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Social Workers' Desk Reference

Fourth Edition

Lisa Rapp-McCall, Al Roberts, and Kevin Corcoran

Publication Date - 04 February 2022

ISBN: 9780190095543

1472 pages
7 x 10 inches

In Stock


People all over the world are confronted daily by issues such as poverty, a lack of access to quality education, unaffordable and or inadequate housing, and a lack of needed health and mental services. These issues are dynamic and varied, and social workers need to have access to relevant and timely evidence-based materials to meet the needs of those facing them. The Social Workers' Desk Reference is a comprehensive resource for practicing social workers.

This essential reference is extraordinarily comprehensive and provides updated information in 15 parts covering the profession and its overarching themes; values, ethics, licensure; theoretical constructs; assessment; treatment plans; techniques; individual, family, and group Interventions; evidence-based practice; case management; community practice; vulnerable populations; behavioral and mental health; school social work; military social work; and forensic social work. All 163 chapters, written by experts in the field, are focused, practical, and contain critical content in addition to websites and updated references.

The fourth edition follows in the tradition of the first three editions and updates previous topics but fearlessly addresses current salient subjects such as white nationalism, gaming disorder, substance abuse, LGBTQ+ populations, suicide, sexual violence in the military, smart decarceration, the legacy of racism, neurobiology, technology and social work practice, Islamophobia, pseudoscientific behavioral and mental health treatments, emerging fields of practice, and more. It has greatly expanded its section on vulnerable populations to address the wide variety of diversity in the U.S.

New to this Edition

  • Expanded sections on current hot topics such as white nationalism, gaming disorder, substance abuse, LGBTQ+ populations, suicide, sexual violence in the military
  • Greatly expanded section on vulnerable populations to address the wide variety of diversity in the U.S.


  • Includes current evidence-supported information on a wide variety of topics related to working as a social worker
  • Relevant, focused, practical information including helpful resources and further references on each topic
  • Over 200 diverse subject matter experts discuss relevant topics

About the Author(s)

Lisa Rapp-McCall, MSW, Ph.D, Professor, Graduate Social Work Program, and Research Associate, Maribeth Durst Applied Research Institute at Saint Leo University. Lisa served as an associate editor on the third edition of the Social Worker's Desk Reference.

Kevin Corcoran, JD, PhD, MSW, Professor, University of Alabama School of Social Work. Kevin was the Editor-in-Chief for the third edition of Social Worker's Desk Reference, has been an editor of multiple journals, and has organized several large-scale publishing projects including six editions of the Measures of Clinical Practice volumes.

Al Roberts was was Professor of Social Work and Criminal Justice, Rutgers University and the editor of the first and second editions of the Social Workers' Desk Reference.

Table of Contents

    Part I: The Professional Social Worker and Overarching Themes for the Profession
    1. Overview of the Social Work Profession.
    Lisa Cox
    2. Professionalism in the Field of Social Work
    Patricia Senger, Courtney Weist
    3. Established Fields of Social Work Practice
    Valerie Arendt
    4. Self-Care for Social Workers
    Erlene Gise-Owens
    Jay Miller
    5. Safety for Social Workers: Responding for Workplace Violence
    Pam Criss
    6. Technology and Social Work Practice
    Melanie Sage, Jonathan B. Singer
    7. Leadership in Social Work: A New Direction
    Lakeya Cherry
    8. Disasters in times of Sheltering in Place: Social Work and the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Daphne S, Cain
    9. Suicide: An Overview
    Jonathan B. Singer
    10. LGBTQ+ Affirming Practice in Social Work
    Tyler M. Arguello
    11. Social Justice in Social Work: A Foundational Understanding
    Natasha Wine Miller Bragg
    12. Violence and Social Work
    Lisa Rapp-McCall
    13. Emerging Fields of Practice in American Social work
    Kathryn Conley Wehrmann

    Part II: Social Work Values, Ethics, and Licensing Standards
    1. Ethical Issues in Social Work
    Frederic G. Reamer
    2. Regulating Social Work for the Public Good and for Professional Integrity
    Dorinda N. Noble
    3. Navigating Complex Boundary Challenges
    Kimberly Strom
    4. Privacy, Confidentiality and Privileged Communication
    Frederic G. Reamer
    5. Risk Management in Social Work
    Frederic G. Reamer
    6. Social Work and Digital Technology: Ethical Issues
    Frederic G. Reamer

    Part III: Theoretical Foundations and Treatment Approaches in Clinical Social Work
    7. Theoretical Pluralism and Integrative Perspectives in Social Work Practice
    William Borden
    8. The Life Model of Social Work Practice: An Overview
    Alex Gitterman, Carolyn Knight
    9. The Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Perspective
    Melissa D. Grady, Randall O'Toole
    10. Person Centered Therapy
    Tara Bohley
    11. Principles of Attachment Theory for Social Work Practice
    Shelley Cohen Konrad
    12. Fundamentals of Brief Treatment
    Jan Ligon
    13. Solution-focused Brief Therapy
    Anao Zhang, Cynthia Franklin
    14. Fundamental Principles of Behavioral Social Work
    Denise E. Bronson
    15. Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
    Theresa J. Early, M. Elizabeth Vonk
    29. Task-Centered Practice
    Anne E. Fortune, Blanca Ramos, William J. Reid
    30. Crisis Intervention: Frameworks for Social Worker Practice
    Yvonne Eaton-Stull
    31. Narrative Therapy
    Mark Smith
    32. A Family Resilience Framework
    Froma Walsh
    33. Family Systems
    Tara Bohley, Michael McGuire
    34. Critical Theories for Social Work Practice
    Travis Albritton, William Hall, L.B. Klein
    35. The Neurobiology of Toxic Stress: Implications for Social Work
    Julie M. Rosenzweig, Stephanie A. Sundborg
    36. Harm Reduction for Problematic Substance Abuse
    Michael McGuire
    37. Fundamental Principles of Trauma Interventions
    Joan M. Blakey

    Part IV: Assessment in Social Work Practice: Knowledge and Skills
    38. Use of Rapid Assessment Instruments (RAIs) in Clinical Social Work Practice
    Michael O. Killian, David W. Springer
    39. Using Assessment Tools with Children
    Craig Winston Lecroy
    40. Assessment Protocols and Rapid Assessment Tools with Adolescents
    David W. Springer, Stephen J. Tripodi, Stephanie Kennedy
    41. Using Standardized Tests and Instruments in Family Assessments
    Jacqueline Corcoran
    42. Using Genograms to Map Family Patterns
    Monica McGoldrick
    43. Assessment for Child Trafficking Victims
    Javonda Williams, Chris Lim, Valerie Trull
    44. Spiritual Assessment
    Chris Stewart
    45. Identification, Screening, and Referral for Treatment of Problematic and Disordered Gambling
    Jody Bechtold, Alyssa N. Wilson
    46. Identification, Screening, and Referral for Gaming Disorder
    Stephanie Diez, Jody Bechtold

    Part V: Developing and Implementing Treatment Plans with Specific Groups and Disorders
    47. Treatment Planning for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    Schuyler Cunningham, Tim Norman
    48. Play Therapy
    Nancy Boyd Webb
    49. Dating Violence
    Victoria A. Anyikwa
    50. Social Anxiety Disorder
    Bruce A. Thyer
    51. Adult Oncology Social Work
    Sarah F. Kurker
    52. Animal-Assisted Interventions
    Diane Scotland-Coogan, Elizabeth Ruegg
    53. Dementia and Family Caregiving
    Noelle Fields, Joanna Glover
    54. Geriatric Depression: Assessment and Treatment
    Zvi D. Gellis, Bonnie Kenaley
    55. Treatment Planning with Families: An Evidence-Based Approach
    Cathleen Jordan, Cynthia Franklin
    56. Developing and Facilitating Mutual Aid Groups
    Carolyn Knight, Alex Gitterman

    Part VI: Guidelines for Specific Techniques
    57. Introduction to Direct Practice from a Technique Perspective
    Francis J. Turner, Susan P. Robbins
    58. Cognitive Restructuring Techniques
    Bruce A. Thyer
    59. Motivational Interviewing
    Jean Paul Hare, Kirk von Sternberg, Shannon Johnson, Mary M. Velasquez
    60. Neurofeedback: An Evidence based non-medication Intervention
    Schuyler Cunningham, Tim Norman, Steven Warner
    61. Mindfulness-based Social Work Techniques
    Kielty Turner
    62. The Miracle and Scaling Questions for Building Solutions
    Mo Yee Lee, Ray Eads, Erica Magier
    63. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
    Tonya Edmund, Molly M. McLay
    64. Developing Successful Relationships: The Therapeutic and Group Alliances
    Lawrence Shulman
    65. Best Practices: Parenting Techniques
    Carolyn Hilarski
    66. Grief, Loss and Trauma: A Strengths-Based Approach
    Elizabeth C. Pomeroy, Renee Bradford Garcia, Kathleen A. Hill
    67. Working with Clients who have recovered Memories
    Susan P. Robbins

    Part VII: Guidelines for Specific Interventions
    68. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for youth and adults
    Skyler Milligan Lecroy
    69. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
    Andre Ivanoff, Laura Miller, Claire A. Cunningham
    70. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    Danielle L. Demailo
    71. Exposure Therapy
    Keith Bredemeier, Edna B. Foa
    72. An Introduction to Problem Solving Therapy
    Elizabeth S. Phillips, Hannah M. Thomson
    73. Educational Interventions: Principles for Practice
    Kimberly Strom
    74. The Interface of Psychiatric Medications and Social Work Revisited
    Kia J. Bentlet, Joseph Walsh
    75. Trauma-Focused Therapy for Children and Adolescents
    Alison Salloum, Melissa A. Thompson
    76. Effective Couple and Family Treatment for Client Populations
    Cynthia Franklin, Catheleen Jordan, Laura M. Hopson
    77. Family Psychoeducation for Families of Children and Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses
    Mary C. Acri, Mary M. McKay
    78. Functional Family Therapy for Youth Behavioral Problems
    John A. Cosgrove, Helen Hauser Midouhas
    79. Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy
    Katherine J.W. Baucom, Felicia de la Garza-Mercer, Monique C. Aguirre, Andrew Christensen
    80. Parent training
    Randy Magen
    81. Best Practices in Social work with Groups Part 1: Foundations
    Mark J. MacGowan, Alice Schmidt Hanbidge
    82. Best Practices in Social Work with Groups Part 2: Beginnings to Endings
    Mark J. MacGowan, Alice Schmidt Hanbidge
    83. Mutual-Aid Groups
    Olga Molina
    84. Social Skills Training and Behavioral Groups
    Craig Winston Lecroy

    Part VIII - Evidence-Based Practice
    85. What is Evidence-Based Practice?
    Bruce A. Thyer
    86. Posing Well-Structured Questions for Evidence-Informed Practice-Step 1
    Eileen Gambrill
    87. Locating Research Results for Evidence-Based Practice-Step 2
    James Drisko, Melissa D. Grady
    88. Critically Appraising Evidence for its Validity and Applicability-Step 3
    Danielle E. Parrish, Allen Rubin
    89. Integrating Information from Diverse Sources in Evidence-Based Practice-Step 4
    Eileen Gambrill
    90. Evaluating Our Effectiveness in Carrying Out Evidence-Based Practice-Step 5
    Bruce A. Thyer

    Part IX: Case Management Guidelines
    91. Strengths-based Case Management
    David C. Kondrat
    92. Case Management and Child Welfare
    Khalilah L. Caines, Jayson Caines
    93. Case Management and Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    Richard S. Glaesser
    94. Case Management with Refugees and Asylum Seekers
    Leticia Villarreal Sosa, Suhad Tabahi
    95. Social Work Case Management in Medical Settings
    Michael Campbell, Roberta Restaino
    96. Case Management with persons with Serious Mental Illness
    David C. Kondrat, Theresa J. Early
    97. Case Management for Human Trafficking Child Victims
    Javonda Williams, Chris Lim, Valerie Trull
    98. Case Management with Older Adults
    Daniel S. Gardner, Aaron Rooney

    Part X: Community Practice
    99. Consensus Organizing: Facilitating Community Change
    Mary Ohmer
    100. Community Organizing Principles and Practice Guidelines
    Terry Mizrahi
    101. Principles and Practices in African American Community Development
    Colita Nichols Fairfax
    102. The Fair Food Program: A Worker-Led Model for Human Rights in Practice
    Vitina L.P. Monacello
    103. Social Media: Maximizing the Power of Online Activism
    Randy Shaw
    104. Asset-Based Community Development
    John L. McKnight, Cormac Russell
    105. Sport Social Work
    Stacy E. Kratz, Stephanie E. Rosado
    106. Community Resilience to Natural Disasters: A Social Capital Approach
    Grace L. Whaley, Lenore Arlee, Heather Baker, Betty Pfefferbaum
    107. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCS) and Community Practice
    David K. Androff
    108. Community Recovery from Mass Shootings
    Rob Gordon, Estelli Ramos, Julie Steen

    Part XI: Working with Vulnerable Populations and Persons at Risk
    109. The Legacy of Racism for Social Work Practice Today and What to do about it
    Margaret E. Pittman, Elizabeth Perryman, Deidre McDaniel, M. Taqi Tirmazi
    110. Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice
    Altaf Husain, Katie Ishizuka
    111.Understanding the Risks and Vulnerabilities African American Children Face due to Racism: The Critical Role of Race Relevant Responses
    Eric Kyere
    112. Social Work Practice with Indigenous and Natives Peoples
    Andrea G. Tamburro, Shawnee; Paul-Rene Tamburro, Abenaki
    113. Social Work Practice with Latinas/Latinos/Latinx
    Susana E. Mariscal, Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Alan J. Dettlaff
    114. Social Work Practice with African American Families: An Afrocentric Intergenerational Solidarity Model
    Cheryl Waites Spellman
    115. Social Work Practice with Asians and Pacific Islanders
    Jessica Euna Lee, Khadija Khaja
    116. Social Work Practice with LGBTQ+ Populations
    Richard A. Brandon-Friedman
    117. Best Practices for Refugee Resettlement
    Bret Webet, Carenlee Barkdull, Isaac Karikari, Reginald Tarr
    118. White Nationalism
    Aniko Felix, Khadija Khaja, Jeremy Price
    119. Islamophobia
    Khadija Khaja, Wafa Alhajri
    120. Rural Social Work Practice
    Barb Pierce, Stephanie Boys

    Part XII: Behavioral and Mental Health
    121. Substance Use Disorders: Overview, Special Populations, and Treatment Considerations
    Sara Beeler-Stinn, Autumn Asher Blackdeer, David A. Patterson Silver Wolf
    122. Treatment of Tobacco Use Disorder
    Susan B. Trout, Michael H. Baca-Atlas, Stafani N. Baca-Atlas
    123. Spiritual Assessment and Intervention
    David R. Hodge
    124. Assessment and Treatment for Specific Phobia
    Bruce A. Thyer
    125. Assessment, Prevention, and Intervention with Suicidal Youth
    Johnathan B. Singer, Hanna Szlyk, Kimberly H. McManama O'Brien
    126. Adolescent Mental Health
    Craig Winston Lecroy
    127. The Physical Health of People with Serious Mental Illness
    Mark R. Hawes, Leopoldo J. Cabassa
    128. Reducing Harmful Alcohol Use: Integrating a Screening and Brief Interventions into Routine Social Work Practice
    Sara Beeler-Stinn, Autumn Asher Blackdeer, David A. Patterson Silver Wolf
    129. Understanding and Treating Autism
    Annette L. Becklund
    130. Identification, diagnosis, and treatment of Depression in Primary Care
    Katherine Sanchez, Alan Kunz-Lomelin, Marisol Vargas Vilugron
    131. Pseudoscientific Behavioral and Mental Health Treatments
    Bruce A. Thyer
    132. The Importance of Empathy to Social Work Practice
    Melanie Reyes, Elizabeth A. Segal, Cynthia A. Lietz
    133. Multifamily Behavioral Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    Barbara Van Noppen

    Part XIII: School Social Work
    134. Evidence-Based Practice and School Social Work
    Roberto Lucio, James C. Raines
    135. Trauma Informed Schools
    Eileen Dombo, Christine Anlauf Sabatino
    136. Violence Prevention in Schools
    Matthew J. Cuellar
    137. Solution-focused Brief Therapy Interventions for At-Risk Students in School
    Cynthia Franklin, Xiao Ding, Johnny S. Kim, Michael S. Kelly, Stephen J. Tripodi
    138. School Social Work and Social-Emotional Learning
    Kevin Tan, Brenda Lindsey
    139. School Social Work with Latinx Immigrant Youth and Families
    Leticia Villarreal Sosa
    140. Using Data and Evidence in Schools
    Natasha K. Bowen
    141. School Social Work Advocacy and Leadership in Consequential Times
    Robert Lucio, Emily Shayman, Michael S. Kelly

    Part XIV: Military Social Work
    142. Clinical Practice with Military Families and Children
    David Bringhurst, Shawnmari Kaiser
    143. Serving the Military Spouse: Current Issues and related Supports and Resources
    Elisa Borah
    144. Supporting Older Veterans within Clinical Practice
    Kari L. Fletcher, Kathryn K. Basham
    145. Considerations for Practice with LGBT Service members and Veterans
    Kristen Kavanaugh
    146. Resilience-Based Interventions for Trauma-Exposed Military Veterans
    Shoba Sreenivasan, Robert T. Rubin, Leslie Martin
    147. Clinical Conceptualization of the Trauma that Results from Sexual Violence in the Military
    Kristen Zaleski, Fred P. Stone
    148. Veteran Suicide
    Fred P. Stone
    149. Military Culture and Help-Seeking
    Derrick Kranke, Shant A. Barmak
    150. Supervising Military-Connected Practice: An Inclusive and Informed Case Consultation Based Approach
    Kari L. Fletcher, Eugenia L. Weiss

    Part XV: Forensic Social Work
    151. At the Intersection of Social Work and the Law
    Stacey D. Hardy-Chandler
    152. The School-to-Prison Pipeline
    Susan McCarter
    153. Testifying in Child Abuse Cases
    Viola Vaughan-Eden
    154. Assessing and Treating Adolescent Sex Offenders
    Karen S. Knox
    155. Intimate Partner Violence
    Marcela Sarmiento Mellinger
    156. Experts in Family Court
    Kathleen Leilani Ja Sook Bergquist
    157. Smart Decarceration and Social Work
    Carrie Pettus-Davis
    158. Neurobiology of Trauma for First Responders and Social Workers
    Leslie Weisman
    159. Effective Community Reentry from Prison
    Stacey D. Hardy-Chandler, Bryan W. Jackson
    160. Animal-Assisted Social Work in Prisons
    Yvonne Eaton-Stull
    161. The Question of Immigration and Crime
    Carol Cleaveland
    162. Death Penalty Mitigation
    Emily Reeder Abili
    163. The Well-being of Older Adults in Prison
    Paul G. Clark

    Author Index
    Subject Index