College of Education and Human Development

School of Social Work

Ronald Rooney

  • Professor Emeritus

Ronald Rooney

Areas of interest

Work With Reluctant and Involuntary Clients, Public Social Services, Child Welfare, Teaching and Faculty Roles, Distance Education, Blended Learning Interactive Television Pedagogy


PhD, University of Chicago 
MA, Kansas State University 
MA, University of Chicago


Dr. Rooney's special areas of scholarship and research relate to work with reluctant and involuntary clients in a variety of settings including public child welfare. He is co-author of Direct Social Work Practice, now in its 9th edition, the most widely used practice textbook in social work. He is also the author of Strategies for Work with Involuntary Clients, which is in its second edition.  Dr. Rooney consults and provides training for case workers who assist teen parents in reaching  educational and parenting goals. These teens are wards of the state of Illinois through the Teen Parent Support Network. Dr. Rooney has worked with a variety of educational technologies in reaching student learning goals and increasing access for students.  This has included interactive television courses and more recently blended learning courses. Such courses have included interaction between students and international experts through adobe connect.

Educational attainment of teen parents resulting from work with educational advisors; TPSN, Illinois Office of Inspector General

Just published ninth edition of Direct Social Work Practice with Dean Hepworth, Glenda Dewberry-Rooney &  Kim Strom-Gottfried.


Hepworth, D., Rooney, R, Dewberry-Rooney, G. & Strom-Gottfried, K.. (2012). Direct Social Work Practice. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks-Cole. 9th edition

Rooney, R.H. & De Jong, M. From deficits to appreciative inquiry: uncovering promising practices in work with teen parents. Chapter 10 pp 200-218. In Rzepnicki, T., McCracken, S. & Briggs, H. (eds.) (2012). From Task-Centered Social Work to Evidence-Based and Integrative Practice. Lchicago: Lyceum.

Rooney, R.H. (2010). Task-centered practice in the United States. Chapter 13 pp. 195-202. In Fortune, E.E., McCallion, P. & Briar-Lawson, K. (eds.) (2010). Social Work Practice Research for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Columbia University Press.

Chou, Y.C. & Rooney, R.H. (2010). Task-centered practice in Taiwan. Chapter 23. Pp 245-250 in Fortune et al (2010).

Rooney, R. H. (ed.) ( 2009). Strategies for work with involuntary clients. New York: Columbia University Press. Second edition.

Rooney, R.H. & Bibus, A.A. (2001). Clinical Social Work Practice with Involuntary Clients within Community Based Settings. In Corcoran, Kevin & Griggs, Harold E. (Eds.) Foundations of Change: Effective Social Work Practice. Lyceum Press.

Rooney, R.H. (2000). How can I use authority effectively and engage family members? Pp. 44-46 in Dubowitz, H. & DePanfilis, D. (Eds). Handbook of Child Protection Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rooney, R. H., Izaksonas, E., & Macy, J. A. (1998). Reframing from site bias to site identity: Pedagogic issues in delivering social work courses via interactive television. Proceedings of Information Technology in Social Work Education Conference. Charleston, SC.

Rooney, R. H., & Bibus, A. A. (1996). Multiple lenses: Ethnically sensitive practice with involuntary clients who are having difficulties with drugs or alcohol. Journal of Multi-cultural Social Work, 4 (2), 59-73.

Bibus, A. A., & Rooney, R. H. (1995). Training child welfare practitioners in work with involuntary clients. Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 6 (4), 13-22.


Workshop on engaging teen parents who are wards of the state of Illinois. March 7, 2011; Rockford, ; March 15, 2011, Rend Lake; March 17, Urbana; March 18, Peoria, Illinois

Presentation on brief treatment to Walk In Counseling Center Staff, February 23, 2011