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Applications by the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

The KU School of Social Welfare’s educational, research, and professional training innovations have applied the Strengths Perspective to micro and macro practice and policy in many ways, explicitly and implicitly, from the 1980s until now. Examples of related publications from current and former KU faculty, researchers, and students in various fields are listed below. For more information, please view the CVs of our School’s faculty and staff and the Strengths Research Cluster.

Items are included in this list only if the research on which the publication is based began at or was under the auspices of KU and addresses strengths explicitly. The scholarly literature applying the Strengths Perspective to social work is now vast, with contributors in many universities, other settings for practice, policy, and research, and several countries. Many of these writings can be found by doing an internet search (e.g. Google Scholar) using key terms: “strengths”, “social work”, “practice” and “policy” and by replacing the broad terms “practice and policy” with more specific terms such as those focusing on fields of practice (e.g. aging), forms of practice (e.g. advocacy), or populations (e.g. African American). However, readers should be aware that not all social workers use the term ‘strengths’ in a way that is consistent with the Strengths Perspective principles.

*Note: Not a complete list as this page is still under construction. Items are included only if the research on which the publication is based began at or was under auspices of KU

African American Families and Communities

Banerjee, M. M., & Pyles, L. (2004). Spirituality: A source of resilience for African American women in the era of welfare reform. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 13(2), 45-70.

Freeman, E. M., & Logan, S. L. (Eds.). (2004). Reconceptualizing the strengths and common heritage of Black families: Practice, research, and policy issues. Charles C Thomas Publisher.

Logan, S.L. (Ed.). (2001). The Black family: Strength, self-help, and postivie change, second edition. Boulder, CO: Westerview Press.

Aging and Gerontology

Chapin, R. K. (1995). Social policy development: The strengths perspective. Social work40(4), 506-514.

Chapin, R. K. (2017). Social policy for effective practice: A strengths approach, fourth edition. NY: Routledge.

Fast, B., & Chapin, R. K. (2000). Strengths-based care management for older adults. Health Professions Press.

Fast, B., & Chapin, R. (2000). Strengths case management in long term care. Baltimore, MD: Health.

Fast, B., & Chapin, R. (2002). The strengths model with older adults: Critical practice components. The strengths perspective in social work practice3, 143-162.

Nelson-Becker, H., Canda, E.R., & Nakashima, M. (2015). Spirituality in professional practice with older adults. In D. B. Kaplan & B. Berkman (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of social work in health and aging, revised edition (chapter 7, pp. 73-84) New York: Oxford University Press.

Sellon, A. M., Chapin, R. K., & Leedahl, S. N. (2017). Engaging Nursing Home Residents in Formal Volunteer Activities: a Focus on Strengths. Aging International42(1), 93-114.​

Capabilities Theory and Social Justice

Banerjee, M. M. (2011). Social work scholars' representation of Rawls: A critique. Journal of Social Work Education47(2), 189-211.

Banerjee, M. M., & Canda, E. R. (2012). Comparing Rawlsian justice and the capabilities approach to justice from a spiritually sensitive social work perspective. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 31, 9-31.

Banerjee, M. M., & Damman, J. L. (2013). The capabilities approach: A framework to understand and enhance TANF recipients’ employability. Journal of Poverty17(4), 414-436.

Children and Family Services

Allen, R. I., & Petr, C. G. (1998). Rethinking family‐centered practice. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry68(1), 4-15.

Cheon, J. W., & Canda, E. R. (2010). The meaning and engagement of spirituality for positive youth development in social work. Families in Society, 91(2), 121-126.

Grube, W., & Mendenhall, A. N. (2016). Adolescent mental health case management: Provider perspectives. Social Work in Mental Health, 14, 583-605. doi: 10.1080/15332985.2015.1089971

Grube, W., & Mendenhall, A.N. (2016). Adolescent mental health case management: Consumer perspectives. Families in Society, 97(2), 86-94. doi: 10.1606/1044-3894.2016.97.13

Mendenhall, A. N., & Grube, W. (2017). Developing a new approach to case management in youth mental health: Strengths model for youth case management. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal34(4), 369-379. doi:10.1007/s10560-016-0467-z

Mendenhall, A.N., Grube, W., & Jung, E. (2019). Implementing strengths model for youth in community mental health: Impact on case managers’ professional quality of life. Children and Youth Services Review. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.04.020

Petr, C.G. (2004). Social work with children and their families, second edition. New York:  Oxford University Press.​

Petr, C.G. (2015). “Birth” of the strengths perspective. Social Work, 60(3), 271. https://doi-org.www2.lib.ku.edu/10.1093/sw/swv013

Rapp, C.A. & Sullivan, W. P.  (2014). The strengths model: Birth to toddlerhood. Advances in Social Work, 15(1), 129-142.

Schuetz, N., Mendenhall, A.N., & Grube, W. (2019). Strengths model for youth case management: Professionals’ perceptions of model impact on clients. Social Work in Mental Health, 17(4), 426-448. doi:10.1080/15332985.2018.1563024

Education of Social Workers

Lieberman, A. A. (2011). The social workout book: Strength-building exercises for the pre-professional, second edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Family Violence

Anderson, K. L. (2010). Conflict, power, and violence in families. Journal of Marriage and Family72(3), 726-742.​

Financial Assets Development, Micro-Enterprise, and Poverty Issues

Banerjee, M. M. (1997). Strengths in a slum: A paradox?. Journal of Applied Social Sciences22, 45-58.

Banerjee, M. M. (1998a). Micro-enterprise development: A response to poverty. Journal of Community Practice, 5(1), 63-83.24.

Banerjee, M. M. (1998b). Strengths in a slum: A paradox? Journal of Applied Social Sciences, 22(1), 45-58.

Banerjee, M. M. (2001). Micro-enterprise training (MET) program: an innovative response to welfare reform. Journal of Community Practice9(4), 87-106.

Health Resilience

Canda, E. R. (2013). Chronic illness and spiritual transformation. In D. Saleebey (Ed.), The strengths perspective in social work practice, sixth edition (pp. 79-96). Boston: Pearson.​

Weick, A. (1986). The philosophical context of a health model of social work. Social Casework67(9), 551-559.

Holistic Conceptual Approaches to Social Work

Koenig, T. L., & Spano, R. N. (1998). Taoism and the strengths perspective. Social Thought18(2), 47-65.

Koenig, T.L., & Spano, R.N. (2007). The cultivation of social workers' hope in personal life and professional practice. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought26(3), 45-61.

Robbins, S. P., Chatterjee, P., Canda, E. R., & Leibowitz, G. S. (2019). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work, fourth edition. New York: Pearson.​

Indigenous education

Yellow Bird, M. & Chenault, V. (1999). The role of social work in advancing the practice of Indigenous education. In K. C. Swisher & J. W. Tippeconnic III (Eds.). Next Steps: Research and Practice to advance Indian education, pp. 201-235. Eric Clearinghouse. https://archive.org/stream/ERIC_ED427902/ERIC_ED427902_djvu.txt

LGBTQI+ Affirmative Practice

Crisp, C. (2006). The gay affirmative practice scale (GAP): A new measure for assessing cultural competence with gay and lesbian clients. Social Work51(2), 115-126.

Crisp, C., & McCave, E. L. (2007). Gay affirmative practice: A model for social work practice with gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal24(4), 403-421.

Mental Health Recovery

Fukui, S., Davidson, L. J., Holter, M. C., & Rapp, C. A. (2010). Pathways to recovery (PTR): Impact of peer-led group participation on mental health recovery outcomes. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal34(1), 42.

Fukui, S., Goscha, R., Rapp, C. A., Mabry, A., Liddy, P., & Marty, D. (2012). Strengths model case management fidelity scores and client outcomes. Psychiatric Services63(7), 708-710.

Kim, J. S. (Ed.). (2013). Solution-focused brief therapy: A multicultural approach. Sage Publications.

Kisthardt, W. (1993). An empowerment agenda for case management research: Evaluating the strengths model from the. Case Management for Mentally Ill Patients1, 165.

Marty, D., Rapp, C. A., & Carlson, L. (2001). The experts speak: The critical ingredients of strengths model case management. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 24(3), 214-221. http://dx.doi.org.www2.lib.ku.edu/10.1037/h0095090

Rapp, C. A. (1998). The strengths model: Case management with people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rapp, C. A., & Chamberlain, R. (1985). Case management services for the chronically mentally ill. Social work30(5), 417-422.

Rapp, C. A. & Goscha, R. J. (2012). The strengths model: A recovery-oriented approach to mental health services. NY: Oxford University Press.

Ridgway, P., & Bledsoe, C. (2002). Pathways to recovery: A strengths recovery self-help workbook. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas School of Social Welfare.

Ridgway, P., McDiarmid, D., Davidson, L., Bayes, J., & Ratzlaff, S. (2002). Pathways to recovery. Lawrence: University of Kansas School of Social Welfare.

Ridgway, P., McDiarmid, D., Davidson, L., Bayes, J., & Ratzlaff, S. (2010)

Starnino, V. R., Gomi, S., & Canda, E. R. (2012). Spiritual strengths assessment in mental health practice. British Journal of Social Work, 1-19. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcs179​

And accompanying free access brochure:

Gomi, S., Starnino, V., Canda, E. R., Goscha, R., & Eichler, M. (2013). Assessing spirituality within the strengths model of mental health recovery. (Pamphlet in hardcopy and online via Spiritual Diversity and Social Work Initiative.) Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. https://spiritualdiversity.ku.edu/sites/spiritualdiversity.ku.edu/files/docs/Mental_Health/spiritual%20strengths%20assessment%20for%20mental%20health%20recovery%20brochure.pdf

Weick, A., Rapp, C., Sullivan, W., & Kisthardt, W. (1989). A strengths perspective for social work practice. Social Work, 34(4), 350-354. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.www2.lib.ku.edu/stable/23715838

Restorative Justice and Mediation

Choi, J. J., & Severson, M. (2009). “What! What kind of apology is this?”: The nature of apology in victim offender mediation. Children and youth services review31(7), 813-820. 

Choi, J. J., & Severson, M. (2009). Toward a culturally competent restorative justice practice framework: A focus on Asian Americans. Families in Society90(4), 399-406.

Severson, M. M., & Bankston, T. V. (1995). Social work and the pursuit of justice through mediation. Social work40(5), 683-691.

Social Policy

Chapin, R. K. (1995). Social policy development: The strengths perspective. Social work40(4), 506-514.

Chapin, R. K. (2017). Social policy for effective practice: A strengths approach, fourth edition. NY: Routledge.​

Chapin, R.K., & Cox, E. O. (2002). Changing the paradigm: Strengths-based and empowerment-oriented social work with frail elders. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 36(3-4), 165-179.

Spiritual Diversity

Canda, E. R., & Furman, L. D. (2010). Spiritual diversity in social work practice: The heart of helping, second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Note that the third edition will be available in October 2019 with publication date of 2020:

Canda, E. R., Furman, L. D., Canda, H. (in press, 2020). Spiritual diversity in social work practice: The heart of helping, third edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Women’s Empowerment

Davis, L. (Ed.). (1994). Building on Women’s Strengths: A Social Work Agenda for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Haworth Press.

Peterson, K. J., & Lieberman, A. A. (2001). Building on women's strengths: A social work agenda for the twenty-first century. Gulf Professional Publishing.​

Edited Volumes Addressing Multiple Fields

Petr, C.G. (Ed) (2009). Multidimensional evidence based practice:  Synthesizing knowledge, research, and values. New York and London: Routledge Taylor and Francis.

Saleebey, D. (1992). The strengths perspective in social work practice: Power in the people. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Saleebey, D. (Ed.). (2013). The strengths perspective in social work practice, sixth edition (pp. 79-96). Boston: Pearson.


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