by Marisa Bordowitz
- Adjusting to school (and learning in a rigid environment) can be a challenge considering the intricate social, emotional and developmental obstacles children can suffer. With rampant family pressures and erratic economic environment, it’s no wonder that students exhibit behavioral problems. Once the No Child Left Behind Act was implemented, the strain on educators to accommodate disadvantaged pupils increased. Evidently, most teachers of conventional school settings are ill-equipped to deal with such pupils. Thus, the demand for school social workers is high. It’s social workers who impact students’ adjustment and academic achievement. (Diehl & Andy, 2008 p. 1-2).
- School social workers have been proponents public education reform! A movement of the 1990s is responsible for community schools, family-based resource centers, school-linked services, and school-based health services. The discharge of these services has proved to augment students’ physical and emotional well-being, scholarly attainments, and ensure heightened quality of family life. (Diehl & Andy, 2008 p. 2).
- There is no black and white in social work. Confidentiality in a school setting is not simple. The inquiry to ALWAYS make is why someone of (the same or higher) authority would want files released. Despite your opinion, it’s important to explore other ones (playing devil’s advocate) and act as a mediator within the work space. (Sam Bligen, MSW, 2016)
- If you don’t know, ASK! If you don’t ask. If you don’t ask, you won’t know. Engaging in collateral contact can be key. Sometimes making a phone call to a child’s parents or partaking in a home visit can make a world of a difference. One must communicate prior to concluding. Among young ones in particular, stories tend to mesh together. There is an investigation role to take on within schools. (Sam Bligen, MSW, 2016)
- Form a network. It’s of use to “phone a friend” or rely on other social workers you interact with. Engage in multiple perspectives. Get a female perspective if you’re a male and a male perspective if you’re a female. Asking for help is incumbent on our growth in a very difficult profession. (Sam Bligen, MSW, 2016)
- Humor can be very useful in school social work. It is, however, necessary to pick up on cues (and monitor how your humor is being received). Get ready to work with students who refuse to speak. If they won’t speak, drawing or writing can be effective. Through drawings, young children are able to express themselves. Don’t be quick to judge children. Aggression at a young age is learnt. (Sam Bligen, MSW, 2016)
Bligen , S. MSW. (2016)
Diehl, D., & Frey, A. (2008). Evaluating a Community-School Model of Social Work Practice. School Social Work Journal, 32(2), 2.