School Social Work is an intriguing sector of social work that involves working directly with students in the school system. The role of the School Social Worker can vary depending on the needs of the school system, with most professionals taking on a very general role with the students being served.

School Social Work Degree Programs

Typical Master’s Coursework to Expect

After you have enrolled in an accredited and online Master of Social Work in School Social Work program, you can expect to participate in a variety of courses that can increase your skills an awareness in the educational environment. The course work for this degree program can include concepts related to social work practice in the educational field and beyond.

The goal of the courses within this program is to educate learners in depth within both subject areas. Social workers should have extensive knowledge into the function of the social work system as well as an understanding of educational provisions for children currently enrolled.

Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis is a common course found within the MSW curriculum. This course focuses on identifying mental health needs through the use of popular assessments, as well as administering diagnostic testing when needed in your employment setting.

Students engaged in this course may utilize the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders to learn more about common and uncommon mental health disorders and their presenting symptoms. The skills learned through studying this manual can be beneficial in the educational setting and beyond.

Additional course work for this degree program can include courses in Social Work Practice. This course can assist learners in identifying appropriate methods of practice for individuals, families, and groups.

Working in the school system can make it necessary to have skills relevant to working one-on-one with individual students as well as with large groups or small families. Appropriate communication skills, active listening, and compassion may be some skills covered in this course.

School Social Work as a Career

Many students working towards a career in School Social Work may engage in generalist BSW or MSW degree programs to achieve their goal of obtaining a career in this field. The application of generalist concepts within specific school settings can allow professionals to assist students as they progress through their educational experience.

What School Social Workers Do

School Social Workers can provide students with needed assessments for both mental health and educational progression. The skills learned through diagnostic college courses can provide School Social Workers with the skills needed to perform common psychological and educational assessments when students present with various interfering symptoms.

In this area of social work, you may also work closely with children exhibiting special educational or environmental needs. Your role may include advocating for fair educational provisions, environmental accommodations, and fair treatment in the school setting.

Where School Social Workers Are Employed

Many School Social Workers in school systems across America may also specialize in work with children presenting severe behavioral issues. These professionals can partner with students as they work through alternative education classes or participate in behavior intervention plans established by behavior analysts.

School Social Workers may also utilize their group and family training to assist when children present with difficulties in their school and personal lives. School Social Workers can meet with children in their homes in order to assess living conditions and identify any needs beyond the educational setting.

What Specific Types of Jobs Are There For School Social Workers?

Pursuing higher education in School Social Work can open up employment opportunities inside and outside of the educational system. College students that pursue the generalist MSW with certification in School Social Work can apply for positions in school systems while holding the appropriate licensing as required by their state.

School Systems

The most popular career option for School Social Workers can be found within public and private school systems. These professionals can look after the needs of students presenting with emotional, behavioral, or educational needs beyond what the standard curriculum can provide.

Child Advocacy Agencies

School Social Workers can also work for child advocacy agencies that work with families in need. This type of career is often found outside of the educational environment and can include visits both in the home and within the school environment.

Governmental Agencies

State agencies such as the Department of Children’s Services or the Department of Children and Families may seek out School Social Workers to assist with the educational needs of children within state’s custody. Your role in this type of career may be to partner with case workers and educational providers to ensure that a child’s needs are being met.