SSWNetwork Forum: Restorative Justice in Schools
Hello SSWN friends: This project has been in the works here at SSWN and our SSWNetwork for a while now, and I’m so excited to share it with you today. Starting in December, all of our current Loyola School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP) students will be “hosting” a week on our site, sharing information about their SMHAPP project work and responding to crucial issues impacting K-12 schools and school mental health practice. I’m thrilled to move into Week #2 of our SMHAPP SSWNetwork Takeover with Kenya Butts and Patrick Wolf, 2 Illinois SSW and members of the 4th SMHAPP cohort, talking about the EBP and the on-the-ground realities of Restorative Justice (RJ) in K-12 schools . Just as in Week #1, we will end the week over at SSWNetwork with a LiveChat from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. central time where we come together to discuss what we learned over the past week. Here in their own words is what they’re going to be doing this week in this “SMHAPP SSWNetwork Takeover,” along with some further biographical information about these two mighty school clinicians. Take it away, Kenya and Patrick!
“This week we will be discussing the topic of Restorative Justice in the school environment. Throughout the next week we will be discussing various aspects of the 2019 article “Restorative Justice in US Schools-An Updated Research Review” authored by Trevor Fronius, Sean Darling-Hammond, Hannah Persson, Sarah Guckenburg, Nancy Hurley& Anthony Petrosino. https://www.wested.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/resource-restorative-justice-in-u-s-schools-an-updated-research-review.pdf
As facilitators for this week’s SSWNetwork activity, we (Kenya and Pat) are specifically interested in the behavioral and academic impacts of RJ in the school and will be coordinating discussions on these topics throughout the week over at SSWNetwork. The above article is a meta-analysis of the current research coordinated through the non-for-profit WestEd. According to its website, the WestEd organization is a “ A nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency working with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad…WestEd aims to improve education and other important outcomes for children, youth and adults.” This week, our focus will include exploring what is being done with RJ in your schools as well as what the research is telling us about whether these RJ practices are doing what they set out to do.”
Kenya Butts MSW (seated in this picture) graduated for UIC Jane Adams College of Social Work in 2010. Kenya has worked in both elementary and high school as a school social worker and even had a brief stint as a dean of discipline for 3 years in the city of Chicago. When not being a school social worker Kenya is a mom and partner. She also teaches yoga in public classes and to her high school students. Kenya is trained in mindfulness techniques such as meditation and incorporates that into her social work practice. Kenya is also an advocate for self care for everyone but especially school social workers. She is very adamant about creating healthy boundaries between yourself and the work that you do.
Patrick Wolf, LCSW is a school social worker at Lockport Township High School where he is in his fifteenth year. After earning his MSW from Jane Addams School of Social Work, he ignored his advisor and went to work in the Healthcare field for twelve years before starting at Lockport. He enjoys professional challenges and has expanded his practice to teaching educators, mental health students and seeing individuals in private practice. Patrick utilizes a Holistic, Strength-Based perspective in his work which draws on many “frameworks”. Big influences include Mindfulness, CBT, ACT, DBT, and Psychodynamic theories. He is excited to be in the SMHAPP program and has already applied much of what he has learned to his school practice.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Both Kenya and Patrick are in their first year of the LOYOLA SMHAPP CERTIFICATE, a 15-credit, 2-year, 99% online program offered at Loyola’s School of Social Work. Not already on our SSWNetwork? It’s 100% free to join, And there are over 2,100 school clinicians there already! Join us at this LINK today.