Social Work in Schools : Principles and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Social Work in Schools
Principles and Practice

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ISBN 9781593855789
Published November 8, 2007 by Guilford Press
318 Pages

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Book Description

This accessible and authoritative text gives social workers the tools they need for effective and ethical practice in school settings. Readers learn practical skills for observation, assessment, intervention, and research that will enable them to respond to the needs of diverse students from preschool through the secondary grades. The book presents strategies for dealing with particular problems, such as violence, trauma, parental absence, substance abuse, bereavement, and mental health concerns. Also reviewed are developmental issues that can interfere with school success. Specific guidelines for implementing interventions, including group work, are provided. Student-friendly features include many concrete examples; study and discussion questions; and reproducible letters, forms, and checklists.

Table of Contents

1. The Role and Function of the School Social Worker

2. An Ecological-Developmental Framework for Practice in the Schools

3. Uncovering Problems and Working within the System

4. School Social Work with Children in Preschool to Grade 3

5. School Social Work with Children in Grades 4 to 6

6. School Social Work with Children in Grades 7 and 8

7. School Social Work with Children in Grades 9 and 10

8. School Social Work with Children in Grades 11 and 12

9. Group Work in the School Setting

10. Violence and Trauma

11. Parental Absence

12. Alcohol and Drug Abuse

13. Death and Loss

14. Working with Noncitizen Populations, Joyce Kelen

15. Mental Health Services in the Schools

16. Linking Community, Home, and School, Rosemarie Hunter and Rocio Paredes-Mora

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Linda Openshaw, DSW, LCSW, is Associate Professor of Social Work, Texas A&M University-Commerce. Her interests include school social work, child and adolescent welfare and counseling, clinical practice, and the role of spirituality in social work. Dr. Openshaw practiced as a school social worker for 14 years in Utah and Texas and worked for 3 years in community mental health in Utah and California. She received her MSW and DSW degrees from the University of Utah College of Social Work.


This text is an excellent introduction to a wide array of topics central to professional social work in educational settings. It will help practitioners to develop knowledge and skills for assessing and addressing the myriad psychosocial barriers that may impede a child's school performance. Many case examples and other useful materials are included, and uniquely structured chapters discuss the challenges and needs of different grade levels. A welcome contribution.--Christine A. Sabatino, PhD, LICSW, National Catholic School of Social Service, The Catholic University of America

This is an excellent text with many skills to offer social work students preparing to practice in school settings. Strengths of the book include the chapters on specific age groups and the detailed information about practice interventions; for example, it offers step-by-step guidance on how to set up groups. The book is well written and easy to read. Students will find this a valuable resource to consult during field placements, and it is a great training text for master's-level school social work courses.--Cynthia Franklin, PhD, LCSW, Stiernberg/Spencer Family Professor, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin

Openshaw has done a terrific job of outlining the scope of services that school social workers can provide. Her ability to map these complex services in a linear progression allows the reader to understand the multilayered approach to clinical treatment and case management for all grade ranges. Unique and informative case examples provide a framework for tackling difficult issues like natural disasters, violence, parental substance abuse, and self-injurious behaviors. The book explores the uses of predominant social work modalities--individual, group, and family interventions--without overwhelming the reader. This text belongs on the desks of all beginning school social workers, and is also a great reference tool for more advanced practitioners.--Stephen P. Hydon, MSW, School of Social Work, University of Southern California