School Social Work:
School social workers service children in a variety of settings regarding a variety of issues. Typically, students receive services through an IEP (individualized education plan) or a 504 plan, but can also receive services as deemed necessary by the school team. Parents are an integral part of the school team, and of the decision making process. Children receive assistance in developing skills that help them to be more successful in the school setting. Typical areas addressed by school social workers are: social skills, self-esteem, self-regulation, coping with family changes, and anxiety/school refusal. Social workers also commonly provide classroom groups regarding social-emotional skills, such as with the “Safe and Caring Schools” curriculum, bullying prevention, and any other topics as determined by school staff. Below is a description of what school social workers do, and was taken from the website of the Illinois Association of School Social Workers.
What is a School Social Worker?
School Social Workers (SSW) are a vital part of the educational team, working together with educational administrators, teachers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, speech and language pathologists and other staff. Their unique graduate level training in social work enables them to understand and interpret the influences of the school, home, and community on children. School Social Workers identify factors that can make school a more successful experience for students.
What do School Social Workers Do?
School social workers help STUDENTS:
- Achieve maximum benefit from their educational opportunities
- Understand themselves and others
- Cope with stress
- Develop decision making skills
School social workers help PARENTS:
- Participate effectively in their children’s education
- Understand and meet their children’s social and emotional needs
- Understand programs available to students with special needs
- Utilize school and community resources effectively
School social workers help SCHOOLS:
- Understand factors (cultural, societal, economic, familial, health, etc.) that affect students
- Abilities to make maximum use of their school experience
- Utilize their resources in meeting the educational, social, and emotional needs of students
- Promote a safe school environment
School Social Workers help COMMUNITIES:
- Understand school policies, programs, and practice
- Minimize those environmental factors which inhibit learning
Develop resources to adequately meet the needs of students and families