Prevention as an Explicit Part of the Social Work Profession: Part Two of a Systematic Investigation


  • Emily L. McCave West Virginia University
  • Carrie Rishel West Virginia University
  • Meagann Morris West Virginia University



Prevention, social work education, social work profession


In 2011, Advances in Social Work published results from an investigation into the explicit use of “prevention” language within the social work profession. Findings from this study highlighted a gap in the knowledge and integration of prevention-focused social work education and practice. A recommendation was made to examine additional indicators that illustrate the extent to which “prevention” is an accepted and growing subfield within the social work academy. This second paper continues the inquiry by examining three additional indicators for integration of prevention content, including: 1) CSWE accredited MSW programs; 2) social work textbooks; and 3) abstracts accepted at two national social work conferences. Although findings demonstrate that about a quarter of MSW programs integrate prevention content into their curriculum there is a lack of prevention content available within social work textbooks and professional conferences for social work scholars and practitioners. Barriers and supports to addressing these issues are discussed.

Author Biographies

Emily L. McCave, West Virginia University

School of Social Work Assistant Professor

Carrie Rishel, West Virginia University

School of Social Work Associate Professor

Meagann Morris, West Virginia University

School of Social Work Graduate Assistant