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School Social Work

Practice, Policy, and Research

Ninth Edition

Michael S. Kelly, Carol Rippey Massat, and Robert Constable

Publication Date - August 2021

ISBN: 9780197530382

672 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

The #1 bestselling school social work textbook


School Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research has been a foundational guide to the profession for over 40 years. Featuring 30 readings divided into five parts, this best-selling text reflects the many ways that school social work practice impacts academic, behavioral, and social outcomes for both youths and the broader school community. The essays include selections from both pioneers in the field and newcomers who address the remarkable changes and growing complexities of the profession.

The ninth edition of School Social Work features a stronger focus on evidence informed practice and adds substantial new content related to antiracist practice and trauma-informed care. It retains the holistic model of school social work practice that has informed all previous editions of this cornerstone text, making it a relevant and vital resource for today's practitioners and students as schools grapple with how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

New to this Edition

  • Nine new chapters add substantial content on topics such as anti-racism, bullying and school violence, data-driven school services, and trauma-informed care
  • Twelve new school social work experts bring their knowledge to bear on new and existing issues in the field
  • More case examples of how school social workers are applying these ideas, interventions, and tools to their practice
  • Additional chapters and content that align school social work practice within a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework


  • This classic, bestselling text covers all facets of school social work practice, policy, and contemporary research
  • A three-prong focus on antiracist practice, evidence-informed practice, and trauma-informed interventions fully prepares students for the cutting-edge issues facing the field of school social work today
  • Accompanied by a robust set of instructor resources

About the Author(s)

Michael S. Kelly (MSW, PhD, University of Illinois-Chicago) is associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago. He is the associate editor of both Advances in School Mental health Promotion Journal and the International Journal of School Social Work.

Carol Rippey Massat (MSW, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is professor and director of the social work program at the Indiana University, School of Social Work. She served as editor of School Social Work Journal for ten years and is the author of numerous social work publications.

Robert Constable (MSW, Loyola University, DSW, University of Pennsylvania) is professor emeritus of social work at Loyola University Chicago. He was lead editor and author on the first edition of this textbook, marking the first ever comprehensive introduction and guide to school social work. He is author of more than 100 publications in social work.


"This book gives an excellent overview of practice, policies and theories that are used within schools as a social worker. In my many years of teaching, students consistently find this book easy to grasp." - Molly Fox, Minnesota State University

"School Social Work is relevant, comprehensive, realistic, and practical to the application of school social work practice." - Karla Vandenberg, Western Michigan University

"School Social Work does a wonderful overview of interventions at all tiers and stresses the importance of using an evidenced-informed practice within the school system. It is very user-friendly with pragmatic suggestions for assessment and interventions when working with individual students as well as the entire school community. I highly recommend this book to for all levels of school social work education." - Robin DeLuca-Acconi, Stonybrook University

"School Social Work is an excellent resource for an overview of the depth and breadth of the policies and practices relevant to students pursuing school social work." - Margaret Kubek, University of Wisconsin Green Bay

Table of Contents


    Section I: History and General Perspectives in School Social Work
    1. The Role of the School Social Worker: Historical Perspectives
    Robert Constable and Michael S. Kelly

    2. “Moving Through a Land of Wonders Wild and New”: Grounding School Social Work Practice in an Organizational, Ecosystemic Understanding of the School
    Kate Phillippo

    3. Evidence-Informed Practice in the Real World of School Social Work
    Michael S. Kelly

    4. Supervision for School Social Workers
    Charles Barr, Michael S. Kelly, and Amy Greenberg

    5. The Process of Ethical Decision Making in School Social Work: The Case of Confidentiality
    James C. Raines and Tory Cox

    6. Ethical and Legal Complexities of Confidentiality for School Social Workers
    Sandra Kopels

    Section II: The Policy Context for School Social Work Practice
    7. The Role of the Consultant in School Social Work
    Lindsay Evans, Kyle Walke, and Carol Rippey Massat

    8. Institutionalized Anti-Black Racism in U.S. Education: Implications for Antiracist School Social Work Practice
    Sheila R. Dennis

    9. Educational Mandates for Children with Disabilities: School Policies, Case Law, and the School Social Worker
    Sandra Kopels, Malcolm Rich, and Carol Rippey Massat

    10. A History of the Education of African American Children
    Cassandra McKay-Jackson and Carol Rippey Massat

    11. Policy and Law Affecting School Social Work with Marginalized Populations
    Cassandra McKay-Jackson and Carol Rippey Massat

    Section III: Assessment and Service Delivery Development in School Social Work
    12. School Social Workers and the Pre-referral Process: Problem-Solving Teams and Data-Driven Decision Making
    Michele Capio and Laura Swanlund

    13. School Social Workers and the Special Education Process: From Assessment to Individualized Education Programs to School Social Work Services
    Michael S. Kelly, Michele Capio, and Laura Swanlund, Robert Constable, Galen Thomas, and Erin Gleason Leyba

    14. The Screening and Assessment of Adaptive Behavior and Functional Performance
    James C. Raines and Holly Beck Riordan

    15. Using Assessments to Design Data-Driven Student and School Services: Multitiered Case Examples
    Sheila R. Dennis, Kyle Walke, and Jane Zobel

    Section IV: Policy Practice
    16. Policy Practice for School Social Workers
    Carol Rippey Massat and Elizabeth Lehr Essex

    17. Tackling Oppression in Schools: Skills for School Social Workers
    Andrew Brake and Leon Livingston

    18. Using Organizational Analysis in Schools
    Emily Shayman

    19. Policy Development and the School Social Worker
    Annahita Ball

    20. Making School Social Work Visible, Viable, and Valued
    Elizabeth Lehr Essex, Noriko Yamano, and Carol Rippey Massat

    Section V: Multitiered Interventions
    21. Multitiered Systems of Supports: A Framework for Improving Schools
    Hank Bohanon and JoAnne Malloy

    22. Preventing Bullying and School Violence: The Importance of Whole-School Approaches
    Gordon Capp and Michael S. Kelly

    23. Developing Safe, Responsive, and Respectful School Communities: Evidence-Informed Tier 1 Interventions
    Aidyn L. Iachini and Tasha M. Childs

    24. Evidence-Informed Suicide Prevention in Schools
    Michael Valenti, Mary Margaret Kerr, and Garry King

    25. Evidence-Informed Tier 2 Behavioral Interventions
    Brenda Coble Lindsey

    26. Group Work in Schools
    Elena C. Mrozinske

    27. School Social Work Practice with Families Across Multitiered Systems of Supports
    Samantha Bates

    28. Promoting Social-Emotional Learning for Children with Special Needs
    Aaron M. Thompson, Wendy M. Reinke, Keith C. Herman, and Anna M. Kim

    29. Evidence-Informed Mental Health Interventions in Schools
    Michael S. Kelly

    30. School-Based Trauma-Informed Care: Evidence-Informed Clinical and Organizational Considerations
    Michael S. Kelly

    Appendix A: The Wonderland of Social Work in the Schools, or How Alice Learned to Cope
    Sally G. Goren

    Appendix B: Putting it All Together: A Hypothetical Case Study: Devin
    Robert Constable