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Handbook of Community-Based Clinical Practice$
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Anita Lightburn and Phebe Sessions

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159226.001.0001

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Partners for Success

Partners for Success

10 Years of Collaboration Between a School for Social Work and an Urban Public School System

20 Partners for Success
Handbook of Community-Based Clinical Practice

Phebe Sessions

Verba Fanolis

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the work of Partners for Success (PfS), a collaborative project between Smith College School for Social Work (SSW) and an urban public school system of a mid-size city in the Northeast. In a context of widespread experimentation in locating mental health services in the public schools, this program succeeded in achieving the goals of providing multi-systemic mental health services consistent with system-of-care principles, while preparing social work interns for clinical and leadership roles in school-based mental health services. The chapter describes the impetus for the project, the initial negotiations between the two partners, the agreed-upon goals, the initial stages of entry and engagement, a lengthy period of stability and expansion, the clinical model that evolved over time, evaluative studies of the degree of satisfaction experienced by different stakeholders, and the process of adjustment to recent financial crisis in the schools, with reduction in the scope of the program, coupled with integration into the structure of the school system. The story is supplemented by integrating discussions of important issues from the literature about school-based mental health practice, as well as with case examples.

Keywords:   Partners for Success, Smith College School, mental health services, community-based clinical practice, social work practice, public schools

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