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How School Social Workers Make a Difference
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Here are some of the stories about How School Social Workers Make A Difference.  Tell us How YOU Are Making a Difference.

Be sure to also see  "School Social Workers in the News"  for articles written ABOUT School Social Workers. 


No seat at the table?   Make your OWN table!


I conduct mindfulness groups available to all students, direct support groups and individual counseling for students on IEPs, crisis response, parent information and referral, obtaining resources for students (clothes, food, housing), classes on motivation, organization, and futures planning. My work is diverse and rewarding! Contributed by Diana Rarich, School Social Worker from Jeffco Schools-Standley Lake High School  2/18/15

Be the Change you wish to see in the world --Ghandi

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

"Education is much more than academics, it is about providing our students with inclusive opportunities to be leaders and role-models"  by Ginny Grit, School Social Worker at Forest Hills Public Schools.  Ginny's work with students was featured in the recent Forest Hills Public Schools' focus newsletter.   She received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and Special Olympics Michigan called Project Unify. The article states:   "All children have hopes, dreams and wishes.  Children who have a disability are no different.  They do not have to wear a tiara to feel like a princess or don a cape to feel like a superhero.  At Meadow Brook Elementary (Forest Hills Public Schools), all that the students from the cognitively impaired program have to do is enter their school to instantly feel the love, support, pride, encouragement, and compassion their inclusive school culture exudes." Focus Vol. 20, Issue 4   Read more. 

"School Social Worker is Resource for Struggling Students"

Following the recent shooting in Seattle, Seattle news team from King 5 (NBC affiliate)  featured a story on SSWAA member, Carrie Syvertsen, regarding services that she provides as a School Social Worker to struggling students.   The team reported:  "There is help for students who feel they have nowhere to turn".  Carrie and one of her students are interviewed as part of their outline of services that are available to students who need assistance in schools. See storyThank you Carrie for sharing your story!    Source: King5 News, Seattle, Washington, October 28,2014

Going the Extra Mile:     The Southern Poverty Law Center's Summer Issue of Teaching Tolerance includes focus on a School Social Worker.   "Vanessa Dugo goes the extra mile to connect with families. Vanessa Dugo is a school social worker at Elm Place Middle School in Highland Park, Ill.Vanessa Dugo’s principal describes her as a leader who creates a “welcoming school climate for all our students.” From facilitating a Spanish-speaking parent outreach group to organizing peer mentoring for autistic students, Dugo goes the extra mile to connect with students and their families."  She stated:  "We always strive to teach tolerance. Making sure the students in our Structured Teaching Education Program (STEP) are accepted across all settings is a high priority."    Read more  about her work with students, parents and staff in addressing school climate and tolerance.   Source:  Summer 2013 Issue of Teaching Tolerance.

Low Income Students Get Set for Success.     School Social Worker featured on Today Show  video as part of the reason for this school's turn around.  June 6, 2013

Lisa Von Dohlen is a Voice for Students   Lisa was awarded the 2013 School Social Worker of the Year for Buncombe County Schools.  The article states:  "Von Dohlen sees her accomplishments not in plaques and awards luncheons, but in touching the lives of children--particularly the disenfranchised who are prone to slip between he cracks.  She is alternately passionate and frustrated about the situations some students--and educators working on their behalf--endure.   'I think the majority of "ordinary" people don't have a clue about the struggles That many of our children face every day--children who don't have stable housing, nutritious food, winter coats, transportation to access health care, or parents or loved ones who are trustworthy,d dependable and nurturing,' she said.  Many "ordinary" people don't understand the herculean effort it tasks for some of our students to just make it to the school door every day, and they sure don't understand the extraordinary personal and professional efforts of our teachers, counselors, administrators, resource officers and other school personnel to meet the needs of our most at-risk you,'    June 1, 2013, Ashville's Citizen's Times by Barbara Blake

487 & 488: Harper High School.  This American Life by WBEZ spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. WBEZ went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances. We found so many incredible and surprising stories.  Two School Social Workers were highlighted in both productions #1 and #2 who represented us well.

Keeping Teen Moms in School — A School Social Work Challenge  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  one in 10 new mothers is a teenager and fewer than four in 10 (38%) teen girls who have a child before they turn 18 earn their high school diploma.  ."Diverse staff at dedicated school programs for teen mothers provide opportunities for these students to engage with positive role models and mentoring opportunities. Generally, staff include not only academic and resource/support teachers but also counselors, social workers, and nurses, all focused on preventing teen mothers from dropping out of school. The school social worker coordinates interactions with the various staff members and services, processes new student intakes, and collaborates on individualized learning plans to address academic, health, emotional, and career goals.   March/April 2012 By Jennifer Van Pelt,      Read more.    By by Jennifer Pelt  in Social Work Today Vol. 12 No. 2 P. 24   March/April 2012

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