Last updated June 12, 2015
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The School Social Work Toolkit

Hands-On Counseling Activities and Workshops

Welcome to the School Social Worker Toolkit. This book provides you with hands-on activities, workshops, exercises, and programs for all aspects of school social work. Complete with “how to” and “sample forms” sections, this book will help you define your role as a school social worker and hone your clinical skills. The ethical and legal conflicts that school social workers face, including child abuse reporting, confidentiality, suicidality and bullying are discussed. The struggle of defining your role as a mental health clinician in an academic setting is also addressed.

I wrote this book for the new social worker entering the schools for the first time and for the seasoned social worker who could benefit from new activities and workshops for their practice. When I started out as a school social worker, I was faced with many challenges. I remember my first week: I was faced with a child abuse case, a potential suicide risk, and a parent who called and said her child was being bullied and refusing to come to school. I had to handle all of these situations not only quickly, but effectively as well. I wanted to make sure I did the right thing by following the school’s standards and protecting myself as a licensed social worker. I did what any other new social worker would do . . . research! Well, after a rude awakening of finding out that there were very few books or materials to guide me, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create some policies for situations common to school social workers. I created policies and assessment checklists for suicide risk, homicide risk, and substance abuse usage. I also began creating curriculums and workshops about topics that were relevant to schools. I wish that I had had a manual to teach me about all of the vital topics needed to be a school social worker. Sure, I had received a top notch education from one of the best social work schools in the country, but I found myself in a world of unknowns as a social worker entering the schools. Now I want to share what I have created with you!

I wrote this book as a guide for school social workers and counselors. Please note that any and all of the activities and exercises in this book can be altered to fit the needs of your school. There are sample templates and forms that you may take and adapt to fit the needs of your students.

I thank you for reading my book and hope you enjoy the workshops, groups and activities as much as I do!