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     Office of School Social Work Services

    What is a School Social Worker (SSW)?
    • There are 29 SSWs in the Atlanta Public School System.
    • All have a Masters in Social Work. Many have the state licensure credential, LCSW.
    • Social workers work in a cluster model - a group of 6-9 assigned to each of the SRTs.
    • SSWs work with special education students and regular education students.
    • SSWs also work with the homeless population.

    What does a SSW do?
    • Works with schools, the students and their families to eliminate barriers to successful learning.
    • Works with the identified “At-Risk” student.
    • Acts as a Liaison/Link between the School, the Home, and the Community.

    Types of Situations Experienced:
    • Parent/School Conflict
    • Threats of Violence
    • Suicidal Threats
    • Domestic Violence
    • Pregnancy
    • Abuse (Emotional, Physical and Sexual)
    • Discipline Issues
    • Academic Concerns
    • Child/Parent Conflict
    • Runaways/Juvenile Court Involvement
    • Abandoned Children
    • Health Concerns
    • Financial Needs /Homelessness
    • Attendance Concerns

    What are the SSW’s Activities?
    • Staff Consultations
    • Student Conferences
    • Parent Conferences (in person, by phone, mail)
    • Student Support Teams (SST)
    • Special Education Eligibility/Staffing
    • Group Work with Students and Parents
    • Consultations with numerous outside agencies: 
       - Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS)
       - Juvenile Court
    • Home Visits

    How is your SSW different from the DFACS Caseworker?
    • DFACS caseworkers provide the following:
       - A focus on investigation and/or placement and eligibility determination for services.
       - The extent of their assistance to schools is to come into the schools to investigate child abuse allegations.
    • SSWs are in the schools everyday, working directly with students, teachers, counselors, and administrators to improve student learning.
    How are the SSW’s activities different from those of DFACS/CPS caseworkers?
    SSWs do the following actions that Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers do not:
    Develop individual intervention plans to help eliminate problems affecting academic achievement.
    - Provide direct Crisis Intervention services to schools.
    - Counsel with students directly.
    - Conduct group work with targeted students.
    - Participate in Student Support Team (SST) meetings.

    How are the SSW’s activities different from those of DFACS/CPS caseworkers?
    Actions continued:
    - Make home visits to involve parents more fully in a child’s academic performance.
    - Develop and identify resources for students.
    - Assist families in crisis or those with emergency needs.
    - Represent the school system on community councils and inter-agency groups.
    - Advocate on behalf of children with agencies and community resources.

    The SSW is a unique support person whose role it is to assist students and staff in achieving maximum academic potential.

    The duties and actions of the SSW are different from other support personnel.

    SSWs enhance and are enhanced by working with all people—staff, students, parents, and community members—to help children succeed academically.