School Social Worker

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Approved: March 20, 2017

Position: School Social Worker
Reports to and will be supervised by: Director of Student Services

Policy: The Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose School Division provides school social workers to schools to provide services to students to promote personal well-being and to work collaboratively/consultatively with school administration and staff to help all students achieve academically, physically, developmentally, socially, emotionally, and behaviourally.

Statement of Social Work Principles and Values

PRSD school social workers must accept and abide by the Manitoba College of Social Workers (MCSW) Code of Ethics as a guide for professional practice and will conduct themselves in accordance with the duties, obligations and responsibilities described therein.

The school social worker promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being.  Using theories of human behaviour and social systems, the practice of social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments.

Social work addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in society and the multiple and complex transactions between people and their environments.  Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives and prevent dysfunction.  Social work is focused on problem solving and change.  It responds to crisis and emergencies as well as to everyday personal and social problems.  Interventions range from person-focused psycho-social processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development.  These include counselling, clinical social work, group work, family treatment and therapy as well as efforts to help people obtain services and resources in the community.

Responsibilities:

The first priority of the school social worker is to ensure that students perform their best academically; the school social worker will assist students in resolving personal, emotional and social issues that may be interfering with their learning and overall functioning.  Social work practice will be conducted in accordance with PRSD Continuum of Services Framework that includes phases of engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation and termination of services.

School social workers are committed to continuous professional development and education as a means of maintaining competency in their practice and for being aware of the extent and parameters of their competence and shall limit the scope of their practice accordingly.

School social workers are responsible for ensuring that their level of skill and knowledge is responsive to the changing demands of their practice and the changing situation of their clients.  School social workers will conduct their professional activities with sensitivity and respect for their client’s unique cultural and ethnic context.

School social workers will have current knowledge of policies, legislation, programs and issues related to the community, its institutions and services in their areas of practice.

School social workers will ensure that any professional recommendations or opinions that they provide in the course of their practice are appropriately substantiated by evidence and are supported by a credible body of social work knowledge.

Scope of Activities:

Advocate and educate schools, family and community on cultural competence, inclusion, diversity, trauma informed and mental health.

Through an informed consent referral process, school social workers provide a continuum of preventative, developmental, and intervention counselling services within the community, division, school, and classroom setting through:

  • Providing direct counselling support to students and their families;
  • Liaising and working in partnership with parents, outside agencies and community;
  • Working collaboratively and cooperatively with other counsellors and student services personnel;
  • Collaboration with school administration;
  • and; maintain records as required by provincial and divisional policy

School social workers keep accurate, continuous, dated, legible and signed records for each client or system served.  The record should be minimally a document of clinical impressions, goals and objectives, a working hypothesis, a service plan, intervention and termination.

School social workers will safeguard the confidential nature of the professional relationship with clients and the information obtained within that relationship.

School Division and School:

  • Effectively relate to and communicate with children, parents and professionals
  • School social worker is to intervene with students to decrease risk factors and to increase the presence of protective factors
  • Provide individual and group counselling services
  • Document the services provided to each student in a manner consistent with the policy requirements of the Division, licensing standards and provincial legislation
  • Provide service in a manner consistent with professional social worker ethics
  • Maintain a schedule of school visits. Provide progress reports/summaries/caseload.
  • Consult and collaborate with appropriate school and divisional personnel in gathering and providing information about students
  • Consult and collaborate with school personnel to support students facing challenges (behavioural, emotional &/or social). Assist in developing appropriate goals for the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEPs/Learning Assistance Plans/Behaviour Intervention Plans).
  • Provide support to school staff in understanding developmental levels/stages of our students
  • Will attend all children in care intake meetings; consult and collaborate with school administration to advocate and support children in care as they transition into and engage in school programming
  • Assist with/facilitate programs and interventions for divisional and school staff: Reporting of Child Protection & Child Abuse, WEVAS, ASIST, VTRA, bullying/cyberbullying, mental health, trauma informed classrooms & schools
  • Provide support to divisional and school based crisis management teams
  • Establish annual program outcomes in consultation with the director of student services and senior administrators
  • Continue personal professional development through membership in professional organizations, attendance at conferences and reviewing current literature
  • Work in consultation with student services teams including psychologists, resource teachers, speech-language pathologists, counsellors and classroom teachers

Home/Parents/Families:

  • Consult on family issues as required and requested
  • Provide service for parents as an integral part of the task of helping students (increase parents’ understanding, their constructive participation in resolving problems, and their awareness and use of appropriate and available resources)
  • Serve as liaison between home and school and make home visits when necessary

Outside Agencies:

  • Assist in the referral of students to and serve as liaison with such outside agencies as Family Services, Child & Family Services, Justice, and Health Services, as appropriate
  • Provide information to outside agencies, when appropriate
  • Attend interagency meetings as necessary
  • Seek, promote and advocate improvement conditions of care for children
  • Assist in the development of appropriate preventive services in communities

Education and Experience:

  • Hold a four-year Bachelor of Social Work degree and be eligible for a School Clinician Certificate, or equivalent (MR 515/88)
  • Be licenced with Manitoba College of Social Workers (MCSW)