download University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work Academic Plan

Promoting Wellbeing and Equity
Across the Life Course

Goal: Develop knowledge that intricately links context with
individual development

Objective: Promote the integration of human diversity, historical, political, social and cultural
contexts in all discourse about human development, health and wellbeing

  • Increase understanding of the intersecting oppressions many individuals face due to facets of their identities, for example Indigenous populations, ethnicity, newcomer status, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, age, and health status
  • Track family trajectories and contextually situate these trajectories
  • Inform equitable practice and policy with evidence of the over-representation of children, youth and adults in various populations in service systems; conduct participatory research on community perspectives and needs

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  • Complex interactions among genetic, biological and environmental factors affect people throughout the life course, according to neuroscience research
  • Focusing on social determinants of health means considering both daily living circumstances and structural influences on health, such as education and employment
  • Cumulative research underscores the importance of early childhood years and the influence of experiences across the life span on future development
  • Social work has a vital role to play in understanding and responding to the needs of Canada’s growing and aging population, and of those who provide care and support
  • The unique needs of individuals at all ages and stages must be understood and addressed within the context of their own life experiences


© 2011 Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work