The Halton District School Board recognizes that many factors contribute to a student's learning. Some factors that impede student learning may include social and emotional difficulties, behavioural challenges, mental health concerns, and economic issues. School Social Workers are employed by the Halton District School Board to work with students, families, schools, and communities to support students and to enhance their educational experience.
Who are School Social Workers?
All School Social Workers employed by the Halton District School Board have a Master's degree, and are registered with, and regulated by, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. School Social Workers also act in the role of Attendance Counsellors for compulsory school-aged children in the Halton District School Board.
Social Workers have specialized skills in the following areas:
- assessment & advocacy
- community & program development
- conflict resolution/mediation
- family dynamics & relationships
- individual, family & group counselling
- mental health intervention
How can School Social Workers help?
School Social Workers are able to help students, families, and schools in relation to mental health, emotional, social, and behavioural concerns.
What services do School Social Workers offer?
- assessment (individual & family)
- attendance counselling
- case management
- crisis intervention
- individual counselling
- group work
- liaison with community professionals
- parenting strategies
- referrals to community resources
School Social Workers assist with the following issues:
- anger and aggression
- attendance difficulties
- behavioural concerns
- bullying and victimization
- child abuse
- crisis intervention
- family conflict
- gender identity support
- parenting & child management
- positive school climate
- mental health support
- separation and divorce
- sexual identity support
- self-harm/suicidal thoughts
- social skills
- staff support & education
- substance use
- threat risk assessment
- tragic event response
In addition to school-based support, School Social Workers are also members of the following specialized services:
- Multi-Disciplinary Support Teams (MDST)
- Safe Schools Action Teams (SSAT)
- Safe Schools Support
- School Team/School Resource Teams (ST/SRT)
- Student Success Teams (SST)
- Threat Assessment Teams
- Tragic Events Response Team (TERT)
- Halton Opportunities Program for Expelled and Suspended Students (HOPES)
How to contact your School Social Worker
School-based Social Workers with the Halton District School Board are assigned to one or more secondary schools, and various elementary “feeder" schools. Referrals to the School Social Worker may be made directly by the student, parent(s)/guardian(s), school staff, community contacts, or through the School Resource Team.
School Social Workers bring unique knowledge and skills to school communities. They support student's learning, well-being and success. School Social Workers strive to assist students to develop capacity in the following key areas:
- developmental assets
These capacities are essential to ensuring student success now and equipping students with the tools for success in the future.
Student Services Department
New Street Education Centre
3250 New Street
Burlington, Ontario L7N 1M8
Ontario Association of Social Workers, “School Social Work in Ontario"