Advances in Social Work <p><em>Advances in Social Work</em> is a peer-reviewed journal committed to enhancing the linkage among social work practice, research, and education. Accordingly, the journal addresses current issues, challenges, and responses facing social work practice and education globally. The journal invites discussion and development of innovations in social work practice and their implications for social work research and education. <em>Advances in Social Work</em> seeks to publish empirical, conceptual, and theoretical articles that make substantial contributions to the field in all areas of social work including clinical practice, community organization, social administration, social policy, planning, and program evaluation.</p> IU School of Social Work en-US Advances in Social Work 1527-8565 <p>Copyright to works published in <em>Advances in Social Work</em> is retained by the author(s).</p> Sustaining Trajectories <p>While the literature is replete with studies on persistence among students across academic majors, few studies examine the nature of persistence among Black males enrolled in baccalaureate social work programs. This qualitative study offers some insight into how a sample of four Black male graduates from an accredited baccalaureate social work program persisted toward degree attainment. Three themes emerged from this study: (a) family encouragement and support, (b) sense of belonging, and (c) presence of Black male professors. Findings suggest the need for social work educators to consider programmatic initiatives acknowledging the role of families in persistence efforts, facilitating connectedness, and recruiting Black male professors or other Black male mentors.</p> Lamont D. Simmons Copyright (c) 2020 Lamont D. Simmons 2020-03-25 2020-03-25 19 2 290 310 10.18060/22647 Emerging Bicultural Views of Fatherhood <p>Puerto Rican fathers remain an understudied population despite the growing Latino community in the U.S. Understanding how Puerto Rican fathers perceive their roles as fathers can inform our conceptualization of their engagement with children as well as the development of culturally-specific parenting interventions. In this qualitative study, focus groups were conducted with Puerto Rican men to identify their perceptions of their role as a father and how individual, child, and cultural influences may relate to these roles. Parenting roles identified by fathers in the study were: being there, maintaining open communication, building confidence, preparing for adulthood, teaching culture/values, and providing a role model for their children. The study also explored father and child characteristics, history with their own father, and a hybrid cultural perspective as influences on Puerto Rican fathers’ perceptions of their parenting roles. Due to the increasing population of Puerto Rican and other Latino sub-groups, providers and social workers working with Puerto Rican families should understanding the perceived parenting roles within families to better engage and support fathers and families within this growing population.</p> Cristina Mogro-Wilson Alysse Melville Loomis Crystal Hayes Reinaldo Rojas Copyright (c) 2020 Cristina Mogro-Wilson, Alysse Melville Loomis, Crystal Hayes, Reinaldo Rojas 2020-04-04 2020-04-04 19 2 311 328 10.18060/22581 Inclusive Education for Children with Intellectual Disability (ID) in Ghana <p>Inclusive education in Ghana is in its infancy. Due to the wide array of challenges that may be encountered in the effort to implement inclusive education, programs are needed that involve a cross-section of professionals including social workers. In this study, in-depth face-to-face interviews were used to collect data from 15 educators and social workers about the challenges associated with inclusive education for children with intellectual disability (ID) in Ghana and the implications that these challenges have for social work practice in the education system. Some key roles that social workers can play in inclusive education in Ghana include intensifying public awareness to curb misconceptions about IDs, and serving as liaisons between the school, home, and community. A system is needed that fosters effective collaboration between educators and social workers to enhance educational outcomes for children with ID in inclusive school settings in Ghana.</p> Abigail Adubea Mills Copyright (c) 2020 Abigail Adubea Mills 2020-03-25 2020-03-25 19 2 329 348 10.18060/22539 Making it Work <p>While doctoral education is growing in the United States, attrition from doctoral programs is high; 40-60% of students who begin doctoral programs do not complete them. Previous research has explored reasons for attrition, but little research has examined persistence, and none have looked at persistence for women during and after pregnancy. This qualitative study explored female doctoral students and graduates’ (n=28) attributions of persistence to completion in their professional healthcare doctoral programs (57% social work) after a pregnancy and/or birth. Two primary themes emerged from this study. First, women attributed their persistence in the program to internal resources such as determination, organization, discipline, and the ability to assess needs and shift resources, schedules, plans, or expectations to meet those needs. Second, some women attributed their ability to persist in their program to good luck, in terms of fertility, pregnancy timing, expectations of the student, and family friendly advisors and programs. Dissertation chairs and advisors can use these findings to more effectively support pregnant and parenting students, including helping them build important skills and reflect on implicit messages about caregiving women who are doctoral students.</p> Rebecca G. Mirick Stephanie P. Wladkowski Copyright (c) 2020 Rebecca G. Mirick, Stephanie P. Wladkowski 2020-04-09 2020-04-09 19 2 349 368 10.18060/23220 Self-Change in Facilitating Empowerment <p>Youth empowerment is a critical research area because it has implications for reducing adolescent mental health stigma while improving their life trajectory, engagement in treatment and meaningful opportunities, and increasing self-esteem. The present inquiry is derived from a larger study and strives to enhance knowledge of youth empowerment by using Frank’s rhetoric of self-change—a form of narrative analysis—to understand events and reactive experiences of illness as occasions for changing the self. This narrative approach facilitated the development of a youth empowerment process because of its ability to identify similar characteristics across the three cases of youths included in this analysis. Actively participating in age/developmentally appropriate activities put the adolescents on a trajectory towards attaining milestones in a timely manner coinciding with the developmental timeline of peers without mental health issues. Additional research is needed to understand how the identified factors promote empowerment among adolescents with mental health issues. Narrative research has implications for clinical social work because it illuminates strengths that can be beneficial in promoting positive interventions.</p> Derrick Kranke Copyright (c) 2020 Derrick Kranke 2020-03-26 2020-03-26 19 2 369 382 10.18060/22535 Knowledge That Changes Social Work Practice <p>There is continuing interest in the relationship between knowledge and practice in social work. Overly narrow conceptualizations of the EBP model deepened the gap between practice knowledge and formal research evidence in the profession. While much has been written about the dissemination and adaptation of research findings to practice, much less is known about the actual sources of knowledge social workers draw on in their practice. This paper reports findings from an exploratory survey about the sources and content of knowledge that changed professional practice among social work field instructors (n=250) in St. Louis. An analysis of open-ended responses revealed that co-workers and continuing education programs are the most important sources for knowledge and information that influence practice. While academic journals are perceived by practitioners to be relatively unimportant sources for such knowledge, research findings on the background and effectiveness of interventions, make up the primary content that appears to affect social work practice. The findings suggest that formal research knowledge is important but that it is primarily accessed through professional networks and training programs instead of directly from peer-reviewed journals. Social media platforms seemed to be insignificant sources for professional knowledge. These insights raise important questions about how social workers use social media and the role of occupational networks and associations for the dissemination of research findings. Finally, our findings suggest that agencies and researchers think more purposefully about the infusion of knowledge into practice through opportunities for professional socialization, the use of research briefs, and open-access, peer-reviewed journals.</p> Florian Sichling Diane Beckerle O’Brien Copyright (c) 2020 Florian Sichling, Diane Beckerle O’Brien 2020-04-11 2020-04-11 19 2 383 396 10.18060/22918 A Matter of Trust <p class="Default" style="line-height: 200%;">Mental health problems among children and adolescents are widespread. Parents seeking information about child mental health problems and treatments face numerous barriers, including fear of stigmatization and uncertainty about where to seek help. In this qualitative study, seven parents whose children had experienced a mental health, behavioral, or emotional problem were interviewed about their attitudes and beliefs about child mental health information sources. Analysis revealed that the concept of trust was an overarching theme in parents’ pursuit and evaluation of information. Related themes included a preference for information from other parents with experience parenting a child with a mental health problem; seeking information from knowledgeable professionals with whom the parents had personal relationships; concerns about confidentiality and protection of privacy; and involvement of school personnel when seeking mental health information and help. Findings support the need for improved mental health literacy among parents and suggest that social workers should play a more active role in educating families and service providers about child mental health.</p> Rebecca Bonanno Kristina Veselak Copyright (c) 2020 Rebecca Bonanno, Kristina Veselak 2020-04-02 2020-04-02 19 2 397 415 10.18060/22970 Secondary Traumatic Stress, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction Among Child Advocacy Interdisciplinary Team Members <p>Recent research has examined the stress and indirect trauma experienced by helping professionals who work with survivors of direct trauma, including interpersonal violence. Little of this research has focused on Child Advocacy Center team members. This practice-based survey research addresses that gap. The study examined secondary traumatic stress (STS), burnout, and compassion satisfaction (CS) in interdisciplinary team members (n=36) of one Child Advocacy Center in the southern United States, and explored relationships between CS, STS, and burnout. As assessed by the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale, 50% of participants experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms due to STS. Based on the Professional Quality of Life Scale, burnout was low and CS was high. Those with higher CS had lower burnout and STS. Positive associations were also found between life stresses in the past year as measured by the Social Readjustment Rating Scale and STS and burnout, but not CS. Practitioners, agency supervisors, and administrators need to be aware of the effects of trauma work, regularly assess for these effects, and provide opportunities for support and debriefing. Schools of social work should consider developing and implementing specialized units on STS and self-care.</p> Marlys Staudt Mona Williams-Hayes Copyright (c) 2020 Marlys Staudt, Mona Williams-Hayes 2020-04-11 2020-04-11 19 2 416 429 10.18060/22957 The Global Reach of Social Work <p>Technological innovations in social work education support efforts to expand the global reach of social work education. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) represent one type of innovation; however, little is known about their potential for promoting global social work. In 2015, our school of social work developed the first known social work MOOC using the edX platform. In this paper, we explore the initial voluntary survey data from registrants (n=992) to determine participation patterns and motivations. Our data indicates that the MOOC engaged participants from over 180 countries, with over one-third (35%) from the United States. Over 40% of participants rated themselves as novices with social work content. Thematic analysis of open-ended responses suggests that many participants were working in organizations or NGOs and wanted information about how to be more effective as a worker in these settings. Their participation in the MOOC allowed for exploration of a social work educational program. Further analysis of demographic trends, motivations, and participation levels suggests that MOOCs can be a platform for extending the reach of social work education to global social work settings. More research is needed to fully explore the potential of this educational platform for expanding the reach of social work education globally.</p> Katie Richards-Schuster Mary Ruffolo Charity Hoffman Change Kwesele Copyright (c) 2020 Katie Richards-Schuster, Mary Ruffolo, Charity Hoffman, Change Kwesele 2020-04-06 2020-04-06 19 2 430 445 10.18060/22440 Transformative Learning and Inclusion in a Global Social Work Course <p>As there are many types of global learning experiences for students, understanding best practices is critical in resource allocation and developing competencies. Additionally, diversifying global education is essential in addressing unequal student access and improving cross-cultural competence. This paper describes a short-term international course with graduate students from social work, public health, and nursing. Nine students participated in semi-structured interviews about the impact of the course on their lives. Transformative learning theory emerged as an important pedagogical guide as students described transformations in lifestyle and perspectives that developed through experiential learning. Recommendations for improving learning and increasing cultural and interprofessional learning include having guided group discussions on critical incidents, using a critical reflection process focused on cultural assumptions, and focusing on the psychological, convictional, and behavioral dimensions of learning. Traditionally underrepresented students described barriers related to international study, further emphasizing the importance of encouraging underrepresented students to pursue global opportunities through mentoring, targeted marketing, and making international experiences affordable and logistically feasible. Inclusion of students from different backgrounds in international courses is not only important in promoting social justice, but also enhances cross-cultural skill development and learning.</p> Joan Pittman Deborah Gioia Copyright (c) 2020 Joan Pittman, Deborah Gioia 2020-03-25 2020-03-25 19 2 446 462 10.18060/22899 Use of “Comment Bubbles” in a Writing-intensive, Social and Economic Justice Course <p>A central question among instructors teaching writing-intensive courses is how to best respond to student writing. This study posits that the margin of the essay should not be reserved for instructor feedback only, and that allowing students to comment on their writing choices in this space has pedagogical aims. This study examined the use of “comment bubbles” to engage students in thinking about their writing choices in argumentative writing in an undergraduate social and economic justice course. Comment bubbles are comments and questions students inserted in the margin of their essays using the comment function in Microsoft Word. The margin of student essays was framed as a safe writing environment to encourage student self-expression beyond that already expressed in the essay. A thematic analysis of student comment bubbles found that students used the comment bubbles to react to research they read in journal articles, elaborate on their writing choices, share their personal experiences, and reflect on their future career interests. Allowing students to comment on their writing choices in this space facilitates student self-expression, self-reflection, and critical thinking.</p> Ninive Sanchez Megan Corbin Alexander Norka Copyright (c) 2020 Ninive Sanchez, Megan Corbin, Alexander Norka 2020-04-04 2020-04-04 19 2 463 477 10.18060/22428 Dual Master of Social Work – Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) <p>While there has been a proliferation of MSW/MPH programs concurrent with dramatic changes in the U.S. health system, there is minimal research on these programs. The purpose of this article is to describe the conceptualization, development, and implementation of an innovative MSW/MPH program at a southeastern university—the only such program in the state. Our goal as the first two directors of the program, serving consecutively, is to share knowledge and offer “lessons learned” for universities seeking to develop or enhance an MSW/MPH program, as well as agencies interested in forming collaborative partnerships. “Lessons learned” include the importance of strong ongoing communication among all MSW/MPH stakeholders, thoughtful consideration of the time demands associated with the program director’s role, viewing a developmental evaluation plan as a critical component for success, and recognizing the benefits of purposeful linkages between the two disciplines.</p> Patricia M. Reeves Trina Colleen Salm Ward Copyright (c) 2020 Patricia M. Reeves, Trina Colleen Salm Ward 2020-03-22 2020-03-22 19 2 478 492 10.18060/22579 A Survey of the Mobile Phone-Based Interventions for Violence Prevention Among Women <p>Information Communication Technologies (ICT), particularly mobile phone technology, has increased the propinquity between individuals by enhancing their ability to frequently communicate with one another through different mediums, like text, audio, video, and emojis. Cell phone technology is being used to combat various social issues, including several public health-related problems such as violence against women. Over the past two decades several cellphone-based apps, including Circle of 6, MyPlan, Panic Button, and Aspire News have been developed in several countries to prevent violence against women. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these apps are effective both as violence prevention and as an intervention tool in public as well as private spaces. However, very little awareness exists among social workers about these mobile phone applications (apps), particularly the capabilities and limitations of these apps. Based on a brief survey and classification of the existing mobile phone apps designed to prevent violence against women, this paper aims to explain how these apps work, and point out their capabilities and limitations so that social workers and public health professionals can better guide their clients in using these technology-based services. It is highly recommended that social workers evaluate how their clients are affected by the use or non-use of violence prevention apps and advocate for their client’s right to digital literacy and internet access.</p> Sunny Sinha Aviral Shrivastava Christiana Paradis Copyright (c) 2020 Sunny Sinha, Aviral Shrivastava, Christiana Paradis 2020-03-25 2020-03-25 19 2 493 517 10.18060/22526 IVF and the Anti-Abortion Movement <p>As the anti-abortion movement gains ground in the United States, it is important to explore the potential impact of overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) on the practice of IVF (in vitro fertilization). If the United States Supreme Court abandoned the legal right to early pregnancy terminations, it would open the door for states to enforce laws defining life to begin at conception. In all likelihood, legally establishing life to begin at conception may make IVF far less likely to be successful, significantly more expensive, more likely to result in high risk pregnancies with multiples, and more medically invasive. As the prevalence of IVF grows, this is a practice that should no longer be ignored in the political discourse on abortion. Instead, the unintended consequences of life at conception bills on the cost, availability, safety, and success rates of IVF can provide a strong argument in the toolbox of strategies for social workers lobbying against anti-abortion legislation.</p> Stephanie K. Boys Evan M. Harris Copyright (c) 2020 Stephanie K. Boys, Evan M. Harris 2020-04-02 2020-04-02 19 2 518 533 10.18060/22629 2020 <p>At the dawn of a new decade, I cannot help but recall that when I started my academic career in social work in the 1990s, it was common to look ahead to how life would be in the next century. Statistical projections forecast various demographic changes, often using 2020 as the future time frame. Back then, 2020 sounded far away and almost alien. Well folks, the future is here. Now that 2020 has dawned, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Certainly, the specific issues that social workers address have changed over the decades, and our approaches have been modified to tackle the new issues, but the struggle to understand and meet emerging needs persists. I used to jokingly hear that the ultimate goal of the social work profession was to put ourselves out of business. Given the intransigence of intolerance for difference and the persistent emergence of needs arising from “advances” of modern living, it seems the social justice stance of our profession will never be fully met. Indeed, our social contract is continually expanding.</p> <p>In the Fall 2019 issue of <strong><em>Advances in Social Work </em></strong>we are pleased to present 14 papers--11 empirical, 3 conceptual--written by 29 authors from 12 states across the U.S., representing different regions of the country and Ghana. Each paper is briefly introduced below.</p> Margaret E. Adamek Copyright (c) 2020 Margaret E. Adamek 2020-04-07 2020-04-07 19 2 i vii 10.18060/23952