Definitions of “School Social Work”

Please find below various definitions of “School Social Work(ers)” from national and state organizations.

 

New York State School Social Workers’ Association:

School Social Workers’ Role (NYSSSWA): School social workers are licensed as well as certified pupil personal providers with unique and diverse skills.  School social workers who are licensed as a Clinical Social Worker can diagnose mental, emotional, behavioral, addictive and developmental disorders and disabilities. A sampling of the scope of school social work practice includes:

  • Identifying biological, medical, psychological, cultural, sociological, emotional, legal, economic, and environmental factors that impact student learning.
  • Implementing appropriate school intervention and prevention programs in response to demonstrated needs, which may include but not be limited to:
  • crisis intervention
  • conflict resolution
  • violence prevention
  • substance abuse prevention
  • child abuse prevention
  • positive self-image
  • social skills and character education
  • consultation
  • individual, group and/or family counseling

NYSED-Office of Professions:

Social Work Profession (NYSED-Office of Professions): Social work is a profession that helps individuals, families, and groups change behaviors, emotions, attitudes, relationships, and social conditions to restore and enhance their capacity to meet their personal and social needs. Social workers are trained to provide a variety of services, ranging from psychotherapy to the administration of health and welfare programs. They work with human development and behavior, including the social, economic, and cultural systems in which people function. Social workers deal with a wide variety of long and short-term mental, emotional, behavioral and environmental conditions, including:

  • mental illnesses and emotional disturbances
  • marital and family difficulties
  • adjustment problems related to acute and chronic illnesses
  • alcohol and substance abuse
  • behavioral and learning disorders of children and adolescents
  • community problems and social issues       

School Social Work Association of America:

School Social Worker (SSWAA): School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession. School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team. School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.  School social workers are instrumental in furthering the mission of the schools which is to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence. School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district’s ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieving student success. ​

  • School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession.
  • School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team.
  • School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.
  • School social workers are instrumental in furthering the mission of the schools which is to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence.
  • School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district’s ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieving student success.​

National Association of Social Workers:

School Social Workers (NASW): School social workers are an integral link between school, home, and community in helping students achieve academic success. They work directly with school administrations as well as students and families, providing leadership in forming school discipline policies, mental health intervention, crisis management, and support services. As part of an interdisciplinary team to help students succeed, school social workers also facilitate community involvement in the schools while advocating for student success.  


Office of Mental Health: 

School Social Worker (OMH-Office of Mental Health): Schools employ licensed social workers who are also a certified school social worker. School social workers are clinicians and considered an instructional employee and part of the pupil personnel services (PPS) staff. Duties are not limited to direct instruction of students, and include supporting the function of teaching, such as performing student and parent case work services and consulting and collaborating with other school personnel to establish and plan respective roles in the modification of student behavior.