The Future of Strengths-Based Social Work

  • Charles A. Rapp
  • Dennis Saleebey
  • W. Patrick Sullivan
Keywords: Future, strengths, social work


The future of strength based social work is both promising and precarious. In this article we seek to capture this uncertain state by sketching the evolution of the strengths approach and offering and offering a brief evaluation of its status today. There are any number of approaches to both theory and practice at present that profess to be strengths-based. It is imperative that we develop stable and concrete criteria for determining whether a given perspective if framework is, in fact, funded by strengths principles and practices. We offer six standards for making such a judgment. We also examine the future of the strengths model. Of course, writing on the future tempts one to make predictions. We have eschewed such folly. Instead, we offer four tasks that we believe would bolster the development of strengths-based social work in the future.