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  Subjects -> SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELFARE (Total: 224 journals)
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International Journal of School Social Work
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2161-4148
Published by New Prairie Press Homepage  [17 journals]
  • Therapist, Intermediary or Garbage Can' Examining Professional
           Challenges for School Social Work in Swedish Elementary Schools

    • Authors: Maria Kjellgren et al.
      Abstract: The overall aim of this article is to describe and analyse critical components that influence the role and performance of school social workers in the Swedish elementary school. Special attention will be paid to aspects related to formal regulations, professional self-understanding, and SSWs’ role in the interplay between professional domains involved in elementary school.The data collection was conducted through four semi-structured qualitative focus group interviews with a total of 22 School Social Workers (SSWs) in four different regions in Sweden during the latter part of 2019.The results reveal three main challenges for the SSW: 1. To navigate in a pedagogic and medical arena within a multidisciplinary team, 2. To manage ambiguity without formal regulations and in unclear settings and leadership, and finally, 3. To negotiate tasks at different levels, with a health promotional and preventive focus. The SSW ends up, mainly, in remedial work with individual children. The results also disclose SSWs hold a vague professional self-understanding position with little formal mandate to perform their work. We suggest that national guidelines for SSWs be developed, and that a common base of knowledge and education be established.
      PubDate: Thu, 26 Jan 2023 14:45:38 PST
  • Perceptions and Practices in School Social Worker-Teacher
           Interprofessional Collaboration

    • Authors: Stacy A. Gherardi et al.
      Abstract: School social work requires significant skills for interprofessional collaboration, especially collaboration with teachers. While the value of such skills is increasingly recognized in fields such as healthcare, there has been limited attention to assessing or supporting interprofessional practice in education. This exploratory mixed-methods study analyzed survey data from 264 school social workers across the United States in order to understand their perceptions of teachers as collaborators and their practices relating to collaboration with teachers. Barriers to collaboration were also identified. Data suggested that school social workers had positive perceptions of teachers as collaborators generally, but saw limitations in the training and support of teachers to effectively respond to non-academic concerns; time and support for collaboration were identified as significant barriers to collaborative practice.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Dec 2022 08:15:45 PST
  • Assessing Differential Item Functioning and Differential Test Functioning
           in an Academic Motivation Scale using Item Response Theory methods

    • Authors: Gerald J. Bean
      Abstract: Social work researchers and practitioners who use measurement instruments to make data-informed decisions need to ensure those decisions are based on items and scales that are free from possible bias or undesirable differential functioning. In this study, we provide an example of how a set of Item Response Theory (IRT) statistical methods and tools can be used by social work measurement researchers to assess differential item (DIF) and scale (DTF) functioning. For the example, we explored the possible race, gender, and family composition differential functioning of a scale—the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS)—developed for use by school social workers. The data used in this analysis were collected from 3,221 seventh grade students in multiple school districts in a large urban mid-western U.S. county. We used IRT methods and a multiple-step framework to assess possible race, gender, and family composition DIF/DTF. Results indicated there was minimal race, gender, or family composition differential functioning at both the item and scale level. While the AMS is recommended for use by school social workers, further research is needed to examine possible DIF/DTF by other factors such as parent involvement and family background, gender identity, sexual preference, and cultural attributes and ethnic factors.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Dec 2022 08:15:44 PST
  • Assessing Texas School Social Work Practice: Findings from the First
           Statewide Conference Survey

    • Authors: Xiao Ding et al.
      Abstract: Aims: To examine the characteristics, perceived barriers, special student populations, and school-based tasks performed by Texas's school social workers in comparison to other Specialized Instructional Services Providers (SISP) professionals in schools.Methods: A convenience sample from a survey of 212 school social workers and school services providers from the Texas School Social Workers Conference. The survey was developed using previous surveys and practice knowledge and assessed (a) demographics, (b) characteristics of school social work practice, (c) types of tasks, (d) special population served, (e) types of barriers), and (f) the tools and training that are most needed.Results: The roles of Texas School social workers are similar to school social workers nationally. There were significant differences between the roles, tasks, and barriers to practice for school social workers than other SISP providers. School social workers more frequently served on the frontlines with high-needs students and special populations, assisted teachers in classroom management and contributed to in-service training for the school than other SISP professionals.Practice Implications: School social workers make significant and sustained contributions to K-12, public schools, magnet schools, and charter schools. School social workers play a key role in serving a school’s high-needs students and specialized populations; better implementation of state standards, professional development, and opportunities for networking are needed.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Dec 2022 08:15:43 PST
  • The Shalem Counselling Assistance Plan for Students (CAPS): Delivering
           Social Work Services to Faith-Based School Systems

    • Authors: Mark Vander Vennen et al.
      Abstract: In Ontario, Canada, non-Catholic faith-based schools do not receive provincial government funding but are funded primarily by families of students and through fundraising. As a result, historically school-based provision of counselling or school social work resources to students has been the exception rather than the rule, as this has typically been considered an adjunct resource. A new initiative was launched in the province of Ontario in 2011 to address this gap, the Counselling Assistance Plan for Students (CAPS). CAPS was premised on another novel idea, a Congregational Assistance Plan, which itself grew out of concepts derived from Employee Assistance Programming that has roots dating back to the 19th century in Canada. While CAPS has parallels to Student Assistance Programming (SAP), which exists throughout the United States, development of SAP has not taken hold in Canada. This article examines the origins of CAPS, its development, and the nature of assistance it has provided to the schools that have been early adopters.
      PubDate: Fri, 04 Nov 2022 09:25:40 PDT
  • Leadership in School Social Work: Implications for Promoting the
           Preparedness of Tomorrow’s Practitioners

    • Authors: Yasmine Perry et al.
      Abstract: Current research suggests that leadership skills in the field of school social work are valuable and needed. However, these skills are not always clearly outlined by governing entities as a result of little examination and research. This article examines differences of perceptions toward and engagement in professional leadership skills among school social work practitioners across the United States (N = 686). Using descriptive and multivariate methods, this paper examines practitioner perceptions toward and engagement in school-based leadership and what this leadership looks like in today’s schools. Findings call for educators and practitioners to advocate for the incorporation of leadership training, culturally sensitive cross-discipline collaboration, and preparedness guidelines in both generalist bachelor- and master-level social work curricula in which students are trained to work in school settings. Moreover, access to training and availability of resources pertaining to leadership appear to be a point of concern. Implications for social work practice, education, and research are discussed.
      PubDate: Fri, 04 Nov 2022 09:25:39 PDT
  • Attending to Attention: A Systematic Review of Attention and Reading

    • Authors: Sarah M.R. Eisensmith et al.
      Abstract: Background: Extensive research has conclusively linked inattention to poor reading performance. The process by which this relation occurs remains somewhat undefined, which makes it difficult for practitioners to identify key intervention targets. Objectives: This systematic review will synthesize current peer-reviewed research on the developmental relationship between inattention and reading. The primary aim of this review was to describe how inattention negatively relates to the development of literacy from preschool through middle childhood. A secondary aim of this review was to summarize recent research on the potential differential relationship between attention and literacy among students overrepresented in ratings of inattention, including boys and students of color. Design and Methods: PsycInfo, Education Full Text, ERIC, and ProQuest Education, and Dissertations and Theses were searched, using a broad search string. The initial search resulted in 1,262 potentially relevant studies published since the most recent authorization of the Every Child Succeeds Act (i.e., from December 2015-2019) for review. Out of 1,262 citations found, 70 empirical studies were screened and assessed for eligibility, and 16 met the specific inclusion criteria. A coding sheet was then used to synthesize data from the included studies. Results: Among preschool and elementary school children, inattention, whether measured through observer ratings or performance tasks, has a consistent, negative impact on reading skills as reported both by teachers, standardized instruments, and classroom performance outcomes. Results point to multiple pathways through which inattention may have a negative impact on reading outcomes. Evidence points to a negative and direct effect of inattention on the development of and performance in reading concurrently and over time. Inattention may have an additional, indirect, and negative effect on reading performance through its negative impact on early literacy and cognitive skills, including phonological awareness and processing, vocabulary, and working memory. There is a lack of research on potential differential processes by which attention relates to reading among subgroups of children who are at elevated risk for poor literacy outcomes. Conclusions and Implications: Assessing for and intervening in early attention problems in preschool and kindergarten is essential to promote optimal reading outcomes for all students. There is an urgent need for future research to investigate potential differential processes in the relation between attention and reading performance for children who are at an elevated risk for reading problems. School social workers are especially prepared and located to address the interaction of child and classroom factors within schools that impede student performance in early grades and set up challenges for later success.
      PubDate: Fri, 04 Nov 2022 09:25:38 PDT
  • School-Based Mental Health Services for Racial Minority Children in the
           United States

    • Authors: Shinwoo Choi et al.
      Abstract: Racial minority children have been an underserved population and are particularly vulnerable due to limited access to community resources, especially mental health services. Schools have been noted as appropriate that environment to deliver services for underserved children (Blewett, Casey, & Call, 2004). However, little is known about the effectiveness of exiting school-based services targeting minority students. Therefore, this study reviewed past research regarding the effects of school-based mental health services (SBMHS) for racial minority children and analyzed the methodological and cultural features. By applying the Levels of Evidence-Based Intervention Effectiveness (LEBIE) scale and the cultural sensitivity criteria, the researchers examined whether existing SBMS were designed with rigor and cultural sensitivity. Our study analyzed the effects of SBMS with child-centered play therapy or resilience-building programs on mental illness of racial minority groups of children, such as increasing social connectedness and decreasing depressive symptoms. Our study findings implied that SBMS should be provided for students of color who have limited access to resources and health care services in their communities. School professionals also need to reach out in multiple contexts to students of color by understanding structural racism and oppression.
      PubDate: Wed, 16 Mar 2022 07:56:22 PDT
  • “Never give up.” Adjudicated girls’ school experiences and
           implications for academic success

    • Authors: Laura M. Hopson et al.
      Abstract: There is limited literature on best practices for promoting academic success for adjudicated girls. The goal of this qualitative study was to elicit information about the educational experiences of female juvenile offenders within a residential facility. Interviews with 10 girls and two teachers were audio-recorded and transcribed. Data were analyzed for narratives pertaining to success stories and challenges the girls faced in educational settings. Themes were: Barriers in school; Individual Characteristics that Promote Success; Coping Skills; Relationships that Promote Success; School Environments that Promote Success; Transitioning to Traditional Schools. Findings inform strategies to promote academic success for detained youth. The authors discuss implications for school social workers and other school-based behavioral health providers.
      PubDate: Wed, 16 Mar 2022 07:56:21 PDT
  • Partnerships to Address School Safety through a Student Support Lens

    • Authors: Summer G. Woodside et al.
      Abstract: School safety is a primary concern of school leaders, employees, parents, and a variety of community stakeholders. Attempts to mitigate and prevent school safety concerns often focus on strategies around school climate assessment, emergency communication, school safety plan development, and school resource officer employment (U.S. DHS et al., 2018). Involvement of key stakeholders, such as school social workers, school counselors, and school-based mental health professionals is emphasized in creating and assessing school safety in a wholistic manner. This article provides an overview of a Trainings to Increase School Safety grant program that was implemented with public school stakeholders through partnerships between a university and five public school districts in the Southeastern North Carolina region.
      PubDate: Wed, 16 Mar 2022 07:56:20 PDT
  • School Mental Health in Charters: A Glimpse of Practitioners from a
           National Sample

    • Authors: Jandel Crutchfield et al.
      Abstract: Charter schools are part of a global push for alternative governance models in public education. Even though U.S. charter schools enroll nearly 3.2 million children, little is known about school mental health (SMH) practice in charter schools. The current study was the first step in a line of inquiry exploring SMH and school social work practice in charter schools. Using cross-sectional survey research methods, the authors conducted brief one-time phone surveys with charter school social workers and counselors identified using a stratified random sampling strategy with national charter school lists. The final sample for analysis was 473 schools. Of these, 44.4% (n = 210) had a school social worker or counselor present at least one day per week, of whom 67 (30.5%) were school social workers. The school social work sample reported a number of job titles, including “school social worker” (67%) and many (13.4%) that were a variation of counselor (e.g., “behavioral counselor,” “social emotional counselor”). Half were employed by their school, five were employed by an outside organization contracted with the school and eight were employed by the school’s chartering organization. More than three-quarters (83%) had a master's degree in social work as their highest degree. Our findings provide a snapshot of the SMH and school social work workforce within the emerging practice setting of charter schools. Findings suggest that the SMH workforce may be professionally similar to those in traditional public schools, but with more flexibility for interprofessional collaboration, professional advocacy, and role definition. Other implications for research are also discussed.
      PubDate: Wed, 16 Mar 2022 07:56:19 PDT
  • A Global Picture of School Social Work in 2021

    • Authors: Marion Huxtable
      Abstract: The article provides a global picture of school social work in 2021 using data gathered by the International Network for School Social Work. School social work is a growing specialty around the world. There are school social workers practicing in more than 50 countries. School social workers support students' educational success, especially those who are marginalized by poverty, oppression, disability and other personal or social problems. Ideally school social workers practice within a multi-disciplinary team to address wide-ranging barriers to education and participate in preventive programs for all students. The article describes the growth of school social work around the world, various models of practice, the role of specialty professional associations, training and standards, and the growth of school social work literature. Changes in the role and practice of school social work since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020/2021 are included. International communication among school social workers has grown via publications, conferences and the International Network for School Social Work, and continues to assist expansion of the specialty around the world. Implications for the future of social work in education are discussed, a list of national school social work associations is provided and references include literature on school social work from various countries.
      PubDate: Wed, 16 Mar 2022 07:56:19 PDT
  • Editor's Message for IJSSW Special Issue on Trauma
           Informed/Responsive services

    • Abstract: NA
      PubDate: Wed, 16 Mar 2022 07:56:18 PDT
  • Social Justice and Trauma-Informed Care in Schools

    • Authors: Carrie E. Lorig et al.
      Abstract: Current understandings of trauma and implementations of trauma-informed care (TIC; SAMSHA, 2014) in school environments can be limited because the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of trauma tends to focus on specific, identified histories of abuse. This reflects the impact of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) prevalence study among the adult American population (Felitti et al., 1998). However, addressing and preventing trauma in youth populations encourages recognition of the particular and disproportionate ways trauma affects marginalized groups, especially in schools. Some advocates for TIC view TIC as a crucial partner in social justice (Crosby et al., 2018; Rigard et al., 2015). Social justice is defined as the elimination of systemic oppression and institutional barriers with the goal of ensuring equitable access to opportunities and resources for all (Graybill et al., 2018). This article aims to consider the intersections of trauma-informed care and the aims of social justice so schools might recognize trauma as both individual and systemic and make their trauma-informed frameworks inclusive of diverse experiences. This article suggests what can be done through the use of the TIC framework created by SAMHSA (2014), which will benefit from being integrated from school- and evidence-based frameworks like MTSS.
      PubDate: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:40:59 PST
  • The importance of trauma-informed approaches in education – the impact
           of implementing a brain-based approach to supporting learners across a
           Scottish Local Authority

    • Authors: Lesley Taylor et al.
      Abstract: Throughout the history of education, a series of fashions, fads and trends has come and gone – some resulting in widespread changes in approach, some creating barely a ripple in the "pedagogical pool". Currently, a wave is being created by the desire to develop approaches that are trauma-informed – a move that is being driven by a number of factors including the introduction of funding streams such as the Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC) and the Pupil Equity Fund (PEF), alongside growing public awareness of the impact childhood trauma and adversity has across many areas of a child’s development.However, we have previously warned (Barrett, 2018) of the pitfalls associated with the "grass roots" movement that has arisen across Scotland in recent years which has, in our opinion, been at risk of over-simplifying incredibly complex, deep-rooted societal issues that go far beyond the realm of education. We have, therefore, welcomed the more nuanced approach that has developed within the movement as the focus has shifted to become more acknowledging of the complexity and multitude of factors involved in childhood trauma and adversityThe social-political context of childhood adversity and trauma means solutions to such a complex problem need to be sought within arenas far removed from education - such as government legislature and economic policy. These changes are both long term in nature, meaning the enduring effects of these experiences will continue to be felt for generations to come. It is crucial, therefore, that schools and other educational establishments are able to adapt their environments and teaching practices to meet the increasingly complex needs of the learners coming through their doors.This study will describe a small-scale project which sought to gather standardised evidence of the impact of the Readiness for Learning (R4L) approach we have developed as part of a wider evaluation approach. The R4L approach combines a range of theories to develop procedures that encourage BALTIC practice – Brain-Based, Attachment-Led, Trauma-Informed and Community-based. The approach is heavily influenced by the Neurosequential Model in Education (Bruce Perry, e.g. Perry, 2013), as well as the work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Bowlby, 1969) (Ainsworth and Bell, 1970), Dan Siegel (e.g. Siegel, 2001), Francine Shapiro (e.g. EMDR.com, 2018), Dan Hughes (e.g. Hughes, pers. Comm. 31st October 2017) and Urie Bronfenbrenner (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).This study focuses on the implementation of R4L within a targeted population of Primary One (4/5 year olds) and the impact that it had on a range of standardised performance measures up until the March of their Primary Three year. Further information on the wider development and implementation of the approach can be found in Taylor and Barrett (2018). We will conclude by offering some wider reflections on the need for trauma-informed approaches within education, and the conditions we believe need to be in place for these to be successful.
      PubDate: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:40:58 PST
  • When trauma comes to school: Toward a socially just trauma-informed praxis

    • Authors: Catriona O'Toole
      Abstract: Given the prevalence and devastating consequences of childhood trauma, there has been a surge in initiatives to help schools become trauma-informed. However, despite the growing adoption of such initiatives, a number of concerns have been expressed. These include the lack of attention paid to issues of power and inequality including poverty, racism, and community violence as well as the power of adults to neglect, mistreat or abuse children. Contemporary approaches can also serve to inscribe deficit-based perceptions of children, reinforcing negative stereotypes and stigmas; and they tend to overlook the possibility that schools themselves can contribute to students’ distress, especially in the context of accountability and target-driven agendas. This paper examines current terminology in relation to adversity, trauma, and trauma-informed practice. It shows how current approaches are entangled with a dominant medical model, which views emotional distress as symptoms of mental disorder, rather than as reasonable and intelligible strategies to ensure survival. An alternative approach, co-authored by psychologists and service users/survivors and published by the British Psychological Society, known as the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF) is then discussed. The PTMF is an approach for understanding emotional and psychological distress and troubled or troubling behavior, based primarily on issues of power and inequality. It was chosen in order to forefront social justice concerns, whilst remaining attentive to state-of-the-art and evidence-based understandings of psychological trauma and trauma-informed care. Furthermore, by drawing on the anti-oppression educational theory of Paulo Freire, it is argued a trauma-informed praxis guided and informed by the PTMF, can help redress many of the criticisms of existing approaches in schools.
      PubDate: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:40:57 PST
  • The Healing Power of Teacher-Student Relationships in Repairing Childhood
           Abuse: Commonalities and Differences with Clinical Social Work Practice

    • Authors: Mehak Jamil
      Abstract: Research indicates survivors of childhood abuse are able to form the same quality relationships with teachers as non-abused children (Armstrong, Hasket & Hawkins, 2017). However, there is little research indicating what factors within the teacher-student relationship help build this resiliency. This study looks to clinical social work practice as a basis for understanding what qualities of the therapeutic relationship can extend to or overlap with non-clinical relationships with students who have a trauma history, within the teaching field. To better understand experiences within these relationships, semi-structured interviews were conducted with both a clinical social worker who has teaching experience at the post-secondary level, and the study enlisted the researcher as a participant to ascertain the student/ client perspective. Effectively a researcher self-study, findings indicated qualities of safety, empathy and client/student empowerment, albeit in different ways, helped to correct and repair some of the damage of childhood abuse within both therapeutic and teacher-student relationships.
      PubDate: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:40:56 PST
  • School Social Workers in the Milieu: Ubuntu as a Social Justice Imperative

    • Authors: Lynn Lim et al.
      Abstract: Supporting community resilience throughout the milieu, or school community, is a social justice imperative in providing trauma-informed approaches in education. More school social workers need to view their work as a community-level intervention with a trauma-informed approach that includes collaborating with students and staff throughout the building and within the neighboring community. This conceptual article will explore the humanistic concepts of the milieu as a focus of intervention and the South African value of ubuntu, our interconnectedness, through the lens of school social work. The milieu is a humanistic principle in which the community works together to support each other. For school social work, the milieu is not just providing one-on-one counseling in our individual offices, but also working throughout the school building and community by collaborating with teachers, supporting transition times between classes, and spearheading community meetings. Ubuntu is seen as the essence of being human and promoting our interconnectedness, as a person is a person through other people. School social work that promotes ubuntu holds empathy at the forefront and prioritizes connections and supporting others. In South Africa, the ubuntu philosophy has been used to heal national trauma after the Apartheid and many South African schools support ubuntu through their principles within the school community. These concepts work together to support community resilience and need to be a part of key practices in global trauma-informed education. These practices will be explored through school-based case examples across the United States and in South Africa. Lastly, recommendations will be provided for how school social workers can use these practices in their schools.
      PubDate: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:40:54 PST
  • Special Issue 2: Trauma Informed Care from a Social Justice Lens

    • Abstract: This editorial provides the rationale for the special issue as well as a summary of the articles in these two special issues.
      PubDate: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:40:53 PST
  • Trauma informed practices in education and social justice: towards a
           critical orientation

    • Authors: Mark Boylan
      Abstract: Increasingly, educational practitioners committed to social justice embrace trauma-informed practices and those who advocate for and enact trauma-informed practices are committed to social justice. However, connecting social justice to trauma-informed practice requires greater conceptual clarity than is currently found, given the malleable meanings of both 'trauma informed' and 'social justice'. Further, the complex relationship between these educational aims is under-examined. To address these issues, an analytical framework is developed that brings together a model of forms of trauma-informed practice in education with orientations to social justice. This draws on models of social justice developed in social work and teaching, and teacher education. Applying this framework to trauma-informed practice indicates that trauma- informed practice, as so far developed, generally has either a conservative or a socially liberal social justice orientation. Practices are proposed that align with a critical orientation, which attends to cultural and structural relationships implicated in trauma and adversity in childhood. A critical orientation should not only consider practice but also be informed by further theoretical, philosophical and ethical engagement as part of a project of activist professionalism across educational professions.
      PubDate: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 14:50:46 PDT
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