Ms. Jeannine Peters, MSW
School Social Worker
Spencer Crossing Intermediate
815-462-7997 ext. 6113
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.
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
- Classroom Character Education Groups - Provided monthly to all students within their homeroom
- Social Skills - Individual and small group sessions based on need
- Emotional Regulation Support - Individual and small group sessions based on need
- Divorce & Family Changes - 8 week group based on parent referral and need beginning in October/November
- Special Topic Groups & Classroom Presentations - based on need i.e. medical issues, crisis situations, bullying prevention, etc.
- Referrals to Community Resources - counseling services, homeless resources, food banks, utility assistance, etc.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR DIRECT SOCIAL WORK SERVICES?
- Students with IEPs or 504 plans that include social work services
- Students without IEPs or 504 plans who need additional social and/or emotional support to improve school success (Parents will be notified of teacher/social worker recommendation or parent may contact social worker with concerns, and consent form will be sent home.)
DOES MY CHILD QUALIFY FOR SERVICES IF THEY RECEIVED SOCIAL WORK LAST YEAR?
- Not necessarily. Social work services are very flexible. Children may need them one year, but may gain social/emotional skills or experience environmental changes that eliminate the need for additional support the following school year.
- Students who do not have IEPs or 504 plans can be recommended for social work services by teachers, parents, or other staff members.
- If your child has an IEP or 504 plan that includes social work services, he/she will continue to receive these services from year to year unless changes to the plan are made.
New Lenox School District 122 has been utilizing the “Safe and Caring Schools” cirriculum as a Tier 1 Character Education Program across all grade levels. This program will be delivered by the School Social Workers in each building. The curriculum covers the following content areas: Me and My Safe and Caring School, Discovering Our Feelings, My Support System, Respect Yourself and Others, Bullying, Teaming Up for Success, and Conflict Resolution. It is our hope that these lessons will teach and reinforce safe and caring behaviors for our students
Your child's School Social Worker be visiting your child’s classroom once per month for the duration of the school year to discuss these concepts, read books, and do activities to reinforce the concepts. For many of the topics there will be a mini-poster or activity sheet to accompany the lesson that will come home after we meet. It would be wonderful if you could ask your child about the group and discuss the concepts each week.