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How It Got Started

The Sport Social Work Journal was launched in 2021 by Dr. Matt Moore, now an Associate Dean for the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. The journal is sponsored by the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports (ASWIS) and Ball State University. ASWIS is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that’s mission is to promote individual and community well-being through partnerships between the profession of social work and the field of athletics. More information on the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports can be found at

Sports Practice

Defining Sport Social Work

"Sport Social Work is a subfield of social work that promotes social justice and social change by focusing on the unique needs of athletes at both an individual and environmental level. Sport social workers promote the health and well-being of athletes through direct practice, community organizing, advocacy, policy development, education, and research. Sport social workers seek to enhance the capabilities of athletes to address their own behavioral health and psychosocial needs. They encourage athletes to be advocates for change. They also encourage athletic organizations, communities, and other social institutions to recognize athletes as a vulnerable population and to join in the fight to reduce the challenges present in athletics. At the heart of these efforts is a focus on athlete development and wellness. A social worker achieves this focus through the competencies of the social work profession and through adherence to the values and ethics of the social work profession" (Moore & Gummelt, 2018).

Sports Shoes
Jumping on Box

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Sport Social Work Journal is to bring attention to the needs of individuals and collectives within the athletic community and to demonstrate how the profession of social work is suited to meet those needs. The journal is also committed to providing information on how the athletic community can advocate for social justice and change through sport. By publishing peer-reviewed scholarship related to the well-being of athletes, the athletic community and the broader community it interacts with, the Sport Social Work Journal can achieve these aims.


Our vision is to promote individual and community well-being through sports by providing scholarly information on the intersection of sports and social work practice, theory and research. This includes raising awareness of the challenges that athletes face throughout the life course, identifying inherent strengths athletes possess and displaying how social workers can assist athletes in utilizing their strengths to meet these challenges. 


In order to support the journal’s mission and vision the Sport Social Work Journal has the following goals: 



  • Advocate for the advancement of social justice and change through research that occurs at the intersection of social work (and related professions) and sport.

  • Create awareness of the vulnerabilities athletes face throughout the life course such as mental and behavioral health concerns.


  • Educate coaches, administrators, and other leaders within athletic communities on issues surrounding the well-being and development of athletes.


  • Provide an outlet for scholarly discussion on the ways in which specific social work (and related professional) frameworks can be best implemented to aid athletic communities.

  • Maintain a holistic scope by publishing volumes that display diversity and multiple-perspectives on research.


  • Publish research with the goal of informing social work practice at the micro-, mezzo-, and macro-levels of athletic communities.

  • Publish empirical-research that promotes and enhances the use of social work values, knowledge, and approaches within the athletic community.

  • The Sport Social Work Journal will be published twice per year with a goal of one special issue each year as well.. 

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