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James A. Forte is Professor at the Department of Social Work, Salisbury University. He is the author of Theories for Practice: Symbolic Interactionist Translations and more than 40 articles and chapters including many demonstrations of how to apply theory to practice in areas such as homelessness, domestic violence, bereavement, volunteer service, web-based advocacy, and multicultural practice. He has a special interest in symbolic interactionism theory use and has written on the history of partnerships between interactionists and social workers, on interactionist metatheory, and on applied symbolic interactionism (a chapter in the Handbook of Symbolic Interactionism). His other interests include the use of social and behavioral theories; the history of collaboration between pragmatists, interactionists, and social workers; the membership perspective of social work practice; policy advocacy and community service; constructionist models of personal and public problem solving, and theorizing competencies, skills, and processes.

His last book, Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Models, Metaphors, and Maps for Applying Theoretical Perspectives to Practice introduced a set of four theory translation tools and translated ten major theoretical languages for use by social workers. Professor Forte has been teaching human behavior classes (development across the life course, theory survey, macro and diversity content) for more than 15 years. Jim Forte is an active and highly regarded workshop presenter. He has led over 45 workshops in the last decade at international, regional, and local conferences and continuing education venues.

Professor Forte has recently completed two books published by Routledge Publishers. An Introduction to Using Theory in Social Work Practice provides knowledge and learning opportunities equipping the reader to use competently fourteen different theoretical frameworks to guide each phase of the planned change process. Skills for Using Theory in Social Work: 32 Lessons for Evidence-Informed Practice includes lessons preparing the practitioner to deconstruct the elements of existing theories, reconstruct theories and their elements for practical use, and construct middle range causal and interpretive theories. The book also includes lessons readying the reader to think critically about theories for practice using scientific norms, professional standards, and practical considerations.

Jim Forte earned his masters of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, and provided direct social work services for more than fifteen years. As a social worker, Jim Forte worked with elderly persons and their families in a community center, served as a group worker and then executive director in a clubhouse for persons with mental health and housing problems, created and led a group services program for nonviolent offenders, facilitated multi-family groups for families with adolescents charged with minor offenses, and counseled urban youth with learning challenges in a special school. For ten years Jim served as a supervisor for social work counselors and group workers.

Professor Forte has been a full time social work educator since 1990 and a teacher at Salisbury University since 2003. He was recipient of the Outstanding Virginia Social Work Educator Award, Virginia Social Work Education Consortium in October 1994. He received the President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia in 1996, and the National Association of Social Work, Maryland Chapter (NASW-MD), Social Work Educator of the Year Award in March 2010.

Professor Forte can be contacted at jamesforte@mac.com.

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