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Narrating Practice with Children and Adolescents


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Table of Contents

Introduction: On Narrating Practice with Children and Adolescents, by Mery F. Diaz and Benjamin Heim Shepard
Part I. Ethnographies, Narrative Inquiries, and Life Stories
1. From Disempowerment to Self-Belief: A Center of Hope for Vulnerable Youth in Cape Town, by Sharon Johnson
2. Aging Out and On My Own: Stories of Youth Transitions Out of Foster Care, by Sabrina Gonzalez
3. Dreaming Despite Status: Immigrant Youths in Contingent Migration Contexts, by Stephen Ruszczyk
4. "Hear Me": Collaborating with Youth to Address Sexual Exploitation, by Margot K. Jackson, Vera Caine, Janice Huber, and Muneerah Amin Vastani
5. In Between Worlds: Narrating Ecological Heritage Practices for Teenage Wellness, by Kristina Baines
6. Neighborhood Surveillance and the Prison Assembly Line, by Trevor B. Milton
7. Considering Inequalities: Experiences in Part-Time Youth Work Experiences, by Yasemin Besen-Cassino
Part II. Autoethnography and Storytelling
8. Finding Justice: Transforming Schools with the Children We Serve, by Mery F. Diaz
9. Fitting In, Letting Go, and Other Common Concerns for Children with Disabilities, by Sherri L. Rings
10. Between Life Stories and the Struggle for Homeless Youth, Benjamin Heim Shepard
11. Childhood and the Politics of Care, by Elizabeth Palley
12. Living on the Frontline: Reality-Based Drug Education in the Era of Black Lives Matter, by Jerry Otero
13. Poor Mothers, Poor Children: The Feminization of Poverty in Rural India, by Gretta M. Fernandes
Part III. Practice Reflections and Case Narratives
14. Understand the Brain, Understand Our Children, by Deborah Courtney
15. Beyond Deficits: Shifting Perspectives in Child and Youth Mental Health, by Margot K. Jackson
16. Shifting Identities, Shifting Meanings: Adolescent Siblings and Grief, by Erica Goldblatt Hyatt
17. Creating Spaces for Sam: A Story of Healing Trauma Through Narrative Means and Art Therapy, by Susan Macdonald and Stephanie Wise
18. Stories of Youth and Family Navigating a New Frontier of Social Media, by Rebecca G. Judd and Benjamin T. May

About the Author

Mery F. Diaz is assistant professor of health and human services at the New York City College of Technology.

Benjamin Shepard is professor of health and human services at the New York City College of Technology and the author or editor of ten other books, including Illuminations on Market Street.


Exploring children's lives through narrative lenses illuminates aspects of their lived experience that are often invisible or overlooked in conventional research studies. Such information enriches our understanding of children's lives, enabling a more holistic context from which new and relevant practices can be developed. As such, the book is an important addition to social work curricula and a useful resource for practitioners. -- Stanley Witkin, author of Transforming Social Work: Social Constructionist Reflections on Contemporary and Enduring Issues
With respect and without condescension, Diaz and Shepard remind us how resilient children are -their stories defying deficit-based clinical categorization. We have much to learn from these narratives of coping and adaptation. Combining case studies and auto-ethnography with a narrative focus, this is social work research at its most acute and innovative. -- Irwin Epstein, Hunter College, City University of New York
Through brave story-telling, this volume reveals the lived experiences, creativity, and agency of children and youth. Whether concerned with the child welfare system, schools, incarceration, or mental health, the authors bring a critical lens to the role that systems play in oppression and liberation. Using reflexivity, auto-ethnography, and case reflections, the authors also reveal their whole selves as they negotiate their realities as social workers and reflect on their own experiences as vulnerable children. -- Loretta Pyles, University at Albany
A groundbreaking text that deftly and subtly explores the lived experience of children and youth, providing us with a profound exploration of their strengths and challenges. This creative, evocative, and deeply engaging book is a must read for all human service workers seeking to empower children and adolescents. -- Rich Furman, University of Washington Tacoma

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