Schools, they are the temples of education where lessons are imparted to, and received by the children, who form the basis of the nation tomorrow. Sometimes, the teachers may or may not be able to take care of the overall development of their students, in aspects other than just academics, could not discern the extra – academic influences and factors of the students that may be affecting them on a psychological level and consequently on an academic level, or maybe not even pay their due attention to the students even on an individual level.
It is due to situations like these that the social workers step in as teachers, to carry out their evaluation of their students not only at individual level, but also, incorporating all the ethical aspects. They play a vital role in addressing the various needs of students in an educational setting. Through the roles social workers engage in, they have the opportunity to collaborate in the improvement of the lives of the students. Their roles can vary from student to student, providing a variety of experiences and life lessons on a daily basis
In spite of the social worker’s many roles and responsibilities, four basic tasks have been identified as common to all school social workers. These are:
- Consultation with others in the school system as a member of a team.
- Evaluation applied to a variety of different roles in direct service, consultation, and program development.
- Assistance with program development
Up till now, we have very broadly explained the work of a social worker in school, which was ambiguous. But it is now that we delve deeper defining, the fields and aspects distinctly, that the social workers involve themselves in, in order to benefit the students and thus the schools.
In order to ensure a sound mental health of the students, the social workers take it upon themselves to address the personal issues of the students, other than just the academic ones, in order to aid them during their emotional or behavioral internal distresses that might be not only disturbing their academics, but also denying them of a happy life altogether. It is because social workers find it imperative to tackle these problems so as to secure a toned psychological state of the students overall.’
School social workers pay a visit to the homes of students for various reasons such as repeated absence or misbehavior instances of those students at the school, in order to asses the situation and the conditions, entertaining the various causes, with the parents and reporting back to the school district accordingly. These visits are payed by the school social workers when the school cannot contact the concerned student’s parents, or when the district demands the social worker to provide external intervention to the home of the students, in order to teach parents how to tackle with the social problems
That their child may face, and what counselling to provide them with, if they are suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, or have special needs. Not only that, school social workers also help put into practice in-home training for special education students and provide parents with information that will assist them in parenting children with special needs.
Social workers act as advocates for the parents when they help them understand their own, and their children’s rights. There is a significant group of parents for whom involvement in their children’s school affairs requires outreach and persuasion.
Most of the families have assume an indifferent and intimidated attitude towards the school system, so, it becomes the duty of the school social workers to build trust between the two and to make them aware of the fact that there is someone in the school that would support them, on whom they can rely in times of distresses.
Intervention with special needs students
Rural schools usually have less tolerance for diversity and the existence of unique children with their special needs, more homogeneous populations, more traditional moral values, and an expectation, that the society can take care of its own members. Due to this, they tend to overlook the needs of students that are different from the others, like those having some form of disability. In these cases, these students tend to face a lot of social and psychological issues in their everyday life and thus it is also here that it becomes necessary for the social workers to step in and help them overcome these problems one by one. They often are required to assist in the implementation and delivery of services to these students with special needs. These services may include assessment, early identification, or actual provision of direct services. School social workers in rural communities struggle with the execution of special programs aimed towards students. Limited resources and cost are two of the major obstacles to the provision of services. Where areas of need are not being addressed by the local community or education agency, school social workers should work to create services that address these needs.
Thus, it is in these ways that social workers, doing their social work, benefit the students and thus the school, thus nurturing the children of today that would become the citizens of tomorrow. Thank you.