Children and Schools Journal Reviews Dropout Factors

New Research Addresses Cyberbullying, Child Welfare Outcomes, Child Care Subsidies and Girl Fighting

WASHINGTON, DC--Despite the economic difficulties in the United States and its attendant budget crunches in local government and school districts, there remains a growing need for school social work services.  In the January 2011 issue of its Children and Schools journal, the NASW Press has published a series of articles that address many underlying factors of the nation’s school dropout crisis.    

“This is, admittedly, not the easiest time to finance new programs or services, and practitioners will need to keep an eye out for opportunities that can follow things like the President’s call for action about school dropouts,” writes Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, in an editorial. “We must continue to relay the message that educating our children is not just a matter of better approaches to the three Rs.”

The January issue explores several timely topics:

  • School Social Workers' Perceptions of Cyberbullying, by Karen Slovak, Jonathan B. Singer—The writers surveyed school social workers and found that nearly half do not believe they are adequately equipped to deal with the issue.
  • Certification of School Social Workers and Curriculum Content of Programs Offering Training in School Social Work, by Ann Marie Mumm, Lynn Bye—The authors argue for a unified set of school social work certifications and an increase in collaboration between those responsible for designing the school social work curriculum in higher education, and those who set up credentialing requirements for school social workers.
  • Are Attendance Gains Sustained? A Follow-up on the Educational and Child Welfare Outcomes of Students with Child Welfare Involvement for Educational Neglect, by Anita Larson, Timothy Zuel, Mira Swanson—The authors suggest that including schools and juvenile courts in a definition of what constitutes "child welfare" will aid in intervening in child truancy problems, and help reduce educational neglect.
  • A Policy Analysis of Child Care Subsidies: Increasing Quality, Access, and Affordability, by Amber Moodie-Dyer—Decades ago the American public decided that a K-12 education was an entitlement for all its children.  The authors argue that it’s time to start thinking of pre-K education and child care as an entitlement as well.
  • “It's Murder Out Today”: Middle School Girls Speak Out about Girl Fighting, by Joan Letendre, Ellen Smith—After detailing a unique focus group study that gathered the opinions of middle school girls on the problem of girlfighting, the authors recommend that schools implement preventive interventions along with current mediation techniques in order to lessen the frequency and severity of these conflicts.
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