Social Workers Gain State, National Attention

A presentation by school social workers from the Long Beach Unified School District at a national conference this week was moved to one of the largest conference rooms available to accommodate the number of social workers across the nation who are interested in Long Beach’s approach to meeting students’ needs. The presentation, "Making Yourself Visible, Viable, and Virtually Impossible to Do Without," was part of the School Social Worker Association of America conference in Orlando, Fla. Meanwhile, Long Beach has been selected by Los Angeles County school social workers to host the inaugural California Association of School Social Work State Conference, "Creating Hope: Strengthening Our Children, Families and Schools." The state conference will take place October 11-13. At a recent Board of Education meeting, local school social workers presented facts and figures on their efforts to serve students, many of whom must overcome serious obstacles at home, at school or in their neighborhoods. Social workers and interns under their supervision serve as liaisons between home and school, providing key support to students and their families through counseling, crisis intervention, assessment, referrals to community agencies and other means. During the 2006-07 fall semester, more than 1,200 students were referred for school social worker services. To meet the needs of those referred, the social workers provided interventions that included 68 counseling groups, 461 home visits, 246 classroom presentations and 40 parenting classes.