Going back to school with School Social Workers

A Collaborative Public Education Campaign by the School Social Work Association of America and NASW’s School Social Work Specialty Practice Section


In August 2019, the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) and National Association of Social Workers (NASW) launched a public education campaign to increase public knowledge of the value school social workers bring to schools, students, families and communities, and encourage school districts to hire more school social workers. Here is a short video to kick off the campaign.

SSWAA's  Expert of the Month

heather alden

Heather Alden is the President of the Midwest School Social Work Council and is an elementary school social worker in St. Paul Public Schools, having worked in urban education as both a teacher and school social worker for over 24 years.  She received her masters in social work at the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work and an undergraduate degree from Hamline University in Anthropology and French where she also studied at the Universite de Strasbourg, France.  Heather received the MSSWA MN School Social Worker of the year award in 2011 and was named the SSWAA National School Social Worker of the year in 2012.  In 2015 she received the Hamline University Alumni, "Making the World a Better Place" award.  Heather has provided professional development to educators, other mental health professionals, and parents and is an adjunct faculty professor at Augsburg College.  Alden focuses her practice on strengths based learning, trauma informed practice, social emotional learning, culturally competent practice, bully prevention work and the use of Social Thinking with her students.  She believes strongly in the power of building relationships with her students, their families, her staff and members of the community.  Alden is the founder of Project Connection, a School-based mentor program that has been active for 11 years and touched over 150 kids and their families.  She is also an on-call social worker at Children's’ Hospital in Minneapolis.  At home, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage daughters, their dog Lucky, having adventures and sharing time with family and friends. 


LETTER: School social workers key to stopping violence

While trends show Forsyth County food insecurity dipping, local experts say problems still exist

School Social Worker Mary Pereda works with community resources to meet needs of students and families

'Kids coming to school with more trauma': Here's what local schools are doing

School social workers make a difference

WI School social worker, Stacey Oliphant,  nominated for an award

Metro school adds sensory path to help student wellness

Grandfamilies are growing

Former Lion Eric Hipple coming to ZPS to discuss mental health

Oakland County's first high school therapy dog brings comfort, companionship


  • Monthly topic that links school social workers to issues faced by school districts

  • Monthly blog, e-bell article, sample social media posts and web resources related to the topic

  • Monthly podcasts on highlighted topic hosted by Charles Barr, Common Ground or  Dr. Terriyln Rivers-Cannon, Dare to Soar

  • Monthly to-do-lists that provide SSWAA Members with information about what they can do to promote school social work in their school and district

  • Social Media posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

  • A Twitter Storm one day a month – the second Wednesday of every month!

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle


Post on social media about school social work, especially during our Twitter Storms 
Send letters to your principal and superintendent about the value a school social worker brings to the school
Share information about the national education campaign with all of your colleagues

Schools in Dayton, OH are hiring more school social workers

Let’s make this the year of the school social worker by raising awareness about our role in supporting the success of all students!

  • Twitter

#Back2SchoolSocialWorkers #NASW #SSWAA #BackToSchool #schoolsocialworker #schoolsocialwork #SEL #ClosingthegapSSW #mentalhealth


Thank you to the SSWAA Public Relations Committee for their work on this campaign --

Kashera Robinson and Emilie Souhrada!


P.O. Box 3068  

London, KY 40743



Our Mission

The School Social Work Association of America empowers school social workers and promotes the profession of school social work to enhance the social and emotional growth and academic outcomes of all students.

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