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School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession. School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team. School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.  School social workers are instrumental in furthering the mission of the schools which is to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence. School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district's ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieving student success. ​


WHO are School Social Workers?

School Social Workers are trained  mental health professionals with a degree in

social work who provide services related to a person's social, emotional and life

adjustment to school and/or society.  School Social Workers  are the link between

the home, school and community in providing direct as well as indirect services to

students, families and school personnel to promote and support students' academic

and social success. 


School Social Work Services


  • Participating in special education assessment meetings as well as individual Educational Planning Meetings

  • Working with those problems in a child's living situation that affect the child’s adjustment in school. (home, school, and community)

  • Preparing a social or developmental history on a child with a disability.

  • Counseling (group, individual and/or family)

  • Mobilizing family, school, and community resources to enable the child to learn as effectively as possible in his or her educational program

  • Assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.



  • Providing crisis intervention.

  • Developing intervention strategies to increase academic success.

  • Assisting with conflict resolution and anger management.

  • Helping the child develop appropriate social interaction skills.

  • Assisting the child in understanding and accepting self and others.



  • Working with parents to facilitate their support in their children's school adjustment.

  • Alleviating family stress to enable the child to function more effectively in school &community.

  • Assisting parents to access programs available to students with special needs.

  • Assisting parents in accessing and utilizing school and community resources.


  • Providing staff with essential information to  better understand factors (cultural, societal, economic, familial, health, etc.) affecting a student’s performance and behavior.

  • Assessing students with mental health concerns.

  • Developing staff in-service training programs.

  • Assisting teachers with behavior management.

  • Providing direct support to staff.



  • Obtaining and coordinating community resources to meet students' needs.

  • Helping school districts receive adequate support from social and mental health agencies.

  • Advocating for new and improved community/school service to meet the needs of students and families.

  • Helping the system respond effectively to each child's needs.



  • Assist in developing and implementing educational programs for children for exceptional children.

  • Developing alternative programs for students with attendance concerns or involvement with the law.

  • Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.

  • Providing consultation regarding school law and school policy including IDEA and Section 504.

  • Providing case management for students and families requiring multiple resources.

Additional resources regarding the role of school social workers
Please feel free to download and use the following documents to assist with understanding the many services that School Social Workers are uniquely trained to provide. 
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