Promoting School Social Work

School Social Work Week

March 6 – 12, 2022

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!!

Resources to Help You Get Ready For School Social Work Week

SSWAA National Campaign to Promote School Social Workers

Promotional Resources

(Just a few possible resources to assist you.)

SSWAA Position Statements & Practice Model

School Social Work Manuals

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


(NYSSSWA Members have full access to Advocacy & Promotional Resources Click Here.)

  • All NYC kids need social workers  Article provides rationale for more clinical social workers in schools but seems to focus on a request for school “based” social workers.  Perhaps we need to let them know that there are trained School Social Workers already available to fill those positions for schools!  Source:  Margaret Crotty, January 24, 2020. New York Daily News 
  • Challenges grow for school social workers.   Article interviews NYSSSWA’s president Peg Barrett & Joan Conti , 2019 School Social Worker of the Year Source:  By Scott Scanlon, June 21, 2019. Buffalo News 
  • 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
  • “Maximize the Potential of Your School Social Worker” (March, 2014)  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
  • NYC Hires 200 School Social Workers  “Far too often, the response to a child having a bad day at school is a call to EMS or to the NYPD, which can unintentionally cause trauma to children and their peers,” New York City Council Education Committee Chairman Mark Treyger told City & State. “Adding more social workers gives schools an alternative to calling 911, and expert resources to address the underlying causes of behavioral problems.”  Source: by Jeff Colton. 9/4/2019. City & State_New York  
  • New York State Superintendents’ Biggest Concern: Student Mental Health      According to the Council of School Superintendents, this is the third consecutive year that superintendents have rated improving mental health as the most important issue in New York state schools.  Source:  Barbara O’Brien. November, 2019. Buffalo News
  • Safe and Supportive Schools: A plan to improve school climate and safety in NYC The NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released a 52 page report  reviewing current data related to school safety in New York City along with recommendations including adding MORE school social workers. See Executive Summary and Full Report.  Source:     June 18, 2018,  NYC Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer
  • Schools need more mental health, not police    Source:  Amir Whitaker, March 4, 2019. The Hechinger Report
  • Talking Points to strengthen School Social Work advocacy    Source:  SSWAA


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)

Diverse human hands showing unityMembers Make Our Mission Possible:

The New York State School Social Workers’ Association (NYSSSWA) is the only professional association dedicated solely to the visibility and viability of School Social Workers in New York State.  Members are essential to our ability to support you and our profession.  Join us Today!

Learn More About NYSSSWA Membership!