Secondary School Social Workers

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OSD Secondary School Social Workers


Our Mission

The primary mission of School Social Work is to give all children the opportunity and resources to help them succeed academically and socially in a safe and healthy school environment.


Our Vision

Our vision is to advance social, environmental, and economic justice, promote equity and equality, alleviate oppression, and enhance human health and well-being across community systems

In the Olympia School District,  School Social Workers have been valued team members since 2010, when the district first  hired a part time School Social Worker.  The OSD Social Work Team currently  consists of 4 Social Workers working at the secondary level. 

OSD School Social Workers are professionals in the field of social work and education, who are trained to provide direct and indirect services in schools as part of the continuum of interventions within the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework.  

The field of social work is strongly based in a social justice perspective of understanding and removing barriers caused by oppressive and negative societal factors, and school social workers provide professional expertise through mental health services , professional case management, advocacy, mobilizing resources to support students and families within the school district and the community, and other support services that impact student academic and social-emotional success.  

The field of professional School Social Work, along with the Mission and Vision of the OSD Social Work Team highlights how closely much of the work that the School Social Workers do is directly linked to the OSD Student Outcomes.


Social Work Practice in Schools

  • School social workers are educated to work towards equity and root their practices in social justice. School social workers are educated to break down opportunity gaps and address systemic inequities, which can be exacerbated by current social and environmental conditions.
  • School social workers address barriers to learning honoring an individual’s dignity and worth through relational work school social workers are trained to meet mental health, social, emotional, behavioral, and physical needs to contribute to academic achievement.
  • School social workers utilize trauma sensitive healing centered approaches and have specific training about cultural awareness. School social workers are trained to support and apply culturally responsive school practices.
  • School Social Workers promote a school climate and culture conducive to student learning and teaching excellence.
  • School Social Workers maximize access to school-based and community-based resources


What We Do:

We provide a cohesive and coordinated program that helps promote a healthy learning environment by:

  • Supporting students and their families.
  • Working with staff and families in developing positive behavior
  • Intervening on attendance/truancy issues, when appropriate.
  • Providing brief crisis intervention.
  • Supporting schools in obtaining family input for educational assessment.
  • Providing case management and/or rights advocacy. 
  • Collaborating with community agencies.
  • Developing partnerships with community resources. 
  • Assisting families in accessing community resources. 
  • Conducting home visits and family strengths and needs assessments.
  • Acting as a liaison between home, school, and community providers.
  • Serving on school teams. (IEP, Student Support/ Assistance/Care Teams).
  • Collaborating with, and supporting school staff.
  • Helping school staff and families to discover new resources.
  • Serving as lead members of the Olympia School District Crisis Team.
  • Developing tools for Crisis Response, Threat Assessment and Suicide Assessment.


If you could benefit from the assistance of our secondary School Social Work team, please contact your school. 

Learn more about School Social Work from OSPI
Learn more about School Social Work from the School Social Work Association of America
Resources for Youth and Families