School Social Work ServicesJohn P. Walker, Ph.D.SupervisorPhone: 571-509-8330Fax: 571-252-1245
Who are School Social Workers?
School social workers are trained mental health professionals with a master’s degree in social work from a university accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, who are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. School Social Workers support the social-emotional/behavioral health of all students and provide mental health support within each school. All Social Workers in LCPS have been trained to focus on mental health and crisis situations. Keeping a holistic approach in mind, School Social Workers are an important link between the school, student, family, and community. School Social Workers are able to provide individual counseling, facilitate group counseling sessions. cxcdslly trained in MANDT and Restorative Practices, and are an intregral part of the United Mental Health Team (UMHT) in the Middle and High Schools. Social workers within LCPS are the main point of contact for any students with services throughout our community and should be contacted by any school staff if they feel a child or family are in need of services.
What do School Social Workers do?
- Sociocultural Assessments: Conducts socio-cultural assessments to determine eligibility under the Special Education Program
- Special Education Counseling Services: Provides direct individual and group counseling services to students to assist them in fully accessing their special education services. Evidence Based Curriculum is used with a primary focus on social skills, emotional regulation, resiliency, anger management and mindfulness.
- Student Support Groups: Co-facilitate counseling groups using evidence-based curriculum. These groups rely on the clinical and facilitation skills of the social worker to address issues such as identification of unhealthy relationships anger and stress management, mindfulness, healthy decision making and social skills.
- Case Management Services: Social workers coordinate school based and community support referrals to students and their families.
- Homebound Services: Social Workers support students receiving Homebound services through parent meetings, consultation, case management and reintegration back to school.
- Restorative Practices: Social Workers are certified to provide the full continuum of Restorative Practices as a prevention and intervention model to foster school connection, build community, develop emotional literacy and learn conflict resolutions skills. Restorative Practices is also used as an option for discipline and as a way to address wrong-doings when students or the school community have been harmed. Restorative Practices provides opportunities for dialogue between students who have harmed and those that have been harmed. In addition in-service trainings are provided to orient LCPS staff to Restorative Practices
- Positive Experiences in Educational Relationships (PEER Helper Program): Assist in training 11th and 12th grade students in empathy skills, listening skills, effective interviewing skills, ethics, and issues of family dynamics, substance use, defense mechanisms, and appropriate boundaries in relationships. The social worker facilitates process groups for students assisting younger students who are new, experiencing social skill difficulties, and those who need additional support at school.
- Pupil Services Student Support Team: Participate in a multidisciplinary team to support student success. Serve as liaison between school, home and community in an effort to facilitate the provision of needed services including MDT and Wrap Around services.
- Classroom Presentations: co-present Substance Abuse Prevention, Signs of Suicide and Mental Health Awareness modules in secondary level health classes.
- Sources of Strength: provide trainings, presentations, and on-going support to schools implementing this upstream prevention program at the secondary level.
- Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports: Coordinate, support, and coach the implementation of the Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS) framework in all schools to create a positive school climate and to improve behavioral/discipline practices that enhance student learning.
- Crisis Team: Assist in responding to crises involving staff, students, and the community using the PREPaRE model of crisis preparedness and intervention with teams employed mental health professionals are called upon to address crisis generated difficulties in our schools.
- Suicide Prevention Services: Social Workers assist in delivering the Loudoun County Public Schools' Depression Awareness and Suicide Prevention program which is based on the SOS Signs of Suicide® High School Prevention Program. Social workers are trained in the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale.