School social work enters its second century as a profession still conflicted about its central mission. Are school social workers meant to be in-house clinicians providing services to kids in need, or are they meant to be involved in program development to enhance the social and emotional learning of all students in a school? How much time should they devote to serving whole families, or consulting with teachers? Whatever school social workers claim to do in their schools, its clear that they are going to have to prove that they are effective doing it. The demands of federal legislation like No Child Left Behind and state requirements for certification are making it increasingly necessary that school social workers demonstrate that they are highly qualified school-based mental health and social service professionals who can demonstrate outcomes that impact school bottom line issues like student achievement, attendance, and behavior. Rather than recoil from this pressure, school social workers can utilize the skills of evidence based practice (EBP) to help them enhance both their effectiveness and their knowledge of interventions that work to help students, teachers, parents, and staff in school contexts. A succinct SSWAA Workshop volume, The Domains and Demands of School Social Work Practice demonstrates how EBP can be integrated into school social workers daily practice, advancing the debate about where social workers can and should intervene, and how to do so effectively. Highlighting primary clinical issues, family problems, and school-wide needs faced by school social workers, it helps practitioners make the best use of evidence to be flexible, effective advocates at all levels of practice.
- Publication Date:
- 25 / 03 / 2008