Margaret Sherraden was among 19 fellows inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare during a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., on January 17, 2020.
“I was very excited by Margaret’s nomination and election, because I have been impressed by her work for years.” said Sarah Gehlert, president of the academy and dean of the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina.
A pioneer in research on financial capability, Sherraden is author of six books, including the coauthored 2018 “Financial Capability and Asset Building in Vulnerable Households,” and numerous journal articles. Much of her work centers on equipping social workers to guide clients through financial and economic challenges in their everyday lives and on preparing human service professionals for the job of broadening access to inclusive financial policies and services.
“I am deeply honored and pleased that the academy has recognized the team’s work bringing financial capability back into the social work discipline,” said Sherraden. A faculty director with the Center for Social Development and research professor in the Brown School at Washington University, Sherraden also is professor emerita in the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.
Sherraden joins a society of over 150 fellows. Founded in 2009, the academy promotes outstanding research and practice in social work and social welfare. New members are nominated by the academy’s enrolled fellows and inducted in an annual ceremony held in conjunction with other professional meetings.
In 2012, the academy launched the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative, which has formed networks of scholars and practitioners dedicated to addressing 12 pressing national challenges.
Sherraden is one of the leaders of the Grand Challenge to “build financial capability and assets for all” and, with colleagues at CSD and elsewhere, a creator of financial social work curricula for human service professionals in the United States, Singapore, and China. A former Fulbright Fellow and president of the Missouri Association for Social Welfare, Sherraden also has published research on microenterprise, immigrant birth outcomes, international service, and social work’s historical role in voter engagement.
Speaking in April 2017, Sherraden framed her work: “Families are strapped and worried that they’re falling behind—like they and their children will not do as well as well as their parents. They need guidance, information, and opportunities to build financial stability and security. And they often turn to social workers. Social workers have an important and unique way to contribute to the well-being of these families and communities.”