Training Institute for School Social Work Professionals
About the Training Institute
First developed in 2009, the Training Institute for School Social Work Professionals has provided additional training to practicing school social workers, keeping them abreast of new innovations and introducing practitioners to evidence-informed approaches to enhance the quality of services they provide to elementary and high school students.
Since its inception, the Training Institute has engaged hundreds of practitioners and has advanced the knowledge and skills of participants in areas including social and emotional learning, positive youth development, critical service learning, response to intervention and the use of technology. The Institute has also broadened its focus beyond school social workers to include other school-based practitioners, mental health professionals and community partners, all working toward the goal of improving outcomes for youth in our public schools.
Attendees can receive as many as 6.5 CEUs (continuing education units).
Highlights from the 2020 Training Institute
Mental Health Strategies for School Re-entry for Students & Staff Amidst Societal Uncertainty
On August 4, 2020, the Jane Addams Institute for School Social Work Professionals 2020 Institute presented a prevention and intervention framework for supporting the school community’s emotional and mental health needs following the life-changing crisis events of COVID-19 and the national experience of racial injustice and police violence.
The Need for this Training Institute
Schools will open this fall face to face, virtually or a combination of both following significant societal changes that will have a long-term emotional impact on every person who enters the building. Effective and dynamic learning cannot take place without immediately addressing the upheavals of 2020: the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd, and the local, national and international protests that followed. These factors may lead to increased mental health challenges for all, but careful vigilance must be focused on children and adolescents. There is great concern regarding the capacity and quality of student’s coping skills. Due to the unique combination of trauma associated with social isolation, economic recession, and social and racial inequalities, purposeful prevention and intervention services by the school social worker will be critical.
School social workers and other school-based practitioners provide 57% of all mental health services for adolescents, making schools the foundation for identifying and addressing students’ social and emotional health. The beginning of the 2020 school year is unique to no other and social workers and other school staff must be prepared to quickly respond to the multiple implications of these crises on the mental health of students and the school community.
Video: 2020 Opening Session
School Mental Health as we Restart School presented by Dr. Sharon Hoover, Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health. Learn more about Dr. Hoover below.
2020 Speaker and Workshops
Opening Speaker: Sharon A. Hoover, PhD
Sharon A. Hoover, PhD
Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health, and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Creating safe, supportive and resilient schools has been a major emphasis of Dr. Hoover’s research, education and clinical work, and she currently leads national efforts to support states, districts, and schools in the adoption of national performance standards of comprehensive school mental health systems. Since 2004, Dr. Hoover has worked with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Treatment Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools, to train school district and school leaders, educators and support staff in multi-tiered systems of support for psychological trauma. She has trained school and community behavioral health staff and educators in districts across the United States, as well as internationally.
Dr. Hoover addressed the re-entry of students and staff through a trauma-informed lens. There was a specific focus on social justice and supporting youth of color and other marginalized students and families. She addressed the role of educators and mental health practitioners as they work to support students and their families in navigating this complex time.
Workshop Sessions (Session A and B)
To tackle the critical mental health issues school staff will face, they will need to work collaboratively to cultivate the healing, empathy, resiliency, and collective resolve required to ensure student’s academic success. Workshop participants were given a choice of two workgroups: elementary school (session A) and high school (session B). Each workgroup highlighted tools, strategies, and resources that will be useful when coping with the trauma effects of these widespread public health crises.
Resources for School Practitioners
Spring 2020 Webinar: Field Placement Termination Amidst COVID-19
This webinar was held in April 2020, offering guidance for terminating field placements unexpectedly because of COVID-19, for school social work interns and field instructors.