Need For A School Based Social Worker Education Essay

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At present, schools do not have a social worker. The have Allied Educators who work with teachers by attempting to raise the quality of interaction with every child. They will support the teachers in the application of pedagogies to instruct and interact with each pupil. They also facilitate discussion groups as well as engage the pupils in their project work.

The 3 types of allied educators are as follows:

AED (Counselling) who provide social and emotional support to students;

AED (Learning and Behavioural Support) who guide the learning of students with special educational needs; and

AED (Teaching and Learning) who provide teaching and learning support and assist with pastoral care and Co-curricular Programmes.

We (Kumeresh and Lena) are community workers attached to secondary schools under a 2-year contract with the schools which ended in December 2009. We have come to learn that a school social worker is a niche profession and our presence in school mattered a lot to the students and even teachers. Students saw us as an adult friend rather than as a school authority. Our position allowed us to advocate for the youths and in particular the at-risk youths. We did not operate the Frank Sinatra way which was the "My Way" approach, instead, we consulted with the educators and higher management whom we saw as important stakeholders and worked together for the betterment of the youth.

As advocates of school-based services, we feel that services should be based in the schools. Schools are where the children or youth are and of course accessibility to children and families is presumed to be high.

During our tenure there, we were able to introduce a more inclusive and restorative environment in the schools. In our course of work, we have come to understand and saw the need about applying the Strengths Approach, Systems Theory, Peacemaking facilitation skills and the SONI model, all of which we learnt in the Diploma in Social Work Practice. Our paper will show more about our learning and reflections and how we feel that there should be a need for a Community or Social Worker in a school as this is not the current practice in Singapore.

Introduction

School social work seeks to co-ordinate and to influence the efforts of the school, the family and the community to help students, who face difficulties in their developmental process and/or in adjusting to their school life. School social work is usually provided in the school premises so that services are easily accessible to school-going children and youth, and their families. It allows the workers to closely monitor the progress of the students, to build a positive relationship with school personnel, and to support schools in the management and development of students as they navigate through the challenges of adolescence and school life.

Goals

School social work provides social, emotional, academic and familial support, enabling students to obtain maximum benefits from their schooling experience.

Objectives

The objectives of school social work target at different levels:

(a) Preventive: to minimise predictable problems by

Assisting schools to identify existing and potential behavioural problems amongst students, and develop appropriate services;

Empowering students to resist negative influences and harmful involvement.

(b) Developmental: to prepare students to manage life transitions by

Enabling students to effectively manage stress during their school life;

Enabling students to obtain optimal benefits from the learning opportunities available in schools;

Equipping students with life-skills, e.g. interpersonal communication,

Problem solving and emotional management;

Inculcating healthy and positive personal and social values;

Increasing students' ability to handle challenges in life; and

Promoting leadership development, community involvement and social cohesion.

(c) Remedial: to enable students to cope with identified or existing issues or problems by

Assisting them to manage their problem more effectively; and

Enabling them to function adequately as individuals within the school, the family systems and in the community.

Principles & Beliefs

School social work is guided by the following principles and beliefs that it should

Be instituted as an integral part of the school system for student welfare;

Place the welfare of students as the paramount consideration when delivering the service;

Base practice on the ecological perspective that emphasises the understanding of people, their environment and the nature of their transactions, i.e. the relationships between the individual or group and their environment;

Be professionally managed with high accountability by keeping the school personnel informed of the progress, development and outcome of the service rendered without compromising confidentiality; and

Involve the community, whenever necessary in the intervention and/or developmental process to help students and their families.

The school is seen as a complex and adaptive organisation that is constantly generating patterns of action and interaction with its subsystems. The interaction often becomes an impetus for change and growth. The two key theoretical orientations are Systems Theory and Ecological Perspective.

Systems Theory

A system may be defined as a complex of elements in mutual interaction and interdependence, directed at a mutually defined goal. An understanding of the interdependence and interaction of these elements provides the school social worker with a person-in-environment framework within which to view life in process and in relationship to the environment.

In practice, the term system emphasises that the overall operational process is the focus of analysis. Hence, this implies that the school functions as a whole by virtue of its interdependent parts; and students, teachers, other school personnel, parents - all whose interests converge within the school - are bound together by the school's "social institutional roles".

Working systemically helps the school social worker to identify and consider all systems (e.g. the school, family and community) that contribute to the student's situation or difficulty. There are thus multiple entry points to problem-resolution. The worker will choose the most appropriate entry point to begin the process of change.

More importantly, this 'multiple system perspective' allows accurate assessment and intervention to be conducted in the context where the problem belongs.

Based on this orientation, the presenting problem is not seen as belonging to an individual but rather, as a repetitive sequence of interaction within or amongst the system/s that maintains and is maintained by the problem. In other words, one's behaviour contributes to the patterns (may or may not be problematic) which subsequently organises one's behaviours in return.

Ecological Perspective

The ecological perspective, postulates that people and their environment have to be understood in the context of their relationship with each other. This relationship is characterised by continuous reciprocal exchanges in which people and environments are constantly influencing each other.

An ecological perspective provides the framework for understanding the nature of the transactions between the person and different institutions and/or systems. It helps the social worker to identify and consider all systems contributing to the students' situation or difficulty. Furthermore, it recognises that resolution may be more effective when intervention takes place within more than one system. The focus of intervention is on the social process of interaction and the transactions between the student and the environment. The environment is defined as the "aggregate of external conditions and influences that determine a child's life and development". The environments that affect a child are the family, school, peer, community and the mass media.

Theoretical Underpinnings in Practice

Translating these theories into practice the school social worker gives due

Consideration to, and seeks to influence or change the following systems, subsystem and/or systems-interfaces:

Macro-system refers to the culture in which individuals live - tracks and responds to trends, for example, social stratification that marginalised certain student groups as in the digital divide and its effects on students and families;

Exo-system refers to settings in which the person does not actively

participate but in which significant decisions are made affecting the individuals who do interact directly with the person, for example, persuading employers to promote pro-family work environment so that parents could spend more time with their children;

Meso-system involves the relationship between micro-systems or

Connections between contexts, i.e. school-community, school-family or

school-MOE. Examples of specific changes may include changing the

Perceptions and attitudes of school personnel on students and vice-versa, and creating different experiences at the interface of systems/interaction patterns that yield positive effect on relationship and learning; and

Micro-system is the setting in which the individual lives.

Student system: considers individual's concern/esteem/resilience;

Family system: considers issues such as inter-generational family system, intra-familial patterns of behaviours;

School system: makes recommendations like modifying school

conditions and policies that may hinder successful school experience for students, or finding a good fit between the characteristics of particular student population and the school-community's conditions and practices; and

Peer system: works on issues that arise between students and their

peers, for example, peer pressure and gang association.

Suggested Approach for the School Social Worker

_ Establish a relationship of trust and understanding with students with

special needs;

_ Help students overcome their personal difficulties;

_ Maintain and strengthen students' contact with their families, teachers and peers;

_ Understand students' developmental milestones, social background and

family circumstances so as to make realistic goals and plans for their

adjustments to the school;

_ Work with school personnel and the general student population to promote understanding and acceptance of students with special needs;

_ Engage community resources and disability-related VWOs for cases

requiring specialised expertise; and

_ Review students' progress regularly so as to monitor their needs and

identified concerns.

School Social Worker

The school social worker helps students develop their internal capacities and social and emotional competencies to realise and maximise their potential. The worker's role is multi-faceted and frequently involves interfacing between the student, his or her family, the school and the community.

A school social worker may take on the following roles and functions:

(A) Caseworker and/or Counsellor- To work with students on the identified problems and with those experiencing the effects, including their parents, teachers, peers and the community. The worker will identify the issues and intervene in view of their relationship with one another.

The caseworker and/or counsellor also helps students better understand

themselves, their feelings and to resolve their behavioural and emotional

problems in connection with their developmental process and adjustment to school life. The worker may run support programmes to better equip students in meeting challenges in life, such as family transitions and school adjustments.

(b) Advocate- To act as a platform and a bridge amongst the students, their families, teachers and/or school. This involves promoting greater

Understanding among the various parties and finding platforms to help surface issues of concerns or to improve services and effect change of structure.

(c) Mediator- To strengthen the linkages between the students, their families, the school and the community for promotion of better understanding and harmonious relationship amongst them and to mediate between the parties when misunderstanding or conflict arises.

(D) Programme Deliverer- To plan, implement and evaluate the school social work programmes according to the needs and environment of the school. The worker will ensure that the programmes are holistic and that evaluation is carried out appropriately.

(e) Networker- To locate and mobilise community resources, such as skills, facilities, manpower and services, for the benefit of the students, their families and the school. The worker will initiate and facilitate collaboration among schools and communities in achieving the goals and objectives of school social work.

(f) Trainer- To develop and provide training and educational packages for

teachers, students and their families so as to equip:

_ Teachers - with basic relationship building, assessment and intervention

skills. This is necessary to help students function optimally in the school;

_ Students - with life-skills that increase their social and emotional

competencies. In addition, career-related attitude and skills can be taught

so that students can relate more meaningfully with their current school

experiences and opportunities; and

_ Parents - with skills and knowledge to build positive parent-child

relationship that supports their children in their school life.

(f) Consultant- To provide consultation service to:

_ The school management on policies and issues relating to student welfare;

_ Teachers on referred cases or general management of students;

_ Parents on parent-child relationship; and

_ Students on personal, social, familial problems and challenges.

(g) Researcher: To conduct research and surveys like needs assessment,

surveys on prevailing phenomena and evaluation of programmes. The worker will also review the service with the school personnel regularly and collect data related to their work for the development and improvement of services as well as for advocacy and change.

The school social worker's responsibilities include:

_ Serving clients with appropriate application of professional skills;

_ Maintaining integrity and professionalism by upholding values and ethics

like clients' confidentiality;

_ Being respectful and sensitive to clients' cultural background;

_ Empowering clients (students, parents and school personnel) to be

responsible for problem resolution and/or to find a good fit with one

another to achieve identified goals;

_ Delivering services with an understanding of the general educational goals and objectives, and the school systems;

_ Maintaining accurate data and sharing information to ensure accountability to clients; and

_ Developing own professional competency.

History of School Social work

School social work has an extensive history, dating to 1906-07, when it was established in New York, Boston, Chicago and New Haven, CT. At its inception, school social workers were known, among other things, as advocates for equity and fairness as well as home visitors. The expansion of school social work services was encouraged by a number of factors. By 1900 over two-thirds of the states had compulsory attendance laws and by 1918, each state had passed compulsory attendance laws, making school attendance obligatory, and not simply a privilege. Child labour legislation, the Progressive Movement which saw social work efforts initiated in the schools, and community settlement programs also led to its growth. A 1917 study of Truancy in Chicago supported "findings that the need for school attendance officers who understood the social ills of the community" and school social workers were best equipped for that responsibility (Allen-Meares, 1996, p. 25). Mary Richmond, one of the founding mothers of social work, devoted an entire chapter to the visiting teacher in her 1922 book on what is Social Casework? The testing movement influenced school social work growth as well. Through the testing movement, educators were gaining knowledge about individual differences, underscoring the need for some children to attend school, children whose social conditions related to their test scores. Lastly during this time, leaders in the field like Sophonisba P. Breckinridge, expressed concerns of how school and education would relate to future success and happiness, and expressed the need to connect school and home in order to relate to the needs of children.

Current School Structure in Singapore

Example of a Secondary School structure in Singapore

Non Teaching Staff

Counsellors

Teachers

Hod - PCCG

Hod - PE

Teachers

Teachers

Teachers

Teachers

Teachers

Hod - Discipline

Hod - Humanities

Hod - Science

Hod - English

Hod - Maths

Vice Principal

Principal

What currently happens in schools with regards to handling At- Risk- Youths?

At- Risk - Youths - In our Singapore system, these youths would generally be youths who don't normally abide by the system's rules or regulations. In a school's context these would be students that constantly break the school rules, are regularly absent and have social issues.

Currently in Singapore schools these kids would initially be referred to the HOD of Discipline or the HOD of Pastoral Care and Guidance. What the HOD of discipline would normally do would be to punish the students according to the offence committed. The punishment could be as simple as a stern warning or it could be as severe as suspension from school. Students referred to the HOD of pastoral care and guidance would be students needing Financial Assistance or those that might need counselling.

This is where the counsellors come in to the picture. The counsellors would have a series of sessions with these students to identify their problem. Once they have made an assessment the counsellors might link these students with external Family Service Centres or other agencies that work with Youths. The role of the counsellors also goes beyond working with these students just in schools. Some of the counsellors do make an effort to visit the families of these students to see how they could get the families involve in helping the students with their issues or problems.

Limitations of Schools with regards to working with At- Risk- Youths

Schools are institutions which have been created for students to learn and excel in their academic growth. Even though in the ideal world the school would want to be able to cater to every students interests and needs practically it is not possible.

First limitation would be Teacher - student ratio. Currently in a typical primary or secondary classroom in Singapore there would be one teacher handling about thirty to forty students. This is really not conducive to really foster a relationship.

Next limitation is the amount of time teachers really have to know their students better. Teachers in Singapore don't really have much time to engage their student outside curriculum time as their work load takes up a lot of their time.

Another limitation is that generally schools in Singapore work in a very punitive approach. They believe that students should be punished first and all other aspects of repairing relationship strains should be handled later. These habits are noticed even in schools which are supposed to be restorative.

Another major limitation is the branding of certain students. Even though it is mentioned in a lot of school documents that we shouldn't be branding students it is still quite noticeable in schools. This completely inhibits the student from making any progress as he always feels the school is not willing to give him another chance.

Finally what I feel is a major limitation for the school is working with the student's social resources outside the school setting. No matter how the school tries to help the student, it is always within the boundary of the school and its resources. No one in the school including the counsellors seems to know how to work with the student's social resources for example like his friends, extended family and places he hangs out. They seem to be more comfortable referring these students to external agencies as they mark them as unmanageable.

How can a school based social worker make a difference?

A school based social worker first of all would not really have to consider the student's academic excellence as one of his key priority. His focus would be to address the student's social issues and if need be find social support for the student. The social worker would be equipped with the tools and techniques stated below to support the student.

Restorative principles based on Restorative Justice for Schools

Restorative justice is an approach to justice where offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and "to repair the harm they've done- by apologizing, returning stolen money, or (for example) doing community service". It is based on a theory of justice that focuses on crime and wrong doing as acted against the individual or community rather than the School. In restorative justice processes the justice system has the person who has done harm and the person who has been harmed take an active role. The victim may receive an apology, direct reparation or indirect action to restore or fix the damage. Restorative Justice can involve a fostering of dialogue between the offender and the victim show the highest rates of victim satisfaction and true accountability by the offender.

Some Processes of how Restorative Justice can be carried out.

Victim-offender mediation

Victim-offender mediation or VOM (also called victim-offender dialogue, victim-offender conferencing, victim-offender reconciliation, or restorative justice dialogue), is usually a meeting, in the presence of a trained mediator, between the victim of a crime and the person who committed that crime. This system generally involves a few participants, and often is the only option available to incarcerated offenders

Family group conferencing

Family group conferencing (FGC) has a much wider circle of participants than VOM. In addition to the primary victim and offender, participants may include people connected to the victim, the offender's family members, and others connected to the offender (for example, friends, and professionals). FGC is often the most appropriate system for juvenile cases, due to the important role of the family in a juvenile offender's life.

The School Management and Leaders

Whilst we have listed the different RJ tools, these would not be possible unless we have "influence" with the school management and leaders.

School leaders play an important role in promoting and sustaining change in schools. Without their efforts, schools cannot change or improve to become places where all students are welcomed, and where all students learn essential academic and non-academic lessons in preparation for life in the community

In my experience, one of our successes was in being able to work closely with the Principal and the leadership of the school and in moving them towards a more inclusive school environment. This we see is as an important step for a school social worker as we are not in the organization chart like the counselors are.

Moving schools from current practices requires the collective efforts of key stakeholders. Principals serve as catalysts for the key stakeholders. They play a unique role in helping students, staff, and parents to think and act more inclusively and restoratively.

As a school social worker, I saw our role as to guide and support the course of change. Understanding about leadership in effective, inclusive schools may help parents, educators, and community members better support the work of the school in general and the efforts of the principal in particular.

Because inclusive and restorative practices represent a considerable shift in practice for the school, we began by helping educators understand more about the complex process through case consultations, their active participation in Community Encouragement activities as well as providing Teachers' Training for Restorative Practices.

As a member of the Discipline Committee, we school social workers were also able to advocate for a more restorative approach towards handling a case. A lot of times, the Discipline Committee would then opt to refer the child/youth to us for interventions. Because we also consult with the teachers involved, we also build better rapport with them along the way.

Programmes in School, Community Encouragement and Experiential learning Activities

The objectives of the CE sessions EL sessions are to

Encourage accountability, responsibility and truthfulness in young people

Foster an inclusive school environment

To impart leadership and teamwork skills that will enhance their ability to contribute positively to their school and their community

To provide a sense of belonging

To provide a feeling of inclusiveness

(Adapted from: Campland - Trainer Handbook 080108 & Beyond's Guide to the Juvenile Justice programme in Secondary Schools: Tools & Practices)

*Pictures below are from CE sessions based in a Secondary School

Circle process in Schools

All the students I have been working with have been identified as youth at risks. They have been referred to me for a variety of reasons, be it truancy, anger management etc… My first step working with theses students would always be to win their trust and become their friend. As I become their friend I also end up being their confidant and if conflict arises, I also am in a position to mediate. One important tool which I use for conflicts management is the Circle Process

What is Circle Process?

Circles provide a process for bringing people together as equals to talk about very difficult issues and painful experiences in an atmosphere of respect and concern for everyone. Circles create a space in which all people, regardless of their role, can reach out to one another as equals and recognize their mutual interdependence in the struggle to live in a good way and to help one another through the difficult spots in life.Participants are seated in a circle of chairs with no tables. Sometimes objects with meaning to the group are placed in the center as a focal point to remind participants of shared values and common ground. The physical format of the circle symbolizes shared leadership, equality, connection and inclusion. It also promotes focus, accountability and participation from all.

The circle process typically involves four stages:

Acceptance - The community and the immediately affected parties determine whether the circle process is appropriate for the situation.

Preparation - Separate circles for various interests (family, social workers) are held to explore issues and concerns and prepare all parties to participate effectively. Thorough preparation is critical to the overall effectiveness of the circle process. Preparation includes identifying possible supporters in the natural network of the family to participate in the process.

Gathering - All parties are brought together to express feelings and concerns and to develop mutually acceptable solutions to issues identified.

Follow-up - Regular communication and check-ins are used to assess progress and adjust agreements as conditions change.

Circles are facilitated by keepers who are responsible for setting a tone of respect and hope that supports and honours every participant. All circles are guided by the following commitments participants make to one another:

What comes out in circle, stays in circle - personal information shared in circle is kept confidential except when safety would be compromised.

Speak with respect - speak only when you have the talking piece; speak in a good way about good and difficult feelings; leave time for others to speak.

Listen with respect - actively listen with your heart and body.

Stay in circle - respect for circle calls upon people to stay in the circle while the circle works to find resolution to issues rose.

Additional guidelines may be created by circle participants to meet the needs of that situation. Guidelines institute a covenant defining how people will interact and share space and time as a group.

In the circle process social institutions play important roles, but the process is centered on the community context of the situation. The circle throws a wide net to capture possible points of support or assistance and to gather all relevant knowledge. Potential contributions are expected even from those who are part of the problem. Multiple issues are dealt with at once. Circles recognize that the issues interact with one another and cannot be effectively dealt with in isolation. Circles promote mutual responsibility, the recognition that individual well being depends upon the well being of all.

Below is an experience I had when doing a circle session with a class I was working with.

One day as I was sitting at a canteen a group of students came up to me to raise some issues. Apparently they were feeling very stressed because of their upcoming 'N' levels. They also highlighted the fact that they were having difficulties with a particular teacher. I went to the Vice Principal and brought up the situation. After having a meeting with the Discipline Mistress, the class form teacher and Vice Principal we decided to have a circle session with the class to address the issues. We divided the class into two groups. One group was supposed to be facilitated by me whereas another group was facilitated by my colleague. I got the group that I was facilitating to sit in a circle. I explained the ground rules of the circle.

- What was discussed in the circle would stay in the circle (Confidentiality)

- We will listen while one person is speaking. Speaker to only speak if they are holding the talking piece

- They will be no disrespecting or making fun of anyone

We started the circle by asking generic questions. Questions like how have they found school so far? What was their ambition? Once everybody became a bit comfortable, I started asking the more provoking questions.

- How are you feeling about your 'N' Levels

- What subject/subject are you not confident of clearing

- How can the school support you?

- How can your friends support you?

The session went very well as the students were very open with sharing their issues. A few of them brought up very sensitive issues like family problems and relationship issues. Overall the students well very glad that they had the session as they felt they had an avenue to open up their issues and frustrations. They also felt that the school was serious about helping them. The DM and Form teacher who were part of the circles were initially a bit surprised at how much the students shared but they felt that the circle session was extremely useful for them to understand what the students were going through.

Strengths Perspective Approach

All the students I have been working with have been identified as youth at risks. They have been referred to me for a variety of reasons, be it truancy, anger management etc… My first step working with these students would always be to win their trust and become their friend. One very important tool which I use to do this would always be to analyze them from a Strengths perspective.

What is Strengths perspective?

Practicing from a strengths perspective means that everything you do as a helper will be based on facilitating the discovery and embellishment, exploration, and use of clients' strengths and resources in the service of helping them achieve their goals and realize their dreams.

Dennis Saleebey

Everybody - every individual, family, group, or community - has strengths.

At the least this means that we must help the individual articulate, acknowledge and affirm his or her strengths, and assets. This includes resources both within the individual and in the environment - relationships, supports, institutions, etc. There should be a systematic way to do this, but one that doesn't get in the way of the client's own narrative. Strengths, capacities, and assets can be assessed and, often, measured fairly precisely. A key to operating from a strengths-based stance is in fact generating a thorough assessment of capacities, reserves, resilience along with an honest appraisal of the barriers and obstacles to their realization; along with ideas about how these barriers may be surmounted. Strengths of the individual and the environment are used to help the client attain the goals that they set themselves. For example in our school there are many individuals with a talent for music. You can see them playing on and on during their recess or lunch times. Some even stay back after school just to play the piano in the canteen. These kids strength lie in their passion for music. If we can identify an environment for them to maximise their full potential we would be able if I may dare say produce the next generation of music superstars.

SONI

After going through the Diploma programme I strongly feel the SONI model is another tool which a school based social worker can use to access how much influence he has made and can improve on with regards to working in the School.

S - In this context the S would refer the school and legal system. These would refer to the rules and regulations and rules that he bodies work on

O - O would refer to organisation. For example programmes initiated by the organisations

N - N would refer to Networks. This simply means building social capital and mobilising support groups within extended resources

I - I would refer to the assessment of the Individual.

Attached below is how a typical form would look like.

The form below is for the System review

What was done / action taken….

Where possible, why do you feel this was important?

Score (%) on the impact this action had

AD's relative score (%)

Example:

1) I sent an email to Noor's Child Protection Officer reporting on her progress (first week of May) Importance: keeping in regular contact with CPO helps MCYS trust our work ….

60%

2) I sent an email and have regular conversations with my Vice Principal to update him on progress and address and concerns I have

The relationship I have with the Vice Principal is very key to how much influence I have in the sch.

80%

3) I try to see my Discipline Mistress everyday to find out if there are any new discipline problems and to update her on any new insight I have on any student.

80%

4) I try to work very closely with the other befriender in the school.

70%

I meet up with the form teachers which we have conducted CE with to get regular feedback on progress of class

70%

I occasionally meet up with my school councilors to talk about some of the cases.

50%

I call one of the girl's case workers at Grace Haven once in a while to establish a non formal form of communication so as to get any info about the girl's behavior in the home and also to update the case worker about the girl in school.

30%

Using the SONI Model to reflect the work a School Social Worker does.

Case: 15 year old, Sally, teenage pregnancy

S

Conduct research, advocate for improved services, or become involved in planning or policy development.

They identify social problems and suggest legislative and other solutions.

To advocate in matters of the law where it is compulsory to report the under aged sex to the Police. This may hinder the relationship with Sally as if I am turning her in to the authorities and she may stay away from me knowing she may not have done something right.

O

Interdisciplinary teams, social work administrators, researchers, These workers research and analyze policies, programmes, and regulations.

They may help raise funds or write grants to support these programs.

Consult our colleagues who have worked with such cases before and how our programme can benefit the youth.

Working with our Babes workers who are the specialists in teen pregnancies.

N

Child, family, and school social workers may be known as child welfare social workers, family services social workers, or child protective services social workers. These workers often work for individual and family services agencies, schools, or State or local governments.

Worked with Sally's extended family members to look into supporting her with care giving arrangements for her and her baby. Worked with the school to ensure there is still continuity in her education

For her to continue to receive homework and take her exams at home.

Ensure she still has a place in school after her taking her leave of absence from her pregnancy and delivery.

Advised her on the law and the need to make a police report

Worked with medical social worker from the hospital

Referred Sally and family to the Family Service Centre for food rations and application of financial aid.

Approached religious leader to assist in naming baby and for the necessary religious rites for the full month celebration.

Contacted several hotels for job vacancies for Sally and her mom.

I

Social workers assist people by helping them cope with and solve issues in their everyday lives, such as family and personal problems and dealing with relationships. Some social workers help clients who face a disability, life-threatening disease, social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse.

Provided casework and counselling for Sally and her family members.

Assisted Sally with coping strategies in their everyday lives, such as family and personal problems and dealing with relationships.

Saw to Sally's substance abuse issues.

Worked with Sally and family and assisted to appeal for a rental flat.

Conclusion

In conclusion I strongly believed that having a school based social worker is extremely essential for the holistic development and social well being of every student and not just At - Risk students. Based on the current system there are more and more students who just seem to be caught in legal situations which could have been prevented if there was a social worker around. The objectives of school social work and the scope of a school social worker have been clearly identified at the first part of the thesis. The second part has clearly explained the limitations and difficulties the schools face with regards to working with At- Risk Youths. The concluding part is the show you and prove that some aspects of school social work has been tried and have been proven successful , highlighting and explaining certain essential tools that the school social worker is equipped with. We hope that this can prove beyond doubt the need for a school based social worker.

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