Sharon Issurdatt Dietsche, ACSW, LICSW, LCSW-C
The U.S. public school system previously acted as part of the social safety net for students and families. When a student had a problem at home that was presented in school, such as hunger, emotional distress, illness or even lice, the school often advocated on behalf of the student and engaged with the family to find resolution. Many times the school personnel involved with the student (e.g., the school social worker, teacher, nurse, and principal) collaborated for the student’s overall well-being in addition to the student’s academic success.
Sharon Issurdatt Dietsche, LICSW, LCSW-C
The teenage years can be a tumultuous time for many young people. Balancing peer relationships, academics, body image and emotional instability are some issues that can prove to be confusing and unsettling for many teens. Many young people also experience depression, suicide risk and bullying behaviors during this turbulent developmental phase.
The "school to prison pipeline" is a phenomenon that has occurred over the last few decades as school systems have increasingly relied upon zero tolerance policies and law enforcement to manage discipline in schools, resulting in rising incidents of suspensions, expulsions and school based arrests. This trend represents a shift from discipline being handled fully by the school administration in a more individualized manner, attending to the nuances of the student and the misconduct, to a shift towards criminalizing even minor offenses with rigid consequences that are often extreme for the offense.
Many adults struggle in their parental roles and with the tremendous responsibility that raising children encompasses. Their outlook as caretakers can perpetually shift. Feeling competent and well-suited in the role of being a parent can vacillate to feeling overwhelmed and defeated by children’s responses and behaviors. This fluctuation is often a normal transferal in parenthood. Because parents are frequently exhausted by the commitments of upholding a household and maintaining employment among other crucial obligations, they may not seek the emotional or educational guidance they need to support their relationship with their children. Many parents who come into contact with social workers are compromised in their ability to parent due to drug use, trauma or emotional issues. Social workers, in their many roles, can provide parents with support and guidance to assist them in their parental roles.
These standards were developed to broadly define the scope of services that school social workers shall provide, that school administrators should support, and that students and families should expect. The standards are designed to enhance awareness of the skills, knowledge, values, methods, and sensitivity school social workers need to work effectively within school systems.
Roxana Torrico Meruvia, MSW
Access to higher education has become increasingly essential to obtain economic independence and success in today’s labor market. Despite the increased cost of tuition, the demand for higher education has increased over the past forty years (Settersten & Ray, 2010). Young people who graduate from college have significantly better prospects in the workforce than those that do not access higher education (Brock, 2010). Someone with a bachelor’s degree will earn about $2.1 million over their lifetime; this is estimated to be one-third more than someone who does not complete college and twice as much as someone who has only earned a high school diploma (Brock, 2010). As the cost of living increases, the need for higher education will become even more important, especially for the 28,000 young people transitioning out of foster care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010).