What are some of the most common related services used in schools?
Page 9: Social Work Services
As a related service, school social work supports students with disabilities whose academic, behavioral, or social-emotional issues interfere with their education. Many factors—such as a student’s life in the school community, or his or her home environment—can influence a student’s performance at school. Students with disabilities might receive services such as:
Social Work Providers
The requirements for school social work providers vary across states. The majority of states require a master’s degree in social work for licensure or certification; however, a small number of states license bachelors of social work. A specialty certificate in school social work is offered by the National Association of Social Workers, but is not required for employment in the schools because each state has its own state certification, credential, or licensing process.
Roles: A primary role of school social workers is to partner with parents and other school or community professionals on problems that affect the student.
Transcript: Frederick Streeck – Importance of a team
We need to have a team when we work with our children in schools. The school social workers are a part of that team. Our niche as school social workers is to help with the home connection and the community connection as much as possible. Making home visits, giving parents an overview on how things are going, referring to agency services, that sort of thing, those are the places where school social workers can start, but then they’re also doing much more in-classroom as well. General ed teachers can invite school social workers to come in and help them with setting up behavior plans for students. They can invite them to come in and do an observation of a student. We’re all a part of the same team, and all of us have the same goal, which is for the student to walk across the stage when they complete the twelfth grade.
Transcript: Frederick Streeck – Service providers on the IEP
The IEP follows the evaluation, and the evaluation will look at all the areas of functioning of the student—social, emotional, health, all of those—to determine the student’s eligibility and need for specialized instructional services. The school social worker is one of those services, along with the others in the group, that can offer that to students. The school social worker could be on the IEP as a service provider. Then they would have to write goals and objectives for that student. They would be committing to participation in the student’s educational plan to help them to resolve the difficulties that were identified in the IEP. For instance, if this is a student with a reading difficulty, and maybe there was also some behavior problems in the classroom, then the IEP might include reading and it might include a behavioral goal for the school social worker. The school social worker would sit down with that student and interview them to find out as much as they can why this is happening. The social worker would also talk with the teacher, with the principal, other staff in the building, and the parent to try to get the big picture on what’s going on with the student. Trying to understand where it’s originating from is crucial to understanding and working with the student. So when it comes to developing full goals and objectives, it’s important to get behind the student and really try to understand what is behind the conduct that we see in the classroom that’s disruptive. The intervention in that case might involve seeing the student on a weekly basis or several times a week, including daily, and talking with a student about ways to handle their frustration, raise your hand, put a flag up at your desk, or turn a little symbol on your desk around so that the teacher can see that you don’t understand but you don’t have to raise your hand to identify yourself. We try to teach kids different strategies in the classroom to help them to manage their frustration or their behavior.
Janice Dozier School Social Worker, Metro Nashville Public Schools Nashville, TN
Transcript: Janice Dozier – Being a Specialized Related Service
Like the other services, school social work is a specialty. We have to not only be trained in the concepts of social work, but with school social work we focus in on the student and his or her family. We look at the social, the environmental, the emotional components, and all of that together really comprise what we do in the social work field. Teachers don’t have the opportunity to go into the home. We not only work in the academic setting or the school setting, we work with the students in their own environments, in their communities, in their homes. That, within itself, places us in a very unique situation. Being knowledgeable of those resources that we can get into the homes will help support not only the student but the family.