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:
- Develop intervention strategies to increase academic success for at-risk students
- Provide crisis intervention
- Cope with stress, develop decision making skills, assist with conflict resolution and anger management
- Assist students in understanding and accepting self and others
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:
- Identify factors in the child's home, school and community environments that may be a barrier to learning
- Help teachers and staff strategize behavior management interventions and/or develop individual behavioral plans for at-risk students
- 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
- Advocate for new and improved community/school services to meet the needs of students and families
“About School Social Work - IASSW.” Illinois Association of School Social Workers, iassw.org/about/about-school-social-work/.