Introduction to School Social Work
School social workers are the vital link between home, school and community. They serve as a resource for students, their families and teachers when social emotional and behavioral concerns interfere with school performance. Some examples include possible life threatening situations, immediate loss of a significant person in the student's life, extreme emotional upset, or a traumatic stress situation. The school social worker may provide short term intervention and/or consultation to students, parents, classroom teachers, or administrators regarding implementing pre-referral interventions, referrals to the student assistance team, child study team or appropriate community resources.
The role of the school social worker in the school system is determined partially by the funding source of the position. School social workers whose positions are funded by regular education funds serve primarily regular education students. Like special education social workers, they provide individual and group counseling, teach social skills, and work to promote school success, including assisting with supporting student attendance. All school social workers assist in crisis such as bullying, homelessness, death in school, the threat of suicide, or suspected child maltreatment.