Social workers are investigators; they are needed to advocate for the child. They work with the student, the parents, and administrators to develop a plan that will benefit the child and help them grow personally and academically .
It is required by law for your child to attend school until a certain age, depending on the state in which you live. When children develop attendance issues they are usually punished by a principal or other administrator. What many administrators do not understand is that a child not showing up to school for an extended period of time could be the result of an underlying issue, usually beyond the child’s control.
When it comes to attendance, social workers gather information on the child’s home life by asking questions and making home visits. Many students who do not show up to school have plenty of valid reasons not to, including: bullying, inadequate living conditions, mental and physical health issues, and more. Students should not be punished for not attending school when they are struggling with these issues and it is the social workers job to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Almost everyone you know has been a victim of some form of bullying at at least one point in their life. Luckily, these days schools are cracking down. Generations before us were told to “deal with it”, which did nothing to help. Today, social workers are able to help students, either individually or in groups, work out their issues in a productive manner.
School social workers are able to be a resource for kids throughout the day when they may receive the most bullying. Anytime they feel threatened or just need someone to talk to, they may go to the social worker, for as long as they need, until they feel able to return to class. This works to reduces the amount of physical violence in schools and hopes to reduce the amount of bullying-related suicides/suicide attempts by students.
Problems at Home
What happens at home does not simply stay there when a child comes to school. If they aren’t receiving proper food or enough sleep, or if they are taking care of their siblings, or if they are being abused, their school work is going to be effected. Social workers are there to find out if there is a problem, what it is, and to help kids cope with these issues. Many times home visits and interviews are performed to get a better view of the home. If conditions are inadequate, or if the child is being mistreated, it is the social worker’s legal responsibility to report to CPS.
During school hours, social workers can make sure students receive proper care. They will provide counseling and, at times, may make sure the student is receiving food and wearing weather appropriate clothing. The main goal is to help the students fulfill all of their basic needs in order to aid them with their academic success.
Class Lectures 4/5/16 and 4/7/16