School of Social Work Assistant Professor Publishes Textbook

March 20, 2023

            Dr. Brianna Lemmons, an assistant professor at the Diana Garland School of Social Work has authored and collaborated on her first textbook entitled, Social Work Practice With Fathers: Engagement, Assessment, and Intervention, published by Springer Charm. When she learned her textbook would be published, she felt both excited and immensely grateful.

            “Writing a book of this nature is something I’ve always wanted to do because I feel so strongly about training social work students and practitioners to effectively engage fathers in practice,” Lemmons said. “I just didn’t know when or how it would happen. Completing a textbook is something I expected to do much later in my career, but the opportunity presented itself in the most divine way, and I felt I had to take advantage of it, because I wasn’t sure it would ever come again. As a result of this experience, I have learned that there are some doors you just have to walk through, and trust the process, and I am so glad that I did!  

            Lemmons’ textbook focuses on ways social workers can interact with fathers in social service systems, which closely aligns with one specific area of her research: social work practice with fathers.

            “I am particularly interested in investigating ways to increase social work practitioners’ efficacy toward engaging with fathers in practice and ways in which content on fathers can be integrated into social work education programs,” she said. “In reflecting on our past history, the social work profession has historically been dominated by women. Thus, it is important to equip practitioners with the skills needed to serve the unique needs of male clients, which requires proper training and engagement in on-going, critical self-examination.”

            Lemmons also noted that research is a form of advocacy, “providing space to illuminate and uncover truths about issues researchers are passionate about.” She is passionate about advocating for the inclusion of fatherhood content in social work education programs, and for the profession to recognize the unique needs of men and fathers.

            “The underlying purpose of this book is not only about the provision of educational content on fathers, it is also a symbol of my own personal belief in the power of fathers in the lives of children and families,” she said.

Lemmons found inspiration in the relationship she has had with her own father, recognizing the important role he has played in her life.

“This belief comes from my relationship with my father who has played a very significant role in my growth and development. Without him, I would not be the woman I am today. In many ways, he is the inspiration for the book,” she said.

When asked about the process for writing the textbook, Lemmons said one of the most difficult parts was all the moving parts and remaining  on schedule , but the easiest was working with supportive, senior colleagues.

            “I had the opportunity to learn a lot about the process of co-editing a book, which is valuable knowledge that I can take with me into my next book venture,” Lemmons said.

            Ultimately, Lemmons hopes this textbook will inspire more social work practitioners to recognize the importance of fathers in the lives of children and to take more relevant steps to advocate for both children and fathers in their work, as well as in society.

            “My hope is that the content provided will be transformative in ways that lead to not only increases in knowledge, but meaningful improvements in social work practice with fathers,” she said.

            You can find Lemmons’s book online here, and you can learn more about her research here on the GSSW website.