Question: What is the role of a School Social Worker?
Answer: The school Social Worker promotes maximum development of all students by preventing or improving difficult situations that may interfere with learning.
Question: Why are you involved?
Answer: Social workers try to see that social, emotional, and physical needs of children are being met so the child can achieve in school.
Question: Can you help me understand these forms and information?
Answer: Yes, social workers are advocates for children and families and will help with forms they are familiar with.
Question: If I have financial questions, who can help me address them?
Answer: Social workers will help or will refer you to the proper agencies.
Question: Why is learning information about the home important for my child’s education?
Answer: The home environment is important to learning in terms of children receiving adequate care, food, sleep, etc. It helps to know if parents need additional resources or services that social workers could provide or suggest.
Question: Can you make some of the calls or contacts for me?
Answer: The social worker usually has the parent make the call, but will assist. Agencies may need information that we do not have and often require the parent to make the appointment.
Question: Can you help me with the behavior problems my child is having?
Answer: Social workers will offer suggestions or interventions that might help. It is not our intent to tell parents how to handle their children, but to offer alternatives. Parent education is part of our role in working with families.
Question: How is your role different from Social Services or Child Protective Services?
Answer: We do not investigate abuse or neglect. We are required to report if we suspect abuse or neglect. We do not make decisions about eligibility of services.
Question: Who will you share information about my family with?
Answer: We will call Social Services to report suspected abuse or neglect. We maintain strict confidentiality. We only share information with other agencies when we have written consent. If we conduct a social and health history, this information is shared with student services, but only as it pertains to medical issues.
Question: As my child goes through school, are you able to maintain contact with me?
Answer: The social worker may change from school to school. We have school social workers in all schools except the two classical schools.
Question: Are there parenting classes or support groups which would be helpful to me?
Answer: Social workers have information about classes that are available in the community.
Question: If my child is referred for services that require financial or professional resources, can you assist me?
Answer: The social worker will share resources but there are no school social work funds for such items.
Question: Will I have to pay for any assessment or services?
Answer: If there is a charge for services, you should be aware of the cost up front or if your insurance will cover the services. The social worker will help you find out if there will be charges.
Question: Am I required to accept these services?
Answer: The parent decides if they want services. If the social worker feels a parent is being neglectful in not obtaining services, a report could be made to the Department of Social Services.
Question: Can you help me with some of the feelings I am having (i.e. frustration, fear, anger)?
Answer: The school social worker is available to help with feelings of parents and children. Sometimes referrals for counseling are suggested.
Question: How do I put all this information from so many people together so it makes sense?
Answer: Consider all the information and make the best decision you can for your child. Use the resources available from Cumberland County Schools personnel to help you.
Question: Are the services of a school social worker long-term or short-term?
Answer: You are eligible for assistance from the school social worker as long as your child is in attendance.
Published by Shonda Virgil on January 18, 2017
Frequently Asked Questions – School Social Worker