Practice & Research
From the Director
This issue of Practice and Research features
the Center's second invitational conference, Knowledge for
Practice: Practitioners and Researchers as Partners, which
examined practitioner-research partnerships in knowledge development
for professional social work practice. The conference articles
were prepared under the editorship of Associate Professor Peg
Hess, who also served as conference director. Major papers are
summarized and will be available in a forthcoming volume.
This issue also includes synopses of several Center research studies,
a list of recent publications of Center affiliates, and a description
of Center activities.
We are eager to hear from readers and welcome suggestions for
areas of study or collaboration.
Continued on page 9
In This Issue
Center Sponsors Major Conference on Practice-Research Partnerships
The Center for the Study of Social Work Practice convened
practitioners, administrators and researchers on March 3, 1993
for a one-day conference. The conference examined practice knowledge
and explored approaches to strengthening practitioner-researcher
partnerships. Participants examined paths that practitioners and
researchers might take to address the complex, challenging and
rapidly changing problems social workers confront.
Supported by gifts from the Virginia and Leonard Marx Foundation,
the Beatman Foundation, and David S. Lindau, the conference was
held at the Kellogg Conference Center at Columbia University There
were 175 attendees from 18 states. A subcommittee of the Center's
Development Council planned the conference and included Ms. Pauline
B. Falk, Dr. Bruce Grellong, Dr. Helen Rehr, Ms. Doris L. Rosenberg
and cochairs Dr. Peg Hess and Dr. Edward J. Mullen.
Keynote speaker Dr. Donald Schn identified the process of
professional reflection-in-action. Describing practitioners as
"generators of knowledge," Dr. Schn reported on
his ongoing study of eight successful social work programs in
Jerusalem which illustrated that "practitioners' reflective
inquiry was central to project effectiveness." Synopses of
speaker presentations begin on page 3.
After participants discussed Dr. SchnÌs presentation,
Ms. Susan Lukas reflected on a clinical example from her practice.
Her presentation provided an opportunity to explore the role of
the reflective process in identifying practice knowledge and building
knowledge in practice. Dr. Irwin Epstein discussed three practice-based
research strategies for promoting practitioner reflectiveness
individually, organizationally and professionally Dr. Epstein
applied each strategy to the clinical case Ms. Lukas presented.
Following intense discussion and interaction generated by morning
presentations, Dr. Claudia Coulton discussed her experience in
linking research to local community policy, planning and action
initiatives. Dr. Brenda McGowan and Dr. Schn commented on
Dr. Coulton's presentation. Four concurrent workshops examined
issues related to generating practice-relevant knowledge through
practitioner-researcher partnerships. Synopses of workshop papers
are presented on pages 5-7.
At the end of the day, attendees reconvened for an update by Dr.
Betsy Vourlekis on the Implementation Committee of the NIMH Task
Force on Social Work Research.
(l. to r.) Dr. Edward J. Mullen, Center Director; Frances L.
Beatman, Development Council member; David S. Lindau, Development
Council Chair; Dr. Alan B. Siskind, Executive Vice President,
JBFCS; Virginia W Marx, Development Council member; and Dean Ronald
A. Feldman, CUSS\U
(l. to r) Dr. Alan B. Siskind, JBFCS, Dr. Donald Schn,
MIT, and Dr. Peg Hess, CUSSW
(l. to K) Dean
June Hopps, Boston College School of Social Work, Dr. Edward J.
Mullen and Frances L. Beatman.
The Conference Concept
In March 1,991 the Center for the Study
of Social Work Practice sponsored its first invitational conference,
Research and Practice: Bridging the Gap. The Center's founding
Director, Dr. Shirley Jenkins, described the conference as looking
"at gaps between practice and research, valid concerns of
each, and the ways in which methodologies can be intertwined to
find answers to address contemporary problems." An emerging
theme in 1991 was that the profession should give priority to
identifying mechanisms which promote practitioner-researcher partnerships
in generating knowledge.
Building on the 1991 conference, the Center's second conference
was conceptually framed by two objectives: 1) a careful examination
of the character of practice knowledge, with practice broadly
defined to include clinical practice, administration and policy
development; and 2) an exploration of knowledge building approaches
that strengthen the partnership between practitioners and researchers.
These objectives determined the conference substance and invitations.
Over half of the participants were agency-based practitioners,
in contrast to the prior conference whose attendees were primarily
A rich, creative diversity of practitioner-researcher partnerships
emerged as presenters examined varying viewpoints on the relationship
between practice and research. Participants described situations
in which 1) researchers consult with practitioners studying their
own practice; 2) practitioners consult with researchers who are
studying practice; 3) expert practitioners and researchers function
as coinvestigators; and 4) the practitioner and researcher are
one and the same. Discussions emphasized the importance of preparing
social work practitioners and researchers to assume a range of
roles in partnerships.
The Conference challenged participants to develop a repertoire
of approaches and methodologies that can be differentially enacted,
revised and replicated. The Conference goal was to enhance practice
knowledge by increasing understanding of how to generate knowledge
from, in and for social work practice.
(l. to r) Dr. John A. Schuerman, University of Chicago, and
Dean Ronald A. Feldman, CUSSW.
Development Council members (l. to r) Frances L. Beatman, Dr.
Helen Rehr and Doris L. Rosenberg.
Reflective Inquiry in Social Work Practice
Presenter: Donald A. Schon, Ford Professor Emeritus and
Senior Lecturer, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Schn reviewed ideas set forth in his book The Reflective
Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action and explored
their current application to social work. Dr. Schn said
that "It is time to reconsider the question of professional
knowledge" and encouraged participants to reflect on situations
in which "we cannot say what we know." He noted that
skillful practitioners continually engage in a process of reflection-in-action
which may be difficult to describe. Dr. Schn reported findings
from a three-day seminar in Jerusalem in which participants examined
cases from eight projects in services to children, youth and families
at risk. Most salient in the practitionersÌ case discussions
was the manifest capability for reflective inquiry in the practice
situationÛthe ability to rethink on-line the nature of problematic
situations, reframe problems, read client messages and see problems
as opportunities for investigating new intervention approaches
Dr. Schn proposed a partnership between social work practitioners
and researchers based on the following principles: 1) experienced
social work practitioners know a great dealÛas revealed
by their patterns of practiceÛthat they often are unable
to put into words; 2) through reflection-inaction, they function
not only as users but as generators of knowledge; in situation-specific
ways they continually generate new strategies of action as they
confront models and maps of situations and reframe problems and
roles. The challenge to academic researchers is to help practitioners
good descriptions of what they know and of the understandings
they gain in their practice. Researchers' tasks are to 1) help
practicing social workers consider their knowing and reflecting-in-action;
2) put practice generated understandings into explicit, verbal
form; 3) give explicit form to the intermediary steps through
which practitioners make the transition from general principles
to concrete decisions and actions; 4) help make practice knowledge
cumulative by identifying patterns of understandings, problem
settings and strategies of action generated in multiple practice
situations; and 5) critically analyze these patterns, suggesting
alternatives and proposing experiments to test them. Such a partnership
promises a vital, substantive and ultimately more useful career
for researchers. For practitioners, it fosters appreciation of
their roles and more fully develops the capacity for lively rigorous
reflection on practice.
Knowledge for Social Work Practice: A Policy Example
Presenter: Claudia J. Coulton, Professor and Director,
Center for Urban Poverty and Social Change, Mandel School of Applied
Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Dr. Coulton discussed linking research with local planning
and action initiatives in low-income communities, shaping research
in the local community as an interface between the macrostructural
causes of poverty and its impact on families. By developing a
partnership with community organizations, her center has been
able to guide research by the vision, values and questions of
both practitioners and researchers. Dr. Coulton emphasized that
the center views itself as producing knowledge and information
to facilitate action. Believing that community is key, Dr. Coulton
and her colleagues have focused on understanding neighborhood
change as well as on how changing neighborhoods affect residents.
Much of the work has been based on their comprehensive neighborhood
database, the Cleveland Area Network for Data and Organizing (CAN
Through CAN DO, the center has been able to provide direct access
to original social, demographic and economic data in a form that
supports community practitioners in formulating questions and
identifying issues based on direct experiences. The center has
used its research findings and technical capacity to aid in needs
assessment, program planning, evaluation and quality improvement,
and policy reform.
(l. to r:) David S. Lindau, Dr. Claudia J. Coulton, Case Western
Reserve University and Dr. Donald Schn, MIT
Knowledge for Social Work Practice: A Practitioner's View Through
a Clinical Example
Presenter: Susan Lukas, Senior Social Worker, Jewish Board
of Family and Children's Services, New York, NY
As a way of examining practice knowledge, an experienced clinical
social worker was asked to identify a case and reflect on her
practice decisions and actions. Ms. Lukas selected the case of
"Nicole," referred to JBFCS by the New York City Child
Welfare Administration at the time of Nicole's fourth foster family
placement. Seven at the time, Nicole had been found through physical
examination to have been sexually abused. Law enforcement officials
believed that Nicole's father was responsible for her mother's
and that Nicole may have witnessed her mother's murder.
Ms. Lukas described several sessions over two and half years of
work with Nicole. She placed her practice in the context of changes
in the client population over the past five years: younger children
who have been severely traumatized and are brought for treatment
by caregivers other than parents. "While I had treated children
who had been sexually abused and children who had lost a parent,
I had never before worked with a child under the age of seven
who had experienced a severe sexual assault, lost her primary
attachments and been repeatedly
moved from one set of caregivers to the next. I now see more and
more of these children every day Until I met Nicole I had never
asked myself what the word 'Mother' means to a child who calls
four people by that name." In reflecting on practice principles
that guided her, Ms. Lukas discussed the role of hope in therapeutic
work; her assumptions about her role with children, their caregivers,
and referring sources; and the questions that Nicole's case raised
for her, including "In what ways might the larger system
(e.g., child welfare) induce the very problem we are trying to
prevent, namely the inability to form attachments?"
Promoting Reflective Social Work: Practice: Research Strategies
and Consulting Principles
Presenter: Irwin Epstein, Professor, Hunter College School
of Social Work, City University of New York, NY
Dr. Epstein asserted that the research/practice dilemma is
not, as some have argued, a result of an insufficient number of
highly trained methodologists. Rather, he believes that the dilemma
stems from each perceiving that the other values his or her arena
less. He proposed solutions such as developing integrated practice-research
methods that empower practitioners, thereby enhancing practice
effectiveness. He suggested that such approaches would not require
compromising practice principles or ethical mandates. Dr. Epstein
noted that the challenge is to develop practice- research approaches
that can be routinely and unobtrusively incorporated into decision-
making at every level of practiceÛresearch in practice,
rather than research on practice. Practice-based research
rather than research-based practice.
Dr. Trudy Festinger (l.), New York University School of Social
Work, and Dr. Irwin Epstein (r), Hunter College School of Social
Dr. Epstein recommended three strategies to promote practitioner
reflectiveness: 1) grounded theory development and testing; 2)
differential clinical and program evaluation; and 3) practice
application of research analogs. He applied each strategy to the
case presented by Ms. Lukas. He noted, for example, that a grounded
theory approach to Nicole's case could clarify the implicit theoretical
assumptions and guiding metaphors that govern what a clinician
does, why actions are taken in practice, why a clinician continues
to engage in such actions, why changes are made, what is perceived
as the impact of practice and how this knowledge is achieved.
Dr. Epstein also suggested that instruction in and application
of practice/research analogs would promote reflective practice
and possibly practice effectiveness. He concluded with a set of
consultative principles that he believes support practice-research
Workshop on Studying Practitioner Expertise: Expert System
Moderator: Mark A. Mattaini, Assistant Professor,
University School of Social Work, New York, NY
Research, Practice and Expert Systems
Presenter: John R. Schuerman, Professor, School of Social Service
Administration, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Editor, Social
Dr. Schuerman considered ideas emerging from his exploration
of the use of expert systems in child welfare decision-making.
Expert systems development requires close cooperation between
experienced practitioners and systems developers. With colleagues
at the Chapin Hall Center for Children, Dr. Schuerman developed
systems for decisions made while investigating allegations of
abuse or neglectÛwhether an allegation should be "founded";
the assessment of risk to the child; and the decision to place
a child in out-of-home care. Dr. Schuerman observed that decision-making
in social welfare is characterized by uncertainty, nonlinearity
and the confounding of data-gathering, decision and action. He
emphasized that decisions do not appear to be based on prediction
of results of various courses of action and noted that, as Dr.
Schn suggests, practice is partly a matter of testing subhypotheses,
usually in a nonlinear way Child welfare practitioners appear
to base decisions on the balancing of "inertia" and
"give 'em a chance," rather than on prediction. He concluded
that to the extent to which expert systems can capture expert
decision processes, they may be able to manage the problem of
The Expert System as a Metaphor for Professional Knowledge
Copresenters: William J. Ferns, Jr., Assistant Professor, Department
of Computer Information Systems, Baruch College, City University
of New York, New York, NY; Marion Riedel, New York City Department
of Youth Services, New York, NY
Dr. Ferns and Ms. Riedel described expert systems as software
programs that model an expert's judgment in a specific arena.
As the expert practitioner and researcher who collaborated to
develop Lifenet, a computerized expert system for assessing imminent
danger of suicide with runaway and street youths, Dr. Ferns and
Ms. Riedel outlined parallels between the development of expert
systems and the process of acquiring professional practice knowledge.
They noted that skilled practitioners become experts through constant
synthesis of research based knowledge and practice wisdom. Expert
systems development is a cyclical process in which the knowledge
engineer and the practice expert, as a team, refine the system's
knowledge base. Dr. Ferns and Ms. Riedel emphasized that expert
systems development recognizes
that the practitioner's role as expert is integral to knowledge
acquisition. Expert systems are a vehicle for integrating empirical
knowledge with practice wisdom to create professional knowledge
and facilitate its dissemination throughout the practice community
They asserted that the practice-research partnership is a natural
arrangement and a prerequisite in developing and evaluating expert
Workshop on Practitioner and Researcher Teams
Moderator: Robert Abramovitz, Chief Psychiatrist, Jewish Board
of Family and Children's Services, New York, NY
What Makes for Successful Practitioner and Researcher Collaboration?
Copresenters: Denise Burnette, Assistant Professor, Columbia University
School of Social Work, New York, NY; Audrey S. Weiner, Director
of Mental Health Services for Older Adults, Jewish Board of Family
and Children's Services, New York, NY
Dr. Burnette, a university-based researcher, and Ms. Weiner, an
agency-based practitioner, described their collaborative experience,
developed under Center auspices. They presented the status of
and gaps in relevant practice knowledge in a substantive area,
the evolution of their respective roles and responsibilities,
and the advantages and obstacles to collaboration. As practice-research
partners, they were interested in building practice-relevant knowledge
in the field of aging. Their first project was to develop a research
proposal to improve the delivery of mental health services to
older clients at the agency Each brought a lengthy practice history
with older adults to the partnership as well as shared professional
interests, mutual regard for complementary talents and strengths
and compatible personal characteristics. Among its advantages,
this type of partnership 1) capitalizes on individual strengths
and diverse agency resources; 2) expands conventional
Dr. Barbara Simon, CUSSW, and Dean Richard English, Howard
University School of Social Work.
university-based research to a more grounded practice arena
and a wider community audience; 3) demonstrates to the community
and potential funding sources about the seriousness of an agencyÌs
commitment to program development and improved practice; 4) provides
case-based and agency-based material for classroom and fieldwork
education; and 5) provides support for educating master's and
doctoral students in agency-based research.
The Practitioner-Researcher Team: A Case Example
Copresenters: Rita Beck Black, Associate Professor, Columbia University
School of Social Work, New York, NY; Virginia N. Walther, Senior
Assistant Director of Social Work Services, The Mount Sinai Hospital,
and Instructor, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York,
A four-year practitioner-researcher partnership served as the
basis for Dr. Black and Ms. Walther's presentation. In contrast
to the collaboration described by Dr. Burnette and Ms. Weiner,
this team discussed a partnership marked initially by informality,
brought together by colleagues in common. Emphasizing that their
collaboration consistently has been marked by flexibility in roles,
they noted that Dr. Black is an academic who not only thinks
like but also sometimes is a practitioner, while Ms. Walther
is a practitioner/social work administrator who not only thinks
like but also sometimes is a researcher. Dr. Black and Ms.
Walther identified six themes in their collaboration: 1) mutual
professional respect for each other's expertise and recognition
of the partnership as reciprocity in action; 2) equal involvement
in all phases of project creation and execution; 3) shared commitment
to inquiry, with freedom from political or institutional agendas;
4) open recognition that social work research can, and often will,
serve multiple masters and achieve multiple goals; 5) commitment
to relevance to practice; and 6) supportive context conducive
to collaborative research efforts. They described their evolving
process of "grounded theory- reflection-in-action,"
in which research grows out of listening to clients and reflecting
both about research questions and appropriate methodologies for
Dr. Juliet Cheetham, University of Stirling, Scotland, D?:
Bruce Grellong, JBFCS, and Dr. Jeanne Giovannoni, University of
California at Los Angeles.
Workshop on Agency-University Collaboration
Moderator: Bruce Grellong, Chief Psychologist,
Jewish Board of
Family and Children's Services, New York, NY
Research as an Act of Practice
Presenter: Juliet Cheetham, Director, Social Work
Research Centre, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland
Dr. Cheetham proposed that social workers must be able to
comment with authority on the impact of their intervention. Evaluating
the effectiveness of practice poses many challenges and needs
to be undertaken by both academics and practitioner- researchers.
She suggested that much can be accomplished through small, highly
focused and carefully designed studies of actual practice. Dr.
Cheetham reported on research undertaken by 40 social work practitioners
from a variety of public and voluntary agencies in partnership
with the Social Work Research Centre at Stirling University in
Scotland. These practitioner-led initiatives were conducted over
the past three years through the Practitioner Research Programme.
Their studies provided rich information directly related to agencies'
interests. Dr. Cheetham encouraged replication of the program,
which provides an example of practitioners as researchers defining
their own research agenda while drawing on the skills of university-based
colleagues. The ownership of the studies by practitioners makes
research an act of practice rather than a remote, academic endeavor.
Agency-University Collaboration: The Center for Practice Innovations
Copresenters: David E. Biegel, Henry D. Zucker Professor of Social
Work Practice, Codirector, Center for Practice Innovations, Mandel
School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University,
Cleveland, OH; Mary Jane Cole, Social Services Coordinator, Catholic
Board of Education Head Start Program, Cleveland, OH
The Center for Practice Innovations is one model of partnership
between the university and agency communities. Dr. Biegel and
Ms. Cole discussed obstacles that may inhibit partnerships and
the ways they have addressed these in their work. They described
the implementation of the Natural Supports Project, a quantitative
survey of clients' social networks and mental health status. They
identified the following as essential to building partnerships:
1) initiating contacts through which researchers come to understand
practitioner issues and concerns; 2) assuring opportunities to
know each other before working toward a product; 3) ensuring sufficiently
long project time frames; 4) setting joint objectives; 5) establishing
the need for researchers to develop methodologies to access practitioners'
expertise; 6) using a carrot (not a stick) approach to knowledge
development for practice; and 7) applying flexible research methodologies.
Workshop on Integrating Knowledge Building Within the Agency
Moderator: Grace Christ, Assistant Professor,
University School of Social Work, New York, NY
Practice-Research Collaboration at the Interorganizational
Policy Level: HomeRebuildersÛA Family Reunification Demonstration
Copresenters: Fred Wulczyn, Policy Analyst, New York State Department
of Social Services and Assistant Professor, CUSSW, New York, NY;
Donald K. Smith, New York State Department of Social Services,
New York, NY
Dr. Wulczyn and Mr. Smith presented an example of complex practice-research
collaboration involving a large state agency and multiple local
social service organizations, namely the New York State HomeRebuilder
program. In July 1993, the New York State Legislature passed and
Governor Mario Cuomo signed legislation authorizing the New York
State Department of Social Services to conduct a three-year, $70
million research and demonstration project designed to test whether
discharge planning and aftercare services lead to early discharge
of children from foster care. The cornerstone of the HomeRebuilder
project is a prospective reimbursement system that grants foster
care providers greater discretion over the funds used to pay for
foster care at the same time it limits the total amount of reimbursement.
The process of collaboration demonstrates how research can be
used to organize a variety of viewpoints around a complex social
problem and produce a solution that supports programmatic, organizational
and research needs.
Practice-Research Collaboration Among Hospital Social Work
Copresenters: James P. Donnelly, Director of Social Work, Goldwater
Memorial Hospital, New York, NY; Sona Euster, Associate Director
of Social Work, New York Hospital, New York, NY; Michael A. King,
Director of Social Work Discharge Planning, St. Francis Hospital,
Roslyn, NY; Mildred D. Mailick, Professor, Hunter College School
of Social Work, City University of New York, New York, NY
This team discussed the response of the Society for Social Work
Administrators in Health Care, The Metropolitan New York Chapter,
Inc., to current demands for information about practice, productivity
and effectiveness with the constraint of little time to produce
the data. In 1987, the local chapter's membership initiated a
research committee to design and conduct specific, time-limited
studies involving current problems of member facilities. To date,
studies have examined the nature of hospital social work departments'
data collection systems, time expenditures of social workers in
acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, the nature of disagreements
in discharge planning and the expansion of outpatient services
in health care settings. Committee members and retired social
work directors implement the research. Response rates from constituent
hospital social work directors and their staff have been excellent.
Presenters emphasized that this approach to generating knowledge
for practice has eliminated the gap between the practitioners
and researchers: "They are one and the same."
(I. to `:) David S. Lindau, Dr. Donald Schn, MIT, and
Dean Ronald A. Feldman, CUSSW
Study Examines Suicide Ideation and Behaviors of Preadolescents
Principal investigator Dr. Helene Jackson, coinvestigator Dr.
Peg Hess (both CUSSW faculty), and clinical investigator Dr. Annaclare
van Dalen (supervisor, JBFCS) expect this study to identify specific
risk and protective factors associated with preadolescent suicide
activity Among the variables hypothesized to place preadolescents
at high risk for suicide are childhood traumas and family and
Among factors expected to be associated with lower risk for preadolescent
suicide are positive child attributes and social and family support.
Implementation of this project will ensure early identification
of the potential for suicide. Study results will have important
implications for developing prevention and remedial interventions
for this at-risk population. Based on study findings, Drs. Jackson
and Hess plan to submit a proposal to NIMH for a study of a larger
sample of preadolescents drawn from a more heterogeneous population.
Study Seeks to Overcome Barriers to Mental Health Services
for Older Adults
Prevalence rates of mental health problems among older adults
range from 13_h to 25%. Yet barriers to treatment are numerous.
This study seeks to examine the role of these barriers in mental
health services utilization; and test whether providing services
in normative settings (senior centers, nutrition sites and congregate
housing programs) as compared to traditional mental health clinics
could improve mental
health outcomes. The project would generate comparative data to
refine a model of mental health service delivery in order to improve
access for older adults, family members and aging-service and
health care providers. Principal investigator Dr. Denise Burnette
(CUSSW faculty) is collaborating with the JBFCS Division of Mental
Health Services to Older Adults.
Services for the Severely Mentally Ill
A proposal has been submitted to the NIMH to study services
for the severely mentally ill, examine interactions between the
patient and the physical and social environment and identify factors
crucial to reducing rehospitalization and improving psychosocial
outcomes for the population. The study is designed to test the
utility of a theoretical framework for integrating disparate existing
knowledge. Results are expected to suggest specific interventive
strategies leading to increased patient empowerment and improved
service systems. Dr. Mark Mattaini (CUSSW faculty) is principal
investigator; Dr. Stuart A. Kirk (CUSSW faculty) and Dr. Bruce
Link (Columbia University School of Public Health) are senior
researchers and coinvestigators.
Center's Fifth Year Celebrated at UN Gala
The Center celebrated its fifth anniversary at a United Nations
reception on May 5th. Approximately 200 attended. Attendees also
celebrated renaming JBFCS' educational institute the Martha K.
Selig Educational Institute in honor of Martha K. Selig, and the
dedication of the Saul Z. Cohen Chair in Family and Child Mental
Health at JBFCS. The late Saul (Bud) Cohen was a past president
of JBFCS. Martha K. Selig, honoree of the evening, contributed
to shaping a network of Jewish social services during her 50-year
Remarks during the evening were made by Fredenc W. Yerman, president
of JBFCS; Alan Jaffe, president of UJA-Federation; Michael 1.
Sovern, president of Columbia University; Dr. Albert J. Solnit,
commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and
Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University; Amy Scheuer Cohen,
wife of the late Saul Cohen; Mitchell I. Ginsberg, professor and
Dean Emeritus at Columbia University; Martha K. Selig, director
of development at JBFCS and an honoree of the evening; Ronald
A. Feldman, Dean, Columbia University School of Social Work; and
Alan B. Siskind, executive vice-president of JBFCS.
The Center's funding, the Institute's expansion and the establishment
of the chair were supported by generous grants to JBFCS from the
Saul Z. and Amy S. Cohen Family Foundation.
As this issue of the newsletter illustrates, the Center has enjoyed
a very productive year. Particularly noteworthy has been the work
of the Center Development Council under the leadership of David
Lindau. .Three members of the Development Council not only contributed
their ideas, but also gave generously to finance the invitational
conference: Virginia Marks, Frances Beatman and David Lindau.
The conference's success far exceeded initial expectations, thanks
to the commitment of Conference Planning Committee members Bruce
Grellong, Doris Rosenberg, Pauline Falk, Helen Rehr and Peg Hess.
During the past year faculty staff and doctoral students conceived,
developed and implemented many new projects. Proposals have been
developed to study preadolescent suicidal ideation and behavior;
the effectiveness of suicidal training on staff identification
of potential suicide in a clinical population of preadolescents;
alternative, nonstigmatizing on-site mental health services for
older adults; group prevention program for minority adolescents
at high risk of contracting HIV, and associated mental health
problems; group parenting skills program for skipped-generation
children raised by grandparents; environmental quality for the
severely mentally ill; and development of a computerized scan
as a tool for social work assessment. A proposal has been submitted
to establish a research center for the study of child and adolescent
health services. Work is proceeding on the development of studies
pertaining to a neighborhood-based group education program for
minority adolescents at-risk of AIDS; an assessment of early intervention
programs for new parents; and computer applications for social
The Center has benefited from affiliation with a number of faculty,
including associate professor Peg Hess and assistant professors
Denise Burnette, Helene Jackson, Mark Mattaini and Ada Mui. We
welcome assistant professor Neil Guterman as a new faculty affiliate
for the 1993-94 academic year. Agency staff affiliates have included
Annaclare van Dalen, Audrey Weiner, Robert Abramovitz, Bruce Grellong,
Nina Koh and Jonathan Katz. Doctoral students have included Jennifer
Magnabosco, Carl Hesselbart, Mark Cameron, Marion Riedel, Karun
Singh and Julia Stewart. We welcome Karun Singh as the Center's
new Administrative Coordinator. This has indeed been a remarkable
fifth year for the Center, and we anticipate exciting developments
in the year ahead.
Selected Publications of Center Associates in 1993
Abramovitz, R. and Koh, N. "Bereavement in children:
A treatment approach." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting
of the American Association of Psychiatric Services to Children,
Orlando, FL, 1993.
Burnette, J.D. "Managing chronic illness alone in late life:
Sisyphus at work." In Qualitative Studies in Social
Work Research, edited by C. Reissman. Newbury Park,
CA: Sage, 1993.
Burnette, J .D . and Mui, A. C. "Depressive symptoms and
living arrangements of frail older women in the United States."
Hong Kong Journal of Gerontology, 1993.
Burnette, J.D. and Mui, A.C. "Life stress, psychosocial resources,
and depressive symptoms of frail elderly persons who live alone."
Journal of Gerontological Social Work, in press.
Guterman, N.B. ÏResponsibility at-risk: perceptions of stress,
control and professional effectiveness in child welfare direct
practitioners.Ó Journal of Social Service Research,
Folaron, G. and Hess, P "Placement considerations for children
of mixed African-American and Caucasian parentage." Child
Welfare 72 (March/April 1993).
Hess, P "Supporting foster families in their support of families."
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, in
Hess, P and Folaron, G. The professional review action
group (PRAG) model: A user's guide. Washington,
D.C.: Child Welfare League of America, in press.
Cohen, P and Hesselbart, C.S. "Demographic factors in the
use of children's mental health services." American Journal
of Public Health 83 (1): 49-52, 1993.
Jackson, H. and Nuttall, R. "Clinician bias in response to
sexual abuse allegations." Child Abuse and Neglect
17 (1), in press.
Jackson, H. and Nuttall, R. "Effects of gender, race and
age on social workers' clinical judgments." Social Work
Research and Abstracts, in press.
Mattaini, M.A. More than a thousand words: Graphics for clinical
practice. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers
Mattaini, MA "Behavior analysis in community practice."
Research on Social Work Practice, in press.
Keener, MO and Mattaini, MA "Toward welfare that works."
Behavior and Social Issues, in press.
Mui, AC "Self-reported depressive symptoms among Black and
Hispanic frail elders: A sociocultural perspective." The
Journal of Applied Gerontology 12 (2), 170187, 1993.
Mui, A.C. and Morrow-Howell, N. "Sources of emotional strain
among the oldest old caregivers: Differential experiences of siblings
and spouses." Research on Aging 15 (1), 50-69, 1993.
Mullen, E.J. "Design of social intervention." In Intervention
Research: Design and Development for Human Services, edited
by J. Rothman and E. Thomas. New York: Haworth Press, in press.
Mullen, E.J., Combre, J.W., Mattaini, M.A., Corwin, M., Gatenio,
S., Castanuela, M., and Salas, S. Enhancing Minority Recruitment
and Retention in Graduate Social Work Education New York:
Columbia University School of Social Work, 1993.
Schinke, S.P., Jansen, M., Kennedy E., and Shi, Q. "Reducing
risk-taking behavior among vulnerable youth: An intervention outcome
study" Family and Community Health, 1993.
Schinke, S.P, McAlister, A., Orlandi, M.A., Botvin, G. J., Espinoza,
R., and Vaccaro, D. "Substance use among Hispanic and non-Hispanic
adolescents." Addictive Behaviors, in press.
Schinke, S.P, Moncher, M.S., and Singer, B.R. "Native American
youths and cancer risk reduction: Effects of software intervention.
"Journal of Adolescent Health, in press.
The Center for the Study of Social Work Practice
622 West 113th Street, New York, NY 10025-7982
(212) 854-7615, Fax (212) 854-2975
J. Mullen, Director
The Center for the Study of Social Work Practice is a joint program
of the Columbia University School of Social Work and the Jewish
Board of Family and Children's Services. The purpose of the Center
is to advance social work knowledge by linking research shills
and practice experience.
Dr. Alan B. Siskind
Executive Vice President
Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services
Dr. Ronald A. Feldman
Columbia University School of Social Work
Founding Director Dr. Shirley Jenkins
David S. Lindau (Chair), Frances L Beatman,
Amy Scheuer Cohen, Pauline B. Falk, Bernard C. Fisher, Mitchell
1. Ginsberg, Joanne G. Jennings, DSW.
Virginia W. Marx. Helen Rehr. DSW. Doris
L. Rosenberg. Ann S. Sand. Martha K. Selig. Frederic W. Yerman
Steven Schinke, PhD (Chair), Robert Abramovitz, MD, Linda
N. Freeman, MD, Bruce Grellong, PhD, Mark A. Mattaini, DSW
FALL 1993 NEWSLETTER STAFF
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Columbia University in the City of New York
The Center for the Study of Social Work Practice
622 West 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
The Center is a joint program of
Columbia University School of Social Work' and the
Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services