This course will present knowledge and skills for engaging in social work practice in public school settings by discussing the varied roles, responsibilities and practices of school social workers. There are tensions and possibilities inherent in school social work practice. By exploring the dynamics and dimensions of social work in schools, we will examine the challenges, possibilities and depth of effective practice, in order to provide students with core foundational skills necessary for their internships and future careers in school social work.
This course asks: What is school social work? What is its role in education policy, practice and school reform, and in the lives of students and their families? What are its major responsibilities, skills, best practices, and opportunities for leadership within schools? What are its limitations, strengths, and future directions as a profession? Key topics include: the history of social work in public school settings; theory and research informing school social work activities; laws and policies governing social work practice in schools; issues and service needs for vulnerable student populations; and core technologies of school social work practice. The class format includes lecture, group discussion, relevant readings, and experiential activities.
Course registration is limited to students in the School Social Work Program of Study.