#MacroSW 5-19-2016 Academic-Community Partnerships: Barriers to and Strategies For Success


Academic-Community Collaborations: Barriers to and Strategies for Success

(see the Storify account of this #MacroSW chat here.)

Host:  Sunya Folayan

The roots of social work are grounded in Mary Richmond and Jane Addam’s tireless efforts to assess the needs of underserved populations in the community, to develop standards for the profession and to ensure that future practitioners are trained to carry on specifics of the practice. The foundational core of social work education is the collaboration between community- based organizations which provide field instruction for newly minted social workers and academic programs that offer students the opportunity to develop core skills, knowledge, and theoretical underpinnings for the work ahead.  Macro social work centers on the exploration of large scale social problems, and the development and implementation of social interventions that aim to create effective positive social change at the community, state and national levels.  Macro practice includes application in social work research, program development for communities large and small, community based education, advocacy and policy analysis, organizational development as well as non-profit leadership and administration.  Macro social workers typically collaborate in an interdisciplinary fashion within larger research teams, as advocates, activists educators and analysts.

In recent years there has been increasing recognition that academic and community-based collaboration is beneficial for enhancing the provision of human services and resources. These collaborative relationships, however, are sometimes characterized  in less than desirable terms as each entity strives to meet  its own mission requirements. At times the relationship struggles as it matures into a mutually valued, mutually rewarding entity.  On Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 9:00pm EST (6pm PST) our #macroSW twitter chat will discuss the importance of collaborations between academics and the community. We will discuss the barriers as well as the benefits to successful  collaboration.


Join in as we discuss the following questions for discussion:

  1. How do you define collaboration/or partnership? Are they the same?
  2. Why is collaboration important?
  3. What are some of the benefits of collaboration specific to academia? Organizations? Communities?
  4. What are barriers to collaboration?
  5. What principles/strategies foster successful academic- community collaboration?
  6. Share current examples of successful of academic-community collaborations and what makes them so?

Further reading:

Begun, A., Berger, L.K., Otto-Salaj, L.L., & Rose, S. (2010) Devel oping effective social work university-community research collaborations. Social Work 55(1), 54-62. National Association of Social Workers.

Giffords,  E.D, & Calderon, O. (2015).  Academic and community collaborations: An exploration of benefits, barriers and successes.  Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership and Governance, 39: 397-405,Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.  Doi: 10.1080/23303131.2015.1034907

Community-Campus Partnerships for Health



About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com



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