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A Reflection on 6 Months with SSWAA

As some of our readers probably know, for the past six months I have been the new Membership Coordinator for SSWAA. If you read my introductory post, you may also know I too am a School Social Worker. It has been a wonderful learning experience with SSWAA and I love connecting with School Social Workers across the nation. It is so fascinating to hear the differences between states and districts, and even more rewarding to be able to help all our members with various requests and needs. I’ve spent the past six months learning all of our different systems from organizing memberships to facilitating webinars and lots of fun projects in between.


After my first six months with SSWAA… I have a confession to make.



I had a membership with SSWAA a few years ago, and hardly ever used it.


This is a little embarrassing to admit, but it’s true and I’ve got to be honest. A few years ago, I attended a SSWAA conference and with it came a Full Membership. The conference was phenomenal! I took so many notes and walked away with so many new ideas, but also with reassurance that I was already doing a pretty darn good job after only a couple years in the field. I had the chance to meet fellow professionals from across the nation, and most importantly, I had three dedicated days to listen, learn, and reflect on my current work. It was so valuable to have that time and brain power devoted to view my career from a distance and brainstorm how to improve my practice.





After returning home from the conference, I was revitalized and motivated to get back to work with my toolbox refilled. My partner even noted how I appeared much more refreshed and excited for my career. I dove right back in and was relieved to finish out the last of the school year with confidence and enthusiasm – something that is often hard to muster the last quarter of each school year.


I finished up the school year, and in all honestly just kept forgetting about my membership with SSWAA. But now that I have been the Membership Coordinator and spent the past six months learning everything I can about the organization – I wish I had taken advantage much sooner. There are so many benefits to membership with SSWAA, and the greatest part is it is customizable depending on your needs and finances. These are just some of my personal favorites that SSWAA has to offer, but there is so much more to SSWAA membership!


Resources

For Full and Premiere Members there is a Resource link on our membership portal full of resources on topics such as bullying, group work, houselessness, trauma informed schools, School Social Work Week and so much more. The best part is you can search for topics and save resources into your own online file.


SSWAA Forum

I don’t know about you, but this past year has really highlighted how much social media negatively effects my mental health. I’ve been trying very hard to be more conscious with my time spent on apps like Facebook. The one thing I do miss, however, are the professional groups I am a part of. Luckily, SSWAA also has an online forum just for their Full, Premiere, Retired and Student Members! What better way to connect with other professionals, and without those pesky Facebook ads! On these forums you can share resources, or even ask suggestions for a specific case.


School Social Work Resource Library (SSWRL/SHELF)

SSWRL is like the resources available to Full members and up, but on steroids. SSWRL is only available to Premiere, Retired and Student members. SSWAA advertises that new resources are typically added weekly, but if you keep an eye on the site it’s actually much more like a few times a week! SSWRL is similar to the standard resources available in that you can search for specific resources or topics, and can save them into your own personal folder. This is a HUGE resource for school social workers, whether you are brand new to the field or are 30 years into your career.


Liability Insurance

Many districts provide liability insurance for their employees, but let’s be honest. The bottom line is the insurance is for the district, not specifically for you. All SSWAA members (yes, even Basic!) are covered by $250,000 in professional liability insurance. It’s always nice knowing in the back of your mind that you are covered.


Webinar Recordings

Another great resource I want to highlight is the ability for Full members and above to watch all our recorded webinars. These aren’t eligible for CEUs because they are not live, but if you want to hone in your skills on, say, creating a Google Classroom or Risk Assessments, you can watch an hour long training from the comfort of your own home or office. These recordings are a huge benefit to our members, and another resource I wish I had taken advantage of earlier!


What other resource of SSWAA’s do you love the most? If you were to refer a colleague, what reasons would you give them to join? Let us know by tagging us in a post on social media or email me at contactus@sswaa.org. We love hearing from you!






Capella Hauer is the Membership Coordinator for the School Social Work Association of America. She graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in 2015 with her Master’s in Clinical Social Work. She practiced School Social Work for five years in Tucson, Arizona where she obtained her certificate in Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and ran a non-profit bakery out of her home. She currently lives in Tucson with her husband and two dogs. If you popped into her home, you would most likely find her reading outside or dancing while baking cookies.

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