About Us

School Social Work is a specialty area of the social work profession that connects home, school and community. School Social Work uses a holistic approach focusing on the student’s environment and resiliency, as well as providing supports for students and families to promote school success. 

School Social Workers address a variety of issues that impact a student’s ability to learn including: truancy, family conflict, abuse and neglect, social/emotional stressors, substance abuse, mental health issues and crisis intervention.  In addition, school social workers are vital in navigating the educational system for parents and accessing community resources for families. Specific duties of school social workers vary throughout the state and job responsibilities may include:     

  • Consultation, collaboration and case management with community organizations and professionals
  • Crisis intervention and prevention
  • Assessment of student needs through observation, home visits, interviews and assessments
  • Individual and group counseling services
  • Referrals to community agencies for students and families
  • Development and implementation of prevention programs that improve school climate
  • Advocacy for students and parents
  • Consultation to school staff on effective classroom behavioral strategies
  • Address barriers to the child, home, school, and community that interfere with student achievement
  • Investigate, prevent and enforce truancy issues
  • Assist Eligibility Committees and Intervention Teams in multidisciplinary reviews of individual student academic needs
  • Conduct sociological assessments for students suspected of having a learning disability

The introduction of the Virginia Visiting Teacher into the field of School Social Work began in 1945 as a result of recommendations from the Virginia Education Commission.  This body, known as the Denny Commission, was appointed by the General Assembly in 1944 to study the public school system of the Commonwealth.  Concerned that high rates of truancy and absenteeism were symptomatic of deeper issues, the Commission recommended employing visiting teachers to broaden the scope of work which had been traditionally been the role of an “attendance officer”.