of the Grand Challenge to

Promote Smart Decarceration contributed to

passage of the First Step Act (2018) prison reform bill.

• Members of our networks have provided

congressional testimony related to several of

the Grand Challenges.



The coronavirus pandemic raging in the United

States - and the world - reminds us that

there has never been a time when the Grand

Challenges' commitment to "social progress

powered by science" was truer. Similarly, the

message of the Grand Challenges that the

"social is fundamental" is clearly paramount as

we address this crisis. As we engage in fighting

the pandemic, we also hope to prevent

"social distancing" from counteracting the

importance of our profession's commitment

to social integration, social science, and

social justice as we attempt to mend the fault

lines in our society that this virus is cracking

open. Visit the Grand Challenges for Social

Work website for COVID-19 related resources

we hope will help social workers and others

during this time.


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