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Guide to Sources in Social Work

Guide to Sources in Social Work

Location of Materials | Call Numbers | Article & Journal Databases  | Directories | Background Information: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, & Handbooks | Research Methods & Writing Guides | Statistical Sources & Datasets



Location of Materials

All titles listed in this guide are located in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library Reference Collection unless otherwise noted. The location SSHEL RCC indicates the item is held in the SSHEL Reference Circulating Collection.



Call Numbers

Call numbers are groups of numbers and/or letters that classify library items by subject. Items are arranged on bookshelves by call number. The Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL) uses both the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress classification systems.

Social Work Call Numbers


Article  & Journal Databases

Databases are structured sets of information, stored in print or online. Often, databases are online collections of journal article citations and full-text. Find articles about a specific topic by using keywords, subject heading, authors, and more.

Social Services Abstracts. 1980-.  (online)
Provides coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development. The database abstracts and indexes over 1,400 serial publications and includes abstracts of journal articles, dissertations, and book citations.

Family and Society Studies Worldwide. 1970-.  (online)
Provides comprehensive coverage of research, policy, and practice literature in the fields of family science, human ecology, human development, and social welfare. Includes book chapters, books, conference papers, government reports, professional journals, statistical documents, theses and dissertations, and working papers.

PsycINFO. (comprehensive coverage from the 1800’s)  (online)
Provides access to international literature in psychology and related disciplines. The database includes almost 2,500 journals, as well as book chapters, books, reports, theses, and dissertations. Additionally, there are more than 57 million references in over 1,300,000 journal articles, books, and book chapters.

PsycARTICLES. 1894-.  (online)
Provides access to full-text articles from over 97 journals published by the American Psychological Association and allied publishers.

PubMed.  (online)
Contains more than 21 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher websites.

Social Work Abstracts. 1968-.  (online)
Published quarterly by the National Association of Social Workers. Provides coverage of over 500 social work and human services journals since 1968.

Sociological Abstracts. 1952-.  (online)
Provides summaries of all articles appearing in about 200 core sociology journals and selected articles from another 1,200 serials from cognate disciplines. Categories of particular relevance to social work include family and socialization, health and medicine, social problems and social welfare, and poverty.




Directories are lists of organizations, groups, people, places, or other data systematically arranged, often alphabetically or by location. 

Directory of Colleges and Universities with Accredited Social Work Degree Programs.  (online)
Issued annually by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Lists graduate and undergraduate programs accredited by CSWE as well as programs in candidacy for accreditation. Users can search by institution, state, program level and accreditation status.

362.7025 N2131 2012
The National Directory of Children, Youth, and Families Services. 2012.
This directory provides contact information for state and national/federal programs for children, youth, and family services, including social services, health services, mental health services, justice agencies, courts, police and sheriffs, education services, county government agencies, and special service agencies. Services are listed alphabetically by state. The 2012 edition also includes CARF (Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), COA (Council on Accreditation), and Joint Commission accredited programs. Older editions can be found in the Oak Street Facility.



Background Information: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, & Handbooks

Background information can be found in online or print reference sources, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks. Dictionaries contain brief definitions, usually only a sentence or two in length. Encyclopedias provide more in-depth description, usually a few paragraphs in length. Handbooks contain descriptions that can be multiple pages and describe the development and future of a subject.


HV12.B37 2014
The Social Work Dictionary. 6th ed. 2014.
Over 10,000 entries are listed including terms, organizations, court rulings, biographical entries and terms used in social work and social welfare. The section “Milestones in the Development of Social Work and Social Welfare” chronologically lists social work and social welfare accomplishments in the United States. Includes a section for acronyms frequently used by social workers.


HM1271 .E485 2015
Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. 2 vols. 2015.
This two-volume work, intended for general readers and scholars alike, focuses on exposing readers to a plethora of diversity and social justice topics. It contains more than 300 entries written by subject experts. Each entry also includes an extensive reference list for further reading.

HV6626 .E535 2013
Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence and Abuse. 2 vols. 2013.
This encyclopedia provides information about domestic violence and abuse to practitioners and scholars in an attempt to both educate and inspire preventative and advocative action. Entries are arranged alphabetically and cover the scope and extent of various forms of abuse occurring globally, including information about survivors and most vulnerable demographics; likely perpetrators; potential causes, impacts, laws, and policies; histories of social movements to end abuse; and information about groups, organizations, and corporations involved in such efforts. Key people and court cases and important correlates like animal and substance abuse are also included. Includes a timeline, a topical list of entries, appendices of primary documents and organizational directories, a glossary, a bibliography of recommended resources, and an index.

Encyclopedia of Human Services and Diversity. 3 vols. 2014. (online)
This book acts as a reference guide for students, instructors, and practitioners involved with human services in diverse populations. It covers a broad range of diversity, such as age, gender, ethnicity, ability and disability, socioeconomic class, educational level, and more. A subject index is included.

Q.361.103 En192
Encyclopedia of Social Problems. 2 vols. 2008.  (online)
This comprehensive, interdisciplinary encyclopedia contains over 600 cross-referenced articles on many different types of social problems in a variety of contexts. Each article is signed and contains a short bibliography for further reading. In addition to a Reader’s Guide, which groups related entries by topic, there is an alphabetical list of entries and a subject index. All three link directly to the appropriate entries. Users can search the list of entries and the subject index using a single search box, and the entire text may be searched using either a basic or advanced search.

Q.361.9703 En192
Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America. 2005.  (SSHEL Ref & Stacks, and online)
Contains alphabetical entries on topics related to social welfare in North America, such as education, development of the social work profession, and voluntary and state-supported public welfare activities. Each entry includes suggestions for further research. Appendices include research guides for historical resources and chronologies of social welfare history for each country, as well as a master bibliography. An index is also included.

309.12 So15
Encyclopedia of Social Work . 20th ed. 4 vols.  2008. (online)
This four volume encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of social work from a United States perspective. Entries are arranged alphabetically and each entry contains an abstract, list of key words, and references. Biographies of selected figures in social work are also included. Volume 1 contains a list of all entries and introduction. Volume 4 contains a topical outline of entries, directory of contributors, and comprehensive index. Volume 4 also contains four appendices: Ethical Standards in Social Work, Evolution of Selected Organizations’, Distinctive Dates in Social Welfare’ History, and NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice.

Encyclopedia of Substance Abuse, Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. 2 vols. 2009.  (online)
This two-volume encyclopedia contains information relevant to the day-to-day practices of psychologists, nurses, social workers, and other professionals who work with individuals addicted to alcohol and other drugs, both legal and illegal. Topics include codependency, gender issues, and treatment settings and are grouped in the reader’s guide into categories such as behavioral addictions, recovery, and substance abuse in the workplace and school. Entries are signed, cross-referenced, and contain a list of further readings. Includes lists of entries, reader’s guides, and an index.

339.46097303 P869
Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, and Policy. 2 vols.  2004.
This encyclopedia provides a view of poverty in the U.S. through the lenses of history and politics. The first portion of the encyclopedia contains historian-authored articles, ordered chronologically, regarding the perception of and changes in poverty throughout the history of the United States. The following entries are ordered alphabetically and contain topical information about various political and social poverty movements as well asother terminology used in regards to poverty throughout history. Evidence from primary documents and photos are included. Each volume contains a complete table of contents and Volume 2 contains an index.


HV43 .M525 2015
Assessment in Social Work. 4th ed. 2015.
This fourth edition was made necessary by development in government guidance over assessment in social work.  However, unlike previous editions, this work does not comprehensively outline guidance and legislation.  Its intention is to engage complexities within the field of social work assessment and is organized into twelve subheadings or chapters, including assessment practices based on systems, psychodynamics, behavior, tasks , strengths, and spiritual approaches. Three appendices, references, an author index, and a subject index are included, along with a list of tables and figures.

362.29 C781a
The Addiction Counselor’s Desk Reference. 2005.
This quick reference for addiction counselors provides details about various addictive substances and their abuse, the stages of addiction, clinical approaches and treatment planning options, descriptions of recovery programs, practical tips for improving clinical management skills, career enhancement resources, and a directory of organizations offering drug abuse and addiction counseling. The book also contains a glossary of frequently used terms, author and subject indexes, and a list of references.

HV 245 .B53 2013
The Blackwell Companion to Social Work. 4th ed. 2013.
This work expands upon previous editions with the inclusion of new sections on Practice and Theory.  The work is organized into six “books”: social work’s psychosocial framework, the human life cycle, when social work is needed, social work in practice, social work’s core components, and social work’s theory base. These six sections can be read individually but together are intended to provide a comprehensive review of important subjects in social work.  Legislation, name and subject indexes are included.

HV 741 .C516 2014
Child Welfare for the 21st Century: A Handbook of Practices, Policies, and Programs.  2nd ed. 2014.
The essays that make up the chapters of this volume outline the core values of child welfare in the twenty-first century. Recent research and the growing body of literature are reviewed as well. The book begins with a legislative and historical overview of child welfare. This edition is then divided into four major sections: child and adolescent well-being, child and adolescent safety, permanency for children and adolescents, and systemic issues in child welfare.

RC 469 .J67 2016
Clinical Assessment for Social Workers: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. 4th ed. 2016.
Designed for social work undergraduate and graduate students as well as practitioners.  Combines practical knowledge with evidence-based practices.  This edition contributes updated information and additional measurement instruments and diagnostic practices.  New case studies are included, as is an index.

Consultation Theory and Practice: A Handbook for School Social Workers. 2014.
This handbook follows June Gallessich’s framework of consultation theory and practice, which is broken down into six models. The six models include organizational consultation, program consultation, education and training consultation, mental health consultation, behavioral consultation, and clinical case consultation. The book will familiarize school social workers with the different models so they will be able to use them in practice. An index is provided.

Cultural and Social Justice Counseling: Client-Specific Interventions. 2016.
This timely volume gives readers a robust framework and innovative tools for incorporating clients’ unique cultural variables in counseling and therapy. Its chapters identify cultural, societal, and worldview-based contexts for understanding clients, from the relatively familiar (ethnicity, gender, age) to the less explored (migration status, social privilege, geographic environment). Diverse cases illustrate how cultural assessments contribute to building the therapeutic relationship and developing interventions that respect client individuality as well as group identity. In these pages, clinicians are offered effective strategies for conducting more relevant and meaningful therapy, resulting in better outcomes for client populations that have traditionally been marginalized and underserved.

RC455.2.C4 D536 2013.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM 5. 5th ed. 2013.  (SSHEL Ref and RCC)
This comprehensive manual defines and classifies mental disorders and enumerates the criteria by which diagnoses are determined. This most recent edition eschews the 5-axial system of past versions and offers readers greater orientation to its contents. Organized according to a lifespan approach, this volume first considers disorders diagnosed in childhood before moving into those whose onset occurs during adolescence and adulthood with consideration of symptoms than span multiple diagnostic categories. Contains the latest findings in subfields such as neuroimaging and genetics, and streamlines criteria for diagnosis in keeping with current clinical practice.

Handbook of Accreditation Policies and Procedures (2008 EPAS Handbook). 2008; updated 2016. (online)
Presents the Council on Social Work Education’s policies and procedures for the accreditation of social work education programs under the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Serves as a guide and stimulus for self-appraisal, self-assessment, and program development. Provides eligibility criteria, timelines and procedures, and actions for each cycle of accreditation review as well as associated benchmark documents for candidacy, initial accreditation, and reaffirmation. 

Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. 2016.
This volume presents the extraordinary growth of research on aging individuals and populations and the dynamic culmination of the life course, providing a comprehensive synthesis and review of the latest research findings. New topics include families, immigration, social factors, cognition, caregiving, neighborhoods, built environments, natural disasters, religion, health, and sexual behavior.

Handbook of Child Custody. 2016. (online)
This authoritative reference brings together leading experts for up-to-date theory, findings, and guidelines on the core aspects of child custody evaluations. Contributors offer steps for gathering more accurate family data through home observations, interviews, and collateral information. Chapters examine psychological assessment tools commonly used in evaluations, including measures relating to parenting competencies, mental illness, domestic violence, and substance abuse, and consider increasingly salient issues such as relocation and families in therapy. The section on case studies shows best practices applied in real-life custody situations, and a chapter authored by a family court judge offers a rarely-seen perspective from the bench.

The Handbook of Community Practice. 2nd ed. 2013. (online)
This handbook is intended to present a strong global perspective of community practice, supported by knowledge, theory, and practice. The book is organized into six sections: context of community practice; major approaches to community practice; issues, areas, and fields of community practice; global issues and approaches; community-based organizations, community building, service coordination, program design, and resource development; and research, evaluation, and the use of technology in community practice. Includes two appendices on macro concentrations in U.S. schools of social work and the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) competencies as well as an index.

Handbook of Family Resilience. 2013. (online)
This handbook provides a broad body of knowledge regarding the traits and patterns found to characterize resilient individuals and well-functioning families, including those with diverse structures, various ethnic backgrounds, and a variety of non-traditional forms. Chapters are divided into six parts covering resilience in general; resilience and families; resilience and ethnicity; resilience, loss, and grief; resilience and ability; and resilience, trauma, and abuse. Includes a detailed index.

International Handbook of Psychological Well-Being in Children and Adolescents: Bridging the Gaps Between Theory, Research, and Practice. 2015. (online)
This handbook addresses universal developmental and cultural factors contributing to child and adolescent mental health and well-being across the globe. It examines sociocultural contexts of development and identifies children’s and adolescents’ perspectives as critical to understanding and promoting their psychological well-being. It details the Promoting Psychological Well-Being Globally project’s methodology for data collection and analysis, provides cross-cultural analyses of its findings, and offers a practical model for clinicians and other professionals seeking to apply this knowledge to real-life settings.

HV40 .P33 2014
Modern Social Work Theory. 4th ed. 2014.
This edition seeks to build upon previous editions by introducing the most relevant and current issues that effect modern social work.  Case studies and diagrams have been expanded from previous editions.  It is divided into two parts: a summary of general debates about the application of social work theory, and a review and analysis of the main groups of applicable theories.  Suggestions for further reading are included, as are an extensive bibliography, author index, and subject index.

HV88 .N686 2015
Social Work Speaks: National Association of Social Workers Policy Statements, 2015-2017. 10th ed. 2015.
This report includes all policy statements of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) on various issues and topics related to the field. It includes a content guide organized by general topic area, a list of new or revised policy statements approved by the 2014 Delegate Assembly, title changes to statements from the 9th edition, a copy of the current NASW Code of Ethics, and an index.

HV40 .S6464 2015
Social Workers’ Desk Reference.  3rd ed. 2015. (online)
With 159 chapters collaboratively written by luminaries in the profession, the third edition of the Social Workers’ Desk Reference serves as a comprehensive guide to social work practice by providing the most recent conceptual knowledge and empirical evidence to aid in the understanding of the rapidly changing field of social work. Each chapter is short and contains practical information in addition to websites and updated references. Social work practitioners, educators, students, and other allied professionals can utilize the Social Workers’ Desk Reference to gain interdisciplinary and interprofessional education, practice, and research.

306.87 W6481
The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships. 2012. (SSHEL Stacks and online)
This guide offers social sciences students and practitioners a guide to examining and bolstering intimate family relationships in 21st-century life. The volume aims to integrate contemporary research, practice, and policy over eight parts: Trends in Couple and Family Relationships; Families across Lifespan; Communication and Conflict Processes in Couples and families; Individual Differences in Perspectives on Intimacy, Love, and Caregiving; Cognitive and Affective Processes in Couple Relationships; Education Intervention in Couple and Family Relationships; Interpersonal Processes, Families and Mental Health; and Implications for Policy.

The Wiley Handbook on the Psychology of Violence. 2016. (online)
This handbook features original contributions from an interdisciplinary group of scholars. It includes the latest violence research, as well as its implications for practice and policy. Topics covered include online violence and cybercriminal behavior, juvenile violence, sexual violence, family violence, and various violence issues relating to underserved and/or understudied populations.



Research Methods & Writing Guides

Research guides provide suggestions for finding and using information. Writing guides can help with managing and creating citations, developing a research plan, and writing specific types of articles or papers. 

The Columbia Guide to Social Work Writing. 2012.  (online)
This collection of essays aims to boost the professionalism of writing among social work students, scholars, and practitioners. With a focus on process, this guide begins with an overview of social work writing and moves through specific strategies for effective scholarly and professional written communication. Presents case vignettes, writing samples, excerpts, and author commentary to demonstrate and encourage quality writing in the field. Index provided.

H62 .K58 2014
Literature Reviews in Social Work. 2014.
Literature Reviews in Social Work is designed to help students and professionals of social work in composing literature reviews, primarily for the purposes of producing capstone projects and dissertations in degree programs and in evidence-based practice. The chapters of the work are focused on the steps of preparing and producing a literature review and in examining how literature reviews are used in social work learning and practice. Features within chapters highlight learning outcomes, summaries, activities, case studies, and further reading. Includes a glossary and index.

029 Am4p 2010
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. 2010.  (various locations)
The authoritative source for style and format for the preparation of manuscripts in psychology and other select social science disciplines.

APA Style Guide to Electronic References. 6th ed. 2012. (online)
This online resource, adapted from the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, provides information on formatting electronic resources in APA Style.  It outlines the key elements to include and provides approximately 70 examples of references for various online resources, including online journal articles, supplemental data sets, videos, apps, websites, podcasts, blog posts, and social media.  Available in .pdf format with a linked table of contents.

361.32072 Y35r 2012
Research Methods for Social Workers. 7th ed. 2012.  (SSHEL RCC)
Designed for a one-semester course on research methods at sn undergraduate or foundation-level graduate level. Consistent with current Council on Social Work Education (CWSE) accreditation standards. Provides an overview of statistical analysis and evaluation research. Contains fourteen chapters including common methods for acquiring research data and data collection instruments. Each chapter includes a summary and discussion questions. An index is provided.

HV11 .A47 2013
Research for Social Workers: An Introduction to Methods. 3rd ed. 2013. (SSHEL RCC)
This book introduces students and social work practitioners to research concepts, principles, and processes within the field of social work, using colloquial language suitable for beginners in the field. The 3rd edition includes new chapters on systematic reviews, research in post-disaster recovery and other crisis situations, and expanded chapters on statistics for social workers. Includes a list of tables, bibliographical references, further reading suggestions in each chapter, and author and subject indexes.

361.3072 Sa184
The SAGE Handbook of Social Work Research. 2010.  (SSHEL RCC and Online)
This handbook includes a broad range of social work theory and research from an international perspective. The contributors engage critically with the nature and role of social work research and evaluation. The book is divided into sections on the purposes, contexts, practices, and domains of social work research. Includes a bibliography of references for further reading and an index.

361.0072 H191 2010
The Handbook of Social Work Research Methods. 2nd ed. 2010.
This handbook contains information on social science research aimed at the needs and concerns of students and researchers in the field of social work. The first several sections deal with quantitative, qualitative, and conceptual research methods, with chapters on statistics, surveys, case studies, and literature reviews. This is followed by a section on more general research concerns such as ethics and applying for grants. Each chapter is written by well-respected social work researchers and contains a list of references, as well as useful websites and discussion questions. Indexed by author and by subject.

808.066301 Sz71w 2011
Writing With Style: APA Style for Social Work. 4th ed. 2011. (SSHEL RCC)
This handbook aims to help students and young professionals reduce confusion with APA and improve writing techniques in their papers and professional documentation. Chapters focus on writing with style, ethics and writing, general writing techniques, grammar and punctuation, writing an introduction, writing a literature review, writing a method sections, writing a results section, writing a discussion section, writing an abstract, listing references, preparing a title page and formatting a manuscript, polishing a paper, and preparing a presentation. Within each chapter are multiple exercises for the reader and a “For More Information” table which refers to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association which can be found on SSHEL Reference: 029 Am4p 2010. Includes references and an index.



Statistical Sources & Datasets

Statistical sources contain numerical facts or data. A database is a collection of data. 

Kids Count Data Book. 2015. (online)
The 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and within the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Using an index of 16 indicators, the report ranks states on overall child well-being and on economic well-being, education, health, family and community. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the report also examines the influence of parents’ education, health, and other life circumstances on their children.

Social IMPACT Research Center. (online)
Releases an annual report about poverty issues in the state of Illinois. Information available by county, age group, ethnicity, employment, education, health and nutrition, housing, and assets.

The State of America’s Children: A Report from the Children’s Defense Fund. 2014. (online)
This is a comprehensive compilation and analysis of the most recent and reliable national and state-by-state data on population, poverty, family structure, family income, health, nutrition, early childhood development, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and gun violence. Previous editions and other publications are archived by the Children’s Defense Fund.

361 C833st1
Statistics on Social Work Education in the United States, 2007-2015. (online, 1970-2004 in Main Stacks)
Annual compilation by the Council on Social Work Education that contains statistical information on its accredited programs. Data on programs, faculty, undergraduate students, and recent trends in social work education are provided.