Side Social Work

Social Work FAQs

Image of someone asking questions about school social workers

Q. What does a school social worker do?

    • Liaison between the home, the school, and the community
    • Information and referrals to community resources
    • Advocacy for parents
    • Home visits
  • Counseling with students
  • Assistance with crisis situations
  • Monitoring of school attendance
  • Transportation as needed (under special circumstances only)

Q. How do I contact a school social worker?

  • You can contact the school social worker by calling the school that your child or children attend.

Q. What do school social workers do for teachers? 

  • Coordinate with other support staff regarding student services
  • Work with attendance coordinator
  • Make home visits to establish rapport with parents
  • Assist in crisis situations
  • Counsel with students
  • Educate faculty regarding our role as a social worker

Q. What do school social workers do for students?

  • Achieve maximum benefit from their educational opportunities
  • Understand themselves and others
  • Improve interpersonal relationships
  • Cope with stress
  • Develop decision-making skills
  • Who may need counseling
  • Who are involved with child abuse and neglect cases
  • Who needs assistance with food, transportation, or clothes

Q. What do school social workers do for parents?

  • Participate effectively in their children’s education
  • Understand and meet their children’s social and emotional needs
  • Understand programs available to students with special needs
  • Utilize school and community resources effectively
  • Assist family in crisis situations
  • Who find themselves in homeless situations

Mckinney-Vento Homeless Act

Q. Do school social workers take children away from their parents?

  • No.  The Cumberland County School system employs 70 social workers to assist students and families with barriers to academic success.  School social workers do not remove children from homes.  However, as state employees, they are obligated to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services.

Q.  It appears that some children in our neighborhood are not attending school.  Who can I call?

  • Every school in Cumberland County has been assigned a school social worker to assist with these types of issues and various others.  Concerned citizens may contact the school social worker at the school closest to your home by calling the school directly or visiting the school.  You may also contact the CCS Social Work Coordinator at 910.678.2621.

Q.  As the parent, there are times when I feel that my child needs to stay home from school.  According to the NC Compulsory Attendance Law, what is a lawful/excused absence?

  • The state describes lawful absences as any of the following:  sickness, quarantine, death in the immediate family, medical or dental appointments, court or administrative proceedings when the child is a party to the action, religious observances, and educational opportunities.  When this happens, parents should write a note to the child’s teacher that includes the child’s name, the date(s) of the absence(s) and the reason.

Q. The only time we can take a vacation is during the school year.  What should we do?

  • Communicate with the school prior to the absence and when you return.  If you can demonstrate that the child will gain a valid educational opportunity from the trip, the principal may excuse the absence.  This will also give you an opportunity to make arrangements for missed schoolwork.

Q. I received a letter from the school about my child’s attendance, and it said, “Court action is being considered”.  Can you really go to court for school attendance?

  • Schools are required to notify parents and guardians once a student accumulates three, six, and ten unexcused absences.  There are times when parents are not aware that their children have been absent from school.  Further, this gives parents an opportunity to correct the situation.  Once a child accumulates ten unexcused absences and the school meets the requirements of the law, the District Attorney’s Office will be contacted to consider court action.  While it is possible to pursue court action, the main priority of CCS is to provide learning for all students.
Published by Mable Harper on October 1, 2019

Cumberland County Schools
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