Jackson County School Social Workers are highly trained, Master’s level professionals with specific expertise in systems theory, child development, counseling skills, psychiatric disorders, community resources and other areas. School social workers use these skills to serve the students and families of Jackson County and help to reduce the barriers to a successful educational experience. Our goal is to partner with students and their families to develop a positive relationship. There are currently two school social workers employed by JCSS.
School social workers reduce or eliminate barriers to student achievement by providing individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, referrals to appropriate resources, mediation, and support. Students and/or their families may refer themselves or be referred for assistance by teachers, administrators, and counselors. All services are confidential.
School social workers are uniquely trained and skilled to conduct assessments of student and family needs and interpret this information for the purpose of developing individualized intervention plans for students. Assessment determines the direction of social work services and provides the framework for all the work school social workers do with students and families.
School social workers work closely with students and families to improve attendance by utilizing many targeted, student specific strategies to reduce unexcused absences and improve the overall attendance rate. Interventions may include, but are not limited to, individual counseling, small group interventions, parent conferences, home visits, student conferences, community agency referrals and referral to the court.
Parents are contacted after the student has missed 3 unexcused days and then again after 5 unexcused days. These letters provide an opportunity for parents to begin a conversation with school staff about reasons for absences and ways to improve the attendance rate of their child. Children who attend school more often demonstrate higher rates of academic success and a higher graduation rate. School social workers can often help parents recognize barriers to their child’s attendance and provide ideas or referrals to resources that may reduce these barriers. If parents do not demonstrate a good faith effort to have their child attend school, there may be legal consequences. School social workers can help reduce the likelihood of that happening by partnering with families to solve problems before they become too severe.
McKinney-Vento students are students who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence due to economic reasons. Students experiencing homelessness and their families are entitled to critical support services to help provide stability and assistance during a challenging time. School social workers help to eliminate barriers to academic success by providing counseling support, school-based and community resources and assistance with referrals to meet basic needs to minimize the harmful effects of homelessness. Additionally, school social workers ensure that the services provided to these students meet federal compliance guidelines.
If you are struggling with a housing crisis (i.e., you live in a motel or shelter, are living in someone else’s home, on the street, etc.), please contact our homeless liaison, Destiny Silich, before changing your child’s school to see if you qualify for assistance.
A crisis may occur on a person, family or societal level which may require the services of the school social worker. Traumatic or stressful changes in a student’s life may include one or more of the following:
- Unstable or dangerous situation
- Severe emotional or mental distress (i.e., grief and loss, mental illness, substance abuse, etc.)
- Neurotic/psychotic disorder that impairs individual functioning
- Suicidal ideation/attempts
- Emergencies (abrupt changes in the student’s living environment that have a drastic impact on the student's quality of life)
Any parent can request the services of their School Social Worker by contacting their child's school or the School Social Worker's office.
School personnel should use the Social Work Referral Form to request services.
Hospital Homebound Services
Hospital/Homebound (HHB) services are designed to provide continuity of educational services between the classroom and home or hospital for students in Georgia public schools whose medical needs, either physical or psychiatric, do not allow them to attend school for a limited period of time. HHB instruction may be used to supplement the classroom program for students with health impairments whose conditions may interfere with regular school attendance (e.g., students receiving dialysis or radiation/chemotherapy or students with other serious health conditions). Students must be enrolled in a public school in Georgia in order to receive HHB services.
HHB services are not intended to supplement regular school services and are by design temporary. The student must anticipate being absent from school for a minimum of ten consecutive or intermittent school days due to a medical or psychiatric condition. The student’s inability to attend school for medical or psychiatric reasons must be certified by the licensed physician or licensed psychiatrist who is currently treating the student for the diagnosis presented. Please contact your school if you feel your child may need these services.