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Social Work School Social Work
by
Paula Allen-Meares, Cynthia Franklin, Laura Hopson

Introduction

School social work is a subspecialty within the social work profession. The field has been in existence in the United States for over one hundred years and is practiced in many other countries. Although the actual number of school social workers worldwide is unknown, the field serves children in most states in the United States. According to the School Social Work Association of America, “School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team. School Social Workers are instrumental in furthering the purpose of the schools: To provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence. School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district’s ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieving that mission.” This entry covers introductory works on school social work practice, works on the history of school social work, and journals that support the field of school social work. Reviews of evidence-based practices and empirical studies that support the work of school social workers are further highlighted along with some of the best prevention and intervention practices in the field. Web-based resources for obtaining evidenced-based practices and commonly used school-based measurement instruments are suggested. Effective resources for understanding the macro dimensions of school-based practices are summarized, such as working with communities, school policies, and evidence-based teaching strategies. Finally, school social work in the international context is considered.

Introductory Works

The resources in this section provide an introduction to the school social work profession. They were selected because they present an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of school social workers with discussion of interventions and the use of case examples to illustrate concepts. Allen-Meares 2007 provides information on effective interventions, current research, current information on macro and political forces that shape education, educational policy, and the need for systems change in schools. Openshaw 2008 provides an introduction to school social work practice and group practice techniques by grade and presenting problem. Constable, et al. 2008 also describes practice skills relevant for school social workers and updated information on political forces that shape the profession. Frey and Dupper 2005 presents the authors’ perspective on current trends and needs for the profession. Kelly 2008 also focuses on new trends, particularly on the need for evidence-based practice in school social work. Other texts also provide extensive analysis of evidence-based research and outcome measures (Chavkin 1993, Franklin, et al. 2006, Thyer and Myers 2007).

  • Allen-Meares, Paula, ed. 2007. Social work services in schools. 5th ed. New York: Pearson, Allyn, and Bacon.

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    This text discusses major issues confronting education from an ecological perspective and provides direction for planning, implementing, and evaluating school social work services. Also discussed are the effects of federal policies, poverty, multiculturalism, and prevention efforts. Case examples are provided to illustrate the concepts. The book also provides information about professional knowledge required by social work professional organizations, such as the Council on Social Work Education and the National Association of Social Workers.

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  • Chavkin, Nancy Feyl. 1993. The use of research in social work practice: A case example from school social work. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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    Tests the theory that there is a relationship between organizational structure and the use of research recommendations in school social work. Part 1 explores the complex relationship between applied social science research and practice. Part 2 is the case example of the use of Lela B. Costin’s recommendation for changes in the goals and methods of school social service delivery. Part 3 presents the implications of the case for practice, policy, and theory and provides suggestions for future research.

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  • Constable, Robert T., Carol Rippey Massat, Shirley McDonald, and John P. Flynn. 2008. School social work: Practice, policy, and research. 7th ed. Chicago: Lyceum.

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    This introductory guide to social work practice in schools covers legislation affecting school social workers and current trends in the economic, social, and political climate for schools. The book also includes content on group work, work with families, attendance, case management, working with the child welfare system, social skills training, violence reduction, crisis intervention, and peer mediation.

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  • Franklin, Cynthia, Mary Beth Harris, and Paula Allen-Meares, eds. 2006. The school services source book: A guide for school-based professionals. New York: Oxford University Press.

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    This comprehensive sourcebook covers every aspect of school service delivery, arming practitioners with the nuts and bolts of evidence-based practice. Each of the chapters includes a summary of the problem area, step-by-step instructions on how to implement an evidence-based program, and methods to measure the outcomes.

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  • Frey, Andy J., and David R. Dupper. 2005. A broader conceptual approach to clinical practice for the 21st century. Children and Schools 27:33–44.

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    Frey and Dupper provide a framework for conceptualizing school social work practice that illustrates the ecological aspects of the clinical knowledge and skills needed for effective social work practice in schools. The article also differentiates the role of school social workers from that of other school-based professionals.

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  • Kelly, Michael S. 2008. The domains and demands of school social work practice: A guide to working effectively with students, families, and schools. New York: Oxford University Press.

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    Describes new developments and trends in the school social work profession. Topics include evidence-based practice, demonstrating the effectiveness of school social work practice, common clinical issues addressed by school social workers, and proposed future directions for school social work practice and research.

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  • Openshaw, Linda. 2008. Social work in schools: Principles and practice. New York: Guilford.

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    This introductory text includes practical skills for observation, assessment, intervention, and research. It includes information on the various roles and functions of school social workers and discusses school social work from an ecological perspective. The book groups content by grade level and presenting problems, including violence, trauma, parental absence, substance abuse, bereavement, and mental health issues. Examples and discussion questions included.

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  • Thyer, Bruce A., and Laura L. Myers. 2007. A social worker’s guide to evaluating practice outcomes. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    Provides social work practitioners with an easy-to-follow guide to selecting measures useful in evaluating the outcomes of social work practice and in applying these in the context of simple group or single-system research designs.

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Journals

This section presents descriptions of journals that disseminate knowledge about service delivery, policies, research, and professional issues for mental health professionals in schools. Children and Schools, the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, and the School Social Work Journal are especially relevant for social work practitioners, including articles that have implications for school social work services. Children and Youth Services Review is an interdisciplinary journal focusing on services for children in a variety of settings, including schools. The Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk also has an interdisciplinary perspective and focuses on meeting the needs of youth at risk for academic failure. The Journal of School Psychology publishes articles that primarily focus on implications for school psychologists. However, the articles address the mental health needs of youth in schools and are therefore relevant for mental health professionals in other disciplines.

History Of School Social Work

The journal articles in this section provide an in-depth overview of the history of school social work. The articles address all levels of impact that school social workers have on the U.S. educational systems. Allen-Meares 1996 addresses the theoretical frameworks that impact school social workers’ involvement in school change, while other articles address the impact that school social workers have on urban education (Allen-Meares 1988) or school community partnerships (Franklin and Gerlach 2006). Reid and Edwards 2006 addresses the impact that school social work has in university settings. Shaffer 2006 addresses the origins of school social work in the 1920s. Tyak 1992 addresses the impact that school social workers have on the field of health services in schools.

  • Allen-Meares, Paula. 1988. Contribution of social workers to sociology: Past and present efforts. Urban Education 22.4:401–412.

    DOI: 10.1177/004208598802200402Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The history of school social work is presented with an emphasis on its value for at-risk students in urban schools. These services have maximized equal educational opportunity with both cognitive and affective outcomes. The service works best when the social worker works in collaboration with school personnel.

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  • Allen-Meares, Paula. 1996. Social work services in schools: A look at yesteryear and the future. Social Work in Education18:202–208.

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    Focuses on the historical development of social work services in schools and looks at important theoretical perspectives and frameworks. Also analyzes the contemporary social, political, and family realities that are shaping education in the United States.

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  • Deschenes, Sarah, Larry Cuban, and David Tyack. 2001. Mismatch: Historical perspectives on schools and students who don’t fit them. Teachers College Record 103.4: 525–547.

    DOI: 10.1111/0161-4681.00126Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses current and historical approaches to working with students who do not succeed in school. The paper summarizes historical explanations for student failure. Implications for students in the current standards-based educational climate are discussed.

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  • Franklin, Cynthia, and Beth Gerlach. 2006. One hundred years of linking schools with communities: Current models and opportunities. Special issue, School Social Work Journal31:44–62.

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    Summarizes the trends in school-community partnerships through the history of school social work and makes recommendations for furthering these partnerships in the present educational landscape.

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  • Reid, P. Nelson, and Richard L. Edwards. 2006. The purpose of a school of social work: An American perspective. Social Work Education 25.5:461–484.

    DOI: 10.1080/02615470600738817Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the current character of social work education in the United States and how it both reflects and shapes the current character of American social work professional practice.

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  • Shaffer, Gary L. 2006. Promising school social work practices of the 1920s: Reflections for today. Children and Schools 28.4:243–251.

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    Identifies successful practice, training, and education of early school social work practitioners and reflects on how current practice has advanced or digressed with the passage of time.

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  • Tyak, David. 1992. Health and social services in public schools: Historical perspectives. Future of Children 2.1:19–31.

    DOI: 10.2307/1602459Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Current reform proposals build either on a “nation-at-risk” model, with the goal of improved academic performance and international competitiveness, or a “children-at-risk” model, with the goal of meeting the health and social needs of currently underserved children. The author contends that urban school reform should be based on the second model, incorporating lessons from the past.

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Evidence-based Practice

There are excellent resources available that summarize empirically based interventions with individuals, groups, and school-based services that are designed to either help social workers learn how to apply the steps of evidence-based practice to their work (Auger 2004, Dimmitt, et al. 2007, Raines 2004) or to learn empirically based interventions for particular problems or issues (Franklin, et al. 2008; Rathvon 2008).

  • Auger, R. W. 2004. Evaluating school-based counseling groups. School Social Work Journal 29.1:55–69.

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    Reviews several processes for evaluating counseling groups for effectiveness and discusses the importance of using evidence of effectiveness to guide group counseling practices.

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  • Dimmitt, Carey, John C. Carey, and Trish Hatch. 2007. Evidence-based school counseling: Making a difference with data-driven practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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    This text encourages the use of the evidence-based practice process for school practitioners. It describes the stages of the process and how data can be collected and used to improve outcomes for students and utilizes case examples.

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  • Dupper, David R. 2003. School social work: Skills and interventions for effective practice. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    Reviews the history, roles, and functions of school social workers. Outlines school social work interventions that are empirically supported and how to both implement and evaluate them.

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  • Franklin, Cynthia, and Laura Hopson. 2004. Into the school with evidence-based practices. Children and Schools 26.2:67–70.

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    As an introduction to a special issue on evidence-based practice, this article discusses the skills and training needed to ensure that school social workers are using evidence-based practices as well as the challenges to implementing these practices in schools.

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  • Franklin, Cynthia, Mary Beth Harris, and Paula Allen-Meares. 2008. The school social workers concise companion to school-based practice. New York: Oxford University Press.

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    Small companion text that covers many aspects of school social work practice with a focus on implementing evidence-based interventions.

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  • Kelly, Michael S., Johnny S. Kim, and Cynthia Franklin. 2008. Solution-focused brief therapy in schools: A 360-degree view of research and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.

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    This text briefly highlights the history and development of solution-focused brief therapy and how it has been used in schools. Through case examples and a review of recent research, this text shows how solution-focused brief therapy can be an effective tool for school social workers.

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  • Raines, James C. 2004. Evidence-based practice in school social work: A process in perspective. Children and Schools 26.2:71–85.

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    Describes a five-stage evidence-based practice process within the school social work context and discusses how school social workers can learn to evaluate their effectiveness with students.

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  • Rathvon, Natalie. 2008. Effective school interventions: Evidence-based strategies for improving student outcomes. 2d ed. New York: Guilford.

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    Covers empirically supported academic, behavioral, and social interventions for students and provides a review of the effectiveness research for each intervention.

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Research Reviews and Meta-analysis

School social work studies have been summarized in a meta-analysis by Franklin, et al. 2009. School mental health research has been analyzed in two excellent narrative reviews (Roans and Hoagwood 2000; Hoagwood, et al. 2007). Several other reviews of the literature listed in this section summarize empirical reviews for school-based interventions.

  • Ferguson, Christopher J., Claudia San Miguel, John C. Kilburn Jr., and Patricia Sanchez. 2007. The effectiveness of school-based anti-bullying programs: A meta-analytic review. Criminal Justice Review 32.4:401–414.

    DOI: 10.1177/0734016807311712Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews bullying prevention and intervention programs used in schools to determine their effectiveness.

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  • Forness, Steven R. 2001. Special education and related services: What have we learned from meta-analysis? Exceptionality 9.4:185–197.

    DOI: 10.1207/S15327035EX0904_3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews twenty-four meta-analyses related to special education interventions. Interventions that demonstrated the largest effect sizes included use of mnemonic strategies, reading comprehension strategies, behavior modification, and direct instruction.

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  • Franklin, Cynthia, Johnny S. Kim, and Stephen J. Tripodi. 2009. A meta-analysis of published school social work practice studies: 1980–2007. Research on Social Work Practice 19.6: 667–677.

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    A systematic review of the school social work interventions with internalizing, externalizing, and academic outcomes.

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  • Garrard, Wendy M., and Mark W. Lipsey. 2007. Conflict resolution education and antisocial behavior in U.S. schools: A meta-analysis. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 25:9–38.

    DOI: 10.1002/crq.188Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Meta-analysis evaluating the effectiveness of conflict resolution programs in reducing antisocial behaviors in schools over the last twenty-five years.

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  • Hoagwood, Kimberly E., Olin, S. Serene, Bonnie D. Kerker, Thomas R. Kratochwill, Maura Crowe, and Noa Saka. 2007. Empirically based school interventions targeted at academic and mental health functioning. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 15:66–92.

    DOI: 10.1177/10634266070150020301Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Narrative review of sixty-four school mental health outcome studies. Only twenty-four studies were found that used both outcomes. The authors discuss the implications, including the need for more rigorous school mental health research measuring academic outcomes.

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  • Kim, Johnny S., and Cynthia Franklin. 2009. Solution-focused, brief therapy in schools: A review of the outcome literature. Children and Youth Services Review 31:464–470.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2008.10.002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews the literature on solution-focused brief therapy, examines the use of solution-focused brief therapy in schools, and reports on the effectiveness of these interventions.

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  • Kraag, Gerda, Maurice P. Zeegers, Gerjo Kok, Clemens Hosman, and Huda Huijer Abu-Saad. 2006. School programs targeting stress management in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Journal of School Psychology 44.6:449–472.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2006.07.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This meta-analysis evaluates the effectiveness of school-based interventions that aim to improve stress management or coping skills in children and adolescents.

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  • Prevatt, Frances, and F. Donald Kelly. 2003. Dropping out of school: A review of intervention programs. Journal of School Psychology 41:377–395.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0022-4405(03)00087-6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews the literature related to the prevention of school dropout, discusses implementation problems present in some of the studies, and presents the implications for evidence-based practice.

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  • Roans, Michelle, and Kimberly Hoagwood. 2000. School-based mental health services: A research review. Clinical child and Family Psychology Review 3.4:223–241.

    DOI: 10.1023/A:1026425104386Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This meta-analysis reviews the research on mental health services delivered in schools and their effectiveness. It also describes the common features of effective mental health services.

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  • Wilson, Sandra Jo, and Mark W. Lipsey. 2007. School-based interventions for aggressive and disruptive behavior: Update of a meta-analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 33.2 supp.: S130–S143.

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    This article updates the authors’ previous meta-analysis on interventions for aggressive and disruptive behaviors in schools. It focuses on the program and student characteristics that are associated with the most positive intervention outcomes.

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Evidence-based Intervention and Prevention Programs

The references in this section include treatment manuals that provide step-by-step instruction for implementing interventions in schools and other materials that provide guidance for effective school-based intervention and prevention programs. LeCroy 2008 discusses multiple treatment manuals that provide detailed instructions for intervening to address a range of presenting problems. Freeman, et al. 1998 is a collection of articles that provide guidance for intervening with many different populations at various ecological levels. The remaining materials address prevention in school settings. Rapp-Paglicci, et al. 2004 describes the prevalence of a range of social problems and effective strategies for preventing them. Hammond, et al. 2007 focuses more specifically on prevention of violence and delinquency.

  • Forness, Steven R. 2003. Barriers to evidence-based treatment: Developmental psychopathology and the interdisciplinary disconnect in school mental health practice. Journal of School Psychology 41.1:61–67.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0022-4405(02)00144-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Proposes that the role of school mental health professionals be reframed using a public health and primary prevention perspective rather than the more traditional reactive approach to addressing mental health problems.

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  • Freeman, Edith M., Cynthia G. Franklin, Rowena Fong, Gary L. Shaffer, and Elizabeth M. Timberlake, eds. 1998. Multisystem skills and interventions in school social work practice. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

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    Describes interventions that address all systemic levels, including the individual student, families, schools, community agencies, and policies. Topics include reducing aggressive behavior, improving attendance, linking schools and families, preventing suicide, and preventing substance abuse.

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  • Hammond, Cathy, Dan Linton, Jay Smink, and Sam Drew. 2007. Dropout risk factors and exemplary programs: A technical report. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center/Network.

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    Findings reveal multiple risk factors that increase the risk for dropping out of school. The report describes fifty programs that effectively reduce this risk.

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  • LeCroy, Craig Winston. 2008. Handbook of evidence-based treatment manuals for children and adolescents. New York: Oxford University Press.

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    Provides fifteen treatment manuals with summaries of their research support. Each chapter discusses the theoretical underpinnings and research support for the programs. The treatment manual follows, providing detailed instructions for implementing the intervention. Treatment manuals are provided in the areas of clinical disorders, social problems, and preventive interventions.

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  • Rapp-Paglicci, Lisa A., Catherine N. Dulmus, and John S. Wodarski. 2004. Handbook of preventive interventions for children and adolescents. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    Provides descriptions, incidence, and risk factors for a range of mental health, social, and behavioral problems among children and adolescents along with research-based prevention strategies for each problem area. Some of the problems addressed in the book include mental health issues, suicide, substance abuse, eating disorders, and violence.

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  • Stiegler, Kerri, and Nancy Lever. 2008. Summary of recognized evidence-based programs implemented by expanded school mental health (ESMH) programs. Baltimore, MD: Center for School Mental Health Assistance, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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    The authors provide a table of evidence-based interventions implemented by school mental health programs. The table includes information about the target audience for the intervention, its structure, and the topics addressed.

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Evidence-based Reference Resources

There are a growing number of web-based resources that practitioners can use to find current research on school-based interventions and practice guides. The Center for Mental Health in Schools provides many resources for practitioners, including treatment manuals for addressing various presenting problems in schools. Both this center and the Center for School Mental Health (CSMH) provide current information about research on school-based mental health services and opportunities to network with practitioners. For networking opportunities and resources that are directly relevant for school social workers, the website of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) is a useful resource. Strengthening America’s Families provides information about evidence-based strategies for preventing violence and delinquency, some of which are relevant for schools.

School Assessment and Measures

Many standardized assessment and measurement tools have been developed for use with children, adolescents, families, and schools. Some of these measures are used in school social work practice to assess, evaluate, and monitor the outcomes of practice. Examples of some of these tools are listed in this section. One of the best-known assessment tools for school social work practice is the School Success Profile (Bowen and Richman 2008). Other well-known assessment measures used in school settings include the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 6–18 (CBCL/6-18) (Achenbach and Rescoral 2007), the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) (Hodges 1990), and the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC-2) (Reynolds and Kamphaus 2004).

Macro Practice

Macro practice covers school social work interventions in the broader environment of the school and encompasses areas of school leadership, parent and community involvement, policy interventions, and consultations and collaborations with teachers. Two of the most effective but challenging interventions are parent involvement (Ouellette and Wilkerson 2008) and building community partnerships (Anderson-Butcher, et al. 2006).

  • Anderson-Butcher, Dawn, E. Gwen Stetler, and Theresa Midle. 2006. A case for expanded school-community partnerships in support of positive youth development. Children and Schools 28.3:155–163.

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    Reviews two studies: one that examines the nature and scope of existing school-community partnerships and one that surveys school personnel about further partnership needs.

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  • Ouellette, Philip, and David Wilkerson. 2008. “They won’t come”: Increasing parent involvement in parent management training programs for at-risk youths in schools. School Social Work Journal 32.2:39–52.

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    A review of the literature on parent involvement in schools as well as the impact of parent education programs. The article makes recommendations for increasing positive parent participation through the use of technology.

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  • Powers, Joelle D., Gary L. Bowen, and Roderick A. Rose. 2005. Using social environment assets to identify intervention strategies for promoting school success. Children and Schools 27.3:177–185.

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    This study examines the relationship between students’ social environments and their school attitudes, behavior, and academic achievement using the School Success Profile. The authors present a practice matrix for identifying target interventions based on student results.

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  • Randolph, Karen A., and Georgia Ackerman. 2005. Using a needs assessment to develop plans for macro-level parent involvement in schools. School Social Work Journal 30.1:25–39.

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    Describes the development of a school safety plan at a suburban elementary school using both school staff and family input.

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  • Thiede, C. E. 2005. A macro approach to meet the challenge of No Child Left Behind. School Social Work Journal 29.2:1–24.

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    Examines the roles school social workers can play in helping schools meet the challenges of the No Child Left Behind Act and to ensure the success of at-risk students.

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Educational Policies Guiding Practice

National educational policies affect school social workers. The articles in this section address evidence-based educational policies guiding the work of school social workers. Three articles address the well-known and much-debated No Child Left Behind policy and its impact on school social workers (Browder and Cooper-Duffy 2003, Corbin 2005, Linn, et al. 2002). Two articles address the national policies relating to mental health (Adelman and Taylor 1999) and special education (Barnett, et al. 2004). Essex and Massat 2005 and Slavin 2005 address ways in which school social workers affect national educational policies.

  • Adelman, Howard S., and Linda Taylor. 1999. Mental health in school system restructuring. Clinical Psychology Review 19.2:137–163.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0272-7358(98)00071-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This review provides an overview of what schools currently do related to mental health and psychosocial concerns, clarifies key emerging trends, and explores implications for major systemic changes.

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  • Barnett, David W., Edward J. Daly III, Kevin M. Jones, and F. Edward Lentz Jr. 2004. Response to intervention. Journal of Special Education 38.2:66–79.

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    Discusses the construct of response to intervention. Single-case designs that focus on intervention response and intensity are reviewed as a potential evaluation framework for interdisciplinary teams to help answer special services resource questions. The advantages and challenges associated with these designs and models are discussed for child evaluation in schools.

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  • Browder, Diane M. and Karena Cooper-Duffy. 2003. Evidence-based practices for students with severe disabilities and the requirement for accountability in “No Child Left Behind.” Journal of Special Education 37.3:157–164.

    DOI: 10.1177/00224669030370030501Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    To define what is special about the education of students with severe disabilities, this article provides a snapshot of research-based practices that are relevant to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) focus on accountability. The authors conclude that prior research provides guidance for how to select and teach skills even though new applications for academics are needed.

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  • Corbin, Joanne N. 2005. Increasing opportunities for school social work practice resulting from comprehensive school reform. Children and Schools 27.4:239–246.

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    This article points out the limited role that school social workers often play in school leadership and policy activities and suggests ways school social workers can become more active in these roles.

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  • Essex, Elizabeth Lehr, and Carol Rippey Massat. 2005. Preparing school social workers for their wider role: Policy as practice. School Social Work Journal 29.2:25–39.

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    Describes an innovative advanced education policy class for school social workers that aims to better prepare school social workers for practice.

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  • Linn, Robert L., Eva L. Baker, and Damian W. Betebenner. 2002. Accountability systems: Implications of requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Educational Researcher 31.6:3–16.

    DOI: 10.3102/0013189X031006003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and its implications, given that states’ content standards, testing rigor, and performance standards vary greatly. Implications for achieving targets are discussed. Also addressed are possible uses of results from the biennial state-level administrations of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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  • Slavin, Robert E. 2005. Evidence-based reform: Advancing the education of students at risk. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress and Institute for American’s Future.

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    This paper argues that genuine reform in American education depends on a movement toward evidence-based practice, using the findings of rigorous research to guide educational practices and policies.

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Evidence-based Teaching Strategies for Improved Outcomes

Evidence-based teaching strategies are systematic studies that demonstrate improvements in educational outcomes for children in grades K–12. The articles in this section have been selected because they discuss effective evidence-based teaching strategies that have been implemented in the United States. Cochran-Smith 2004 discusses the need to look at the ways in which outcomes are defined in educational evidence-based studies. One article addresses the involvement of school social workers in school reform (Diehl and Frey 2008). Darling-Hammond 1999 describes a national study that demonstrates how policy investments in quality teachers are related to student improvement. Dutro and Valencia 2004 addresses the ways state and district literacy policies affect student improvement in literacy. Knapp, et al. 2006 explores ideas related to how educational leaders access data, the meanings they give to it, and the uses to which they put these data in the varying settings in which leaders seek to improve teaching and learning. Niederhauser, et al. 2007 addresses the National Educational Technology Standards for Students and discusses the standards that have received little attention. Viggiani, et al. 2002 discusses how school social workers can create successful collaborations with teachers in classrooms.

  • Cochran-Smith, Marilyn. 2004. Defining the outcomes of teacher education: What’s social justice got to do with it? Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education 32:193–212.

    DOI: 10.1080/1359866042000295370Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Escalating criticism of university-based teacher education across the world calls for informed defense of the profession as well as critical evaluation of both teacher education and schooling. This paper discusses the role and renewal of teacher education in relation to widespread standards movements and the conduct and governance of education.

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  • Darling-Hammond, Linda. 1999. Teacher quality and student achievement: A review of state policy evidence. Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy.

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    This fifty-state survey examines the ways teacher qualifications and other school inputs are related to student achievement across states. Findings suggest that policy investments in the quality of teachers may be related to improvements in student performance. Implications for enhancing quality and equity in public education are discussed.

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  • Diehl, Dan, and Andy Frey. 2008. Evaluating a community-school model of social work practice. School Social Work Journal 32.2:1–20.

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    This study evaluates a school-community social work intervention aimed at improving student behaviors at home and at school.

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  • Dutro, Elizabeth, and Sheila W. Valencia. 2004. The relation between state and district literacy standards: Issues of alignment, influence, and utility. Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy.

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    Explores how state content standards in reading affect local content standards. The study indicates that the usefulness of the state’s efforts to promote local standards-based reform depends on various attributes of the state policy, the characteristic relationship between state and local levels, and local engagement in professional development.

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  • Knapp, Michael S., Juli Ann Swinnerton, Michael A. Copland, and Jack Monpas-Huber. 2006. Data-informed leadership in education. Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy and the Wallace Foundation.

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    Drawing from empirical studies and the landscape of current practice, this report explores ideas related to how educational leaders access data, the meanings they give to it, and how they use these data in the varying settings in which leaders seek to improve teaching and learning.

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  • Lynn, Cynthia J., Mary McKernan McKay, and Marc S. Atkins. 2003. School social work: Meeting the mental health needs of students through collaboration with teachers. Children and Schools 25.4:197–209.

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    Discusses the teacher’s role in helping students overcome barriers to mental health and academic achievement. It gives suggestions for incorporating collaboration between school social workers and teachers into school mental health service delivery.

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  • Niederhauser, Dale S., Denise L. Lindstrom, and Johannes Strobel. 2007. Addressing the NETS*S in K–12 classrooms: Implications for teacher education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 15.4:483–512.

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    The National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) were developed to provide guidelines for effective and meaningful technology use with K–12 students. This study used the NETS*S as a framework to analyze ways teachers integrated instructional technology and provided opportunities for their students to develop National Educational Technology Standards for Students competencies.

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  • Rosenfeld, Lawrence B., Jack M. Richman, and Gary L. Bowen. 2000. Social support networks and school outcomes: The centrality of the teacher. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 17.3:205–226.

    DOI: 10.1023/A:1007535930286Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This study compared student school outcomes with their levels of parent, friend, and teacher support. The authors make recommendations about the incorporation of teachers into the human services provided in schools given their vital role in student achievement.

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  • Viggiani, Pamela A., William J. Reid, and Cynthia Bailey-Dempsey. 2002. Social worker–teacher collaboration in the classroom: Help for elementary students at risk of failure. Research on Social Work Practice 12:604–620.

    DOI: 10.1177/1049731502012005002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Social worker–teacher classroom collaboration (SWTCC) is an innovative model of intervention for at-risk elementary school children in which a social worker and a teacher work together in the same classroom. The model was evaluated to determine whether the intervention improved attendance, classroom behavior, and grades. Social worker–teacher classroom collaboration shows sufficient promise to warrant further development and testing.

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International Context

The practice of school social work has spread to many different countries. One text on the subject, Huxtable and Blyth 2002, covers school social work in twelve countries. Literature from international school social work suggests that school social workers from diverse countries work with students to resolve important social problems like truancy (Kee 2005) and school shootings (Klein 2005). Internationally school social workers support the right of every child to receive an education and, once universal education is achieved, support children to be able to successfully complete school. Lyons 2008 compares school social work services in the United Kingdom to those in other countries. Shek and Ma 2006, Tam and Mong 2005, and To 2007 all focus on Hong Kong.

  • Huxtable, Marion, and Eric Blyth, eds. 2002. School social work worldwide. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

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    This text reviews the expansion of school social work across the world from the perspective of practitioners in twelve countries. It also discusses policy issues related to school social work and the benefits of international collaboration.

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  • International Federation of Social Workers. 2002. Social work and the rights of the child. Bern, Switzerland: International Federation of Social Workers.

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    A training manual in children’s rights based on the guidelines set forth during the 2002 United Nations Convention.

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  • Kee, T. T. S. 2005. A cultural interpretation of locus of control, family and school experiences, and school truancy: The case of Hong Kong. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth 12.4:325–349.

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    This study examines the relationship between students’ family and school experiences, truancy, and locus of control in a sample of truant and nontruant students in Hong Kong. The results are discussed in light of Chinese cultural beliefs and the relevance for school social workers.

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  • Klein, Jessie. 2005. America is from Mars, Europe is from Venus: How the United States can learn from Europe’s social work response to school shootings. School Social Work Journal 30.1:1–24.

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    Compares the causes of and responses to recent school shootings in both the United States and Europe. The article focuses on the U.S. punishment and security response versus the European response of improving student-teacher relationships and hiring more school social workers and gives implications for school social work practice.

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  • Lyons, Karen. 2008. Social work and schools. In The Blackwell companion to social work, 3d ed. Edited by Martin Davies, 222–228. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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    Focuses on school social work services in the United Kingdom, including structural issues, discrepancies in how services are provided, and skills needed to serve students in schools.

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  • Shek, Daniel T. L., and Hing Keung Ma. 2006. Design of a positive youth development program in Hong Kong. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 18.3:315–327.

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    Recommends a new, positive youth development program appropriate for youth in Hong Kong with culturally and developmentally relevant content. The two-tiered program has a universal component as well as a component that was developed by school social workers for targeting adolescents with more intense psychosocial needs.

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  • Tam, Tony S. K., and Lilian P. K. Mong. 2005. Job stress, perceived inequity, and burnout among school social workers in Hong Kong. International Social Work 48.4:467–483.

    DOI: 10.1177/0020872805053470Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines burnout in school social workers in Hong Kong and factors that may contribute to this phenomenon.

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  • To, Siu-ming. 2007. Empowering school social work practices for positive youth development: Hong Kong experience. Adolescence 42.167:555–567.

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    Examines how school social workers are currently using empowerment models and techniques with students rather than a deficit model.

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LAST MODIFIED: 12/14/2009

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195389678-0110

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