Reports To: Coordinator of Social Work Services
Children are affected by many social forces that impact their role as students. Families can be in a state of change, or be experiencing economic and employment pressures; personal safety may be at risk due to drug/alcohol abuse, violence, or poor nutrition and health. Unmet physical and emotional needs of children affect their ability to learn and adjust in school.
Social workers employed by the Topeka Public Schools are mental health professionals who provide direct and indirect therapeutic services with, or on behalf of, exceptional students and their families.
- Required to hold a current and valid license to practice social work in the state of Kansas, issued by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.
- The license must be at the Masters (LMSW) or the Clinical Specialist (LSCSW) levels.
Physical/Emotional Requirements: (The incumbent may be required to use the below requirements during any part of the working day.)
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, sit, talk, and hear. The employee is frequently required to stand and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The employee is required to interact with staff and to meet demands from several people.
APPLICATION OF CLINICAL SKILL
- Working together with teachers to ensure the access of all children to a free and appropriate education, and to clinical social work services as needed.
- Participating in comprehensive evaluations to identify family, health, developmental, emotional, and community elements that may affect a student's ability to learn.
- Identifying those factors in the life of an exceptional student (home, school, and community) that may impact his/her education.
- Applying knowledge and skills when working with exceptional students and families, individually or in groups, for the purpose of enhancing positive educational experiences.
- Collaborating with family, school, and community agencies to enable an exceptional student to receive maximum benefit from his/her educational program.
- Providing direct IEP services to students with disabilities, and billing insurance for services to those students who are both disabled and eligible for Medicaid.
- Consulting to the building Student Intervention Teams (SIT) in the general education problem-solving process. (This includes providing time-limited services to students on general education intervention plans.)
- Engaging actively in building the tiered structure of support at their schools. This is especially true of the positive behavior intervention supports effort, as well as the anti-bullying and social-emotional character development programs.
- Special assignments are available to those if interested or as assigned. These may include representing the district in community service organizations, being on district-level steering committees, and providing training in programs such as MANDT.
Social work services are related to the social, emotional, and developmental adjustments of exceptional students within the context of their community. As mental health providers, the school social work role requires clinical expertise in the following areas:
- Family Contacts __ which may include interviewing the family to discuss their child's educational adjustment; identifying with the family the resources they might access to alleviate family stress; working with parents to facilitate support of their children's school adjustment; and serving as liaison between the home and school.
- Individual Interventions __ which may include crisis intervention regarding suicide/hospitalization; working with an exceptional student in a therapeutic goal-directed process; and working with school staff to find ways to respond more effectively to a student's needs.
- Group Dynamics __ which may include forming groups of exceptional students and non-identified students to work toward specific goals; consulting with teachers of exceptional students about classroom management techniques; and offering group support opportunities for parents of exceptional students interested in enhancing their parenting skills.
- School-Community Liaison __ which may include linking and/or coordinating school and community resources to better serve the families of exceptional students; helping schools obtain appropriate support from social and mental health agencies; and advocating with community planning bodies for new or improved services to children with special needs.
- System Interventions - which includes identifying problem areas and, in conjunction with other staff members, planning and implementing programs for exceptional students (such as those at risk for dropping-out or those needing help with transitions).
- Problem Solving __ which may include identifying problem areas and, in conjunction with other staff members, planning and implementing programs for exceptional students (such as those at risk for dropping-out or those needing help with transitions).
- ClinicalAssessment and Diagnosis __ which may include using professional clinical skills when interviewing parents; formalizing information gathered about a student in a manner helpful to the understanding of that student in an educational setting; and employing this knowledge in referral of families to community agencies when appropriate.
- Professional Development - which includes: continuously updating clinical knowledge on the mental health of children, the role of family dynamics, socio-cultural environmental factors in the community and in our school buildings - all toward the development of effective therapeutic interventions.
- Social Work Internship Supervision - social workers may choose to contract with local universities offering graduate level social work programs, to supervise interns doing 600 or 720 hour practicum placements in a school setting. Training in field instruction is required.
Terms of Employment:
9 months; salary and work year to be determined by the Board of Education.
Performance of this position will be evaluated in accordance with provisions of the Board policy on evaluation of Support Service Personnel.
The performance responsibilities are not limited to those outlined in this description and may include any other responsibilities as assigned by the administrator/supervisor.