New Skills Era Literature 1956 - 1994
New Skills Era literature begins in 1955 with the formation of NASW and early literature ends with the merger of NASSW into NASW. New Skills include the expansion of school social workers moving from a casework model to a full service social work model including group work and system interventions. And in the middle of the forty years of this era P.L. 94-142 was passed and special education dominated the last 20 years of the era. The era goes until 1994 with the formation of SSWAA and the lessening interest in School Social Work by NASW. NASW dominated School Social Work Literature during this era. Major initiatives in school social work by NASW were four fold. From 1975-1994 NASW had a designated school social work staff person at the national level. Molly Freeman filled the position from 1975-1981. She was followed by Isadora Hare, a former school social worker, for over ten years. Starting In the early 90's the position was held by individuals who spent less and less time on school social work. The second major initiative was the development of a quarterly journal, Social Work in Education. That journal was renamed later Children and Schools. And the third outstanding effort by NASW was the hosting of three national school social work conferences (Denver, 1978; Washington, DC 1981, New Orleans 1985). Several NASW conferences were held in the late 80's and early 90's with strong strands on school social work before NASW ended their hosting of national conferences. The fourth effort was a newsletter for school social works (NASW School Social Work Information Bulletin) which contained news and resources for school social workers. While NASW came late to P.L. 94-142 (The Education for All Handicapped Children) they did provide some national legislative efforts during the Modern Era. NASW published a set of Standards for School Social Work (since revised) which are accepted even today as the accepted standards.
A second major player in school social work during this time frame was the Midwest School Social Work Council. This group formed in the mid 1960's was clearly developed in response to the void in school social work services by NASW from the merger in 1955 through the early 70's. Many of the Midwest states had state department of education school social work consultants. And a few Midwest states had formed independent state associations. The Midwest Conference was first held in 1967 in Rockton, Illinois and that annual event drew school social workers across the Midwest as well as other states and on occasion from other countries.
The third key group during the "Modern Era" were the state associations. New York and Georgia had state associations early. In the late 60's and 70's there was a rush to organize more associations and Midwest for reasons listed above led the way. The Illinois Association of School Social Workers (the largest state association) introduced the School Social Work Journal in 1977 which was issued twice a year and started a year before NASW's school social work journal. The Iowa School Social Workers Association also published a journal (16 Volumes) under two names during era. Many state associations held annual conferences and hired part time government relations staff to pursue their interests in their states.
School Social Work History
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Most of the early materials were shared by school social workers who were once members of the National Association of School Social Workers. This site is a tribute to those colleagues from the past. In my quest to develop a bibliography of early school social work literature I had the good fortune of meeting leading school social workers active in the profession in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. They shared much original material.
Much of the early literature has been hidden and unavailable for the past 50 years. Collections of the early bulletins do not exist in libraries or on any other websites.
Today with the advent of online literature searches there is no need for a current school social work bibliography.
As a graduate student at the Jane Addams School of Social Work in 1973 I was a school social work intern when I began to gather items for a school social work bibliography. There were no textbooks for school social work, no journals, and no specific classes on school social work.