Social Work Month may be ending, but social work’s professional commitment to addressing society’s challenges continues in earnest! Today the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative is sharing insights on moving ideas and evidence into policy, including policy strategies and actions to address critical national problems.
At the first Grand Challenges policy conference “Social Innovation for America’s Renewal,” more than 50 policy recommendations were proposed to address the 12 Grand Challenges. See the Grand Challenges policy briefs here.
Recently published from the conference is “Reflections From the Front Lines: Ideas and Evidence to Policy,” an essay by Ray Boshara. He worked in Washington, D.C., for nearly 20 years, serving as vice president of New America, policy director of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and domestic policy staff member of the U.S. House Select Committee on Hunger.
Since the conference, the Grand Challenges networks have been developing specific policy action statements. The first set has just been released:
- “Ensure healthy development for all youth.” Actions target family-focused preventive interventions to children and families through primary health care.
- “Stop family violence.” Actions target improvements in the use of data to protect children and support families.
- “Advance long and productive lives.” Actions target expansion of paid family and medical leave.
- “Create social responses to a changing environment.” Actions urge development of policies targeting environmentally induced displacement in the United States.
- “Promote smart decarceration.” Actions target reversal of civic and legal exclusions for people with criminal charges and convictions.
- “Build financial capability and assets for all” and “Reduce extreme economic inequality.” Actions target universal and progressive Child Development Accounts as a policy vehicle for lifelong asset building.
- “Reduce extreme economic inequality.” Actions target converting the Child Tax Credit into a universal child allowance.
The Grand Challenges initiative is a decade-long effort, and all 12 networks are engaged in developing policy solutions. If you would like to learn about how to get involved, please click here.