Advances in Social Work
ISSN / EISSN : 1527-8565 / 2331-4125
Published by: IUPUI University Library (10.18060)
Total articles ≅ 649
Latest articles in this journal
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 145-162; https://doi.org/10.18060/25142
This paper contributes to social work education by presenting brain-based learning as a theoretical framework to understand the impact of brain development and brain processes on learning and teaching. Historically, brain-based learning was adopted in elementary and secondary educational settings to assist educators in determining the pedagogical strategies most salient to supporting cognitive processes. However, in recent years, emphasis on brain-based learning has also emerged in higher education. It is more imperative than ever that faculty rely on evidence-based methods and models of teaching in the learning environment given the life stressors and trauma experienced by college students, including the coronavirus pandemic. Brain-based learning is a well-developed approach informed by theoretical constructs in neurology, psychology, biology, education, and medical science. Implementation of the key principles of brain-based learning are associated with improved academic performance, positively influenced motivation, and supported retention of knowledge. Brain-based learning is a model well-suited for implementation in social work education and supports the experiential practices embedded in social work pedagogy.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 163-177; https://doi.org/10.18060/25210
Following larger developments within professional education, schools of social work have increasingly adopted technical standards as non-academic criteria for program admission and continuation. This paper examines the emergence of technical standards within schools of social work, articulates the distinction from and overlap with other forms of non-academic admissions and retention criteria, and considers their use in relation to the larger literature on gatekeeping in social work. Drawing on select legal cases, this review paper contemplates possible challenges associated with the implementation of technical standards, including issues related to disability law and due process. We argue that the development and implementation of technical standards in social work education raises complex questions related to inclusion and equity and poses unique challenges and opportunities for a relational and behavioral profession grounded in interpersonal skill development. Despite challenges, development of technical standards in schools of social work is worthwhile and can help manage the delicate and often difficult balance between serving as student-focused educators and professional gatekeepers.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 91-109; https://doi.org/10.18060/25088
The spread of COVID-19 changed the landscape of how social service agencies operate. Essential services providers have had to adapt and innovate in order to carry out their mission. As a result, technology has become an integral part of their service model, with an increased emphasis on telehealth services. For many agencies, the abrupt transition to remote services has brought about important conversations around access, use, policy, effectiveness, and efficiency. A qualitative, narrative study was conducted with CEOs or social work directors of 37 social service agencies in the Mid-South region to understand their experience and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews were conducted and data were transcribed and analyzed. Thematic analysis highlighted seven themes: 1) a rapid transition to virtual services, 2) the need to improve infrastructure, 3) new technology and innovation, 4) barriers, 5) benefits, 6) funding, and 7) changes that will be kept. Implications at the client level include continuing to offer telehealth services. At the agency level, implications include managing the logistics of telehealth and the need for insurance and regulator changes. Implications for social work include ethical considerations for providing telehealth services and educating current and future social workers in the use of telehealth services.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 233-250; https://doi.org/10.18060/25564
As interprofessional education (IPE) continues to grow as part of social work programs, it is important to evaluate how best to engage students in understanding this material and explore possible barriers. With this in mind, researchers conducted qualitative interviews and focus groups to explore perceptions of three cohorts of social work students (n=29) participating in short-term interprofessional practicum experiences. Perceived benefits included improvements in communication and client care. The study also uncovered various barriers with implementing IPE-focused practicums such as time, scheduling and role uncertainty. Students shared the impact their experience had on knowledge and perceptions of the social work role in interprofessional collaboration. Even so, students were able to observe important elements of interprofessional practice from these relatively short practicums, indicating they may be a viable option for programs looking to expose students to real world interprofessional experience.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 133-144; https://doi.org/10.18060/25617
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition presents numerous ethical challenges for social workers. As social work educators, we are tasked with preparing students for clinical social work practice, which includes not only instructing students in the use of the DSM-5, but also emphasizing the importance of pursuing social justice and equity in clinical work. With the most recent revision, the DSM-5 Task Force attempted to improve cultural awareness and sensitivity – efforts that yielded mixed results. This article explores the changes, benefits, and shortcomings of these efforts to address cultural diversity and highlights pedagogical approaches for bringing this knowledge to the MSW classroom. We describe specific teaching strategies that underscore the importance of a strong cultural formulation of client problems and are designed to inspire critical thinking about the process of diagnosing. Social workers are encouraged to adopt these strategies for using the DSM-5 not only to better inform their clinical decision-making but also to better align their clinical practice with social work values and ethics.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 219-232; https://doi.org/10.18060/25236
Challenges abound in assisting social work students to comprehend the value of scientific inquiry and to use research to inform their practice. Student research anxiety and low levels of research confidence are often at the heart of this reluctance. This article offers a conceptual rationale and strategies for developing a flipped classroom approach in teaching research. Kolb’s experiential learning cycle provides a theoretical lens to understand the importance of hands-on experiences for student learning and how these experiences can assist student development of research-related competencies. The authors propose a conceptual model and application of Kolb’s cycle through case examples at both the BSW and MSW levels. The authors recommend application of a flipped classroom approach to increase opportunities for self-paced learning and as a useful strategy for students who are second language learners.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 67-90; https://doi.org/10.18060/24282
Pregnant women with substance use disorder (SUD) can face varying degrees of negative interactions with healthcare providers, including judgment of the individual’s value and involvement in their infant’s care. This research explored potential stigma and attitudes among medical providers within a maternal/fetal healthcare setting towards women with maternal SUD. An electronic survey was administered to 117 health care providers, including social workers, who work with pregnant women in an urban, Midwest, healthcare facility. Attitudes and stigma differed significantly based on the health care providers’ discipline. Healthcare providers who viewed SUD as a disease had a more positive perception of mothers with SUD. By building professional awareness, creating policy change, increasing education, and continuing research regarding maternal SUD, social workers have an opportunity to develop responsive support programs for healthcare workers and promote overall change within the healthcare setting.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22; https://doi.org/10.18060/26335
In the Spring 2022 issue of Advances in Social Work, we are pleased to present 14 papers written by 40 authors from different regions of the U.S. The articles in this issue include a selection of empirical studies (n=6) and conceptual pieces (n=8). While the 14 articles cover a wide range of topics, two underlying themes include supporting different aspects of diversity in practice and in social work education and discovering the virtues of virtual practice.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 178-196; https://doi.org/10.18060/25478
Field practicum settings often do not have adequate resources, staff, and time to meet the extensive basic training and learning needs of master’s level social work students beginning their first year of field placement. An innovative, empirically-supported motivational interviewing (MI) skills lab was created to provide students with supplemental skills training in preparation for field placement entry. The lab practice of MI strategies allows students to gain familiarity with effective methods for forming helping relationships, developing intervention goals, and understanding and resolving ambivalence about behavioral change. This paper describes the rationale for the experiential learning approach, addresses challenges encountered by students in learning MI skills, and demonstrates its potential effectiveness in addressing the learning needs of incoming social work students. We recommend that the MI lab be considered as a model for helping to prepare new students for agency practice.
Advances in Social Work, Volume 22, pp 1-13; https://doi.org/10.18060/25650
Defining social workers for the purposes of research is not as straightforward as it sounds. To date, researchers who have examined social workers as a group have used a variety of sampling methods. Multiple methods speak to the variety of options for defining social workers. Understanding membership within the profession is a precondition to understanding research about the behavior of those within the profession. This research note explores these sampling methods in detail. Each has its advantages, but none are without their own disadvantages, some of which bias their view of the profession. As researchers who have considered the political behavior of social workers, we consider six methods for sampling social workers that have been used to understand their behavior in this specific domain. Importantly, the sampling methods examined here can be applied to research about social workers outside of politics. These include sampling (1) members of professional organizations, (2) licensed social workers, (3) social work students, (4) graduates of social work programs, (5) social work faculty, and (6) members of social work-related occupations. After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each, we provide scholars a table for reference. The authors recommend that the Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Social Workers, and several other professional associations pull together members to explore a unified definition of social work through integrated practice and refrain from focusing on what makes us different.