Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Keith DeRaad


Social Work


The purpose of this project was to explore the role that social workers play in the delivery of play therapy services to children. This study used a quantitative design to survey 51 licensed social workers on their use of and perceptions of the effectiveness of play therapy. Data were collected through an online survey and analyzed to determine how frequently social workers use play therapy, what level of training they have in play therapy techniques, how effective social workers feel play therapy is with children and what factors are believed to contribute to its effectiveness. Findings revealed that the majority of social workers do not use play therapy with their clients, but do feel it is an effective form of intervention. Additionally, findings showed that social workers had minimal exposure to play therapy in graduate school or through continuing education; yet a majority of respondents indicated that they felt basic training in play therapy interventions should be a part of all social workers’ undergraduate/graduate education. This highlights the necessity of further research on the role social workers play in the delivery of play therapy services and the need for schools of social work to better prepare students to practice play therapy in the field.

Included in

Social Work Commons