Journal Article

School Social Work with Grieving Children

Lisa Quinn-Lee

in Children & Schools

Volume 36, issue 2, pages 93-103
Published in print April 2014 | ISSN: 1532-8759
Published online April 2014 | e-ISSN: 1545-682X | DOI:
School Social Work with Grieving Children

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The purpose of the research reported in this article was to advance understanding of the work of school social workers with grieving students. This research was aimed at answering the following question: What are school social workers' experiences working with grieving children? There were two steps in this study. Fifty-nine school social workers in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, agreed to participate in the preliminary e-mail survey. Of these participants, 22 school social workers were interviewed in person for approximately 45 to 60 minutes. This exploratory study required an open-ended, inductive approach using qualitative methods. Interviews were transcribed and coded. Major codes were developed using the guided interview questions. Constant comparison was also used. The data analysis identified four main themes in the responses: (1) barriers to helping grieving students, (2) variations on how grief is defined, (3) social workers' preparation for dealing with grief and loss issues, and (4) referrals of grieving students to outside resources. Subthemes were developed under each theme.

Keywords: children; grief; loss; school; social work

Journal Article.  6792 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Schools Studies

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