Low SES communities and climate change

A call for social work action


  • Jess McDonald BSW University of Sydney


climate change, low socio-economic status, social work


Climate change is having profound effects on natural and built environments, creating unstable living conditions for both flora and fauna. It holds implications for all humankind, however, is disparately impacting people living in Low Socioeconomic Status (SES) communities. This paper seeks to discuss what current literature finds to be the most prevalent themes of climate change related disadvantage experienced by these communities. It will then discuss the relevance of these findings in relation to the social work profession and its role to challenge policies and practices that are oppressive and fail to meet standards of environmental sustainability and human rights. Furthermore, it highlights critical social work theory and strengths-based approaches as key considerations for working alongside low SES communities. This paper was written as part of a final capstone unit of study for a Bachelor of Social Work degree.


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