Social work is similar to most academic disciplines in that it has a long history, has been strengthened by countless amounts of research, and has evolved over time. This evolution, spurred on by the application of social work within various arenas, has led to the formal recognition of subfields such as child and family social work, medical social work, and substance abuse social work, among others. It’s no surprise that new subfields are beginning to emerge, and one that’s gaining momentum focuses on the intersection of social work and environmental consciousness. While it goes by many names, this new subfield is primarily referred to as “Ecological Social Work.”
In order to learn more about this growing subfield of social work we spoke with Dr. Fred Besthorn of Wichita State University, founder of The Global Alliance for a Deep-Ecological Social Work. In the Interview, Dr. Besthorn discusses the origins of Ecological Social Work, the research supporting it, and what he sees for the future of the field.