This chapter describes the Coping Skills Program, an innovative, school-based, universal curriculum for elementary-school aged children that is rooted in cognitive behavior theory. Rooted in cognitive behavior theory, the Coping Skills Program consists of carefully constructed metaphorical fables that are designed to teach children about their thinking; about the connections among their thoughts, feelings, and behavior; and about how to change what they are thinking, feeling, and doing when their behavior causes them problems. The chapter provides a thorough description of the Coping Skills Program and how it is implemented through a discussion of relevant research-based literature, and the theoretical underpinnings underlying this cognitive behavior approach with school-aged children. It also includes the results of preliminary testing of the Coping Skills Program. The research-based literature shows that cognitive behavior approaches are among the interventions commonly used by social workers to help young children in school settings.
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School social workers provide direct treatment for a multitude of problems that affect child and adolescent development and learning; these problems include mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders, and learning disorders, as well as child abuse and neglect, foster care, poverty, school drop out, substance abuse, and truancy, to name but a few. This chapter examines four constructs that are important when working with students. These constructs include: assessment and cognitive case conceptualization, the working alliance, self-regulated learning, and social problem solving. The chapter discusses the development of attainable and realistic goals is a critical component both of self-regulated learning and social problem solving. The chapter examines the problem of academic underachievement and four constructs that are critically important when working with children and adolescents in school settings. Academic underachievement is a serious problem affecting the lives of many children.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with children addresses four main aims: to decrease behavior, to increase behavior, to remove anxiety, and to facilitate development. Each of these aims targets one of the four main groups of children referred to treatment. This chapter suggests a route for applying effective interventions in the day-to-day work of social workers who are involved in direct interventions with children and their families. An effective intervention is one that links developmental components with evidence-based practice to help enable clients to live with, accept, cope with, resolve, and overcome their distress and to improve their subjective well-being. CBT offers a promising approach to address such needs for treatment efficacy, on the condition that social workers adapt basic CBT to the specific needs of children and design the intervention holistically to foster change in children. Adolescent therapy covers rehabilitative activities and reduces the disability arising from an established disorder.
Social work professionals are in key roles for providing effective education, treatment, training, and services for adult survivors. This chapter helps the social workers to equip with an evidence-based treatment framework to effectively enhance their work with this population of adult survivors. A community study of the long-term impact of the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of children concluded that a history of any form of abuse was associated with increased rates of psychopathology, sexual difficulties, decreased self-esteem, and interpersonal problems. There is well-established and increasing empirical evidence that cognitive and cognitive behavior therapies are effective for the treatment of disorders that are typical among adult survivors of sexual and physical abuse. The chapter presents some basic cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) strategies that social workers can use in whatever roles they play in working with the multidisordered adult survivor. There are three types of schema avoidance: cognitive, emotional and behavioral.
A theoretical framework of the therapeutic community (TC) grounded in clinical and research experience can maintain the unique identity of the TC and the fidelity of its wider applications. This chapter illustrates several broad initiatives: generic TC model, general guidelines for adapting and modifying the TC for special settings, special populations, and funding limits; the codification of principles and practices of the TC into explicit standards to maintain the integrity of the program model and method, training and technical assistance, and research agenda. Staffing compositions have changed to reflect a mix of traditional professionals; correctional, mental health, medical, educational, family, and child care specialists; social workers; and case managers to serve along with the experientially trained TC professionals. The evolution of the contemporary TC for addictions over the past 30 years may be characterized as a movement from the marginal to the mainstream of substance abuse treatment and human services.
Over the past 25 years there has been a growing recognition of the importance of working with families of persons with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and treatment-refractory depression. Family intervention can be provided by a wide range of professionals, including social workers, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors. This chapter provides an overview of two empirically supported family intervention models for major mental illness: behavioral family therapy (BFT) and multifamily groups (MFGs), both of which employ a combination of education and cognitive behavior techniques such as problem solving training. Some families have excellent communication skills and need only a brief review, as provided in the psychoeductional stage in the handout “Keys to Good Communication”. One of the main goals of BFT is to teach families a systematic method of solving their own problems.
This chapter defines restorative justice and discusses the various forms that this approach to wrongdoing and offending may take. It reveals the relevance of restorative interventions to social work practice. The chapter recognizes pioneers in the field of restorative justice with special emphasis on social work theorists. It describes the various forms of restorative justice from micro level victim-offender conferencing to community-level healing circles to macro level reparative justice. The chapter argues for greater social work involvement in shaping policies that include restorative justice options in situations of wrongdoing and social work involvement in facilitating victim–offender and anti bullying conferencing. The chapter also describes aspects of restorative justice that address competencies related to advocacy for human rights and issues of spirituality.
This chapter distinguishes between spirituality and religiosity. It reports on a study that begins to deconstruct the elements in restorative justice that might be considered spiritual. Spirituality is defined as a reverence for life. Sacred reverence is defined as being in awe of and deep regard or veneration. Religious leaders are often strong promoters at the forefront of many rehabilitative justice practices including restorative justice. By delineating specific spiritual components, the concept of spirituality is made clearer and more usable by social workers and other mediators of restorative justice practice. Bender and Armour examined texts about restorative justice using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Nine components of spirituality emerged from the research on the restorative justice literature such as: internal transformation, connectedness, common human bond, repentance, forgiveness, making right a wrong, balance or harmony, rituals and the spirit or supernatural.
This chapter promotes understanding of the intersection of social work case level practice skills and social welfare programs and policy. It describes the social work advocacy process, and explores how social and political values impact accessibility to social welfare programs. It assists social workers in developing competence in policy practice and in case and policy advocacy. The chapter also helps social workers recognize when social welfare and economic policies are not fairly distributed, and to become skilled in taking action at the micro-, mezzo, and/or macro level. It discusses the interaction of direct practice with case advocacy to underscore the critical need to understand and interpret policy to achieve social justice. The chapter further highlights the importance of social workers engaging in case and policy advocacy to achieve a socially just outcome for any individual or group, especially those impacted by involvement in the criminal justice system.
Field education is an integral aspect of every social work student’s training. Whether a student is obtaining a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) in the hope of pursuing a career in generalist practice or working toward a master’s degree in social work (MSW) to prepare for advanced or independent work, learning skills and practice techniques in community settings is essential. The work that is performed by students in the field is supervised by social workers in many different organizational and practice settings. The relationship between the field instructor and the social work student provides fertile ground for socialization as a member of a profession and the acquisition of practice skills. Whether we are working in health care, child protection, mental health services, corrections, education, gerontology, or another area of social work practice, we have much important knowledge to share with a student.