February 27, 2024 at 6:19 p.m.

LC School Social Worker Is A Liaison Between Home And School



Alicia Kester, Lincoln County Schools Social Worker | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

LINCOLNTON, N.C. - As a school social worker, my role is to be a liaison between home and school. There are many barriers to students being successful in school, so I aim to provide support and services to address those barriers. I communicate often with parents and caregivers. When families are in need of clothes, food, hygiene items, school supplies, or other items, I work to help them obtain those resources. I help with the food backpack programs at my schools.

L-R is a Pantry at the top, Asbury Resource Center - West in the middle, and food for the backpack program at the bottom.  

 


During the holidays, I coordinate donated meals for families and assist with Angel Tree to provide gifts to those in need. We have the Asbury Resource Center (ARC) and the West ARC and food pantry available to assist families. Lincoln County Schools is also blessed to have the Kiwanis of Lincoln County provide new shoes to those in need.

I work closely with counselors and administrators to identify needs and ways to provide support. That includes working alongside counselors to address mental health needs of students and make appropriate referrals. I also pull small groups of students with counselors to work on areas of need identified by teachers. If threats are made by students to other students, staff, or a school, I work as part of a team to assess and respond to those threats.

I address attendance concerns with students and their parents/guardians. That includes making phone calls, scheduling meetings, and sometimes referring families for other interventions or to court for attendance concerns. Part of my role is to attend truancy court hearings for both parents and juveniles. I am a member of different teams and committees, both at my schools and within the district and community.

Community partnerships are crucial for school social workers. I work regularly with Social Services, Juvenile Justice, United Way, Child Advocacy Center, Mediation Center, Kiwanis, local churches, and multiple health and mental health agencies. Making home visits is another part of my job, whether it be to check on a student, assist with resources, or contact a parent. Many students and families need assistance in connecting with healthcare providers, mental health agencies, resources in times of crisis, etc., and I assist where possible in linking those families to resources.

Sometimes, I am involved with situations where student safety is a concern, which requires me to reach out to DSS or other agencies. Each day looks different depending on the school, current needs, and crises that may arise. I aim to advocate and assist with barriers that prevent students from succeeding at school.

As we know, until the most basic needs such as physical wellbeing and safety are met, students are not able to focus on higher level needs such as education. School social workers are here to meet the needs of the whole child and be an asset to schools.



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