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Families in Society

The Journal of Contemporary Social Services
2016 Impact Factor: 0.444
2016 Ranking: 36/43 in Family Studies | 37/42 in Social Work
Source: 2016 Journal Citation Reports® (Clarivate Analytics, 2017)

Editor
Sondra J. Fogel University of South Florida, USA


eISSN: 19451350 | ISSN: 10443894 | Current volume: 99 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly

Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services has been a core journal in social work research for nearly 100 years. Stewarded by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Families in Society has an enduring focus on the art, science, and practice of social work, with specific emphasis on individuals and families and their communities.

Mary E. Richmond, a pioneer in the field and the founder of social casework, began the journal in 1920 to build a knowledge base for the first systematized approaches to the practice of social work. Over the years, the journal has had four titles:

  • The Family (1920-1946)
  • The Journal of Social Casework (1947-1949)
  • Social Casework (1950-1989)
  • Families in Society (1990 to present)

Families in Society covers the latest research findings, practice and theory advances, and policy review related to the complex challenges to everyday living that must be addressed via a person- and family-in-environment approach to well-being, opportunity, and adaptive systems change. The interdisciplinary readership of the journal represents social services, health care and behavioral/mental health, education, workforce development, housing, and many other allied fields.

The translational research of the journal prioritizes a knowledge-into-practice approach to learning and engagement, and readers can routinely interact with scholars and their peers via online and in-person presentations, professional development projects, and social media. This emphasis thus supports the social change impact the Alliance is working toward to benefit America’s families and their neighborhoods.

About Alliance for Strong Families and Communities:
Rooted in the historic cause of advancing equity for all people, the Alliance is a strategic action network of thousands of committed social sector leaders with a common vision to achieve a healthy and equitable society. The Alliance aggregates the very best sector knowledge and serves as an incubator for learning and innovation to generate new solutions to the toughest social problems. It accelerates change through dynamic leadership development and collective actions to ensure that policies and systems provide equal access and opportunity for health and well-being, educational success, economic opportunity, and safety and security.

As it works to expand the impact of its national network, the Alliance also pursues an agenda of systemic reform. It advances policy recommendations at the national and state levels, and strategically mobilizes its network to influence the systems and sectors that can together ensure that all people have the opportunity to live safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Visit alliance1.org for more information.

Families in Society focuses on the broad array of issues that relate to the capabilities of individuals, families, and communities, including consideration of the various biopsychosocial, economic, and cultural factors that affect functioning and well-being. Readers are informed of significant findings and trends through articles on research, policy and theory; direct-practice issues; and the delivery and management of services. In this regard, articles might be informative, instructive, reflective, or controversial.

The journal is receptive to many forms of inquiry including quantitative and qualitative. Beyond the relevance of the study itself, a major criterion for publication is the study’s applicability to practice and policy concerns and its accessibility to a variety of professionals in the social work field and related disciplines. Examples might include:

  • Issues in family and community social work, such as innovation in an outcomes-to-impact approach to working with families, elevating prevention in ecological practice, evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence paradigms, and culturally responsive practice and policy.
  • Service delivery, systems, and participant engagement. Topics related to the delivery of services are also relevant, such as person and family-centric programming, community engagement, training and supervision trends, legal and ethical issues, program evaluation and performance measures, policy development, technology associated with practice, and interdisciplinary and interagency practice.
  • Making practice better. Of particular interest are critical examinations on the state of the art, the strengths and challenges of professional practice, the adequacy of formal education, the limitations of social policy, ethics, and future needs. How can a true integration of data, theory, and practice—i.e., translational knowledge—be achieved?
Editorial Board
Anita P. Barbee University of Louisville, KY
Carenlee Barkdull University of North Dakota, USA
Richard K. Caputo Yeshiva University, New York, USA
Tamara Fuller University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, USA
Robert L. Hawkins New York University, USA
Mario Hernandez University of South Florida, USA
Heather Larkin State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, USA
Mary Sormanti Columbia University School of Social Work, USA
Fred Wulczyn Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, USA
Methodological Review Committee - Chair
David C. Kondrat Indiana University, USA
Methodological Review Committee
Hui Huang Florida International University, USA
Jeremiah W. Jaggers Indiana University, USA
Svetlana Yampolskaya University of South Florida, USA
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities - President and CEO
Susan N. Dreyfus Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, USA
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities - Director of Content Strategy
Kirstin Anderson Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, USA
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities - Board of Directors
Molly Greenman, Chair The Family Partnership, Minneapolis MN, USA
Annette Rodriguez, Vice Chair The Children's Shelter, San Antonio TX, USA
Ron Mandershied, Treasurer Northwester University Settlement House, Chicago IL, USA
Mary H. Hollie, Secretary Glenwood Academy, Glenwood IL, USA
Steven Boes Father Flanagan's Boys' Home (Boys Town), Boys Town NE, USA
Alexandra Cawthorne National Governor's Association, Washington DC, USA
Richard J. Cohen Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia PA, USA
Daniel Dawes Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA
Donald W. Layden, Jr. Quarles & Brady, Milwaukee WI, USA
Milton J. Little, Jr. United Way of Greater Atlanta, Atlanta GA, USA
Stephen C. Mack Inverness IL, USA
Deborah Matthews The Children's Center, Detroit MI, USA
Dennis M. Richardson Hillside Family of Agencies, Rochester NY, USA
Tracy Wareing Evans American Public Human Services Association, Washington DC, USA
  • Clarivate Analytics: Social Science Citation Index
  • EBSCO
  • ProQuest
  • PsycINFO
  • Author Guidelines

    Advancing a knowledge-into-practice continuum in social work scholarship, Families in Society disseminates innovative research and critical analysis on the broad array of issues that relate to the capabilities of individuals, families, and communities, including consideration of the various biopsychosocial, economic, and cultural factors that affect functioning and well-being.

    Readers are informed of significant findings and trends through articles on research, policy and theory; direct-practice issues; and the delivery and management of services, including topics about the human services and social sector workforce. In this regard, articles might be informative, instructive, reflective, or controversial.

    Practice and policy examples might include:

    • Issues in family and community social work, such as innovation in an outcomes-to-impact approach to working with families, elevating prevention in ecological practice, evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence paradigms, and culturally responsive practice and policy.
    • Service delivery, systems and participant engagement. Topics related to the delivery of services are also relevant, such as person- and family-centric programming, community engagement, training and supervision trends, legal and ethical issues, program evaluation and performance measures, policy development, and interdisciplinary and interagency practice.
    • Making practice better. Of particular interest are critical examinations on the state of the art, the strengths and challenges of professional practice, the adequacy of formal education, the limitations of social policy, and future needs. How can a true integration of data, theory, and practice—i.e., translational knowledge—be achieved?

    Families in Society is receptive to many forms of inquiry including quantitative and qualitative, as well as special series formats such as Practice Notes, Research Notes, At the Agency, and others (see below). Beyond the relevance of the study itself, a major criterion for publication is the study’s applicability to practice and policy concerns and its accessibility to a variety of professionals in the social work field and related disciplines. Authors should articulate how the findings from a study have implications for practice at the micro, mezzo, and/or macro level(s).

    Families in Society, published by SAGE Publishing in partnership with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, is committed to translational research. The journal augments and increases the effectiveness of initiatives related to program development and evaluation, practical learning, staff training, and performance quality improvement by utilizing article-based ancillaries such as webinars, special topic supplements, newsletters, and multimedia content.

    Submission Instructions

    Submissions should be in Microsoft Word document format. Format the manuscript file(s) using 1-inch margins, double-spaced paragraphs, and 12-point Times New Roman font. Tables must be formatted using rows, columns, and cells (i.e., no tabs or paragraph returns). Figures and graphics should be in a high-resolution format (at least 300 dpi).

    The page count for the manuscript in its entirety—including abstract; references; and accompanying figures, tables, or appendices—should not exceed 25 pages. However, authors may contact the Editor to request consideration for more pages prior to submission. Authors may request or be asked to provide supporting documentation of their work, if accepted for publication, which would be available as online supplemental material.

    • The manuscript must adhere to the style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition.
    • Provide a cover letter which includes the corresponding author’s contact information and a cover sheet with the name, position title, and the affiliation of each author. The next page should include the manuscript title and abstract, limited to 120 words, followed by the body of the manuscript, references, and any tables/figures.
    • As appropriate, a statement regarding approval by the Institutional Review Board should be included in the manuscript body.
    • Manuscripts should conclude with a detailed and thoughtful "Implications for Practice" section: an analysis or exposition of how the material can appropriately be used in/with rethinking practice settings, formulating policy, informing further research, strengthening the administration of community-based organizations, and/or benefiting participants and communities.
    • Qualitative research manuscripts, at a minimum, should specify the methodological approach and analytical process, and must provide sufficient data to support the authors’ conclusions.
    • Contributors are strongly advised to have a statistician or methodological expert review the accuracy of discrete data found in the article text, tables, and figures before submission.
    • In the References section, all entries for journal articles should include DOI numbers.
    • Consult the "Checklist for Manuscript Submission," Sec. 8.07, in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition for further guidelines.

    Permission authorization and fees for the republication or reuse of any existing copyrighted material (e.g., fiction/nonfiction text, photos/graphics, poetry, tables, figures, etc.) in the manuscript beyond use permitted by §107 and §108 of the U.S. Copyright Law are the sole responsibility of the author(s). When applicable, signed authorization by the publisher and/or copyright owner of such works is required at the time of submission.

    Manuscripts not following the above instructions cannot be reviewed until all guidelines have been met.

    Peer Review and Disposition Process

    Manuscripts are evaluated via a blinded peer-review process. If the Editor judges the submission topic relevant and the above requirements are adhered to, the Editor and/or Associate Editor evaluates the manuscript with 2–3 peer reviewers, who use a journal-specific rubric. In addition, the Editor may assign the manuscript to be reviewed by the methodological review committee.

    After peer review and disposition, blind copies of the reviewers' forms are given to the author with the disposition details. An anonymous copy of each reviewer form is also available to those peer reviewers for their edification.

    Initial disposition averages 3–4 weeks after submission. Certain manuscripts with complex data or atypical topics may require a review period longer than 3 months.

    The acceptance rate is approximately 20% of all manuscripts submitted. Most manuscripts receive an initial disposition of revise and resubmit, taking into account suggestions by the reviewers, Editor, or both.

    Manuscripts accepted for publication are typically published online after 20 days and in the print edition 6–8 months after the initial submission.

    Special Series Formats

    Families in Society also invites literary formats other than the standard manuscript that readily capture the humanistic qualities of practice. Such formats might include brief commentaries, reports of experiences, reflections on practice, personal essays, narratives, and critical discussions. Please contact the Editor before submitting any of these formats.

    Research Note

    A Research Note reviews a specific research question or design, emphasizing methodological aspects, and summarizes available results and/or application. This format is appropriate for studies that are limited in scope or if there aren’t enough collected data yet for an empirical analysis. The pieces may range between 4–14 double-spaced pages.

    Practice Note

    A Practice Note typically introduces a new or innovative approach to working with individuals, families, and communities which may or may not have already been systematically validated via empirical analysis. The purpose of a Practice Note is to support rapid communication in the field about promising practices or lessons learned, and to stimulate or respond to ongoing discussion and research of such approaches. The pieces may range between 4–14 double-spaced pages.

    Field Note

    A Field Note serves as a forum for social workers where they can briefly share and comment on their experiences as practitioners, clinicians, and/or administrators; first-person narrative is typically employed. The pieces may range between 4–14 double-spaced pages.

    At the Agency

    This format specifically details fundamental aspects of organizational administration, community practice, workforce development, or programmatic innovation and design. The pieces may range between 4–14 double-spaced pages.

    Occasional Essay

    Occasional Essays are appropriate when the traditional manuscript format is not appropriate, or when an author wishes to produce a piece that is subjective in tone and content. These pieces may or may not be processed using the peer-review process.

    Letters to the Editor

    Readers are encouraged to respond to journal articles and voice their opinions in support of, or to counter arguments presented by their peers. Letters to the Editor must be signed with contact information, including an email address. All letters will be verified prior to publication.

    Families in Society reserves the right to edit letters for length, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Only letters that are relevant, timely, and concise will be considered for publication. Letters will be published on a space-available basis.

    Op-Ed Pieces

    Periodically, Families in Society will ask a reader to prepare a response to previous content that is more extensive than the letter format allows. As with letters to the Editor, Families in Society reserves the right to edit for length, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Please contact the Editor before preparing an op-ed piece.

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