The WASSW Board has already begun planning our fall conference. The dates are October 16 and 17, 2020. We have worked with WEA to set legislative goals that support school social workers. Our top priority continues to be funding more school social workers.
In response to emails and website postings from WEA that did not include school social workers, WASSW President Liz Nelson wrote this letter to Kim Meade, President WEA.
On December 4, a new email has come out from WEA that includes social workers in their legislative priorities!
Priority #1 Increasing the number of school social workers in Washington School
What is the ESA Behavioral Health Coalition?
At the close of the legislative session last spring, our board members made meaningful contacts with representatives of the school psychologists, school counselors and school nurses association and together we created the first ESA Behavioral Health Coalition of Washington. As we know, there are distinctive and overlapping roles within our professions and as a result we created a document that illustrates our work at the tier 1, 2 and 3 level. As a group, we’ve come together for four meetings to work on a model where all of our roles play a critical role in addressing student health and wellness.
What have we done?
Our ESA coalition met with members at OSPI including deputy superintendant Gil Mendoza to begin the conversation about this important work. Each group was tasked with surveying our membership to discover how we are being utilized across the state. We intend to share this data that fully integrates all roles. We are searching for a multi-disciplinary model at districts across the US that have effectively integrated all of these roles to show improved student outcomes. If you know of any examples, please contact Carrie Syvertsen.
School Social Worker Survey Results
We also conducted a survey to get a better picture of our school social workers. 73 people responded and participated. Here is some preliminary data:
The Explosive Child: Non-compliant, Disruptive, Disenfranchised Kids – Moving from Modifying Behavior to Solving Problems Collaboratively
Presented by Ross Greene, Ph.D.
Friday, May 22, 2015
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall at Seattle Central College
1625 Broadway Avenue
Workshop Description Educators, parents, and mental healthy clinicians are increasingly challenged to understand and help kids with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. These kids are at tremendous risk for adverse long-term outcomes, and their behavior can significantly impact life at home and in the classroom. . Dr. Ross Greene’s model – as described in his influential books The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) – helps adults and kids collaboratively solve the problems precipitating challenging behavior, while simultaneously teaching lagging skills. The empirically supported CPS model represents a dramatic departure from conventional wisdom and practice, and has been found to be effective in a vast array of setting, including families (where it has been shown to significantly reduce family conflict and improve parent-child interactions), general and special education schools (where it dramatically reduced discipline referrals, detentions, and suspensions), and inpatient, residential, and juvenile detention facilities (where it has produced significant reductions in recidivism and in the use of restraint and locked-door seclusion). Participants in this workshop will leave with an understanding of the underpinnings of the model, along with practical assessment and intervention tools that can be brought back to and used in these diverse settings.
To get more information about the seminar and register, click here. WASSW members receive $10 off their attendance fee to this seminar when registering on-line. Get code from Membership page.
School Social Worker Association of America National
April 15, 2015 - April 18th, 2015
6th International School Social Work Conference
June 10th, 2015 - June 12th, 2015
Connecting with Care - OSPI Student Support Conference
May 13, 2015 - May 15th, 2015
Six members attended the second WASSW Lobby Day on Monday, January 19, 2015 in Olympia. To prepare for the day of advocacy, WASSW members scheduled appointments and met with various representatives and senators to discuss the role of social work within our schools. Members chose to meet with both legislators from their own district as well as legislators who have a history of sponsoring or co-sponsoring bills that support educational initiatives.
Because our scheduled Lobby Day was so close to the beginning of the legislative session, the purpose of our advocacy was focused less on specific pieces of legislation and more on boosting the visibility of school social work. Key talking points included the importance of mental health services in K-12 schools, the ever-present need for continued prevention, assessment, and intervention services for at-risk students, and the role of school social workers as individual service providers who understand how to navigate complex systems in order to access resources for students, families, and communities. Members explained the distinction between SSWs and school counselors, advocated for official recognition in the Washington Administrative Code, and encouraged legislators to support upcoming bills that would allocate funds specifically to create positions accessible to school social workers.
At the end of the day, our members had met with representatives, senators, and staff from eleven different offices, including: Representative Gerry Pollet (46th Legislative District), Senator Tim Sheldon (35th Legislative District), Representative Tina Orwall (33rd Legislative District), Representative Steve Bergquist (11th Legislative District), Representative Reuven Carlyle (36th Legislative District), Senator David Frockt (46th Legislative District), Representative Jessyn Farrell (46th Legislative District), Representative Gael Tarleton (36th Legislative District), Representative Tana Senn (41st Legislative District), Representative Eric Pettigrew (37th Legislative District), and Senator Pramila Jayapal (37th Legislative District). Some representatives currently serve on the House Education Committee and the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee.
Reaching out to these legislators is an important first step that has brought us closer to greater visibility for our profession. However, we still have a long way to go. The next step is to schedule follow-up meetings with those who are supportive of our cause in order to get closer to our goal of being officially recognized as vital members of school support systems. We cannot continue to advocate effectively for students and families under current limitations, so we must organize and make our voices heard. Please contact your legislators and keep an eye out for further updates from WASSW regarding upcoming legislation and action!
Lara Evensen, University of Washington
School Social Work Intern at Chief Sealth International High School