Social Workers and Urban School Discipline: Do We Need a Time-Out? Academic Article uri icon


  • BackgroundSchool social workers are crucial in recommending alternative disciplinary practices to prevent suspensions and expulsions in schools (Cameron & Sheppard, 2006; National Association of Social Workers, 2013), particularly in urban school districts, which experience higher rates of discipline disproportionality between students of color and White students (Barrett, McEachin, Mills, & Valant, 2017).Objective/MethodsGrounded in an ecological systems perspective, the purpose of the study is to determine if the presence of a social worker predicts school suspensions by race and gender in an urban school district.FindingsKey findings show that the presence of school social workers has a negative relationship with school suspensions for students of color.ConclusionWe advocate for an increase in social worker representation in urban schools and strategic practices to address school discipline.

published proceedings

  • Urban Social Work

altmetric score

  • 5.55

author list (cited authors)

  • Richardson, S. C., Williams, J. A., & Lewis, C. W.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Richardson, Sonyia C||Williams, John A||Lewis, Chance W

publication date

  • October 2019