See More

School Social Work Practice Group


Dr Chris Barrett
[email protected]


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 2022

School Social Work Sessions 2022

The School Social Work Practice Group will continue to use video-conferencing to host School Social Work Sessions 2022.

Students, teachers, families and school social workers have adjusted to the uncertainty and anxiety created by the emergence of Covid-19 in 2020-2021. Continuing into 2022, there are still unknowns about the virus and its medical and social effects. Increased knowledge and protection have perhaps reduced individual and shared anxiety but hidden among the daily cases has been increasing numbers of children and young people who have contracted the virus, often in the school setting.

Victorian School Social Work has continued for more than 70 years but has again undergone change in 2020-2021. Student Support Services (Dept of Education & Training) school social workers have been less available to schools, many more now engaged in triage and consultation rather than direct practice. Individual schools have been increasingly employing social workers. The roll-out of government-funded Mental Health Practitioners initially into secondary schools has seen the employment of some social workers. Irrespective of resulting roles, conditions and organisational differences, school social workers have held to their commitment to social justice through particular focus on school engagement and learning that supports children and young people to reach their personal potential with fair access to community resources.

School Social Work Sessions 2022 have been developed to include the variety of school social worker experiences and student issues in the times ahead. 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.

Six upcoming dates in the series School Social Work Sessions 2022 are open to professionally qualified school social workers employed by P-12 schools or school systems. Events are also open to social work students on field placement in schools. We do not record these sessions given that some confidential or sensitive matters are shared.

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 open to AASW members and non-members.

Cost: Free

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

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

Register at Victorian Branch Events

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 student case, school program or issue for discussion. Registration is essential. Cost: $5 AASW members, $10 non-members.

Peer Supervision focussed on case planning and problem-solving in the school policy and practice environment will be held in late January 2023 (date TBA).

Peer Supervision for School Social Workers
Selected Wednesdays 4.00 - 5.00pm
During School Holidays - Selected Fridays 10am-12noon


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

Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

Ph: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)
E: [email protected]

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