SSWAA Responds To COVID-19: New Advocacy Resources & Position Papers
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) has been developing, enhancing and collecting a variety of resources and tools to help school social workers navigate the needs of the students, families and communities that they serve.
As the school year is coming to a close and districts are preparing for the uncertainty of the fall, the reality is that instruction and learning cannot effectively occur when the entire community, (students, families, school administration and teaching personnel) are profoundly affected by this current crisis. It is also important to recognize that there will be long-lasting impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the social, economic, physical and emotional well-being for all students, their families and staff. Thus prioritizing mental health supports and resources is critical for the recovery from this global pandemic. As school social workers, our expertise in crisis intervention and postvention have positioned us as vital leaders in supporting the needs of the entire school community. School social workers can play an important role while navigating the current challenges, but also in preparing for the challenges of returning to school in the fall.
One area that is imperative is the need to increase our advocacy efforts during this time. We must continue to work with educational and policy leaders at the district, state and national levels to ensure that the critical services we provide remain available to students, staff and our colleagues. SSWAA has been holding regional meetings and we understand that some districts are adding school social work positions while in other districts the economic impact of COVID 19 has led to cuts or loss of funding.
To assist in our advocacy efforts, SSWAA created a new position paper titled “The Impact of School Social Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic” and updated the “School Social Workers’ Role in Addressing Mental health Needs and Increasing Academic Achievement” to be used as resources for school social workers as they articulate their value and remind others of the essential and often lifesaving services we deliver. We hope that you will be able to utilize these resources this summer when talking with your administrators, school board members, legislators and other stakeholders. SSWAA and SSW.net will continue to provide support and professional tools to help prepare all of you for the fall and encourage you to reach out to us with any questions, to share your ideas or concerns. We are proud to be able to support school social workers across the nation and know that SSWAA continues to educate policymakers at the national level about the valuable role and mental health expertise of school social workers.