Systems-Based Service Delivery in School Psychology

Susan G. Forman and Jeffrey S. Selman

in The Oxford Handbook of School Psychology

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195369809
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Systems-Based Service Delivery in School Psychology


This chapter examines the meaning of systems-based service delivery, the knowledge base that provides the underpinnings of this approach to professional functioning, and examples of how school psychologists have used this approach in educational settings. The nature and processes of social systems are described as they relate to schools and the lives of children and youth. Systems-based service delivery is a complex process that involves knowledge and skill in changing the behaviors of the adults who inhabit the social systems of children and youth, and changing the way these social systems function. Literature on organizational change and innovation implementation is reviewed as a basis for understanding how to incorporate new practices and programs in classrooms, schools, and school districts. Examples of approaches to systems change, and programs involving systems-based service delivery in school psychology, are presented. The core of systems-based service delivery is the recognition that in order to prevent and treat problems of children and youth, the various systems that surround them must be the targets of professional practice.

Keywords: systems-based service delivery; systems intervention; implementation; innovation implementation; organizational change; school psychology

Article.  13784 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Educational Psychology

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