Role of social worker in Sped.

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Emily Bronte, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jan 24, 2008

    What is the role of the social worker in your program or school? I am specifically talking about the social worker who works with students who receive sped. services.
     
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  3. rchlkay

    rchlkay Companion

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    Jan 24, 2008

    The social worker that I have has a limited role. She does all of the social developmental studies for our re-evals and initials. I also have a few kids who see the social worker for sessions (some group, some individual) to help teach social skills. She's also there to assist in a more direct manner when I have kids who I suspect need assistance at home. This can vary from abuse, being unsupervised, helping families find food pantries, that kind of thing. I also recently used my social worker by having her do an observation at one of my kid's house. The baby brother very obviously has special needs ( I knew this from pictures my student brought to show). She was able to set them up with an early intervention program to write an IFSP. That should help because I more than likely will have this little guy in 3 to 4 years.
     
  4. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Jan 24, 2008

    Behavioral intervention, functional behavioral assessments (doing or helping), on the crisis team, individual and group counseling sessions, handling/facilitating interactions with all the outside social agencies--DSS, parole officers, group homes, etc.
     
  5. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Jan 24, 2008

    Oh, ours also has a part in setting up parent support groups such as a group for parents of children with autism, etc.
     
  6. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    At the moment, I only have one kid who sees the social worker regularly. She has made a world of difference with this kid!!! O:) She works with him mainly on emotional and social skills. She was absent for a few weeks this year, and I was able to see clearly what a difference her coaching makes!
     
  7. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    At my previous school (special ed center), the social worker was only responsible for attendance of the students. If a student doesn't come to school for a few days, she would call the parents and ask what's going on. When I had some issues with a student because the parents didn't give him a bath for several days, didn't change his clothes, and his body, clothes, and wheelchair stank so badly, I asked the social worker to call the parents, she didn't care about it! She even refused to come closer to a child and smell him to see for herself that he wasn't taken care of at home. I couldn't believe that a social worker didn't care about it.
    So after all, I was the one who filed for child neglect.
     
  8. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Thanks guys. My social worker does deal with all outside angencies, etc. But she doesn't do any group therapy sessions. She doesn't to 1:1 individual time. She says she does not want to interfere if a student is getting outside therapy. I say big deal. I have asked her about doing social skills. I got a no, on that one. So, I am left to do it, along with all the other core academics I teach, plus life skills. I have been at other schools where the social worker does teach the social skills piece.I just wanted to know what it was like at other places for the role of social worker. I just feel like I do it all and it frustrates me. FBA help, yeah, that would only happen if the color of the sky in my world was a deep shade of burgundy. Thanks for the insight.
     
  9. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Jan 29, 2008

    Luckily for me, the social worker at my school is AWESOME. We share her with another school and she has really done a lot for the students at both schools. She works with kids all over the school, mainly just being available to talk to kids, put out "fires," that occur throughout the day, take kids to the sensorimotor room, and help families access resources. She works with all kids, not even necessarily just sp. ed.

    However, I definitely feel your frustration with having to teach everything, social skills in addition to everything else. Despite our wonderful social worker, at my school, we also really struggled with getting quality social skills instruction going. Most of my students have it in their IEP's to receive social skills instruction 30 min/day 3 to 5 times per week. I teach an ASD class and my kids have abilities all over the map.

    We tried a few groups with 3-5 of them together, and it just was not working out. They were too different and they were not modeling good things for each other. I felt strongly that they needed to have typical peers to model, so we started some lunch conversation groups and play groups. I do 3 per week and our social worker does 3. They are working great! We use a structured format for each, and then naturalistic prompting to help encourage and improve quality of social interaction. The peers we have picked out to help are really mature and great role models for my kids, and also genuinely enjoy the groups themselves.

    They really are not a lot of work, other than picking the peers and designing an initial structure and data collection precedure. They kind of plan themselves after that and are really enjoyable, and I've found them to be so much more productive than any other method I've tried.

    Course, I don't know how old your kids are...mine are in kindergarten. If they're older, play groups might not be as appropriate...but I think the lunch groups could still work.

    Maybe your social worker would be willing to do something like that? If it sounds less therapy like?

    Could your principal or administrator help you convince her?

    Hope that helps!
     

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