School Social Work Services

The Role of a School Social Worker

Traverse City Area Public Schools’ School Social Workers are part of an intense student support network that aims to enhance students’ social, emotional, and academic development. Their role is closely tied to the district’s mission to help “every learner reach his or her potential in an engaging, inspiring and challenging environment,” particularly in regard to “productive citizenship” and “healthy and innovative skills for life-long learning.”

Areas of Expertise

The social work department is currently comprised of eleven professionals, all of whom have earned Master’s Degrees and are licensed with the State of Michigan. Every TCAPS School Social Worker is a trained member of their school’s Crisis Intervention Team which focuses on the Care (looking at all situations through students’ eyes), Welfare (fostering relationships based on trust and understanding), Safety (maintaining an environment that is physically and emotionally safe) and Security (sustaining the sense that staff will always honor a student’s best interest). School Social Workers are qualified to assist with a variety of issues that impact student success at school, including:

  • Addiction
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral Struggles
  • Bullying
  • Changing Families/Divorce, Separation, Remarriage
  • Crises
  • Depression
  • Friendship Difficulties
  • Grief and Loss
  • Homelessness/Lack of Resources
  • Mental Health and Medical Issues
  • Moves/Transitions
  • Personal Safety, Abuse, and Neglect
  • School Attendance
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Harm
  • Separation Issues
  • Social Skills
  • Trauma
  • Other Social, Emotional, or Behavioral Concerns

Services Available

Depending on allocation and building needs, social work services may involve prevention, assessment, and intervention on multiple levels.

Individual Student Support

  • Assessments/Rating Scales
  • Behavior Planning
  • Individual Counseling
  • Observations and Data Collection/Analysis
  • Parent Meetings
  • Small Group Counseling

Classroom Level Supports

  • Behavior Management
  • Class Meetings/Peace Lessons
  • Personal Safety Lessons

School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports

  • Community Building
  • Leadership Roles (Job Squads, Student Announcements)
  • Olweus Bully Prevention Program
  • Peacemakers
  • Procedures and Expectations
  • Whole School Meetings

Collaboration with District Programming

  • Consultation with Administrators, Teachers, and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD) Staff
  • 504 Planning
  • Special Education
  • Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP)
  • Team Addressing Student Concerns (TASC)
  • Truancy

Collaboration with Professionals in the Community

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Child and Family Services
  • Community Mental Health
  • Father Fred Foundation
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Pediatricians
  • Pine Rest
  • Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Therapists

Referrals / Getting Support

Students can be referred for School Social Work support by administrators, teachers or parents. Sometimes students refer themselves. When a referral is made, the receiving social worker consults with all involved parties to gather information and develop a plan on how to best intervene. Parent permission is required for individual and small group counseling. School Social Workers adhere to a Code of Ethics and value close communication as much as possible. Please use the contact list below if you’d like to make a referral or talk further about social work supports.

School Social Workers/Behavioral Interventionists Contact Info