Counseling Staff & Student Services » School Social Worker

School Social Worker

School Social Workers (SSWs) are liaisons among the home, school, and community.  They work to promote student access to educational services and academic success.  Dedicated to helping students overcome emotional and environmental barriers to learning, SSWs are Master level clinicians, PA licensed, and Home and School Visitor certified through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  All social workers are required to obtain Act 34, Act 151, Act 126 and FBI clearances.  They are trained to provide services in the home and school environments for students and families with children in preschool through 12th grade.


SSWs provide direct services to students both individually and in groups.  Additionally, they advocate for and with parents to increase involvement and improve their understanding of their child’s education.  SSWs collaborate with professionals in the educational system and community to develop and implement effective programming to meet the academic, behavioral, and social needs of students.


Upon referral, SSWs work diligently to provide students and families with access to basic needs such as clothing, food, financial assistance, mental health services, and medical services.  Much of the work they do is behind the scenes or confidential in nature and is always approached with the intent of recognizing the strengths and potential of the children and families served.


SSWs work as members of both educational and community based teams to review interventions and programs for students that have been recommended based on their specific needs.  SSWs will attend and participate by providing progress reporting at scheduled review meetings (IEP, ISPT, CASSP) and serve as a liaison between parent and school through home visits and phone calls to develop a home/school partnership.


SSWs provide counseling services to students and parents individually and in groups to help them cope with a variety of situations, to alleviate social and emotional factors affecting educational progress, to address behavior management needs, and to promote communication and cooperation.


School Social Workers Help Students...

  • Increase academic success
  • Cope with crisis situations
  • Resolve conflicts without violence
  • Improve attendance
  • Build self-discipline
  • Develop healthy lifestyles
  • Improve interpersonal relationships
  • Remain in school and graduate
School Social Workers Help Families...
  • Participate more fully in their children’s education, through parent contacts, conferences, and home visits
  • Develop realistic expectations and ways of caring for their children which are age developmentally appropriate
  • Identify and meet their children’s social and emotional needs
  • Monitor their child’s homework and attendance
School Social Workers Help Educators...
  • Understand better how factors such as family, culture, socioeconomic status, physical and mental health can affect a student’s performance
  • Develop and implement plans to enhance a student’s performance
  • Coordinate services for individual families
  • Identify and report child abuse and neglect
  • Obtain community resources to meet student’s needs
  • Design and implement behavior management plans
School Social Workers Help the School District...
  • Mobilize school and community resources to optimize a student’s potential to learn
  • Provide individual and group counseling for students who have significant emotional concerns
  • Conduct a variety of assessments to determine a student’s need for special education services (psychosocial, behavioral, functional)
  • Increase school attendance and academic success

Kelly Ford MSW, LCSW
School Social Worker/Home School Visitor
One Academic Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15904
Phone : (814) 266-6081 ext 3011
[email protected]