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MCPSS Social Workers: Keys to academic success

March is National Social Work Month. Mobile County Public Schools’ team of social workers play an important role in helping our students achieve academic success. These professionals work with teachers, parents, and administrators to help students deal with mental health and behavioral challenges as well as academic and attendance issues.

 

The Mobile County Public School System has invested millions of dollars in programs designed to assist students who are struggling with mental health issues, to support teachers, and to enhance social-emotional learning for all students. One of the key initiatives in this effort is the recent expansion of the Social Services Department, which now has 15 social workers. System officials used Covid relief funding to double the staff in August 2021.

 

Throughout the district, social workers are assigned to MCPSS feeder patterns to provide services for students and families, including the subgroups of students who are at risk of academic failure: Homeless and/or unaccompanied children, students in foster care, and those in similar situations.

 

Working with a Student Support Team, the district social worker coordinates services for students and their guardians through several channels, including:

·         Case management services

·         Crisis Prevention/Intervention/Safety Protocols

·         Conflict resolution strategies

·         Development and assessment of student assistance plans

·         Agency referral and collaboration

·         Home/shelter/agency visits

·         Advocacy (in court and with community agencies)


District social workers serve as liaisons between students, schools, families, and the community and assist in addressing social and family factors affecting students’ academic progress. Social workers also support school personnel through school visits, home visits, and identifying resources to assist students and families.

 

In addition to the social workers in the Social Services Department, MCPSS also has seven social workers in two other departments. Six serve in the Attendance Department, and one social worker is assigned to the Federal Programs Division to provide services to the district’s special schools.

 

“In the tapestry of education, school social workers are the threads of compassion, weaving empathy, support, and understanding into the fabric of students' lives,” said Dr. Terriyln Rivers-Cannon, Board President for the School Social Work Association of America. “National School Social Work Week is a canvas to celebrate their profound impact a masterpiece of care, advocacy, and transformative influence.”

 

 

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