School Social Work Services

School social workers assist in assessment and intervention services to students. As districts implement the Response to Intervention (RtI) process, school social workers are providing consultation with general education staff for at-risk students. They may conduct assessments of behavior for the purpose of identifying appropriate interventions and assist in their development and implementation. Assistance may also be provided with data-gathering and monitoring through the use of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). School social workers also collaborate in the evaluation of students to determine their need for special education services. Case study evaluations may include several domains such as an assessment of cultural background and adaptive behavior, medical history and current health status for the purpose of evaluating student behavioral, social, emotional, and attention-span concerns. As members of a Student Assistance Team, school social workers assist in determining when referrals for special education are appropriate. When appropriate, they assist in the development and implementation of Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans. School social workers may also provide crisis intervention and consultation services. Services may be provided through direct counseling of individual or groups of students, as well as through consultation with school personnel, family, and representatives from community mental health agencies. School social workers help students understand themselves and others, develop self-control, cope with stress, take responsibility for their actions, and develop decision-making skills. They are also involved in helping coordinate high school transition services.