What is School Social Work?
School social workers are the link between school and community in providing services to students, families, and school personnel to promote students’ academic and social success. They are trained mental health professionals who assist with behavioral and mental health concerns, provide crisis intervention, conflict resolution and anger management, and help students develop social-emotional skills through individual or group counseling. Social workers also develop staff in-service training and assist teachers with classroom management.
Social workers interview parents and families to assess problems affecting the child’s education. They work with parents to facilitate support in their child’s school adjustment and help alleviate family stress so the child can function more effectively in school.
As school-community liaisons, school social workers coordinate community resources to meet students’ needs, ensure schools receive adequate support from social and mental health agencies, and help coordinate systems of care to provide wrap-around services.
Our Social Workers
Our School Social Workers (SSW) are licensed professionals who have a Master Degree in social work (MSW), or an MSW-equivalent program, plus additional coursework in school social work. They complete fieldwork requirements, and undergo two years of supervision before passing a state licensing exam and applying for full licensure (*requirements may differ depending on the state.).
They help bridge the gap between school, home and community. Using a wrap-around approach they promote and support students both academically as well as socially.
Benefits of School Social Work
School social work services aim to help students with mental/behavioral health problems and their parents or caregivers. Since many problems in a child’s living situation can affect their ability to learn and function in school, the benefit school social workers provide is to help stabilize families and assist them in meeting their child’s physical and emotional needs to facilitate learning.
Our Experts are Experienced in
TES' Approach to Social Work Services
How do we make social services fun?
By establishing a warm and safe environment that is non-intimidating or intrusive, so children can easily connect and communicate. We utilize fun play therapy games and activities that facilitate the development of social-emotional and problem-solving skills during sessions. Students attend virtual field trips to learn skills, such as empathy, emotion regulation, and problem solving.
How do we work as a team?
School social workers are part of a multidisciplinary team of school professionals collaborating together to share ideas, listen, solve problems, build trust, and celebrate our differences and diversity. School social workers often work with other service providers to lead and facilitate student groups to meet common goals.
How do we include the family?
Parents are an essential part of their child’s support team and school community. They are important partners in their child’s learning. Social workers involve parents to obtain feedback, assess student needs and concerns, and develop student goals. Social workers maintain regular contact with parents and families to communicate and work together to ensure their child is successful in school.
Social Work FAQs
How do you explain social work to a child?
By explaining that, “Social workers help kids when they are going through a difficult time. They make sure that kids are safe and able to learn in school. Social work can be lots of fun because we talk, play games, and do fun activities together!”
How do School Social Workers Differ from School Counselors?
A school social worker helps students, families, and teachers address issues that affect a student’s emotional well-being and academic performance. A school counselor helps students succeed through the development of academic and social skills. School counselors engage in individual and career planning.
How do social services work with schools?
School-based social workers are often called on to help students, families, and teachers address problems such as truancy, social withdrawal, aggressive behaviors, rebelliousness, suicidal ideation, and the effects of physical, emotional, social, or economic problems.
What does it take to be a school social worker?
Essential skills and traits for social workers include empathy, the ability to identify and understand another person’s experience and point of view, communication (verbal and non-verbal), organization, critical thinking, active listening, cultural competence, self-care, and patience.
What are the responsibilities of a school social worker?
School social workers are responsible for assessing students for various behavioral/mental health issues. They develop and implement behavioral intervention plans, conduct psychosocial assessments, and provide crisis management. They provide individual and group counseling/therapy to students, training for teachers and parents, and support for multidisciplinary treatment teams working with their students.
Our Therapists' Credentials
Our therapists have advanced degrees and are licensed by the state in their respective fields. School social workers have a MSW or equivalent degree from an accredited program and maintain professional licensure, as well as school certification. Therapists stay up-to-date with current knowledge and advancements in their fields by attending continuing education and professional development trainings.