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News: International: October 2010
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October Electronic Newsletter, International Network for School Social Work

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Korea Association of School Social Workers' 10th Birthday

KASSW (Korea Association of School Social Workers, had its 10th birthday on the 28th August. When it started in 2000 there were less than 80 members and no more than 10 school social workers employed. Now we have about 2,000 members and more than 800 social workers in the schools. Korea has about 11 thousand elementary, middle and high schools, so there are still many schools without school social workers. However, social workers from community welfare centers, after-school care centers and youth counseling and support centers provide counseling and other support for pupils. School social workers are the key in facilitating this agency-based service to schools.

On 28th August, about 150 people gathered to celebrate the anniversary from all over the country. Not only school social workers, the members of the association, many other people came to see the special celebration. The event went on with symposium, official celebration, and a dinner party. For this special day, many people including Eva-Mari Thomas, Christina Nilsson

Padilla from Sweden, Munkhjargal Bujgar from Mongolia, Koji Kadota, Daimon Toshiki from Japan, and Marion Huxtable, sent warmest messages of congratulations to us. We’d like to say many thanks to the friends abroad.

At the symposium, professor Sung Min-sun, the 1st chairperson of the Korean Society of School Social Work (the academic society for the study of school social work) gave the inaugural address. Ms. Sung, other professors and the chair-people of KSSSW have helped our association in many ways. After Mr. Jeon Gu-hoon, the KASSW president’s main speech about the 10 years’ history of KASSW, there followed discussions with the representatives of four groups: professors, teachers, parents and students. The university student who once experienced school social work at the high school received the biggest applause after his speech. During the event, we looked back on the old days and showed thanks to the senior workers. We all stood up and clapped with cheers when representatives from 11 provincial chapters entered with their flags. To celebrate this day, a famous teacher and composer Shin Gui-bok composed the Song of School Social Workers as a present to KASSW. By the way, a special animation about school social work was produced and played on that day. It was made by Mr. Kim Jae-ho whose cartoon animation ‘Yongshimi’ was loved by all Korean people. During the dinner party, all the participants met with each other and exchanged joy and happiness. And we celebrated the issue of the KASSW 10 year-history book. Throughout the event, we laughed a lot, thought a lot, encouraged each other and promised to work harder.

Now we're on the new era of institutionalization of school social work practice. For example, Seong-nam city in Gyeong-gi province passed its regulation on school social work last summer and Yong-in city is going to decide a new regulation on school social work next month. And some progressive new provincial leaders and educational leaders of the province are studying to improve the educational environment for students. School social work, undoubtedly, is one of the most effective policies for safe and happy schools. So we are making a greater effort than any other time to demonstrate what school social workers can do for innovating schools for the future. And at the same time we will do our best to help the school social workers get more specialized and confident at work.

School Social Work Site

Lori A. Melhart, School social worker at 2 elementary schools in Chicago suburbs.

The School Social Work Site has information, support, tips and insights into school social work in the US today. There are also articles that will help with school social work practice, such as 7 Reasons to Start a Social Language Group in Your District, Suicide Prevention and Planning and Social Emotional Learning Tier 1 Universal/Classroom Guide. The site pulls relevant school social work news from all over the web and puts it into one place. There are also book reviews, links from relevant websites and legislative updates.

School Social Workers are dealing with new initiatives toward bullying prevention, social emotional learning and Response to Intervention. In addition, there are the ongoing expectations of data-based decision making and evidenced based interventions. All this makes current information that is specific to school social workers essential for our practice.

On this website, School Social Workers can get the news about school social workers, check in on other relevant websites and new legislation. Future plans call for to start a live chat, guest posts from other school social workers and interviews with some of the experts in the field. To get great information please email Lori Melhart at or leave a comment at

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