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School Social Work, Eighth Edition

Practice, Policy, and Research

Eighth Edition

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

Publication Date - September 2015

ISBN: 9780190615628

704 pages
6 x 8.9 inches

Retail Price to Students: $100.00


School Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research has been a foundational guide to the profession for over 40 years. The first comprehensive introduction to the field, the book has featured the writings of the pioneers in the field while also accommodating the remarkable changes and growing complexities of the profession with each subsequent revision. The profession continues to grow in both the US and internationally, despite the ever-present concerns surrounding limited resources, budgets, and social worker to student ratios. Contemporary school social work takes place throughout the whole school and community, it takes place through policy change, and it takes place with at-risk students and their families as well as through individual and group work with students who struggle both emotionally and academically. This book reflects the many ways that school social work practice impacts academic, behavioral, and social outcomes for both youths and the broader school community.

This revision features the contributions of 21 new scholars who bring their expertise in the field to this classic text. There are ten all-new chapters that reflect the current and emerging issues central to the profession, and eight extensive revisions of chapters from the previous edition. The eighth edition strengthens the book's focus on evidence informed practice, and places all content within the context of the prevailing multi-tiered model of school interventions.


  • All new chapters addressing the demands put upon entry level school social workers, Common Core standards for social emotional learning, suicide prevention, and supervision in the school setting
  • New focus integrated throughout on the role of policy practice in achieving change for individual students, schools, and communities
  • Issues of diversity and cultural competencies are threaded through each chapter
  • This title can be successfully used for a single freestanding course in school social work or across a multiple-course concentration on the subject

About the Author(s)

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.

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.

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.


School Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research is a practical, informative resource that provides an ample overview of the research and resources necessary to successfully meet the social worker's practic needs in public school systems throughout the world.... This book enlarges understanding, sharpens awareness, and improves effectiveness of practice as it dares readers, researchers, policy makers, educators, and school social workers to engage in ongoing research through the various means contained in its target chapters. -Social Development Issues 39.3

"School social work is a diverse practice arena whose pratice and policy implications are largely defined locally and contextually. Seasoned social workers who desire to stay informed about trends and developments beyond their local interpretations and expressions will find aspects of this text to be informative, particularly the role of evidence-informed practice... Interns and less experienced school social workers will find foundational wisdom throughout the text. This book is most useful for graduate social work students in school-based field placements." -School Social Work Journal

Table of Contents

    Section I History and General Perspectives in School Social Work
    Chapter 1. The Role of the School Social Worker
    Chapter 2. The Characteristic Focus of the Social Worker in the Public Schools
    Chapter 3. "Moving Through a Land of Wonders Wild and New": Grounding School Social Work Practice in an Organizational, Ecosystemic Understanding of the School
    Chapter 4. Evidence Informed Practice in the Real World of School Social Work
    Chapter 5. School Social Work Supervision
    Chapter 6. The Process of Ethical Decision Making in School Social Work
    Chapter 7. Ethical and Legal Complexities of Confidentiality for School Social Workers
    Chapter 8. School Social Workers: School-Based Consultants Supporting a Multi-Tiered System of In-Direct Service
    Section II The Policy Context for School Social Work Practice
    Chapter 9. Educational Mandates for Children with Disabilities: School Policies, Case law and the School Social Worker
    Chapter 10. The School Social Work Contribution to Meeting National Standards for Social Emotional Learning
    Chapter 11. A History of the Education of African American Children
    Chapter 12. Policy and Law Affecting School Social Work with Vulnerable Populations
    Chapter 13. Bullying and Sexual Harassment in Schools
    Section III Assessment and Practice-Based Research in School Social Work
    Chapter 14. School Social Workers and the Pre-Referral Process: Problem-Solving Teams and Data-Driven Decision Making
    Chapter 15. School Social Workers and the Special Education Process: From Assessment to IEPs to School Social Work Services
    Chapter 16. The Screening and Assessment of Adaptive Behavior
    Chapter 17. Needs Assessment: A Tool of Policy Practice in School Social Work
    Chapter 18. Practitioner Research in the Schools: Becoming a Change Agent
    Section IV Policy Practice
    Chapter 19. Policy Practice for School Social Workers
    Chapter 20. Tackling Oppression in Schools: Skills for School Social Workers
    Chapter 21. Schools as Organizations
    Chapter 22. Policy Development and the School Social Worker
    Chapter 23. Making School Social Work Visible, Viable, and Valued in Schools
    Section V Tier I Interventions
    Chapter 24. Developing Safe, Responsive, and Respectful School Communities: Evidence Informed Tier 1 Interventions
    Chapter 25. Evidence Informed Suicide Prevention in Schools
    Section VI Tier Two Interventions in Schools: Working with At-Risk Students
    Chapter 26. Evidence Informed Tier 2 Behavioral Interventions for At-Risk Students
    Chapter 27. Teaching Social Skills in School Settings
    Chapter 28. Working with Groups in Schools: Planning for and Working with Group Process
    Chapter 29. Evaluation of School-Based Counseling Groups
    Section VII Tier Three Interventions in Schools
    Chapter 30. School Social Work Practice with Families of At-Risk Students
    Chapter 31. Promoting Social Emotional Learning for Children with Special Needs
    Chapter 32. Evidence Informed Mental Health Practice in Schools
    Chapter 33. School-based Trauma-informed Care for Traumatic Events: Clinical and Organizational Practice
    Appendix A The Practice of School Social Work
    Appendix B The Wonderland of Social Work in the Schools or "How Alice Learned to Cope"
    Appendix C Putting It All Together: A Hypothetical Case Study (Devin)

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