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Newsletter: EBell: August 3, 2015
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SSWAA At Work for YOU!

A Lot Has Happened in My First Six Months! 

In January, it was my privilege to join SSWAA as its new Executive Director. Over the last six months, SSWAA has hosted a tremendously successful National Conference in Nashville, worked with states and leading researchers on various projects, executed its annual Delegate Assembly, and hosted a terrific Leadership and Legislative Institute.  In June, it was my great delight to marry Jon Oliver!  As a result, SSWAA has a new address and I have a new name--Rebecca Kunkel Oliver!  See my message to membership for more details..   

Back to School:  Time to Support Your School Social Work Associations!

It's that time of the year when everyone starts to get ready to go back to school. That means time for most of us to renew or join our state school social work associations so that we can stay in touch with local and state issues, supports, get our conference discounts and much more!  But Don't Stop There!   If you are not yet a member of the School Social Work Association of America, we would like to invite you to also join us.  Why Join SSWAA?  SSWAA provides numerous benefits including professional liability insurance.     SSWAA is working very hard on behalf of School Social Workers across the USA.   Everyone knows how important it is to be "at the table", when policies are being discussed and developed. Your membership helps SSWAA provide a daily national presence in Washington, DC, addressing the need for mental health services in schools and other important issues impacting school social workers.  

What Has SSWAA Been Up To? 

SSWAA has recently finalized the National School Social Work Standards for  Social Emotional Learning  and a resolution statement on School Social Work and Common Core: Aligning Practice with National Standards.  That's only the latest.  See SSWAA Activity Update for all the great work being done by SSWAA to support School Social Workers nationally, locally and in your day to day practice. When you have some time, take a look around our website.  We have provided a plethora of resources to assist you in your day to day work with administrators, teachers, students, parents and communities.   Keep in mind, what you have access to is only a portion of the information and resources that are available if you are a SSWAA member. So  join today and get FULL ACCESSEveryone's Membership Matters!


Help Us Grow:  Chance to Win a FREE Membership or National School Social Work Conferencesm Registration in Baltimore!

As part of our "Fall Membership Drive”, SSWAA is offering some incentives to help "grow" SSWAA.  Together We Can Make School Social Work Strong!

1.  Refer a Friend:  SSWAA members who refer someone who then becomes a member, will be entered into a drawing for a FREE year’s membership which will be awarded in December. How?  Log in to the website, go to "My Profile", click on "Refer a Friend".  You will see a form where you can email up to 10 friends/colleagues at a time and write your own email encouraging them to join SSWAA. The email they receive will include a link. If any of your friends/colleagues use the link and sign up, your account will record the number of successful referrals you have made.  Each referral provides you with an additional chance to win, so do the process over again and send to as many as you can! 
Attention State Associations:  The state that has the largest percentage increase in SSWAA membership,  will receive a FREE conference registration for one of their Board members to attend the National School Social Work Conferencesm which will be selected and awarded in December, 2015. We appreciate all of your assistance in spreading the word about SSWAA and the work being done on behalf of School Social Workers across the country. 
3. Attention Students:   "Like" our Facebook page. "Like" us on Twitter or LinkedIn.   Your name will then be entered into a drawing for a FREE Student Conference Registration(Must be a SSWAA Member.)  You can also "Refer a Friend" (see #1) and be eligible to receive FREE SSWAA membership for a year.

Time to Present the Great Work You are Doing:  Conference Workshop Proposals Being Accepted

Do you have an outcomes assessment system that others could learn from?  Are  you implementing an Evidence Based Intervention you can share with others?  Are you working effectively with a team to provide student supports?  Do you have expertise in working with a specific student population?    We know great things are being done by School Social Workers Please consider presenting a workshop at the 19th National School Social Work Conferencesm March 9 - 12, 2016!  Still time to submit Workshop and Poster Session Proposals which must be submitted by September 15, 2015.    Read more.  See Topics of Interest.

SSWAA Goes to the Hill:  "Raising Awareness of School Mental Health"

Thirty four (34) School Social Workers from Spain to California attended SSWAA's Summer Leadership & Legislative Institute in Washington, D.C. to sharpen their skills in advocating for School Social Workers, increased mental health awareness and services in schools and education funding to address barriers to learning.   Myrna Mandlawitz, SSWAA's Government Relations Director reviewed strategies to influence policy development and decision making at the district, state and Congressional levels.  Meeting at NEA we heard from national panelists who addressed topics including "How to Fund School Mental Health" as well as "The Whole Child and School Mental Health"(See full agenda). Libby Nealis, SSWAA's Director of Policy and Advocacy elaborated on issues and talking points on current proposed federal legislation, including the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which was being debated in the Senate while we were there,      Read details.       See photos.

School Social Workers are "Angels on Earth"

As part of the Summer Institute presentations, we were inspired to hear the praises for School Social Workers from Scott Cartland, Principal, who stated: "We have to take care of kids first." "We have to address all those unaddressed social emotional needs first." "The School Social Worker does the kind of outreach they need. After engaging kids, engaging parents THEN we can move on academics.Michael Yudin, Assistance Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Dept. of Education  stated:  "The work you do is so critically important. School Social Workers are the heart of what we do."  Deb Delisle, Executive Director of ASCD and former Assistant Secretary of Elementary /Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education noted:  "[School Social Workers] are angels on earth. You may not have wings on your back but I can see them.”    Read more.   (Photo with Michael Yudin, Deb Delisle & Myrna Mandlawitz)

DC Update: 
Congress a Step Closer to ESEA Finale

Congress has been working to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, currently known as No Child Left Behind) since 2007, the year in which the bill should have seen action. In July the House and the Senate each passed its version of a renewed law, with some major differences between the two bills. The next step in the process is to appoint a conference committee of House and Senate members charged with negotiating each difference in the two bills. The resulting package will be voted on by each chamber and ultimately sent to the president. Read More.

Appropriations Process Stuck Again

In its annual budget and funding process, Congress will again push to the brink of government shutdown and will need to pass stopgap measures to keep government agencies running until funding is settled. Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 ends on September 30, 2015, but Congress has not made sufficient progress toward passing the 12 appropriations bills to meet the start of the new fiscal year. Read More.

SSWAA Legislative Advocacy Team
Your membership dollars at work!

Resources for School Social Workers

FREE Publication to Reach Teenagers Who May be Depressed

The National Institute of Mental Health is making available a FREE publication  Teen Depression:  You Are Not Alone, There are Ways You Can Feel Better.  "If you're a teenager feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable for what seems like a long time, you might have depression. Depression can affect your relationships with family and friends, and how you perform at school. Learn more about the signs and treatments for depression in our new publication."   Download pdf flier  Great new resource for your office! Source:  National Institute of Mental Health

"Thinking About Ways to Heal Kids Can Expand Their Capacities to Learn"

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans presented the Summit on Educational Excellence for African Americans this summer at UCLA.  According to Pi (Bonnie) Ni from the Daly Brun "Panelists discussed ways to allow more black students to obtain high-quality education, including training teachers on black cultures, increasing the number of black students and teachers and emphasizing public education for blacks. 

Esché Jackson, a recent graduate from University of Southern California, who struggled with domestic violence and incarceration, said it is important for educators to understand the challenges students face outside of school. She added she thinks educators should consider turning a learning institution into a healing institution. 'Thinking about ways to heal kids can expand their capacities to learn the lessons,' ."   Read more  (Daly Bruin).  See article in Los Angeles Sentinel as well.  Source:  U.S. Department of Education (photo by afameducation img.0178)

Parenting Toolkit for Toddlers and Preschoolers 

Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers is a FREE, online resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Designed for parents of toddlers and preschoolers, Essentials for Parenting provides videos as well as information addressing common parenting challenges, like tantrums and whining.  Strategies are provided on:  Communicating with Your Child,  Creating Structure and Rules, Using Time Out, Giving Directions, etc.    Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters

Each year, children experience violence and disaster and face other traumas. Young people are injured, they see others harmed by violence, they suffer sexual abuse, and they lose loved ones or witness other tragic and shocking events. The National Institute of Mental Health provides information and resources to assist community members to help children overcome these experiences and start the process of recovery.  Read more.        Download Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disaster: What Community Members Can Do    (10 pages)   Source:  National Institute of Mental Health

Dot Kontak, Director of Communications 
Your membership dollars at work!


"This EBell Newsletter was reprinted with the permission of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA). SSWAA provides numerous resources to its members on a variety of topics related to school social work, including bi-monthly newsletters, information on advocacy and legislative issues, and website resources. SSWAA welcomes school social work professionals to join the national professional association. For more information, visit"

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