Advocates' Forum 2008 Letter from the Editors

By April L. Kopp and Kathryn Saclarides

News Type
Advocates' Forum

In light of the centennial achievements of the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, Advocates’ Forum is similarly celebrating an unprecedented publication year. The Editorial Board expanded from eight to 15 members and received the highest number of submissions in the history of the journal. The journal also said “farewell” and “thank you” to long-time faculty advisor, Virginia Parks, Ph.D., to welcome new faculty advisor, Malitta Engstrom, Ph.D. 

The 2008 issue of Advocates’ Forum is set to complement the proceedings of social service organizations and activities at both domestic and international levels. The articles chosen reflect the dedication of the School of Social Service Administration to the community in a variety of domains. Indicative of the diverse interests and concerns of social workers, the themes of this issue include immigration, public health, and education. Each article uniquely combines social work theory with case example application, including current events, field placements, and social service programs.

Authors Kathryn Hoban and Charity Samantha Fitzgerald investigate how social movements in immigrant rights and public health accomplish goals both specific and challenging to their respective agendas. Ms. Hoban conducts a reflexive analysis of the Chicago demonstrations for immigrant rights, seeking to understand the proclaimed strategies and goals in her article, “The emergence and obstacles of the immigrant rights movement.” In “The childhood obesity epidemic as a burgeoning site of social stratification,” Ms. Fitzgerald examines how the field of public health has reinforced social stratification in the anthropological, social, and political spheres of childhood obesity.

Three authors use Chicago field placement sites as case studies for medical social work intervention and organizational analysis. In their article, “Adolescents and adherence to medication protocol: An evidence-based approach,” Eric Brown and Marissa Morris-Jones use the Client Oriented Practical Evidence Search (COPES) methodology to develop an evidence-based intervention for increasing an adolescent client’s medication adherence while respecting the client’s need for increasing autonomy. John J. Fanning presents a critical analysis of the power structure of charter schools in his article, “Myths, ceremonies, and power-dependence relationships: Organizational theory and charter school autonomy.”

Finally, this issue features a section on interpersonal violence prevention. In her article, “Strengths and limitations of home visiting to prevent child maltreatment by teen parents,” Marita K. Herkert reviews four programs for their effectiveness in supporting adolescent parents and preventing interpersonal violence in their families. April L. Kopp, in her article, “Child sexual abuse and social connection,” uses the Stop It Now campaign as a case study to consider public health and social connection approaches to child sexual abuse prevention. Both articles encourage the use of a public health model for preventing family violence before it occurs.

The authors of the 2008 issue advocate for public awareness and critical analysis of efforts to address immigrant rights, medication adherence, childhood obesity, charter schools, teen parenting challenges, and child sexual abuse. These are only a handful of the concerns currently on the minds of social workers. Advocates’ Forum authors, readers, and clients alike are stakeholders in the future outcomes of these issues. It is our hope as coeditors that these articles move readers to assume responsibility to debate, respond, and continue in their advocacy for social justice and welfare.

April L. Kopp
Kathryn Saclarides