Scope of Practice for School Social Workers

social worker consoling a child

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 trauma informed 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.
  • Offering classroom management strategies and professional development programs to teachers to enhance their knowledge of social/emotional and behavioral needs to generate positive results in academics.
  • Forming collaborative relationships with community agencies and practitioners to address needs of student learners.
  • Conducting assessments, educational planning and transition services.
  • Understanding theories of normal and exceptional development in early childhood, latency, adolescence, and early adulthood and their application to all students.
  • Administering and interpreting tests and measures of psycho-social functioning, developing and implementing appropriate assessment based treatment plans, provide behavior therapy and psychotherapy as qualified.
  • Utilizing family strengths and structures, to enable families to function for their children’s education and well-being.
  • Incorporating diversity issues to plan for the unique educational needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
  • Providing resources and information on community services/agencies and making referrals to appropriate agencies.