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Social Workers Are There to Help!
by Amber Hodgson, M.A., CCC-SLP
Social workers are people who have special training for helping children, families, schools, and the community with many different types of issues. Social workers can have different titles depending on their job, so you might hear the terms clinical social worker, pupil personnel worker, case manager, child welfare social worker, student advocate, family services social worker, youth services specialist, or child protective services social worker. Some roles of a social worker include: counseling families who are going through tough times; teaching social lessons at schools (e.g., conflict resolution); supporting family members of the elderly or ill in nursing homes or medical settings; arranging adoptions; assisting single parents in finding day care; locating foster homes for abandoned or abused children; or advocating for students with special needs. As you can see, social workers have many roles, and they are very important helpers in our communities!
How Does A Social Worker Help Students?
School social workers can help to improve the social and emotional functioning of children as well as their families—they can assist families in obtaining social services, such as public health programs or job training. Working with parents, grandparents, teachers, students, principals, and the community, school social workers are there to make sure that each student is able to reach his/her potential both in and out of the school setting. As well, issues that children face at home, such as neglect or abuse, divorce, or death of family members, and stressors they may face at school, such as peer pressure, test anxiety, bullying, or teasing, can all be very stressful. Dealing with these difficult issues can lead children to have behavior issues in the classroom, poor grades, or attendance problems. It can be extremely helpful for students to have someone, such as the social worker, to listen to their problems with a nonjudgmental ear and offer advice, solutions, and emotional support.
 
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