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School Social Work

School social workers are certified educators/licensed mental health professionals who hold a minimum of a master’s degree in social work with a specialization in school social work practice. They have special expertise in understanding family and community systems and linking students and their families with the community services that are essential for promoting student success. School social workers’ training includes specialized preparation in cultural diversity, systems theory, social justice, risk assessment and intervention, consultation and collaboration, and clinical intervention strategies to address the mental health needs of students. They work to remedy barriers to learning created as a result of poverty, inadequate health care, and neighborhood violence. School social workers often focus on providing supports to vulnerable populations of students that have a high risk for truancy and dropping out of schools, such as homeless and foster children, migrant populations, students transitioning between school and treatment programs or the juvenile justice system, or students experiencing domestic violence. They work closely with teachers, administrators, counselors, parents, and other educators to provide coordinated interventions and consultation designed to keep students in school and to help their families access the supports needed to promote student success. (www.insswa.org)