School Social Work Services
School social workers are trained mental health professionals who support student achievement by providing services related to students’ social, emotional, and life adjustment to school and/or society. Through direct and indirect services to students, families and school personnel, school social workers strive to remove barriers to learning and enhance students’ well-being. School social workers function from a strengths perspective, in which students’ strengths and resources, rather than challenges, are highlighted in designing interventions.
Benefits of Service
Services provided by school social workers vary depending on the specific department or program in HCPSS, but generally include:
- Mental health services, including individual and/or group therapy
- Referrals to community resources
- Linkage to school-based or community mental health supports
- Crisis Intervention
- Conflict Resolution
- Case management
- Professional Learning
- Consultation regarding mental health and/or behavioral supports
- Creation of trauma-informed and culturally responsive supports and practices
- Assistance with promoting positive school culture and climate
- Support for or facilitation of school-wide programs or activities (i.e. parent workshops, bullying prevention, or mental health and wellness initiatives) designed to promote school success and emotional well-being.
- Provide staff with essential information to better understand factors (community, economic, familial, health, etc.) affecting a student’s performance or behavior
- Facilitate engagement between student, family school and community
- Assist with systems navigation in school and in the community
- Provide referral and facilitate access to school-based and community resources
- Provide advocacy tips/ training/ guidance
- Assistance with crisis intervention, including helping families cope with sudden changes that have an impact on the student or family functioning
- Promote strengths and assets
In addition to the services listed above, HCPSS social works help administer HCPSS’ Teen Parenting Childcare and Outreach Programs at Wilde Lake High School and provide Early Intervention Services at a variety of locations around Howard County.
Certification and Licensure
School social workers are mental health professionals who are required to hold certification from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and licensure from the Maryland Department of Health’s Board of Social Work Examiners. School social workers are trained to view students holistically, in the context of each of the environments that play a role in the student’s life, in order to understand the student and design effective interventions. As school system employees with credentials from both the MSDE and the State Department of Health, school social workers are uniquely qualified to provide therapy or direct mental health supports services in a school setting.
Education and Training
- Sixty credit graduate program leading to a Master’s Degree in Social Work
- Graduate coursework in areas including Human Behavior and Psychotherapy
- Two to three years of supervised clinical social work experience (for social workers seeking licensure at the highest level-Certified Social Worker-Clinical/ LCSW-C)
Code of Ethics
- Social Justice
- Dignity and Worth of Individuals
- Importance and Centrality of Human Relationships
A complete list of the school social work core values is available online.
For additional information about School Social Work Services, please contact:
- Kami Wagner, Coordinator of Student Support Programs, 410-313-7178
- Consuela Robinson, LCSW-C, Instructional Facilitator of Social Work Services, 410-313-7030
You may also contact the Office of Social Work by mail at:
10914 Clarksville Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042