Social work is an often thankless job, and perhaps no more so than when dealing with school-age children. Often the decisions that you have to make are in their best interest even if they would disagree. It can be emotionally draining as well as eat well into what little personal time you’ll manage to squeeze out. So why do it? Why take on a profession that is incredibly stressful on a good day?
School Social Worker: Help Children
It’s often as simple as wanting to help kids. All that stuff about kids being the future and shaping young minds aside, some people are genuinely good people that just want to make sure that the next generation has the best shot possible to make the most of themselves despite any other outside factors that may work against them. School social workers can help to make sure that the children under their care are giving those opportunities.
School Social Worker: Protect Children From the System
Schools are, like all other institutions, a bureaucracy, and often have to look at the larger picture than the individual. Fortunately it’s the job of school social workers to focus on the individual and make sure that the needs of the many don’t crush the needs of the one. A school having to look out for the best interest of thousands of students isn’t evil, but when you’re dealing in those numbers a single student can often get left by the wayside, and it’s up to the social worker to make sure that doesn’t happen.
School Social Worker: Make a Difference
Some people are looking to make a difference and help children doing it. That is basically the definition of a school social worker. You’ll be working with children that have been placed in a situation that is detrimental to their development and working with them and others to make sure that they get all of the opportunities they need to succeed both in education and in life.
School Social Worker: Work with Parents
Sometimes parents are the root of the problems a child is having, even without realizing it. Sometimes parents are completely unaware of the problems their children are having. As a school social worker you’ll work with the parents of the children you’re helping to find out how they fit into the equation and to see if they need to be more involved, less involved, or even removed from the equation. Your main concern is the child, and that means finding out how the parents are working with or against them.
School Social Worker: Facilitate a Child’s Growth
There are numerous programs out there to help children from all backgrounds and skill levels succeed in education and in life. Sometimes the students just need somebody to let them know that the programs are there. Your interaction with a student may be as simple as helping them get into a remedial class to help them catch up to the rest of the students in their class or realizing that the reason they act out is because they’re not being challenged in the classroom.
Roy Musser is a freelance writer with the utmost respect for people in the field of social work. He currently writes for MswPrograms.com where he recently Roy featured the top social work degrees available to undergraduate students seeking to get started in this exciting field. He invites you to leave your comments or questions about this article.