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“Lucky Enough to Be a School Social Worker” — March 3-9, 2019, Is School Social Work Week

“Lucky Enough to Be a School Social Worker”: School Social Workers Enjoy Their Vital and Valuable Role in Schools

The week of March 3-9, 2019, marks the celebration of School Social Work Week. With the theme of “Lucky Enough,” school social workers across the country will highlight their vital role in helping students meet the academic, social, and emotional challenges on the road to becoming successful and productive young adults. Under the leadership of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA), the only national organization exclusively dedicated to the profession of school social work, this celebration will emphasize School Social Work contributions of focusing on the “whole child,” linking families to community resources, a valuable voice as part of the school’s multidisciplinary team, and advocating for the profession of School Social Work.

“School social workers are specialized instructional support personnel, working with students and their families, so that children feel supported at home and at school,” says Myrna Mandlawitz, government relations director of the SSWAA.

Michelle Alvarez, EdD, MSW, president of the SSWAA board, highlights the valuable contribution of the field to school safety, stating, “School social workers work collaboratively with school psychologists and school counselors to coordinate and not duplicate services provided to support students and their families. They provide services at school, in the community, or through a home visit to best meet the needs of families.

Often considered the front-line of mental health services, school social workers can make great contributions to improving school culture and climate, thereby increasing school safety through trusting relationships built with students and their families. Christy McCoy, MSW, LICSW, SSWAA board member and legislative chair, comments, “School social workers advocate at the school level, community level, state level, and national level for needed change to address the needs of all students.”

“School social workers are humble professionals,” says Rebecca Oliver, LMSW, SSWAA executive director, “who often are the voice for students and families but do not always voice the value they add to the school community. These same professionals also take great joy in the services and support they are able to offer. They do count themselves as ‘lucky’ to do the work they do.” We join with the students, families, and school staff across the nation in saluting their school social workers on the celebration of School Social Work Week 2019!”

Source: Hartford Public Schools