School Social Work
Every child deserves to be free from troubles that interfere with learning. School social workers act as the connection for school, home, and community services to help children with emotional, developmental, and educational needs. Most school social workers practice in public and private schools, although a small percentage may work in social services agencies or other service sites such as a preschool program or residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children.
School social work tends to emphasize services that address emotional needs in special education classes as well as services that address other problems that interfere with achievement and success in school. School social workers may refer families that are dealing with substance use issues to outpatient services, or start support groups for bereaved students, or help educate teachers about cultural diversity and how to identify child abuse.
School social workers use their skills and knowledge for counseling, consultation with school staff, systems change, collaboration, information and referral, and evaluation of the services provided. School social workers are often the first to spot the difficulties a child may be confronting at home or in the community and the first to intervene and find services to stop more serious problems from developing. They help prevent, mitigate, and resolve problems of drug and alcohol abuse, truancy and school dropout, teenage pregnancy, and homelessness.
• Elementary and secondary schools
• Special education placement offices
• Heat Start centers
• Counseling centers
• Early intervention programs