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Social Work Education








Environmental degradation is not experienced by all populations equally; hazardous and toxic waste sites, resource contamination (e.g., exposure to pesticides), air pollution, and numerous other forms of environmental degradation disproportionately affect low income and minority communities. The communities most affected by environmental injustices are often the same communities where social workers are entrenched in service provision at the individual, family, and community level. In this article, we use a global social work paradigm to describe practical ways in which environmental justice content can be infused in the training and education of social workers across contexts in order to prepare professionals with the skills to respond to ever-increasing global environmental degradation. We discuss ways for social work educators to integrate and frame environmental concerns and their consequences for vulnerable populations using existing social work models and perspectives to improve the social work profession's ability to respond to environmental injustices. There are significant social work implications; social workers need to adapt and respond to contexts that shape our practice, including environmental concerns that impact the vulnerable and oppressed populations that we serve.


Author Posting © Routledge 2015. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Routledge for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Social Work Education, Vol. 34, Iss. 5, August, 2015.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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