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
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) endorse an Interdisciplinary Teaming Approach to SISP staffing that involves School Social Workers, School Psychologists and School Counselors. Working together, we are stronger than we are if we work in isolation or in competition with our mental health related partners in support of all students. The national organizations collectively will continue to promote the unique roles of school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers and will support state and local affiliate efforts toward appropriate hiring models that recognize the role and importance of each of these professionals. Please follow this link for the full text of the joint statement.
Carrie Syvertsen a school social worker at Chief Sealth High School and current vice President of WASSW was interviewed recently about our profession especially in light of the recent school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Carrie is able to underscore the importance of our presence, skills and resource in the school setting and for students who become disconnected from others. Read the whole article here.
As of May 24th, 2014 the Praxis II: School Social Work Content Knowledge is no longer a requirement for Initial ESA Certification.
As of June 7th, 2014 the Educational Testing Service (ETS) stopped offering this pencil and paper test. Since there is no computer version of this exam, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Professional Educators Standards Board (PESB) has removed the Praxis exam as a requirement for certification. For current requirements or to apply, please see the following link: www.k12.wa.us/certification/educational-staff-associate-certificates/esa-first-time-applicant/school-social-worker-first-time
Our hope is to work with both OSPI and the PESB to discuss how this change (and possible future changes to our certification) impacts our profession. We will provide updates as we receive them. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you have.
Please click here to find more information about an online class that meets the Washington State certification requirements for School Social Work. The course will be offered online during Summer 2014 through Eastern Washington University
You are thoughtful, kind, caring, compassionate, a problem solver, a good listener, empathetic, and highly valued!
Thank you for all that you do!
This week is all about you and the profession that you have chosen to dedicate yourself to! School Social Work Week 2014 is a chance for you to spend some time celebrating you and all of the hard work that you do! We hope that you are able to take some time to reflect on your work this past year and realize just how valuable you are.
If you looking for some ways to celebrate this week, here are some suggestions: