Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Social Science Social Work

Abolish Social Work (As We Know It)

edited by Craig Fortier, Edward Hon-Sing Wong & M.J. Rwigema

Between the Lines
Initial publish date
Jun 2024
Social Work, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), Social Services & Welfare, Activism & Social Justice
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Abolish Social Work (As We Know It) responds to the timely and important call for police abolition by analyzing professional social work as one alternative commonly proposed as a ready-made solution to ending police brutality. Drawing on both historical analysis and lessons learned from decades of organizing abolitionist and decolonizing practices within the field and practice of social work (including social service, community organizing, and other helping fields), this book is an important contribution in the discussion of what abolitionist social work could look like. This edited volume brings together predominantly BIPOC and queer/trans* social work survivors, community-based activists, educators, and frontline social workers to propose both an abolitionist framework for social work practice and a transformative framework that calls for the dissolution and restructuring of social work as a profession.

Rejecting the practices and values encapsulated by professional social work as embedded in carceral and colonial systems, Abolish Social Work (As We Know It) moves us towards a social work framework guided by principles of mutual aid, accountability, and relationality led by Indigenous, Black, queer/trans*, racialized, immigrant, disabled, poor and other communities for whom social work has inserted itself into their lives.

About the authors

Craig Fortier is an Assistant Professor in Social Development Studies at Renison University College, an affiliated college of the University of Waterloo. He holds a PhD in Sociology from York University. Craig has participated in migrant justice and anti-capitalist movements and in support of Indigenous sovereignty for over a decade in Toronto (Three Fires Confederacy, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wyandot territories). He is also the centre-fielder for the radical recreational softball team the Uncertainty and the author of the cat blog Diaries of a Cat Named Virtute.

Craig Fortier's profile page

Edward Hon-Sing Wong (he/him) is based in Tkaronto/Toronto. With a background in mental health practice, labour organizing, and community organizing, his work and research centers on social work abolitionism in Canada and Hong Kong, mutual aid, social work and colonialism, institutional violence in the mental health field, and organizing in Chinese communities. He is currently a lecturer at York University’s School of Social Work and a former chair of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter.

Edward Hon-Sing Wong's profile page

Dr. Marie-Jolie (MJ) Rwigema (she/they) is assistant professor in Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University in Montreal. MJ’s work draws from twenty years of community practice with Black, racialized, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities. Her work focuses on the interlinkages between resistance, political voice, and recovery from racial trauma. She is the co-director of a SSHRC-RGDI project titled Community-centered knowledges: fostering Black wellness in Montreal and the PI of a SSHRC-Connection project titled Resisting white supremacist violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. MJ enjoys fiction, writing, meditating, and creating spaces of care in community.

M.J. Rwigema's profile page