COVID-19 Resources for School Social Workers

The opening of the 2020-2021 school year is different from previous school years due to COVID-19. School social workers will need to be skillful with the flexibility to provide services to students, parents, and staff in-person or remotely. The following resources from NASW and the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) provide additional supports as you prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.

Opening Schools Safely in the COVID-19 Era

Social Workers’ Experiences and Recommendations Technical Report

As American schools shut down and moved into online learning as a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, there was little information about how school social workers (SSWs or SSW) were responding to the crisis.

School Social Workers’ Experiences and Recommendations

COVID-19 has presented a worldwide challenge for schools. Issues of safety, isolation, mental health, hunger, housing insecurity, and physical health are all amplified.

The Impact of School Social Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

School Social Work Association of America
In this time of crisis, the critical services that school social workers provide are more important than ever. School social workers are being called to the front lines to assist families with resources, mental health supports, and trauma informed care during the current pandemic.

School Reopening Priorities and Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

School Social Work Association of America
Our nation is navigating two public health crises: the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality. As school social workers, we are tasked with the responsibility of helping not only our students and families manage these crises, but also the staff with whom we work.

COVID-19 Resources for School Social Workers

NASW Practice Alert, May 2020
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, school social workers are essential staff and continue to play a vital role in ensuring that students continue to receive much-needed mental health, education and other services despite school disruptions from the pandemic.

Starting School During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This report is intended to complement a number of outstanding existing reports compiled by respected government, university, and association sources on how children can return safely to school during the coronavirus pandemic.

Additional Resources

Reopening Plan Types

Remote learning only: No in-person instruction. May include exceptions for special populations of students.

Hybrid/Partial: Limited in-person reopening. May include modifications such as social distancing and student capacity limits.

Full in-person available for all students: Full-time, in-person instruction is either the return to school model or an option for all students.

Undecided: No decision made yet.

School Districts' Reopening Plans: A Snapshot
Education Week is tracking reopening plans of a sample of school districts across the country.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Resources for Special Populations

Social and Developmental History Form
The forms schools utilize may vary. This one is from Adams Wells Special Services Cooperative in Indiana.

Alice’s Kids: This organization identifies children with specific needs and anonymously pays for these items to help them fit in with their peers and feel better about themselves.


Back to school with school social workers

School Social Worker Toolkit

Use the tools in this online toolkit to educate the public and media about the importance of school social workers.

Visit the toolkit

coronavirus molecule, round with soft spikes

COVID-19 Resources

Social workers can help curb the spread of the disease and reduce people's anxiety.

Get coronavirus resources

To keep students, parents and schools connected, social workers can facilitate:

  • School-wide/class town hall meetings
  • Parent workshops
  • Guest speakers (eg., local athletes and heroes)
  • Professional development 
  • Peer mediation
  • Mentorship programs
  • Broaden students' exposure to diverse cultures
  • Social groups 
  • Community partnerships with local businesses, universities and cultural institutions