The Role of the Social Worker
Social workers have worked in WA Catholic schools since 1984. The effectiveness of this school-based program allows social workers to be readily available to school staff for consultation and to families and students as problems arise. Catholic school social workers have a bachelor’s degree in social work. This degree includes the study of individual and family counselling, group work and child protection.
What does the school social worker do?
The School Social Worker helps students:
- Engage fully with their school experience by addressing social and emotional issues.
- Understand themselves and others.
- Improve self-concepts and cope with stress.
- Develop decision-making and problem-solving skills.
- By offering counselling to students and families for issues ranging from peer problems to the effect of separation and loss on family members.
- By providing group work for students with an identifiable need.
The School Social Worker helps parents:
- Participate more effectively in their children’s education.
- Understand and meet their children’s social and emotional needs.
- Utilise school and community resources.
- Access referrals from outside agencies, where appropriate.
What is counselling?
Counselling provides the opportunity for people to clarify problems and develop and use strengths to find ways of managing and resolving issues or new ways of coping.
Counselling addresses such issues as:
- Behavioural problems at school or at home
- Building resiliency and self-esteem
- Child protection issues
- Conflict resolution
- Dealing with anxieties and fears
- Family separation and change issues
- Grief and loss
- Learning difficulties
- Anger management
- Welfare/financial assistance
- Friendship issues/social skills
- Parenting concerns
St Columba’s School Social Worker
Jenny Maughan can be contacted at St Columba’s School every Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a free service and is part of St Columba’s School’s ongoing commitment to the pastoral care needs of the students and school community. Discussions and any records kept by the social worker are considered as private and treated confidentially.
School Social Work Services
School social workers and school counsellors help to identify, to assess, and to resolve the social and emotional difficulties of children, which interfere with their attendance, adjustment and achievement in school.
Their main aim is to support children to gain the most from their educational opportunities. They work together with pupils, parents, school personnel, community agency staffs and others to help make school a successful and useful experience for all children.
Our school social worker also works with parents and staff to support them to better understand themselves and their children and to learn more about the programs and services of the school and community. St Columba’s School provides the services of a social worker to support our community.