Foster Care NASW approved.

Jerry L. Johnson, PhD, MSW
George Grand, Jr., PhD, MSW

Course Outline

This casebook provides students with personal and intimate glimpses into the thinking and actions of experienced practitioners working with clients dealing with adoption.

The contributors of this casebook combined many decades of social work experience and teaching to create an opportunity for students to study and analyze how practitioners think about practice. The authors move beyond the belief that practice involves finding “correct” interventions to solve client problems, and instead invite students to review and challenge the work of others to help them understand what informs important practice decisions with real clients in real practice settings.


  • Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Advanced-Multi System (AMS) practice approach as an organizing tool for students.
  • Sets of discussion questions within each case allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the case and to evaluate the process, ideas, and methods behind how and why the authors approached their case in the manner presented.
  • Casebook invites students openly to assess and explore how they would have resolved similar situations themselves using new knowledge.

About Authors

Jerry L. Johnson, PhD, MSW is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his MSW from Grand Valley State University and his PhD in sociology from Western Michigan University. Johnson has been in social work for more than 20 years as a practitioner, supervisor, administrator, consultant, teacher, and trainer. He was the recipient of two Fulbright Scholarship awards to Albania in1998-99 and 2000-01. In addition to teaching and writing, Johnson serves in various consulting capacities in countries such as Albania, and Armenia. He is the author of two previous books, Crossing borders- Confronting History: Intercultural Adjustment in a Post-Cold War World (2000 Rowan and Littlefield) and Fundamentals of Substance Abuse Practice (2004, Wadsworth Brooks/Cole).

George Grand, Jr., PhD, MSW is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand, Jr., also serves as the Director of Grand Valley State University’s MSW Program. He received his MSW from Grand Valley State University and PhD in sociology from Western Michigan University. Grant, Jr., has a long and distinguished career as practitioner, administrator, consultant, teacher, and trainer in social work primarily in fields dedicated to Child Welfare.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify seven distinct theories that have been integrated to form the Advanced Multi-Systemic (AMS) approach to social work practice. (p. 7)
  2. Define and utilize the six different dimensions of client information that comprise AMS. (p. 21)
  3. Identify key issues involved in the assessment of the home and community from which foster children are removed. (p. 30)
  4. Provide three reasons to utilize a strength-based approach with clients. (p. 41)
  5. Explain how language barriers may impede services provided by foster care agencies. (pp. 36, 54)
  6. Give two examples of skills necessary for working effectively with refugees or unaccompanied minors. (p. 56)
  7. Understand circumstances in which genogram use with clients may be beneficial. (p. 65)
  8. Define bibliotherapy and give an example of its use. (p. 71)
  9. Describe a situation in which utilizing self-disclosure with a client may be appropriate. (p. 81)
  10. Explain the benefits of making an in-home client assessment. (p. 90)
  11. Give two examples of issues associated with clients who “age out” of long-term foster care. (p. 101)
  12. Describe the unique conditions required for a “therapeutic foster home”, which is used in an intensive therapeutic foster care placement. (p. 107)

Course Contents

  1. A Multi-Systemic Approach to Practice
  2. Crisis and Kinship in Foster Care
  3. Lost in a Foreign Land
  4. The Leon Family
  5. Dan