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national ssw model

Improving academic and behavioral outcomes
The National School Social Work Practice Model is SSWAA’s official policy for the delivery of school social work services.



The Model

  • Outlines the general framework within which School Social Work services should be provided. 

  • Describes the skills sets and services needed for the delivery of high quality school social work services in schools

  • Promotes consistency to guide graduate education, credentialing, and professional practice 

  • Provides a framework for the evaluation of services

  • Provides a coherent model to guide advocacy efforts and service delivery decisions 

  • Provides frameworks for collaboration of services with agencies and other professionals 

  • Recommends a general ratio of 1:250 students depending on the characteristics and needs of the student population served. Students with intensive needs would require a lower ratio*    

  • Integrates training, standards and practice and is to be used in conjunction with NASW’s Standards for School Social Work Practice and Code of Ethics, as well as SSWAA’s Ethical Guidelines Series.

  • Includes a School Social Work Practice Model BrochureSchool Social Work Practice Model PowerPoint, and an evaluation framework (See below). 


Advantages of Adopting the Model

*   Improve academic and behavioral outcomes
*   Ensure delivery of scientifically supported education, behavior, and mental health services
*   Promote a school climate and culture conducive to student learning and teaching excellence
*   Maximize school-based and community resources

School Social Workers

*   Are trained mental health professionals
*   Have a degree in social work
*   Provide services related to a person’s social, emotional, and life adjustment to school and society
*   Are the link between home, school, and community in providing services to students, families, and school 
*   Promote and support students’ academic and social success 


SSWAA National Evaluation Framework for School Social Work Practice:  

As School Social Workers, we often do not fit into typical district forms for employment or evaluation. As a result, teacher evaluation forms are often used to evaluate school social workers.   The School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) has developed the National Evaluation Framework for School Social Work Practice (2013) which is adapted from The Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument (2013) by Charlotte Danielson, published by the Danielson Group.   The SSWAA National Evaluation Framework for School Social Work Practice (2013) is cross-walked with the SSWAA National School Social Work Practice Model and the National Association of Social Workers Standards for School Social Work Services.  You may also reference the Power Point above for additional information.   School systems are invited to adapt this evaluation framework to meet a district's specific needs for evaluating their school social work programs and services.

SSWAA Members:  

Click here to check out SSWAA's Evaluation Framework as well as various sample evaluation forms and practice manuals that can be used as resources to develop your own School Social Work Evaluation Form.   



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