Social work students consistently struggle to apply theory to practice, or use the knowledge of textbooks and classrooms in the field. Vignettes and scenarios represented in textbooks are often simplistic, too tidy to be realistic, and with clean resolutions. Next Steps: Decision Cases for Social Work Practice highlights the complex, messy nature of social work practice in a way that is engaging to students, allowing them to step into the role of a practicing social worker. This book is a collection of decision cases from multiple areas of social work practice, designed to enhance the quality and depth of classroom case discussion and analysis. These realistic, compelling cases present dilemmas about which even experienced practitioners may disagree. This allows rich classroom discussion that enhances critical thinking, provides real-life application, and creates numerous opportunities to apply content and knowledge acquired throughout a social work education experience.
Table of Contents
Part One: Bachelor of Social Work Graduates; 1. Bonnie’s Boys; 2. Hunger; 3. Who Belongs?; Part Two: Master of Social Work Practicum Students; 4. All For Love; 5. Involuntary Mindfulness; 6. Crossing the Borderline; 7. Don’t Speak Too Much; Part Three: New MSW Graduates; 8. A Day in the Life; 9. Caring Heart; 10. Judge Not; 11. Disastrous; Part Four: Experienced MSW Practitioners; 12. Ascension; 13. I Want to Hold my Babies; 14. Call Me Cam; 15. Evie’s Urges; 16. You’re Doing This Wrong
Lori D. Franklin, DSW, LCSW is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. She has previously co-authored a similar volume of decision cases, Decision Cases for Advanced Social Work Practice (Wolfer, Franklin, & Gray, 2013). Dr. Franklin, along with Dr. Gray, attended a week-long workshop with Terry Wolfer at the University of Texas and has been writing decision cases since 2008. She has a wide range of clinical practice experience in mental health as well as experience in social work licensure supervision. She teaches courses related to advanced direct practice in social work and an integrative seminar that utilizes the decision case teaching method.
Jonathan R. Kratz, MSW, LCSW is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma. He has an extensive background in juvenile justice and forensic social work as well as in mental health and school-based services with children and families. Most of his clinical work has been with Spanish speaking populations. He teaches across the direct practice curriculum including courses in mental health, group work, advanced clinical social work theories of practice, and the integrative seminar.
Karen A. Gray, PhD, LCSW, LSW-Admin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma. She has an extensive history of decision case development and teaching, including co-authorship of Decision Cases for Advanced Social Work Practice (Wolfer, Franklin, & Gray, 2013). She has also authored two articles and three book chapters regarding decision cases. Dr. Gray’s experience as a community organizer and macro practice focus, as well as her clinical experience, allows her to contribute a variety of cases that highlight multiple areas of practice. She teaches courses related to community organizing and development, practice with organizations and communities, and the integrative seminar with decision cases.
Finally! A pedagogical strategy that harnesses the true nature of social work practice as an applied science! This book is a wonderful compilation of complex decision cases designed to challenge each student in different ways, allowing them to test new decision-making paradigms in a psychologically safe and supportive style. I look forward to incorporating these cases into all of my social work practice courses.
--Ali Winters, DSW, LCSW, Assistant Professor, Social Work, Tennessee State University
The decision-making, case method approach to teaching in this book is superior to other case examples that tell students what to think or how to think. The case examples highlight the complexity of social work practice at all levels while assisting students to develop enhanced decision making skills. I am excited to try some of these case examples and the case method approach in the classroom. This book should be adopted and utilized within social work curriculum.
--Kelly Bass, DSW, CSW-PIP, ACS, MSW Program Director, University of South Dakota