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School Social Work Practice Group


Dr Chris Barrett


The School Social Work Practice Group is auspiced by the AASW Victorian Branch and is open to all Australian school-based school social workers and state education department school social work employees who are fully qualified and/or eligible for membership of the AASW, and adhere to the Practice Standards for School Social Workers.

Join the School Social Work Practice Group

The SSWPG is seeking more school social workers to become involved in the running of the Practice Group so that we can continue the work that we do. Read more here.

Practice Group membership is open to social workers employed by government and non-government primary and secondary schools and school systems, and who follow the AASW Practice Standards for School Social Workers. Former school social workers and social work students on placement in school settings are welcome to attend. The Practice Group currently does not have a paid membership base, but operates a mailing list. Members attend meetings when they are able.

Activities for 2021

School Social Work Sessions 2021

The School Social Work Practice Group will use video-conferencing to host School Social Work Sessions 2021. The notion of societal uncertainty has never been more relevant than it was in 2020 and continues to be into 2021. School social work systems, policies and practices have fluctuated to meet covid-19 lockdowns and school closures. Staff and students have adapted and coped in a climate of anxiety. However, there are two constants. Firstly, our goal is to nurture and educate children and young people so that they can reach their personal potential through education, with access to social justice. Secondly, Victorian school social workers for more than 70 years have proven their adaptability to systemic and social change, and have responded to critical events informed by their understanding of social work in general and school social work in particular.

Change continues to be unpredictable. School Social Work Sessions 2021 have been developed to include the variety of school social worker experiences and student issues. The sessions will take the form of discussions led by a convenor, so that peer exchange and support can occur. Where participants have particular concerns for discussion, they can notify the Practice Group via email in advance.

We have planned eight in the series School Social Work Sessions 2021. They are open to professionally qualified school social workers employed by P-12 schools or school systems. These events are also open to social work students on field placement in schools. We have not planned to record these sessions given that some confidential or sensitive matters may be shared.

These sessions will be held via zoom during term time on selected Wednesday afternoons between 4pm and 5:15pm.

Please register for the sessions you would like to attend to receive the event specific zoom details and to secure your spot. Do let us know if your availability changes and you are no longer able to attend.

These sessions are free and are open to AASW members and non-members.

They will be focused on Victorian issues given that this is a Victorian Practice Group but we do welcome school social workers from other states and territories if you feel the sessions would be helpful to your practice.

School Social Work Sessions 2021
During School Term - Selected Wednesdays 4-5:15pm

Wednesday 3 March - Register Here
Topic: Open Discussion and Reflection
Wednesday 28 April - Register Here
Topic: School Reluctance
Wednesday 2 June - Register Here
Wednesday 21 July - Register Here
Wednesday 1 September - Register Here
Wednesday 13 October - Register Here
Wednesday 1 December - Register Here

Peer Supervision for School Social Workers

Peer Supervision provides a video-conferencing opportunity for school social workers to engage in focussed supervision with an experienced practitioner. Numbers are strictly limited (10), and open to Victorian school social workers in P-12 schools who follow AASW Practice Standards for School Social Workers. Because of limited numbers, peer supervision is not provided for other professionals or private practitioners. There are no minutes or recording due to the private professional and confidential content. Participants should be ready to share a case, program or school issue for discussion. Registration is essential. Cost: $5 AASW members, $10 non-members.

Term Dates: Wednesdays 4-5pm, 31 March, 19 May, 11 August, 10 November 2021

Peer Supervision for School Social Workers
During School Term - Selected Wednesdays 4-5pm
Wednesday 31 March - Register Here
Wednesday 19 May - Register Here
Wednesday 11 August - Register Here
Wednesday 10 November - Register Here

Peer Supervision for School Social Workers
School Holidays - Selected Fridays 10am-12noon
Friday 15 April - Register Here
Friday 9 July - Register Here
Friday 1 October - Register Here


Peer Supervision Standards & Guidelines

The Peer Supervision Group is a sub-group of the Practice Group, and offers attendees from various school settings, the opportunity for supervision according to the Practice Standards for School Social Workers.

The sub-group has recently developed Guidelines for Peer Supervision for School Social Workers.


Interview discussion between School Social Workers Paul Jameson and Lorraine Osborne,

Paul and Lorraine discuss what school social work is and what the challenges and rewarding aspects are in their respective roles.

Duration: 12 minutes

Contact the Victorian Branch

Ravi Bodanam
Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

T: 03 9320 1000

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

Connect with us on:

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers