Pathfinder: School Social Work
The following Pathfinder is intended to step you through the basic library research process for identifying resources relating to the School Social Work Program which is a part of the Children, Youth and Families Concentration.
Consult the Steps to Research and Writing a Paper for more detailed information.
References to book and journal titles and their call numbers and locations are specific to items owned by the MSASS Harris Library and Case Western Reserve University libraries (although in most cases the resources can be found in other academic and public libraries). The websites that are included at the end of the Pathfinder are intended as a starting point for research on the Internet and are not meant to be inclusive.
1. Start by locating resources that provide an overview of your topic.
Some titles specifically related to school social work are:
Allen-Meares, P. (Ed.). (2010). Social work services in schools (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Ammerman, R.T., & Hersen, M. (Eds.). (1997). Handbook of prevention and treatment with children and adolescents: Intervention in thereal world context. New York : John Wiley & Sons.
Bornstein, M. H. (Ed.). (2002).
Handbook of parenting (2nd ed., Vols. 1-5). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bye, L., & Alvarez, M. (Eds.). (2007). School social work: Theory to practice. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
Clark, J. P., & Alvarez, M. E. (Eds.). (2010). Response to intervention: A guide for school social workers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Cohen, J. J., & Fish, M. C. (1993). Handbook of school-based interventions: Resolving student problems and promoting healthy educational environments. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Franklin, C., Harris, M. B., & Allen-Meares, P. (Eds.). (2006). The school services sourcebook: A guide for school-based professionals. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
Goldstein, A.P., & Conoley, J.C. (Eds.). (1997). School violence intervention: A practical handbook. New York: Guilford Press.
Jongsma, A. E., & Knapp, S. E. (2002). The school counseling and school social work treatment planner. New York: Wiley.
Malmquist, C.P. (1985).
Handbook of adolescence: Psychopathology, antisocial development,psychotherapy. New York: J. Aronson.
Massat, C. R. (Ed.). (2009). School social work: Practice, policy, and research (7th ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.
Noshpitz, J. D. (Editor-in-chief). (1997-1998). Handbook of child and adolescent psychiatry (Vols. 1-7). New York: Wiley.
School Social Work Journal, & Massat, C. R. (Ed.). (2006). One hundred years of school social work: Past, present, and future 1906-2006. Lombard, IL: Lyceum Books. [MSASS NOTE: Also available as v. 30, no. 3, Summer 2006 in the bound journal: School Social Work Journal]
2. Search the online catalog for additional books that will give you the history, context, definitions and theories.
Define the terms that you want to use when you are doing a search for materials. If you do a subject search in the online catalog, the system limits you to using predefined Library of Congress Subject Headings. Click here for more information on doing a subject search.
Some subject headings for school social work (in alphabetical order):
- Academic achievement
- Community and school
- Education-Parent participation
- Education-United States
- Educational counseling
- Educational tests and measurements
- Home and school
- Problem children
- School children
- School discipline
- School psychology
- School social work
- School violence
- Student counselors
Doing a keyword search will give you many more titles than a subject search and may help you focus the results. When you do a keyword search the system looks in the title, subject and table of contents fields. Click here for more information on doing a keyword search.
To do effective keyword searching, you will need to think of concepts and terms related to your topic. Consulting a thesaurus will help you find synonyms forconcepts. Click here for a list of thesauri owned by the Harris Library.
The following thesaurus provides school social work-related terms and concepts: Thesaurus of ERIC descriptors. (1995). (13th edition). Washington, D.C.: Educational Research Information Center, Bureau of Research. (Also available ONLINE.)
In addition to the subject headings above, here are some general terms (in alphabetical order) to use when searching for information on school social work. When you narrow your search you will make an additional list specific to your topic.
NOTE: Using a system’s truncating symbol (in this example, the asterisk “*”) at the end of the root word will provide you with records using variations of that word.
- Behavior management
- Community schools
- Early intervention
- High school
- Middle school
- Parent involvement
- Partnership (partnership*)
- Peer pressure
- Preschool (preschool*)
- School age
- School linked services
- School social work
- Support groups
- Teaching teams
3. Find some general articles on your topic.
After you have located books on your topic, you will want to look for general journal articles in your subject area. Case and OhioLINK offer several general databases. These include: Academic Search Complete, Lexis-Nexis Academic, Article First (OCLC), Social Sciences Index and TOPICsearch. These databases are interdisciplinary and most provide a mix of popular magazine articles and scholarly research articles. You can find these databases by choosing the Research Databases option in the Library Catalog. Note: Access is limited to authorized users.
TIP: When you search in general databases, you will sometimes retrieve citations to book reviews related to your topic. These book reviews may be helpful in leading you to book titles and/or authors in your area of interest.
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 available through Case Western Reserve University and OhioLINK to authorized users.
Case and OhioLINK databases are available by clicking on Research Databases in the Library Catalog.
The World Wide Web also makes available a range of databases. Some of these require a subscription fee to be paid; others are free. Click here to view a list of selected databases available on the web that are related to social work and the social sciences.
Literature on school social work is found in many disciplines. Some of the databases that will have articles on this topic include:
Child Development & Adolescent Studies (1927-present) is available electronically through the Case Research Databases. “References current and historical literature related to the growth and development of children through the age of 21. Included are book reviews and abstracts from hundreds of journals, and a bibliography of thousands of technical reports, books, book chapters, theses and dissertations that cover the biomedical and social sciences worldwide.”–(Database description)
Education Abstracts is available electronically through the OhioLINK Research Databases. The database covers a wide range of contemporary education issues, including government funding, community partnerships, multicultural education and counseling. The database cites articles in over 470 English-language periodicals, monographs, and yearbooks. The full-text of some articles is available. Coverage is from 1983 through present.
ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) is available electronically through the OhioLINK Research Databases and as a free database on the Web. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, it indexes over 750 professional journals, as well as the Resources in Education File which contains documents from a wide variety of organizations. Coverage is from 1966 forward.
PsycINFO is available electronically through the OhioLINK Research Databases. The database indexes the world’s literature in psychology and related disciplines. It covers over 1900 journals as well as books, and individual book chapters. The coverage is from 1967 forward. This index corresponds to the printed publication Psychological Abstracts. PsycINFO Historical is a different database that covers similar information between the years 1887-1966.
Social Work Abstracts is available electronically through the Case Research Databases list. It contains more than 45,000 records from 1700 social work related journals. Topics covered include service delivery, social work practice, homelessness, aging, child and family welfare, community organization, and substance abuse. The coverage is from 1977 to the present. This database corresponds with the printed publication Social Work Abstracts [Hardcopy available in the Harris Library].
SocINDEX is available electronically through the Case Research Databases and the OhioLINK Research Databases. SocINDEX includes citations, abstracts, and some full-text for all subdisciplines of sociology. SocINDEX provides data mined from more than 500 “priority” coverage journals as well as 1,040 “selective” coverage journals. It also includes indexing of books, reports, and some other formats. Also included is a useful sociology specific thesaurus for subject term searching. It replaces Sociological Abstracts in the OhioLINK database.
Sociological Abstracts is a database available electronically through the OhioLINK Research Databases. It indexes 2600 journals in sociology and related disciplines from over 55 countries. It also contains citations to many relevant dissertations and conference proceedings. Sociological Abstracts is an excellent source for information related to general community practice issues. The coverage is from 1963 through June 2005. This index corresponds to the formerly printed publicationSociological Abstracts. OhioLINK stopped subscribing to updates from this database effective June 2005, as a result nothing after that date will be present in the database. Check SocINDEX for current information.
CAUTION: The setup will vary for different databases. In many databases if you type in a phrase the system will look for the exact phrase. It does not add an “and” between words. So if you type “urban poverty homeless” you will get zero results because it will look for those words in that exact order. It is often clearer to enter one term at a time and combine the end results.
TIP: Look in the descriptor field and/or use the online thesaurus to lead you to additional terms.
NOTE: Online databases are distributed nationally and are not specific to Case Western Reserve University. The University will not own all the journals that are cited in the databases. Click here for information on finding journal titles in the online catalog.
5. Browse current issues of journals that contain literature on your topic.
Journals that are most likely to contain information on the topic of school social work include:
6. Do a Web search on the Internet 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.
Following are selected websites that might be helpful when looking for information on school social work:
This organization fosters the improvement of services to children and youth with emotional
and behavioral disorders. The Issue Areas section provides information on cultural competence, school violence, juvenile justice, special education and more. The site also provides comprehensive MiniWebs on topics such as functional behavioral assessment, wraparound planning, and strength-based assessment. Links to other resources connect to related documents produced by
other organizations in this field.
Columbia University’s Institute of Child and Family Policy created this website to act as a single course for information and data about other countries’ child, youth, and family policies. The clearinghouse’s website provides cross-national, comparative information on policies, programs, benefits, and services in 23 advanced industrialized countries to address child, youth, and family needs. Scope of the site includes laws, regulations, policies, programs, benefits, services designed to achieve specific objectives with or for individuals in their family roles, or the family as a whole unit.
The CEC is an international professional organization “dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.” The site provides information on legislation related to these populations and information on the IDEA.
An organization of the nation’s largest urban public school systems. The site focuses on education issues in urban schools. Primarily includes information on the Council itself, but there are also links to member school districts and a limited number of reports.
The ERIC database is an excellent resource for citations to over 1 million journal articles and documents relating to K-12 as well as post high school education issues. Coverage is from 1966 to current. This site provides useful help menus.
ERS provides educators with programs and resources that emphasize emotional learning, character education, conflict resolution, violence prevention, and intergroup relations. ERS mission is to make teaching for social responsibility a core practice in education so that young people develop the convictions and skills to shape a safe, sustainable, democratic, and just world.
This national organization seeks to end anti-gay bias in grades K-12 school. The Resources section of the site provides statistical information, curricular materials, and a guide to legislative efforts and issues. Links to current news items relating to gay and lesbian student issues are also included.
Sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Project conducts research about programs and policies that serve children and families throughout the United States. The site’s Research Areas section provides information on the organization’s projects. The site also links to the Evaluation Exchange, a quarterly newsletter that includes articles from evaluators and practitioners. The Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE), which is devoted to strengthening teacher preparation for family/community partnerships, is also represented on this site.
The Center collects and reports statistics on the condition and progress of education in the United States. Links to publications on school trends and current issues in education.
The primary national organization of educators. Among other member services, this site provides links to hot issues and resources on community-school partnerships.
An Institute of the U.S. Department of Education that “supports a range of research and development activities designed to improve the education of students at risk of educational failure because of limited English proficiency, poverty, race, geographic location, or economic disadvantage.”
This site provides a wealth of information around issues of juvenile justice and delinquency. The Statistics section includes useful links to statistics as well as a caseflow diagram of how a juvenile case would go through the court system. The Resources section includes links to state contacts, national and international agencies and information on topics such as gangs, gun violence and school violence. The Programs section leads to literature reviews and model programs on topics such as “Strengthening America’s Families,” “Causes and Correlates of Delinquency’” and “Blueprints for Violence Prevention.”
Provides access to school district statistics and profiles.
PFIE was started in 1994 by Secretary of Education Richard Riley to join together employers, educators, families, religious groups and community organizations to improve schools and raise student achievement. The Web site features a database search engine of all the members of the PFIE, examples of successful education programs, and links to other relevant sites.
The primary benefit of going to this site is its access to the Association’s online newsletter which contains articles of interest to school social workers.
This particular section of the U.S. Census Bureau provides school district statistics relating to enrollment, school costs, school districts and other characteristics crossed by education factors.
This site provides a wealth of information on education issues. The Publications section includes resource directories, research summaries, information for parents, and education-related legislation. Choose Research & Statistics to be linked to connections for ERIC and Other Clearinghouses, National Research & Development Centers and State Agencies. The site includes a search engine and an A-Z list of topics.
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.