Congratulations to Fordham GSS Professor Mary Ann Forgey, Ph.D., whose article, “Occupational Social Work: A Field of Practice in Need of Revival,” has recently received the 2023 “Best Conceptual Article” award from the academic journal Families in Society.
Forgey co-authored the piece alongside GSS alumni Kundong He, GSS ’16 and Yafei Cai, GSS ’16. She hopes that attention to the article will spark future interest in this impactful area of social work.
“It was an honor to receive this recognition from Families in Society, a long-standing and highly respected journal within social work,” Forgey said. “The article focuses on the desperate need for occupational social work today, given the high level of stress being experienced by workers in a wide range of occupations. I hope the article will generate increased interest in this disappearing field of practice and further understanding about what can be done to revive it.”
Read the article’s abstract below:
The COVID-19 pandemic focused attention on the high levels of occupational stress experienced by frontline and essential workers. Occupational stress is also not unique to these workers as demonstrated by the consistently high rates of suicide within certain occupational groups. Occupational social work is the specialized field most suited to address the needs of workers under stress, yet it has been in decline in the United States since the 1990s. The factors contributing to this decline are put forward, including managed care, the dominance of the advanced clinical social work license, and the lack of a social work presence in occupational stress effectiveness research. The implications for practice regarding the actions that can be taken by the profession to revive this field and be more responsive to vulnerable workers are discussed.