Social Work

What is the mission of our South Colonie School Social Workers?

The overall goal of South Colonie school social workers is to help students reach their full academic, social, and emotional potential by reducing or eliminating barriers to success. The social worker program is overseen by the South Colonie Office of Pupil Services, 68 Waterman Ave. , Albany NY 12205 (518) 869-6759

What is a School Social Worker?

A school social worker is a trained mental health professional who works as a part of your child’s school team. School social workers work in conjunction with students, teachers, parents, and the community to help your child have a positive school experience.

How does a School Social Worker help?

  • A school social worker collaborates in partnership with the South Colonie Department of Pupil Support Services to coordinate all facets of a students’ life – academic, personal, family and community.
  • A school social worker prepares students for success and participation in the community.
  • A school social worker promotes problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • A school social worker helps students to develop internal control to accept responsibilities and take ownership of their actions.
  • A school social worker provides individual and group counseling dealing with a variety of situations such as poor self-esteem, divorce/separation, death, truancy, anger management, violence, socialization skills and other youth-at-risk concerns such as abuse of drugs and alcohol.
  • A school social worker collaborates in community planning for crisis intervention for issues such as rape, abuse and neglect, suicide, runaways and family violence.

South Colonie Social Work services Q & A

If your child is referred for school-based counseling, the very word “counseling” may make it sound like a mysterious process. It isn’t! Counseling is a relationship built on confidentiality and trust—student trust, parent trust, teacher trust. Adequate information is the foundation of trust—all involved must have information about limits and processes of counseling. The following information describes the overall process of counseling.

How are students selected for counseling?

Students may be referred to the school social worker for individual and/or small group counseling by their parents or guardians, school faculty and staff, a concerned friend, or themselves. When a referral is received, the social worker meets with the student to determine the next steps.

Who provides the counseling?

School-based counseling is provided by a state certified Licensed Social Worker (LMSW or LCSW). The social worker also has a certificate in School Social Work through the State Education Department of New York. Counseling for your child is voluntary. It is your choice to consent or to decline school-based counseling for your child.

What will be involved in my child’s counseling?

Counseling may include small group (only available at elementary and middle school level) or individual sessions. During the sessions, your child and the social worker will work together to help him or her understand the problem, the present and future consequences, develop goals for change, and a plan of action for change. A variety of activities will be used, e.g., writing, role-play, art, focused discussions.

What information is shared?

Trust is the basis for effective counseling. The ethical guidelines of the National Association of Social Work emphasize the importance of confidentiality between social workers and clients at the same time recognizing the rights of legal guardians. As a parent or guardian, you must trust that the social worker will take good care of one of your most prized possessions. Your child must know and trust that, what is shared with me will stay with me unless he or she gives me permission to share information or if the social worker suspects child abuse, if he or she is in danger of hurting himself or herself or poses a danger to others.

Is the process confidential?

Trust and confidentiality work together. Social work records do not become a part of the student’s permanent record except as required by school policy. We may indicate that a student was seen by the school social worker; however, the topics discussed are not included unless required by the school board policy. The requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) are enforced—information will not be released to anyone outside our school without your written permission. The social worker may talk with the classroom teacher about how he or she can help your child in the classroom; however, specific information will not be shared.

What are the possible outcomes of school counseling?

Through school-based counseling, your child may be taught strategies to help him or her make more effective and healthier decisions, increase the ability to set and reach goals, build better relationships with others, and be more successful in school and the community. We all must realize that changes take time; his or her problem did not develop overnight nor will it disappear overnight. Counseling will be successful when students, social workers, teachers, and family members work together as partners.

What is the cost for counseling?

There is no cost to you for any of the counseling your child receives as part of our social work program. Please contact the School Social Worker if you want more information or have ideas about how we can better help your child.

If you are unable to access any of these forms, please call (518) 459-1220 for assistance

Counseling and Referral Forms