The Future Is Here


  • Margaret E. Adamek Indiana University




editorial, social work


At the dawn of a new decade, I cannot help but recall that when I started my academic career in social work in the 1990s, it was common to look ahead to how life would be in the next century. Statistical projections forecast various demographic changes, often using 2020 as the future time frame. Back then, 2020 sounded far away and almost alien. Well folks, the future is here. Now that 2020 has dawned, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Certainly, the specific issues that social workers address have changed over the decades, and our approaches have been modified to tackle the new issues, but the struggle to understand and meet emerging needs persists. I used to jokingly hear that the ultimate goal of the social work profession was to put ourselves out of business. Given the intransigence of intolerance for difference and the persistent emergence of needs arising from “advances” of modern living, it seems the social justice stance of our profession will never be fully met. Indeed, our social contract is continually expanding.

In the Fall 2019 issue of Advances in Social Work we are pleased to present 14 papers--11 empirical, 3 conceptual--written by 29 authors from 12 states across the U.S., representing different regions of the country and Ghana. Each paper is briefly introduced below.