School Social Work in Manitoba
School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession. School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team. The School Social Worker facilitates the educational and individual potential of students by providing services that promote school success.
Information for Schools, Students, and Families
Consultation Support Provided
School social workers are hired by school divisions to collaborate and consult with students, parents, school administrators, faculty, and the community, in the identification of family and student concerns in order to provide supportive services which will contribute to the success of students in the education system. School Social Workers develop relationships with students and families to facilitate the desired changes identified by the student, family, and school.
School social work programs and activities should respond to emerging educational trends that stress prevention, early intervention, school readiness, parent education, and service integration for children from birth through secondary education. The expertise of the School Social Worker and local school division policies will govern the range of services delivered.
These services include, but are not limited to:
- Consultation with school administrators, teachers, school support staff and parents
- Individual counselling and support to students
- Family counselling and support to parents
- Group counselling for students
- Parent and school staff education
- Home-school collaboration
- Referral services to community agencies
- Community development programming
- Collaboration with community programs, and
- Program, resources and policy development
School Social Workers can help students to:
- Increase academic success
- Maximize educational opportunities
- Improve interpersonal relationships
- Cope with crisis situations
- Develop self-discipline
- Learn problem-solving and decision-making skills
- Resolve conflicts without violence
- Cope with social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties
- Improve school attendance
- Build self-esteem
- Remain in school and graduate
A student who is over the age of 18 may refer himself or herself for social work assessment and intervention, as well as being referred by a parent, legal guardian, school personnel or others familiar with the student.
School Social Workers in Manitoba must have a minimum of a Bachelor of Social Work degree and be certified as a School Clinician in Manitoba.
Professional Learning Opportunities
Manitoba Services and Outcomes in School Social Work
The purpose of Services and Outcomes in School Social Work is to develop a strength-based model that documents referred client needs, measures outcomes and provides a record of school social work services.
The success of all learners is a focus for school social workers in Manitoba. The Services and Outcomes in School Social Work document represents an evidence-based approach to student services.
The processes outlined allow for:
- consistent data regarding the types of school social work services provided
- a method of determining outcomes for students who receive school social work services
- improved communication with families, schools and communities
- data based decision making
- improved provincial communication among school social workers
As members of the school team, School Social Workers provide multi-system assessments to determine the impact of various factors contributing to the success of students in the education system. Assessments are a fundamental first step to direct and guide the process of intervention and prevention approaches and strategies with students, their peers, family, school staff, and/or the community.
The assessment may be formal or informal based on the nature of the referral and the professional judgment of the School Social Worker. Intervention plans and preventive strategies are based on the ongoing process of assessment of the individual and/or multi-system environment.
According to the Canadian Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (1994) it is a primary professional obligation of Social Workers to have documented assessments. The School Social Worker Outcomes Project is one tool that may be used to meet this obligation.
Services and Outcomes in School Social Work adheres to and promotes the Manitoba multicultural education policy statement, philosophy of inclusion and Aboriginal Education Action Plan that affirms the ongoing commitment of Manitoba Education to the ideals of social justice and fairness.
This presentation has been created in Microsoft PowerPoint, summarizing data collected from the 2007/2008 school year [ 1.64MB] .
- The Manitoba Association of Social Workers & The Manitoba Institute of
Registered Social Workers
- The Canadian Association of School Social Workers and Attendance Counsellors
- The Manitoba Education Rural and Northern Clinician Bursary
- More information on Professional Certification
- The School Clinician Certification Application ( 139 KB)
Legislation, Standards, Policies
- Appropriate Educational Programming Legislation ( 122 KB)
- Education Administration Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations, amendment ( 52 KB)
- Appropriate Educational Programming in Manitoba: Standards for Student Services
( 52 KB)
- Appropriate Educational Programming: A Handbook for Student Services
- Manitoba Pupil File Guidelines
( 221 KB)
Revised January 2012
Program and Student Services Education
Toll Free in Manitoba: 1-800-282-8069 (ext 7907)