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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 bibliographic 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. (1597-. comprehensive coverage from the 1880s)  (online)
Provides access to abstracts and citations of behavioral and social science research from 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 119 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, under four major subject categories: Social Work Profession, Theory and Practice, Areas of Service, and Social Issues/Social Problems.

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.

National Foster Care & Adoption Directory. (online)
Provides contact information for State child welfare officials, programs, organizations, and services with a focus on foster care, permanency, and adoption.

362.7025 N2131 2012
The National Directory of Children, Youth, and Families Services. 2012. (Oak Street)
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.


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. (Main Stacks)
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. (Oak Street and online)
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. (Oak Street)
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.  (Main Stacks and 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 Stacks, Oak Street, 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.

362.2903 En192
Encyclopedia of Substance Abuse, Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. 2 vols. 2009.  (Oak Street and 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. (Oak Street)
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 as other 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. (Main Stacks)
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. (Main Stacks)
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.

HV245 .B53 2013
The Blackwell Companion to Social Work. 4th ed. 2013. (online)
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.

HV741 .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.

Clinical Assessment for Social Workers: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. 5th ed. 2021.
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 A48 2022
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5-TR. 5th ed. 2022.  (SSHEL Ref, SSHEL RCC, and online)
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. Recent Updates to DSM-5-TR Criteria & Text is available online (2022-).

Handbook of Accreditation Policies and Procedures. (online)
Presents the Council on Social Work Education’s policies and procedures for the accreditation of social work education programs under the 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. Updated every two years.

Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. 9th ed. 2021. (online)
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.

HV41 .H323 2013
The Handbook of Community Practice. 2nd ed. 2013. (SSHEL Stacks and 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 2020
Modern Social Work Theory. 5th ed. 2020. (SSHEL Stacks)
This edition seeks to build upon previous editions by introducing the most relevant and current issues that affect 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.

The Palgrave handbook of global social work education. 2021. (online)
An alternative perspective on social work education is offered in this handbook, changing the West-centric focus to include theories and issues encountered in other countries. Topics covered by the creators include the development of social work curriculum and teaching practices, with an emphasis on diversity and globalization. This handbook presents professional knowledge and personal experience – on both the international and local scale – to supplement and expand upon the current methodologies of social work education.

The Routledge handbook of social work practice research. 2020. (online)
Research on social work practice is a new and evolving field and this handbook is among the first to analyze and examine this contemporary research. Respected professionals in the field survey recent social work practice theories while also offering best practices for fieldwork.

The Routledge international handbook of domestic violence and abuse. 2021. (online)
Employing a variety of recent research from around the world, the authors of this handbook acknowledge that domestic violence is universal, but also informed by local cultures and contexts. The authors investigate the latest studies of what sustains and motivates domestic violence between intimate partners and the efficacy of abuse intervention with both the victims and the offenders. Each part focuses a different aspect of domestic violence and abuse to give the reader a comprehensive and intersectional understanding of the topic.

HV88 .N126 2021
Social Work Speaks: National Association of Social Workers Policy Statements, 2021-2023. 12th ed. 2021. (SSHEL Stacks)
A reference tool that represents the collective thinking of thousands of social workers across all fields of practice, especially social polices. Provides a comprehensive and unabridged collection of policies adopted and revised by the NASW Delegate Assembly in 2020.This edition includes 14 updated policy statements on topics ranging from voter rights and participation to sovereignty, rights, and the well-being of indigenous peoples. Includes a copy of the current NASW Code of Ethics.

277.308308996 W249d
Social Workers’ Desk Reference.  4th ed. 2022. (Main Stacks and online)
With 163 chapters collaboratively written by luminaries in the profession, the fourth 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. (SSHEL RCC)
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.

BF76.7 .P83 2020
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: the Official Guide to APA Style. 7th ed. 2021. (SSHEL RCC and SSHEL Ref)
The authoritative source for style and format for the preparation of manuscripts in psychology, social work, and other select social science disciplines.

HV11 .Y43 2018
Research Methods for Social Workers. 8th ed. 2018.  (SSHEL Stacks)
Designed for a one-semester course on research methods at an 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. (Oak Street)
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 Stacks 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.

Social Work Research Methods: Learning by Doing. 2020. (Online)
This book presents a ‶learn by doing” approach woven throughout the text helps students apply knowledge to practice. A three-part structure introduces the fundamentals of research methods, the different types of social work research, and the use of data analysis for evaluation of social work practice.


Statistical Sources & Datasets

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

Kids Count Data Book: State Trends In Child Well-Being.
Published every year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before — and during — the previous calendar year. This year’s publication continues to deliver the Foundation’s annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. It also identifies multi-year trends. In addition, the report shares data on how families endured the pandemic, sharing data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

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. (online)
Provides an overview of how America’s children are faring to inform conversations and improve policies to ensure no child is left behind. Summarizes the status of America’s children in 12 areas: child population, child poverty, income and wealth inequality, housing and homelessness, child hunger and nutrition, child health, early childhood, education, child welfare, youth justice, gun violence and immigration. Previous editions and other publications are archived by the Children’s Defense Fund.

Annual Statistics on Social Work Education in the United States. (online)
Summary of the CSWE annual survey of social work programs. Primary source of information about social work students, graduates, and faculty.

2020 Social Work Workforce Study Report. (online)
Findings from three years (2017-2019) of surveys of new social workers.