School social workers are expected to develop and implement strategies that eliminate barriers to student learning and ease teachers' frustrations. For example, a student’s ability to learn can be significantly affected by abuse, physical or health needs, depression, substance abuse, or a school climate that induces fear.
The key is problem prevention and intervention. Substance abuse, truancy, teen pregnancy, under achievement, child abuse, family dissolution, aggressive behavior, and suicide are amenable to early intervention. Social workers can frequently prevent or minimize the effects of such problems.
School social workers serve individual children, but they also intervene with the social contexts in which they function, in particular the school environment, the home, and the community.
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