Field Work Guidelines
Guideline for BSW /MSW students Concurrent Field Work in Schools
Definition of School Social Work:
“School social work is a specialized area of practice with the broad field of the social work profession. School social workers bring unique knowledge and the skills to the school system and the student services team. School social workers are instrumental in furthering the purpose of the schools: to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence. School social workers are hired by school district to enhance the district’s ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieve that mission”.(The School Social Work Association of America) (SSWAA)
Why do today’s schools need Professional School Social Workers?
Children today are increasingly victims of many social forces that negatively affect their role as students. The family is in a state of change and until it becomes stabilized, in whatever form, children’s unmet physical and emotional needs will continue to interfere with their ability to learn and adjust in school.
School Social Workers are trained professionals with a degree in social work who provide services related to a person’s social, emotional and life adjustment to school and/or society. School Social Workers are the link between the home, school and community in providing direct as well as indirect services to students, families and school personnel to promote and support students’ academic and social success.
Essential Tasks of School Social Worker:
- Review student records to identify previous barriers and/or interventions.
- Conduct parent interviews to acquire socio-developmental information as needed for special education referrals.
- Analyze information gained through record reviews and interviews to determine environmental impacts and appropriate resource needs; integrate gained information into a written report and oral presentation.
- Attend and participate in Manifestation meetings.
- Interview students and parents to discuss issues related to non-attendance and develop a plan of action.
- Assist the school in following school board regulations for excessive absences and truancy; attend student support team meetings and intervention.
- Develop and implement professional development training for educational staff and parents
- Provide individual and/or group counselling in response to school-wide crises.
- Respond to referrals requesting verification of residence.
- Participate in professional development activities aimed at current trends and best practices for the provision of comprehensive school social work services.
- Conduct home visits as a method to access the family and conduct interviews in response to school referrals.
- Maintain an ongoing liaison with community agencies and other resources to meet student needs; refers parents and student to agencies when appropriate.
- Peer Mediation; Promoting Peace Club programme in the Schools
Some of the specific services that School Social Workers provide are as follows:
- Participating in special education assessment meetings as well as Individual Educational Planning meetings.
- Working with those problems in a child’s living situation that affect the child’s adjustment in school. (home, school, and community)
- Preparing a social or developmental history on a child with a disability.
- Counselling (group, individual and/or family)
- Mobilizing family, school, and community resources to enable the child to learn as effectively as possible in his or her educational program
- Assisting in developing positive behavioural intervention strategies.
Services to Students:
- Providing crisis intervention.
- Developing intervention strategies to increase academic success
- Assisting with conflict resolution and anger management.
- Helping the child develop appropriate social interaction skills.
- Assisting the child in understanding and accepting self and others.
Services to Parents/Families:
- Interviewing the family to assess problems affecting the child’s educational adjustment.
- Working with parents to facilitate their support in their children’s school adjustment.
- Alleviating family stress to enable the child to function more effectively in school &community.
- Assisting parents to access programs available to students with special needs
- Assisting parents in accessing and utilizing school and community resources
Services to School Personnel:
- Providing staff with essential information to better understand factors (cultural, societal, economic, familial, health, etc.) affecting a student’s performance and behaviour
- Assessing students with mental health concerns.
- Developing staff in-service training programs
- Assisting teachers with behaviour management
- Providing direct support to staff.
- Obtaining and coordinating community resources to meet students’ needs
- Helping school districts receive adequate support from social and mental health agencies.
- Advocating for new and improved community/school service to meet the needs of students and families.
- Helping the system respond effectively to each child’s needs.
Services with Government:
- Assist in developing and implementing educational programs for children for exceptional children
- Developing alternative programs for drop-outs, truants, delinquents, etc.
- Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect
- Providing consultation regarding school law and school policy
- Providing case management for students and families requiring multiple resources.