Student Services - School Social Work Services

General Information

The primary task of the school social worker is to provide the supportive services necessary to allow all students to make the best use of their educational opportunities as they develop their individual potential to the fullest extent. School social work service is based on an understanding of the relationship between student achievement and the influences of psychosocial development, family, community, and culture. Further, the school social worker uses specific skills and training to help resolve conflicts that arise between the school's policies and expectations and the student's background experiences. Student achievement is enhanced when these conflicts are successfully resolved. School social work is founded on the following premises:

  1. Schools and families must work together, with mutual respect, to support student achievement.
  2. Families, schools, and communities should develop and utilize resources to help students succeed in school.
  3. Students fail, misbehave, or act out for a reason and efforts must be made to understand these actions as a form of nonverbal communication.
  4. Student success is enhanced when students are helped to positively cope with social, emotional, and cultural conflicts that interfere with appropriate behavior and academic performance.
  5. Students with physical, mental, emotional, or learning disabilities must be identified and served through collaboration between regular classroom personnel and other programs including Section 504, gifted, and special education services.

Documents and Resources

2020-2021 Guidance for School Attendance and Withdrawal Procedures:VIRTUAL MODEL
Attendance Works
Contact 2-1-1

Council on Social Work Education
National Association of Social Workers
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Social Workers
Social Work Today
Social Worker Resources
School Social Workers Association of Georgia
The 100 Most Useful Social Work Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

School social workers are distinct from other school personnel in their contributions to the assessment and intervention with students at risk. School social workers are itinerant. They work with different students for different problems at different times in different places. They also deal in fundamental human needs in a real social context. School social workers are a bridge between the community and family.

School social workers are skilled in assessing the needs of students and have knowledge of the cultural differences present with each student. School social workers utilize preventative measures such as home visits, facilitation of groups, coordination of community services and collaboration with school staff to promote an overall healthy school environment.

School social workers are directly employed by the Muscogee County School System. Every School Social Worker is required to be certified by the Georgia Department of Education and must have a Master’s degree in Social Work. There are times when a school social worker will have communication with a DFCS social worker or case manager. This may occur if a student is in foster care or when a report of neglect or abuse has been made by the school.

A school social worker must have at least a T5 certification (Basic Teacher Level). For more information, contact the Professional Standards Commission, 1452 Twin Towers East, Atlanta, Georgia 30334, or call (404) 657-9000.

School social workers are employed by the system because they work for the various schools in the system.

Social work services strive to enhance the school district’s mission by providing services which strengthen home, school, and community partnerships. Staff actively addresses barriers that interfere with student achievement by bringing people together while creating an environment that is conducive to effective problem solving and learning. The goal of each school social worker is to provide every student with the opportunity to develop to his or her maximum potential.

Services include the following:

  • Serves as the liaison between the school, family, and community agencies.
  • Provides outreach services to students, parents, and families.
  • Refers and helps families access community, medical, mental health, and social welfare services.
  • Coordinates services with other agencies to develop a comprehensive service delivery system.
  • Consults with the classroom teacher, administrators, and others to provide insight for students and understanding regarding a particular child’s (or group of children’s needs) behavior.
  • Completes a comprehensive, diagnostic assessment of the child’s social, emotional, and interpersonal relationships within the school, home and community.
  • Serves on the Problems Solving Leadership Team at each school to assist students experiencing attendance, academic, social, emotional, and/or health problems.
  • Participates in staffing local school personnel parents, and appropriate community agency staff to provide coordinated evaluation and planning.
  • Advocates ensuring that the child and family’s rights are observed.
  • Provides and participates in training programs.
  • Encourages an understanding of, and sensitivity to, multicultural values and traditions.
  • Participates in professional social work organizations

Contact Information

Dr. Trikella L. Nelson LPC, NCC, PSC, YMHFA
Director of Guidance and Counseling Services


Tania Rogers
Administrative Assistant

706-748-2226 or 706-392-2372
706-748-2227 Fax