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"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.
Table of contents

His background in the arts and humanities, in contrast to the medical training of Freud and his followers, led Rank to incorporate a broader, more culturally-based perspective on human growth and development into his theoretical framework.

The Will refers to the organized, integrated personality engaged in positive, creative action. This concept of Will is pivotal to empowerment practice. Rank also identified time as a crucial component of the therapeutic process. Rank conducted an ongoing series of lectures and courses at the Pennsylvania School between and his death in Client growth and change occurred through mutual recognition of a problem and collaborative work toward its resolution.

Each phase had a specific role and task in the movement toward change. Third, the Functional Approach used agency function as an organizing concept. Agency function also established for the client the kind of help that could be offered, the terms on which this help was given, and what was required of the client in return for receiving this help.

What impact will you make?

With its traditional emphasis on understanding the environmental context and applying the model to a variety of client groups, the Pennsylvania School was in a unique position to respond to the demands of this new professional responsibility. Student field units were established in public welfare agencies in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware and public administrators were invited to teach as adjunct professors at the school. As a result, the Functional practice principles were honed in a public context.

Such renowned scholar-teachers as Harold Lewis and Ruth Smalley helped guide students and practitioners to think about the application of these ideas to such diverse areas as group work, casework, administration, and policy. These salient principles continue to shape the present day education and research at Penn and in the field. Penn was the first graduate-level school of social work to organize its curriculum around the construct of institutional racism.

In , the faculty made a firm commitment to recruit increased numbers of minority group students and faculty, and to incorporate content about the experiences of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States into the curriculum. The content and design of all courses in the MSW program addressed how institutional racism affects policy, program, procedures and practice in the organization and delivery of social services. Penn graduates carry the School commitment to individual and social change, and to expanding equity and fairness for all persons through principles of distributive justice, into their professional human service endeavors.

Although social change as a concept was not a specific part of the Functional Approach, the model encouraged incremental change in the client-worker-agency relationship. Penn extended this basic Functional concept to change processes in social groups, focusing also on significant changes in social policy. These principles apply to the work of Penn practitioners with all client systems: individuals, families, organizations, neighborhoods, and entire communities locally, nationally and globally.

They apply equally to the functions of agencies, the functions of social workers as professionals, and functions in social work education. As a consequence of the failure of societal arrangements, many clients confront a variety of persistent and acute problems for which they seek the assistance. The concept of empowerment integrates political, economic and psychosocial perspectives on human needs in the design and implementation of social services.

It reflects a positive view of human growth and development, as well as a belief in the capacity of both individuals and the environment to change. The principle of empowerment assumes, therefore, that social work interventions with poor and oppressed persons, in particular, must also address adverse environmental conditions.

Social Work in Schools

The practitioner begins the helping process by working to build a relationship with the client system that is based on respect, empathy, and trust. The practitioner seeks to maximize issues of equality, reciprocity, and appreciation for diversity. The Functionally-based relationship-building process rests on practitioner knowledge about human growth and development, including the many life span transitions experienced by individuals and families and the social resources that help or hinder human progress.

Knowledge of the group identity of clients is an essential component of the provision of service to individuals.


  • Author notes!
  • Social Work Course Descriptions & Syllabi.
  • Practice Guidelines for Delivery of School Social Work Services?
  • School of Social Policy & Practice.
  • Social Work Course Descriptions & Syllabi – School of Social Work – UW–Madison.

The group perspective enables the practitioner to analyze the environmental factors that adversely affect particular populations in our society, i. This linkage of individual-group-societal problems rests on three interrelated assumptions. First, the client may be representative of a group that has similar problems and needs. For example, some of the problems and needs of a family with disabled children may be shared by all families with disabled children in the community. Second, the client lives in an environment that may create other problems or exacerbate existing problems for others who share that environment.

Third, the client may be the victim of social injustices, such as racism, sexism, or ageism, shared by a larger population within the social service system or community. The group or population perspective can, therefore, reveal the need for broad-based systemic or policy solutions that will serve the entire population of clients.

The social work practitioner has the responsibility to work for the changes necessary to support such solutions. This responsibility includes promoting intra-organizational change, working together with other agencies through collaboratives and coalitions, and advocating for social change in the political arena.

Social Work in Schools: Principles and Practice by Linda Openshaw

Social work interventions are linked between client systems and the social resources necessary to solve the agreed-upon problem. The helping relationship is based on a structured, solution-focused process. The process is time-limited, with a beginning, middle, and end, and applies equally to single or multiple meetings and to work in all client system arenas. A similar process pertains to social group work, community development work, planned social change, and political action. The focus is on client self-determination, whereby the practitioner helps the client to partialize the problems into manageable components.

In developing a range of options that leads to greater independence, the practitioner recognizes that the goal is full client involvement in decision-making and action. The practitioner and client work together to design a follow-up strategy that will enable the client to sustain a new level of competency in using personal and community resources to meet future needs.

Social Work

In this paradigm, an agency becomes an organization that works with people, community programs, government, schools, etc. The mission of a social service agency and its specific mandates, services and functions provide the content, focus, and direction for the interaction between social work practitioner and client system. Agency functions evolve over time to meet the changing needs of clients and communities. These needs may be expressed through public policy or identified through ongoing assessment of community needs and agency performance.

Changes in agency functions, needs of clients, and social work practice are reciprocally influential. The social work practitioner must be an active participant in the design of accountability systems to ensure the maintenance of social work ethics and professional practice principles, and to assist the agency in serving client needs. New challenges in the provision of services requires planned changed , i. Such expansion pertains particularly to needs arising from increased privatization of social agencies, decentralization of responsibility for the social welfare of individuals and groups, and increased application of business principles to service providers.

The social work practitioner works for planned change within the social service system as part of a continuous effort to link social resources to needs. Planned change grows out of accountability and other monitoring and evaluation activities through which practitioners document and asses agency programs. These accountability systems provide information on service efficiency and effectiveness, link expenditures to specific client needs and services, and help social service agencies and other organizations delivering social welfare services justify expenditures to taxpayers and donors.

The social work practitioner brings a process orientation to the practice of social work in all forms of intervention and all settings. This assumes that the client system, the worker, the agency, and the external environment are constantly changing and interacting with each other. School social workers understand the nature and scope of education systems and learning organizations. They are able to facilitate processes and engage in practices that promote healthy growth and development in the learning environment.

School social workers work with other professionals within the educational setting to promote student development and learning. They collaborate with families and work with community resources to minimize risk factors, promote resiliency and respond to student needs. School social workers individually, or as part of a multidisciplinary team, systematically gather data using various methods and sources to assess the needs, characteristics and interactions of students within the school, family and community settings.

Required MSW Coursework

School social workers develop and implement intervention plans with individuals, groups, families, the school and the community. School social workers are committed to lifelong learning and they contribute to the professional development of others. Top Connecticut State Department of Education.

Standard 1: Foundations of Social Work Practice As leaders and members of student services teams, school social workers are the liaisons between home, school and community in promoting the success of all students by supporting their academic and social success. These principles serve as the basis for all standards that follow. Standard 2: Education and Learning Systems and Organizations School social workers understand the nature and scope of education systems and learning organizations.

Principles School social workers are committed to the importance of: improving the quality and effectiveness of the learning environment; and supporting activities to overcome institutional barriers to the equitable treatment of all individuals. Knowledge School social workers have knowledge and understanding of: the organization and structure of the local education system; the relationship between practice and policies affecting students; the financial base of the local education agency, the nature and scope of its authority, and the politics of school-community relations; and the uses of technology to enhance communication, facilitate programs, organize information and demonstrate accountability.

Performance School social workers demonstrate the ability to: identify areas of need that are not being addressed by the local education agency and community and work to create services that address these needs; improve educational programs through decisions and actions based on assessment, data collection and empirical evidence; develop and provide services that address the goals and mission of the educational institution and its academic standards; respect and work within the constraints established by the organizational system; and assist in the development of school improvement plans that include the expansion of school resources.