School Social Work

A Skills-Based Competency Approach


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JoDee Keller,Giesela Grumbach
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JoDee Keller has been teaching in the baccalaureate social work program at Pacific Lutheran University for over 30 years, where she has served in a variety of roles, including department chair, program director, and field experience coordinator. She brings direct school experience, as she has practiced as a school social worker in multiple districts in both Illinois and Washington State. and has continued her school involvement by consulting and conducting research in four different school districts in Washington State. She also has served as the faculty liaison for students in school social work internships. Dr. Keller is part of a multi-disciplinary team that provides one of the certificate courses for social workers (and other professional school support staff) seeking school certification in Washington State and has worked in that capacity for over 7 years. Dr. Keller also has provided clinical supervision for school social workers in a WA school district for several years. Her professional and research interests have included school social work, family engagement, child welfare, global social work, and public housing, but always with a focus on children and families. Giesela Grumbach is a social work scholar and teacher. She primarily teaches advanced level MSW practice as well as school social work practice and policy courses. At Governors State University Dr. Grumbach coordinates the school social work specialization. Early in her career she worked in the Chicago Public School system for ten years as a school social worker and currently maintains a professional educator license in Illinois. Dr. Grumbach has continued to consult on social work services with multiple school districts. In addition, Dr. Grumbach is a co-author of Critical Service Learning Toolkit: Social Work Strategies for Promoting Healthy Youth Development published in 2018. This book provides guidance for addressing social-emotional learning standards paired with critical service learning as a tool for elevating youth voice in school and social service settings. Additionally, her research interests address vulnerable populations, social work practice, and issues pertaining to children and families. Dr. Grumbach also holds a two year post masters certificate in marriage and family therapy from the Family Institute through Northwestern University and a PhD in social work from University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • Section I: Introduction to School Social Work

  • Chapter 1 -- The Context of School Social Work: Historical Background and Current Trends in Schools

  • Chapter 2 -- Getting Started in the School Setting: Information to Know

  • Section II: Practice Issues -- Professionalism and Social Justice Responses to Diversity and Equity


  • Chapter 3 -- Professional and Ethical Practice in the School Setting

  • Chapter 4 -- Engage Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Applications to School Settings

  • Chapter 5 -- Advancing Human Rights: An Agenda for Social, Racial, Economic, Environmental, and Educational Justice

  • Section III: Foundations for Practice -- Understanding Policy, Theoretical Applications, and Using Data to Inform Practice


  • Chapter 6 -- Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice: How School Social Workers Engage with Research

  • Chapter 7 -- Engage in Policy Practice in the School Setting

  • Chapter 8 -- Theoretical Perspectives Applied to Social Work in the Schools

  • Section IV: Engaging and Assessing Clients

  • Chapter 9 -- Engagement with Client Systems in the School Setting

  • Chapter 10 -- Assessment in the School Setting: Role of Social Work

  • Section V: School-based Interventions and Evaluating Practice


  • Chapter 11-- Multi-Tiered System of Supports

  • Chapter 12 -- Tier 1 Interventions: Universal Interventions for School Social Work

  • Chapter 13 -- Tier 2 Interventions: Small Group and Other Targeted Interventions

  • Chapter 14 -- Tier 3 Interventions: Intensive, Individualized Services in the School Setting

  • Chapter 15 -- Evaluation of Practice in the School Setting

  • Section VI: Looking Forward


  • Chapter 16 -- Looking Forward: Emerging Issues for School Social Workers

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