What Social Work Jobs are Available in Schools?

Social Work JobsThere is just one type of social work jobs available in schools. School social workers are an important member of the academic team that help children prepare for success in life. Below provides an overview of being a school social worker.

What is School Social Work?

According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), school social workers are equally important as teachers. This is because school social workers help remove social and psychological barriers that block students from succeeding in school. School social work involves helping students with stereotypical academic problems, such as failing grades, and home related problems, such as neglect or abuse. They intervene with out of behavior students and work with students who are falling behind or struggling to keep up. School social work is an interdisciplinary field that combines education, counseling and social work.

The National Association of Social Workers

The NASW provides training guidelines for school social workers, such as their Standards for Social Work Practice in Child Welfare and their Standards for School Social Work Services. They also provide Standards for the Social Work Practice with Adolescents. This includes basic knowledge of adolescent development, family dynamics and student assessments. It also instructs school social workers about advocacy, confidentiality, culture competency and self-empowerment.

What Accreditation Do School Social Workers Need?

According to the NASW, school social workers must hold the Certified School Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS) accreditation. This credential proves that the social worker is trained in conflict mediation, crisis intervention, case management and proper documentation. This also proves that they have knowledge of ethics, management, program development and social work procedures. Familiarity with state, federal and educational laws are part of the program. In order to be eligible, the student must have a master’s degree in social work, a current MSW license, 20 hours of continuing education and two years of documented social work in a school setting. All social work jobs available in schools are open to professionals with this accreditation.

What are the Typical Responsibilities of a School Social Worker?

According to the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA), there are many negative social forces that disrupt the educational process. Therefore, school social workers strive to overcome these negative forces through working with students, the school system and the community. School social workers take part in special education assessments, assist with interventions and document students’ social or developmental history. They regularly counsel students, groups of students and family. They provide assistance with academic, learning and anger management problems. They also assist families with accessing appropriate community resources and school staff with supporting students. They are also community liaisons in the school district because they develop educational programs that target drop-outs, delinquents and students with special needs.

School Social Worker Profile

A school social worker employed in a high school is be part of the support staff and leadership teams. They provide a wide range of services, including assessments, consultations and service coordination. For example, they assess individual student needs and provide the appropriate academic resources and services. They continually consult with school staff to monitor students’ progress and performance. During this time they provide individualized strategies that will help the student grow socially, academically and personally. They will be expected to start the job with knowledge of community resources and how to access them. They should also know how to quickly establish genuine relationships with students and families.

Related Resource: Manager of Medical Social Services

To recapitulate, school social workers are student advocates that assist them with overcoming social, personal and academic problems. While there is mainly one type of social work jobs available in schools, it is a very rewarding career choice.