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Social Workers Join PSD
Social Workers Join PSD to Support Students and Families
Posted on 01/27/2022

The district is hiring four social workers to provide another resource to support students and families. New this year, the social workers will bridge the gap between the assistance students receive while at school and the outreach, services, and support families need outside of the classroom. School social workers are one component to the district’s multi-tiered system of support.

The role of the school social worker is to provide an integral link between school, home, and community. They are trained to support students and families beyond the classroom and help with issues that can impact performance in school. 

School social workers provide students in need with emotional, behavioral, and academic support and guidance. They are skilled to connect families with services through local, state, and federal agencies and assistance programs. These programs can help with rent assistance, food and nutrition, and other basic needs. The social workers provide follow-up and intervention to ensure families are successful in obtaining the support and services they need.

With more students in crisis, counselors and school staff are doing their very best to serve students in the schools. Counselors focus on helping individual students succeed academically and intervene when a student is struggling with personal and/or social challenges. School social workers, in contrast, are trained to look beyond the confines of the classroom and the school to identify larger issues such as family dysfunction, poverty, poor nutrition, homelessness, and/or neglect and abuse that can impact a student’s performance in school.

Working together, the counselors and social workers can help students achieve academic and social emotional success through education, support and removing barriers.

Counselors may refer students who require services beyond personal guidance and counseling to a school social worker. The social worker can work with the family to address issues such as absenteeism and how to reengage a student. Ideally, they can assist long before a student becomes unengaged. They fill the gap by using skills to provide things schools don’t typically help with.

The social workers are financed through ESSER funds and will be placed in a PSD location where students and families, with a social work referral form from a counselor, can visit them. This provides a neutral ground to address needs outside of the classroom. They do not meet with individual students. They are licensed with diverse skills including foster care, crisis intervention, behavior, and therapeutics.

School Social Workers can help students:

  • » Cope in times of crisis
  • » Access mental health services
  • » Become resilient and successful learners

School Social Workers can help support parents:

  • » Effectively participate in their child’s education
  • » Understanding their child’s development and educational access
  • » Access school and community resources
  • » Strengthen parenting skills

School Social Workers can assist educators to:

  • » Work effectively with parents
  • » Discover new resources
  • » Understand family, cultural and community factors affecting students
  • » Meeting educational outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds
  • » Create positive school climate

School Social Workers can link schools and communities to:

  • » Coordinate the delivery of educational and mental health services
  • » Develop resource to adequately meet the needs of students and families