• School Social Worker Scope of Practice and Competencies

    As determined by the New York State School Social Worker’s Association (NYSSSWA) School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA)

    Scope of Practice

    School social workers are unique in the pupil personnel arena in that school social workers are licensed as well as certified. The School Social Work scope of practice is defined by New York State Education Law Article 154, subsection 770.

    School social workers:

    • Apply social work theory, principles, and methods to assess, evaluate, formulate and implement a plan of action based on a student learner’s needs and strengths.
    • Intervene to prevent and address mental, social, emotional, behavioral, developmental and addictive disorders, conditions and disabilities and the psychosocial aspects of illness and injury experienced.
    • Engage in the administration of tests and measures of psychosocial functioning, social work advocacy, case management, counseling, consultation, research, administration, management and teaching.
    • Provide supervision and/or consultation to individuals, groups, institutions and agencies.


    School social worker are knowledgeable of:

    • The history and foundations of school social work, national professional standards for legal and ethical practice, proven-effective evidence-based models and methods, and public policy.
    • Systems change and acts as a change agent.
    • Communication, consultation and collaboration.
    • Incorporating diversity issues in planning for the unique educational needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
    • Assessment, educational planning and transition services.
    • Prevention and intervention.
    • Assessing efficacy to improve skills and service delivery in order to ensure positive learner outcomes.