About School Social Work
School Social Workers are often the link between home and school and provide a wide range of services to students, including assessment and screening, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, family support, advocacy, and linking families with resources. School Social Workers know that many students face social, emotional, learning, cultural, and economic barriers which must be addressed in order for these students to be successful in school. A primary goal of the School Social Worker (SSW) is to assist the school community to provide a safe, supportive and healthy learning environment that promotes overall wellness by working to remove barriers to learning and academic success. The SSW helps students develop an understanding of their own strengths and learning styles and apply this knowledge in planning for their personal growth, education, and future goals.
How do School Social Workers interact with students and families?
Addressing emotional, social, and behavioral challenges of students can be done in a variety of ways including individual meetings, small groups, consultation, and outreach to homes and community. The tools used in school social work are the processes of early intervention, crisis intervention and prevention, mental wellness assessment and counseling, and consultation/collaboration with other educational and community providers. The SSW is able to consult with faculty, coordinate services outside of school, and provide recommendations/referrals for a range of services to meet student needs.
Young people often face a number of challenges and issues in their daily lives including friendships and other personal relationships, safety issues, anxiety, depression, violence, illness, and family changes, to name a few. Managing stress reactions are often a focus of intervention, whether the stress relates to schoolwork or other personal issues.
How are students referred?
There are a number of ways a student may be referred to the Social Worker. A teacher, guidance counselor, administrator or parent may make a referral for a student to see the social worker. A student may also self-refer. Whatever the method or the issue, the SSW maintains one’s right to privacy and upholds the ethics of confidentiality. No issue or question is too large or too small. If you have a major concerns or just looking for information or resources, you are invited to contact the District’s School Social Worker for a confidential and no-pressure conversation.
Who is the School Social Worker for the District?
Elin Pelland joined the Litchfield School District in August 2008. Prior to moving to NH in 2006, Elin provided social work services for 8 years in public school settings for grades K through 12 in Maine. She has clinical experience in children’s inpatient psychiatric hospital services as well as in outpatient settings in Maine and NH. Elin obtained her Masters degree in Social Work from The University of New England School of Social Work in Biddeford, Maine. She holds a license as an Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in MA, ME, and NH. Elin also maintains School Social Worker Certification with the NH Dept. of Education.
If you would like to speak with LMS’ social worker, please contact Ms. Elin Pelland