Social workers play pivotal role across Abu Dhabi schools
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, December 20 - 2012 at 08:56
- PRESS RELEASE
Social workers form an integral part of a school community through initiating, developing and maintaining positive relationships with students, teachers and families. There are approximately 400 School Social Worker's across Abu Dhabi Education Council's (ADEC's) 268 public schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
"The school Social Worker provides social welfare services to all students within ADEC schools. ADEC is looking into developing plans to help enhance the role of a social worker, whose presence plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the community and a school," said Mr. Adam Hughes, Section Manager of Special Education at ADEC.
As part of their commitment to deliver values and goals set by ADEC, a social worker's priority is to support the academic and social welfare of students by initiating and maintaining a positive relationship with students.
Social Workers are also responsible for supporting a schools success; as well as engaging parents and stakeholders in building cooperative partnerships for the sake of a student's success.
"Social workers support the academic and social welfare of student's through maintaining a positive relationship with students and families in order to enhance the school's academic mission. They are expected to develop a healthy, safe and productive environment in which students can achieve their potential and are required to counsel and support students on personal development issues or when dealing with complex and sensitive issues," explained Mr. Hughes.
In ADEC's aim to maintain a positive, healthy and safe school environment for students, staff, parents and visitors, new and existing Social Workers must undertake various tasks, including: working with parents to encourage students to take advantage of their educational potential and abilities in order to improve their academic achievement and social behavior; partnering with home and community social systems; conducting evaluations on student behavior and initiating individual and group programmes for students where necessary.
Social Workers are expected to provide personal and social counseling to students and parents; support teaching and learning in the school by monitoring, assessing and developing strategies to improve student behavioral issues, including student attendance and classroom behavior.
If a particular student's social or emotional behavior is evaluated as requiring further psychological assistance, the Social Worker is advised to refer the student to the Regional Office for further psycho-social assessment by School Psychologists.
Social workers play a pivotal role in observing and assessing the social and emotional needs of a student, and develop individual student learning plans to address their needs. They also coordinate with teachers regarding student personal problems, classroom behavior issues and learning issues and recommend initiatives to be taken to mitigate these problems.
In addition, Social Workers work closely with parents on how to improve the attendance and behavior of their children where it is evident that they are regularly absent from school or where they have exhibited negative behavior in classrooms, in the school and on excursions.
"Due to the sensitivity of their profession, ADEC carefully selects its Social Workers, who are expected to carry long years of experience in the field. They must also be familiar with ADEC's school's vision, mission and improvement plan, especially in the field of social work, and adhere to professional ethics and values of society," said Mr. Hughes.
ADEC has implemented Behavior Guidelines for Students which Social Workers are expected to also implement and follow in order to promote a well-disciplined and positive learning environment across schools.
In addition to their social responsibilities, Social Workers are required to collect, monitor and review data and information to provide the best services to students; increase the level and efficiency of students' personal and social development as well as support parents to build a positive relationship with their children so as to be able to discuss school based problems and offer possible solutions.
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