Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Wesley Pitts

Committee Members

Rosa Rivera-McCutchen

Terrie Epstein

Martell Teasley

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Counseling | Educational Leadership | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Social Justice | Social Work | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


school social work, social work, testimonios, bilingual social workers, Latinx social workers, Hispanic social workers, NYCDOE, NYC, culturally responsive practice


Social workers play an important role in schools. There are about one million children enrolled in the New York City Department of Education(NYCDOE) school system, across 1,843 schools (New York City Department of Education, 2020). Of those students, the largest demographic group is the Latinx population, which has been increasing steadily since 2011. Therefore, there is an urgent need not only to increase the numbers of culturally responsive bilingual Latinx social workers, but also to understand their professional experiences. In order to address this gap in knowledge, the roles of bilingual Latinx school social workers as culturally responsive practitioners in the NYCDOE were explored.

This qualitative exploratory study employed the methodology of testimonios. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 20 participants selected by purposeful sampling and snowballing of self-identified bilingual Latinx school social workers employed by the NYCDOE. The theoretical framework that guided this study was the Testimonios en Acción, Testimonies in Action (TEA), a composite framework developed by the researcher. It is comprised of critical race theory (CRT), Latino/a critical race theory (LatCrit) and testimonios.

Utilizing TEA, the study found that the testimonialistas held common experiences about the way in which they went about their roles as culturally responsive practioners. Entre Nos Theory emerged from the study, an explanation and guide to the way in which they disrupted inequities in education and created school environments that nurtured growth for everyone impacted by the school building - the students, their families and school staff. The results from this study suggested that enacting culturally responsive social work practice, practicing effective school social work skills and situating the self, used simultaneously created a synergistic effect that provided culturally responsive practice to the NYCDOE community.