The challenge of preventing and coping with violence and other psychosocial problems among youth is the inspiration for this work, which offers both a conceptual foundation and a practical guide for helping troubled youth in schools. The book is meant to be a guide for practicing school staff. It is intended to be either immediately useful, or to be a stimulus for longer-range plans. All chapters are written by veterans of school systems who are or have been principals, special education directors, directors of guidance, school counselors, school psychologists, teachers, and school social workers. The topics range from a call for socially critical leadership from school administrators to moment-to-moment suggestions for interactions with students. Two sets of words echo throughout this book: prevent and connect. Prevention, not only reaction, is necessary if schools are to assist troubled youth, and in order to do the best job possible, school staff members must connect not only with students, but with the students' families and the community at large, as well as other school colleagues. Part I presents the big pictures and helps readers to re-think current conceptions of the work of schools in the psychosocial development of youth. Part II provides complementary chapters with descriptions and illustrations of effective practices for meeting the learning needs of troubled youth. Armed with the inspiration and the applications of this book, school professionals will be able to get to work immediately on fulfilling all students' promise, as well as their own as professionals.
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