Promoting School Social Work

School Social Work Week

March 1 – 7, 2020   (Be sure to have your district put on their 2020 Calendar!)

National School Social Work Week is always the first full week of March.  School Social Work Week provides an excellent opportunity to let others know of the great work that you are doing!   During this week, plan to take the opportunity to “toot your own horn” and let others know how you are impacting the lives of students as you address barriers to learning and increase successful educational and academic outcomes.

Ideas to Celebrate School Social Work Week

We have put together a list of activities  you might want to consider.   Have fun planning this year’s celebration!!

School Social Work Week Activities

See more details!

National Campaign to Promote School Social Workers

Promotional Resources

(Just a few possible resources to assist you.)

SSWAA Position Statements & Practice Model


What is the difference between the role of the School Social Worker and the role of other Student Support Staff?

Prepared by members of the New York State Education Department’s Pupil Personnel Services Advisory Team ( including the New York State School Social Workers’ Association) and was published in 2012. It provides brief description of the role of School Social Workers, School Psychologists, School Counselors, School Nurses and School Attendance Officers.

School Social Workers from Carmel Central School District promote their role with a brochure (Thank you Kathy MacCarthy for sharing this as an example)

School Social Work Manuals

(These are excellent resources full of extremely useful information for all School Social Workers.)

Articles  (NYSSSWA Members can access many more Advocacy & Promotional Resources here.)

  • The increased numbers of students with emotional problems ranks #1! According to the National Association of Elementary School Principals’  The Pre-K-8 School Leader in 2018 A 10-Year Study, the top ranked concern of Elementary Principals was the increased numbers of students with emotional problems (73.7% of responding principals) followed by students with mental health issues as well as students not performing to their level of potential.  pp. 81…   “The top-ranked concern for 2018 responding principals was addressing the increase of students with emotional problems. In fact, respondents identified a number of student-related issues as being of moderate, high, and extreme concern. Among those issues identified were the management of student behavior, student mental health issues, absenteeism, lack of effective adult supervision at home, and student poverty. In contrast, none of the student-related issues were identified as a major concern in 2008. Clearly the concerns regarding student populations have shifted over the past decade.”  p. viii.
  • Mental Health Crisis in Our Schools:  Here’s How Schools Can Support Student’s Mental Health (2016) 
    This article features a School Social Worker as well as the need for a “multi-tiered system of supports” to address the mental health needs of students.  There is also a great powerpoint presentation, A Silent Epidemic:  The Mental Health Crisis in Schools.  (Unfortunately, it does not include School Social Workers.)    By Meg Anderson Source:  NPR Ed
  • How Are School Social Workers Related to the Common Core Standards? (2013)

There are many documents available on Common Core Standards and Social Emotional Barriers to Learning. One excellent source is the UCLA School Mental Health Project. They have a document titled “Common Core Standards for a Learning Supports Component”  (29 pages) that provides detailed standards that address the external (environmental) and internal (personal) factors that interfere with learning and teaching.

Annette Johnson, Jane Adams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois, underscores the value of school social workers in the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Student Services column.   Think of what could be accomplished if your school could hire another school social worker? Principal Leadership, written by Annette Johnson & Libby Nealis, March, 2014.
Source: SSWAA

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