Who Are School Social Workers?
Harrison School District Two Social Workers are trained mental health professionals with a Master's degree in Social Work. They work primarily in the Special Programs Department as itinerant staff who provide special education support to schools. Additionally, they are available to support social/emotional needs of students and their families. School Social Workers are a liaison between home, school, and the community, and can help link families to resources that will improve their child's ability to achieve their academic and emotional potential.
Why Do We Need School Social Workers?
School Social Workers advocate for the rights of students with disabilities, and they strive to reduce the effects of social, economic, and academic pressures faced by students. School Social Workers have knowledge of human development, behavior, and social systems. They help schools and families use this knowledge to make changes that result in academic success for students.
What Services Do School Social Workers Provide?
1. Special Education Services
- Participate in special education assessment and IEP planning meetings
- Identify factors that make it difficult for students to learn
- Mobilize resources to remove barriers to learning
- Complete social history, adaptive behavior, and behavioral assessments
- Provide school-based counseling
- Assist in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies
- Monitor IEP paperwork for compliance
- Serve as liaison between the Special Programs Department and schools
2. Services to Students
- Develop intervention strategies to increase academic success for at-risk students
- Provide crisis intervention
- Assist with conflict resolution and anger management
- Help at-risk students develop appropriate social interaction skills
- Consult on issues such as discipline, attendance, confidentiality, and child abuse
- Provide strategies to encourage student self-advocacy
3. School-Community Liaison
- Obtain and coordinate community resources to meet student needs
- Facilitate collaborative programs with social and mental health agencies
- Advocate for community/school services to meet the needs of students and their families
- Help the system respond effectively to each student's needs
4. Services to Parents and Families
- Assess school adjustment concerns
- Connect families with necessary community resources
- Determine appropriate programming and services for students with special needs
- Provide families a safe environment in which to share information
5. Services to School Personnel
- Collaborate with staff to find solutions for emotional, behavioral, or crisis needs
- Team with staff to develop plans for students with special needs
- Assist school staff by identifying factors that may be preventing students from learning
- Support the School District's goals through prevention and intervention
- Provide staff training on issues related to special education and mental health needs