The School Social Worker has a variety of responsibilities in helping students meet their full educational potential. These responsibilities include:
The focus of the School Social Worker’s assessment is to assess the family, social and cultural factors which influence the student’s learning and behavior in the educational setting. This assessment usually includes information about:
- The parents’ perception of the students educational difficulties
- A review of the child’s developmental history
- Relevant medical information
- Family dynamics as they relate to the student
- The student’s educational experiences prior to entering school
- Parental concerns and expectations
- The student’s social adjustment
This information is gathered through interviews with parents, observations of the student and, sometimes, interviews with teachers and the student himself or herself.
Sometimes, the School Social Worker interacts directly with parents and students to bring about changes in the student’s school adjustment. Counseling is one of these services.
The School Social Worker advises team members, school staff and parents about community agencies and/or other resources, which can offer help with a variety of problems.
The School Social Worker serves as a consultant to the principal and teacher by helping them understand family dynamics as well as neighborhood and cultural influences that may affect a student’s learning.
They can also provide crisis management services when needed.
CHILD STUDY TEAM MEMBER
As a member of the Child Study Team, the School Social Worker brings to the table a unique configuration of knowledge and skills from the social work discipline. In collaboration with the other team members, he or she:
- Determines eligibility for special education and related services
- Recommends specially designed instruction
- Develops and monitors the implementation of individualized education programs (IEP)
- Serves as case manager for some of the students in the district that have been determined eligible for special education and related services