Environmental Justice and Social Work Education: Social Workers' Professional Perspectives
Date of this version
curriculum development education, equalities values, social justice values
Environmental injustice is a growing human rights issue as climate change and environmental degradation rapidly increases. As a social justice problem, it is relevant to the social work profession, yet not integrated into our curricula. This study of 373 social work professionals found that environmental justice is a significant practice issue across broad client populations and that professionals felt unprepared to address it. Qualitative and quantitative data revealed high levels of client exposure to environmental hazards with little power to change it. Respondents reported dissatisfaction with their education to help them understand environmental issues. Moreover, they indicated that they would like to see environmental justice integrated into social work education and better-prepared graduates entering the profession. Implications for practice and education are discussed.
Social Work Education