Social Work Services

What is the purpose of social workers in schools?

Social workers understand people - the reasons for their behavior - and are qualified to help individuals change their attitudes, behaviors, and situations.  Social workers help to identify, assess, and resolve the social and emotional difficulties of children that interfere with their attendance, adjustment, and achievement in school.  Social workers help parents to better understand themselves and their children.  Social workers connect parents with community programs and resources.

How do school social workers help?

They help students....

  • cope with stress
  • understand themselves
  • like themselves
  • gain confidence
  • learn responsibility                          
  • get along with others

They help parents....

  • understand their child’s behavior
  • express their desires to the school
  • assist their child's school efforts

They help the school....

  • provide appropriate programs and services
  • understand parent and student concerns
  • assist teachers with concerns 

They help the community…

  • understand the needs of families
  • coordinate services to families

Who may require services from the school social worker?

Students are referred to the social worker when they show signs of social or emotional difficulties interfering with their adjustment and achievement in school.  Here are some of the things observed about a student that may indicate they are unhappy, upset, and unsure of themselves and might benefit from a referral for school social work services:

  • easily upset or cries often
  • appears to have no friends or has difficulties with peer relationships
  • frequently absent or tardy
  • does not respect the rights of others
  • does not do the required school work
  • does not care about their appearance
  • excessively shy and withdrawn
  • very aggressive or impulsive
  • demands excessive attention
  • disruptive in class
  • not working to their known ability
  • anxious or mood

Who refers students to the school social worker?

  • parents
  • teachers
  • principal
  • students themselves
  • other students
  • other agencies

Can the school social worker change things?

School social workers work with students, parents, and teachers together to make a change.  They can:

  • discuss with parents what might be done at home to help improve their child’s performance at school
  • discuss with students new strategies for getting along with parents, teachers and peers
  • help students understand the importance of education in terms of life success
  • develop and help implement behavior management plans for use in school or at home
  • help provide the necessary guidance and support that students require as they move through the different stages of growth and development
  • help parents to utilize available community resources