Pathfinder: International Social Work

The following Pathfinder identifies resources relating to the topic of International Social Work. Consult the Steps to Research and Writing a Paper for more detailed information.

1. Start by locating resources that provide an overview of your topic.

This will help you define terms in that discipline and provide background information in your subject area. Encyclopedias, handbooks and subject specific dictionaries offer good places to start.

Some titles specifically related to international social work are:

Borrmann, S., Klassen, M., & Spatscheck, C. (Eds.). (2007). International social work: Social problems, cultural issues and social work education. Opladen [Germany]: Barbara Budrich.

Campanini, A., & Frost, E. (Eds.). (2004). European social work: Commonalities and differences. Roma: Carocci.

Chatterjee, P. (2010). A story of ambivalent modernization in Bangladesh and West Bengal: The rise and fall of Bengali elitism in South Asia. New York: Peter Lang. [MSASS Emeriti Faculty]

Cox, D. R., & Pawar, M. S. (2006). International social work: Issues, strategies, and programs.Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage Publications.

Freitas, M. J. (2005). Children, young people and families: Examining social work practice in Europe.Roma: Carocci.

Gray, M., & Webb, S. A. (Eds.). (2010). International social work. (Vols. 1-4). Los Angeles: Sage.

Healy, L. M., Asamoah, Y., & Hokenstad, M. C. (Eds.). (2003). Models of international collaboration in social work education. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

Hokenstad, M. C., & Midgley, J. (Eds.). (1997). Issues in international social work: Global challenges for a new century. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Hokenstad, M. C., & Midgley, J. (Eds.). (2004). Lessons from abroad: Adapting international social welfare innovations.
Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Human development report (2004-). New York: Oxford University Press. Available ONLINE thru the Library Catalog .

Levinson, D. (1998). Ethnic groups worldwide: A ready reference handbook. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.

Lyons, K. H. (1999). International social work: Themes and perspectives. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.

Mayadas, N. S., Watts, T. D., & Elliott, D. (Eds.). (1997). International handbook on social work theory and practice . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Ponterotto, J. G. (Ed.). (2010). Handbook of multicultural counseling (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Ramanathan, C. S., & Link, R. J. (1999). All our futures: Principles and resources for social work practice in a global era. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole.

Tripodi, T., & Potocky-Tripodi, M. (2007). International social work research: Issues and prospects.Oxford [UK], New York: Oxford University Press.

United States. Social Security Administration. Office of Research and Statistics. (1969-). Social security programs throughout the world. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Also Available Online. Note: Publisher changed format to 4 country volumes every two years. The four country volumes are called 1/The Americas, 2/Africa, 3/Europe, and 4/Asia & the Pacific. Check the catalog and the online version for the latest volumes of each section.

Back to Top

2. Search the online catalog for additional books that will give you the history, context, definitions and theories.

Below are suggested keywords to use when searching for information. You can use them when searching the catalog or the research databases. Try combining them with another concept having to do with your subject:

  • Cross cultural studies
  • International adoption
  • International community
  • International develop*
  • International organiz*
  • International social policy
  • International social service
  • International social welfare
  • International social work
  • International social work education
  • Multicultural social work
  • Social Security
  • Welfare state international

Also, using these subject headings in the library catalog may improve your search results:

Back to Top

3. Find some general articles on your topic.

After you have located books on your topic, start looking for general journal articles on your subject. Several general databases include:

  • Academic Search Complete
    Subjects: most academic topics
    Formats: journals, magazines, newspapers, books, book reviews
    Publication dates: 1887-present
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Subjects: news, law, business
    Formats: newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, company profiles, court cases
    Publication dates: most are 1990s – present; court cases are 1789 – present
  • Article First (OCLC)
    Subjects: business, science, humanities, social sciences, medicine, technology, popular culture
    Formats: journal articles
    Publication dates: 1990 – present
  • Summon
    Subjects: interdisciplinary
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings, newspapers, images, databases and more available at CWRU
    Publication dates: Ongoing
  • TOPICsearch
    Subjects: current events, social, political and economic issues, scientific discoveries
    Formats: journal articles, magazine articles, biographies, book reviews, government information, public opinion polls, international newspapers
    Publication dates: 1990 – present

These databases are interdisciplinary and most provide a mix of popular magazine articles and scholarly research articles.

Back to Top

4. Search subject specific databases for more scholarly journal articles.

Once you have assembled general journal articles on your topic, you can begin focusing on scholarly research articles. Citations, abstracts and, sometimes, the full-text of journal articles are found in a variety of databases.

Literature on adoption and/or foster care is found in many disciplines. Some of the databases that have articles on this topic include:

  • Access UN (United Nations)
    Subjects: current and retrospective United Nations documents and publications
    Formats: Official Records, masthead documents, draft resolutions, meeting records, UN Sales Publications, and the UN Treaty Series citations
    Publication dates: 1966 – present
  • AgeLine
    Subjects: aging, gerontology
    Formats: journal articles, books, book chapters
    Publication dates: Selected coverage 1966 to 1977; inclusive coverage from 1978 to present
  • Chicano Database
    Subjects: Mexican-American and Latino topics; Spanish Speaking Mental Health Database, covering psychological, sociological, and educational literature
    Formats: journal articles, books, book chapters, newspaper articles
    Publication dates: 1967 – present
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
    Subjects: child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption
    Formats: print and electronic publications, websites, databases, and online learning tools
    Publication dates: 1927-present
  • Ethnic Newswatch
    Subjects: ethnic, minority, and native press
    Formats: newspaper articles, magazine articles, journal articles
    Publication dates: 1990 – present
  • HAPI–Hispanic American Periodicals Index
    Subjects: political, economic, and social issues to the arts and humanities of Latin America and the Caribbean
    Formats: journal articles
    Publication dates: 1970 – present
  • Historical Abstracts
    Subjects: world history (excluding the United States and Canada)
    Formats: journal articles, magazine articles, books
    Publication dates: 1450 – present
  • PsycINFO
    Subjects: psychology and related disciplines
    Formats: journal articles, books, dissertations
    Publication dates: 17th century – present
  • Social Work Abstracts
    Subjects: addictions, aging, child and family welfare, community organization, homelessness, human services, mental health, therapy
    Formats: journal articles
    Publication dates: 1965-present
  • SocINDEX
    Subjects: sociology, criminal justice, demography, ethnic and racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family, religion, social development, social psychology, social structure, social work, socio-cultural anthropology, substance abuse, violence
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings
    Publication dates: 1895-present
  • Women’s Studies International
    Subjects: feminist research in sociology, history, political science and economy, public policy, international relations, arts and humanities, business and education
    Formats: journals, newsletters, bulletins, books, book chapters, reports, theses, dissertations and grey literature
    Publication dates: 1972-present

Back to Top

5. Browse current issues of journals that contain literature on your topic.

Journals that are most likely to contain information on the topic of international social work include:

Aging International online at: OhioLINK, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Australian Social Work online at: Taylor & Francis Online. OhioLINK (v.55-58, 2002-2005 only). E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

British Journal of Social Work online at: OhioLINK, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Canadian Social Work Review online at: (Public catalog)

Caribbean Journal of Social Work online at: EBSCOhost Research Databases, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

European Journal of Social Work online at: Taylor & Francis Online. (Public catalog)

Indian Journal of Social Work online at:EBSCOhost Research Databases. (Public catalog)

International Journal of Aging & Human Development online at: Sage Journals. (Public catalog)

International Journal of Child & Family Welfare Full Text NOT Available Online. [Table of Contents & Abstracts ONLY–v.5-v.10(1-2)– NO LINKS] [Full Bibliography of Articles–v.5-v.10(1-2)–Citations ONLY– NO LINKS] (Public catalog)

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry online at:OhioLINK, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

International Journal of Group Psychotherapy online at: Guilford. (Public catalog)

International Journal of Social Psychiatry online at:OhioLINK . (Public catalog)

International Journal of Social Welfare online at: OhioLINK, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

International Social Work online at: OhioLINK, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

New Global Development online at: (Public catalog) [Ceased]

Professional Development online at:EBSCOhost Research Databases. (Public catalog)

Social Development Issues online at:EBSCOhost Research Databases. (Public catalog)

Voluntas online at:OhioLINK, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Additional journals that cover general topics in Sociology and social studies are available in the Electronic Journal Center and the E-Journal Portal.

Back to Top

6. Search online for additional information.

Information located through the Internet can provide supplemental material to scholarly research articles. Material retrieved from websites should always be evaluated for currency, authorship, bias and accuracy.

Here are selected websites with information on international social work:

Back to Top

7. Evaluate the information you have collected from books and articles.

Consult the bibliographies of the books and articles you have selected. This will lead you to additional references and authors to investigate. Make notes of the gaps in your literature so that you can use this information when you do additional searches. Click here for more information on evaluating the information you have collected .