What is a Typical Day Like for a School Social Worker?

Typical Day of a School Social Worker

Working in the field of social work is very rewarding and a very fast paced career path. Each day brings something different and when you work in the school system, you meet and deal with a lot of different students and families. There are a lot of different hats worn by a school social workers and this can include mentor, case manager, parent advocate, student advocate, therapist, mediator, counselor and much more. There are a number of different scenarios that would require the involvement of a social worker whether it be problems with attendance, home visits, helping students with disabilities, suicide concerns, violence, etc. If you are interested in what a typical day is like for a school social worker, let’s take a closer look.

Advocating For Your Role

When you are a social worker in a school setting, you may need to make your role very clear to your coworkers, to families and to students. Your role may not include dealing with discipline issues and you are not qualified to substitute teach. If you are the only social worker on site, you will need to make sure you are steadfast in your role and make sure you have time to focus on the important issues at hand.

Making Home Visits

You might not realize it, but social workers in a school setting will often need to make home visits. This might be necessary if a family reaches out to you or the school for assistance regarding a certain issue. If a child is frequently missing school, it may fall on your shoulders to stop by their home and find out what the problem is. This is something you will need to feel safe and comfortable with as part of your job requirements.

Think About The Schedule

Keep in mind that most schools are in session for ten months or so each year. That doesn’t mean you automatically get two months vacation. What that means is that you have to do twelve months of work in ten months and during summer vacation, there may be support that is needed depending on what system you are working in. You may need to put some longer days in during the school year and expect your day to start somewhere around seven or eight in the morning.

Meeting With Students

Throughout the course of the day you will probably sit down with a number of students to speak with them and see how they are doing. Some students will seek you out but there are other students that will be passed on to you by teachers that have some concerns. It is your job to see how they are doing in their classes, find out how their home life is and see where you can help them.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Masters in Social Work: 2018

School social workers can be found in a primary educational setting or a secondary public education. Some private and special treatment schools employ these professionals as well but these institutions usually deal more with medical and mental health professionals. In a larger school, there may be various social workers, each one focusing on a different demographic within the school to help provide better care and attention to the students. Your role may vary day to day and year to year.