School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals with a degree in social work who provide services related to a person's social, emotional and life adjustment to school and/or society. School Social Workers are the link between the home, school and community in providing direct as well as indirect services to students, families and school personnel to promote and support students' academic and social success.
“Social workers will be available to help students deal with mental stress and allow them to have a connection in the community to get assistance. The pandemic brought a variety of mental health concerns into the limelight and we’re hopeful that additional resources will help students going forward” said Kevin Kendall, Superintendent of Schools.
All students come to school to learn, but they arrive in the classroom with varying backgrounds and levels of academic readiness. When a student is exposed to violence, substance abuse or other problems at home or in their communities, they often struggle to keep up in school and are likely to fall behind peers who come from more stable backgrounds.
School social workers are responsible for fostering students’ social and emotional wellbeing so they are ready to learn in the classroom. Students often need different levels of support, depending on their social skills or issues in their home lives. As trained mental health practitioners, social workers are able to deliver a wide spectrum of services, from building social skills to providing intensive mental health support.
In the Ogdensburg City School District, the school social workers will provide a range of services including:
- Assessment and diagnosis of students for special education services;
- Individual and/or group counseling with students experiencing mental health or social difficulties;
- Setting up student assistance programs and providing supports for all students;
- Crisis intervention;
- Encouraging parents participation through phone contacts and home visits with parents who are overburdened;
- Navigation of systems and accessing resources for students and their families; and,
- Collaborating with teachers.