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|School Social Work|
Who are School Social Workers?
If the only task of teachers was to teach the three R's, their jobs would be easy. But as we know, many factors conspire to make it difficult for some young people to make it through school—among them, poverty, substance abuse, community violence, early sexual activity and family conflicts.
School social workers pick up where teachers leave off. They are perhaps the professionals best equipped to address the social and psychological issues that can block academic progress. Through counseling, crisis intervention and prevention programs, they help young people overcome the difficulties in their lives, and as a result, give them a better chance at succeeding in school.
About 5% of the nations approximately half a million social workers work in the schools, primarily in public school settings. Besides helping youth with traditional academic problems, social workers aid others whose specific social, psychological, emotional or physical difficulties put them at risk for falling through the cracks. These include homeless youth, gay and lesbian youth and young people with physical or mental health disabilities.
Because social workers are trained to think of innovative solutions to complex problems, their interventions often make a strong difference for young people at risk for academic failure.
What are the State of Michigan Requirements for Becoming a School Social Worker?
In Michigan, school social workers must hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and have successfully completed specific specialized training in helping students within the context of local schools. There is an explicit and detailed specific process for becoming approved as a school social worker in the state of Michigan. Candidates interested in becoming a School Social Worker must meet the requirements set forth by Michigan State University as per the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). There are three steps to becoming a fully approved school social worker:
This information (current as of March 2014) is also set out in an MDE pdf document.
The Department of Education Administrative Rules for School Social Workers (pdf) can be downloaded HERE.
School Social Work Resources
Human Animal Bond Work Group