Looking Through the Prisms: A Synthesis of the Futures of Social Work

  • James G. Daley
Keywords: Future, social work, synthesis


This article synthesizes the twenty-one articles in this special issue and discusses five common themes and three further issues to ponder. The articles reflect an optimistic but precarious outlook that will require new skills and missions, a strong leadership in a society transforming itself, and increasingly facing a multicultural and global context for effective delivery of services. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is growing into the new paradigm of practice but the profession needs to consider its boundaries. Multi-country comparisons are crucial in selecting new strategies to enhance skills and missions as we embrace an international scope of practice. Finally, the complex issue of how society is evolving is intensifying and, as society seems to be resisting change, the role of social workers as advocates is vital.