The demands of twenty-first-century education dictate new roles for school social workers. Schools need school social workers who are adept at creating and utilizing systems for change and at building relationships within the school community. School social workers create nurturing relationships with students that enhance students’ academic achievement and personal success as globally productive citizens in the twenty-first century. Utilizing leadership, advocacy, and collaboration, school social workers promote overall academic success by providing services that strengthen home, school, and community partnerships and alleviate barriers to learning.
School social workers collaboratively engage all school personnel to create a professional learning community. School social workers develop and maintain a written plan of data-driven goals and strategies for effective delivery of the school social work program based on national best practices, individual school data, current relevant research findings, and the School Improvement Plan.
School social workers strive to enhance the social work profession. School social workers contribute to the establishment of positive working conditions in their schools, districts, state, and nation. School social workers actively participate in and advocate for decision-making structures in education and government that utilize the expertise of school social workers. School social workers communicate the goals of the school social work program to stakeholders. School social workers maintain current and appropriate resources to improve the relationship among home, school, and community. School social workers promote professional growth and collaborate with their colleagues to improve the profession.
School social workers advocate for positive change in policies and practices affecting student learning. School social workers support the School Improvement Plan and student academic success through developing and utilizing internal and external partnerships and resources. They participate in the implementation of initiatives to improve educational and support services.
School Social Workers adhere to the laws, policies, procedures, and ethical standards of the social work profession. School Social Workers demonstrate ethical principles including honesty, integrity, fair treatment, and respect for others.
School social workers encourage an environment that is inviting, respectful, supportive, inclusive, and flexible. School social workers provide leadership and collaborate with other school personnel to provide effective school social work services. School social workers implement developmentally appropriate and prevention-oriented group activities to meet student needs and school goals.
School social workers maintain high expectations, including graduation from high school for students of all backgrounds. School social workers appreciate differences and value the contributions of each student in the learning environment by building positive, appropriate relationships. School social workers assist students, individually and/or in groups, with developing academic, social, emotional, and psychological skills.
School social workers collaborate with administrators, teachers, and a range of specialists to help meet the special needs of all students. School social workers may participate in the evaluation process by conducting the student social/developmental history and parent interviews. School social workers engage students to ensure that their academic, social, emotional, and psychological needs are effectively met by conducting individual/group counseling.
School social workers recognize that educating students is a shared responsibility involving the students, families, schools, and communities. School social workers improve communication and collaboration among the school, home, and community in order to promote trust and understanding and to build partnerships with all segments of the school community. School social workers seek solutions to barriers that inhibit effective familial and community involvement in the education of students.
School social workers utilize skills such as advocacy, assessment, consultation, counseling, and collaboration to create and implement developmentally appropriate and targeted interventions to meet the identified needs of students, families, schools, and communities. School social workers support and encourage student and family involvement in the school process.
School social workers are perceptive listeners and are able to communicate effectively with students, families, school staff, and communities even when language is a barrier.
School social workers comprehend the link between school social work services and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. School social workers understand the implications of demographic and socio-economic factors that influence student achievement. School social workers promote global awareness and its relevance to the development of the whole child for the twenty-first century.
School social workers incorporate twenty-first-century life skills deliberately, strategically, and broadly into their services. These skills include leadership, ethics, accountability, adaptability, personal productivity, personal responsibility, interpersonal skills, self-direction, and social responsibility.
School social workers address the achievement gap by assessing student strengths and needs and by implementing proven and promising interventions. School social workers provide a wide range of prevention, early intervention, and crisis response strategies to address social, emotional, psychological, and academic needs. School social workers collaborate and consult with administrators, instructional and support staff, parents, and the community to support student learning. School social workers provide professional development to promote early identification of unmet needs, increase awareness of relevant laws, policies, and procedures, and encourage empathy and understanding of the whole child.
School social workers address issues that interfere with the students’ ability to problem solve and think critically. School social workers assist students in developing skills necessary to communicate effectively, synthesize knowledge, think creatively, and make informed decisions through individual and group work.
School social workers help students strengthen interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, improve communication skills, understand cultural differences, and develop leadership qualities.
School social workers collect and analyze student data to plan and evaluate the effectiveness of service delivery. School social workers adapt their practice based on current relevant research findings and data to best meet the needs of students, families, schools, and communities.
School social workers continually participate in high-quality professional development specific to school social work practice.
School social workers understand that change is constant; therefore, they actively investigate and consider new ideas that support students’ social, emotional, psychological, and academic success. School social workers adapt their practice based on current research findings and data to best meet the needs of all students.
Performs other related work as required.
In order to deliver a comprehensive school social work program, the school social worker should understand and be competent in the following areas: assessment and screening, counseling and support groups, crisis intervention, advocacy, home-school-community collaboration, partnerships with community agencies/organizations, services to school staff, program resource/ policy development, systems change to improve learning, and support services.