School social workers maintain a dual focus: improving human wellbeing; and addressing systemic or structural issues that may impact on the wellbeing of children and young people in schools, such as inequality, injustice and discrimination. School social workers advocate for the rights of students against the discrimination and reduced opportunities they can sometimes experience. They focus on maximising educational outcomes through the development of safe and inclusive schools and communities, the removal of barriers and inequities, and through therapeutic responses to harm and trauma.
Their areas of work include direct practice, service management, organisational and system change, policy design and implementation, research as well as education and professional development.
The School Social Worker Credential ensures the community that social workers have the specialist knowledge and skills necessary to help students to achieve their potential in all aspects of academic and personal learning at school.
The credential provides social workers with the capabilities to:
- build effective person-centred relationships to achieve wellbeing outcomes in collaboration with children and young people, families or carers, schools, communities, other professionals and stakeholders.
- deliver measurable and positive outcomes in collaboration with children and young people, families or carers, schools, communities, other professionals and stakeholders.
- apply high-level conceptual and analytical skills in assessing the factors impacting on the student experience and well-being in the school context.
- provide appropriate, timely and protective intervention practices to achieve positive and sustainable wellbeing outcomes for individual students, families and significant others.
- contribute to the development and implementation of system and school-based strategies aimed at identifying and supporting the social, emotional and educational needs of children and young people in schools.
- approach practice in schools based on professional knowledge guided by ongoing reflection in action and critical analysis.
- lead and supports strategic initiatives that build the capability and capacity of school workforces to support student learning, engagement and wellbeing.
Benefits of a School Credential
Enhanced professional competence
Obtaining the Accredited School Social Worker credential signifies that an individual has met rigorous standards of professional competence in the field of school social work. It demonstrates advanced knowledge, skills, and expertise in addressing the social, emotional, and behavioural needs of students.
The credential adds credibility to a school social worker’s qualifications and professional standing. It serves as a recognised symbol of excellence and validates their expertise in providing effective interventions and support to students, families, and school communities.
Recognition within the field
The credential signifies a high level of achievement and expertise within the field of school social work. It allows social workers to be recognised by colleagues, employers, and stakeholders as leaders who possess the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality services and make a positive impact on students’ lives.