School Social Work in School District 15

  • School social work services have the mission of helping each student realize the greatest educational potential by reducing school-related, intrapersonal, interpersonal and family/community stressors that interfere with the learning process. School social workers in Community Consolidated School District 15 (CCSD15) are the vital link between home and school, interacting with all stakeholders to make schools a better place for children. School social workers are specially trained in dealing with systems, collaborating with parents, teachers, administrators, school staff and students to ensure all students are socially and emotionally available to have academic success.

    In CCSD15, school social workers often focus on prevention and early intervention to build healthy, resilient children able to navigate the complexities of our multicultural society. School social workers engage in several different tasks in the course of a work day to be a positive conduit between home and schools.

    A school social worker’s first priority is to deal with emergencies and crisis intervention. School social workers are often the first called upon to intervene when there is a crisis with a student or family.

    School social workers also have a top priority of meeting their mandates of services, meetings and paperwork involving students referred for case studies evaluations or ongoing special education students who receive social work services.

    After emergencies and special education issues, school social workers spend much time collaborating and consulting as team players in interdisciplinary school team meetings, parent-teacher conferences and community agency staffings. School social workers are key players in connecting students and families to community resources to improve family life.

    From a programming perspective, school social workers often lead efforts to provide support to students grieving a loss in their families through the Rainbows program. For broader concerns, school social workers often are at the forefront of school-wide initiatives to create respectful school cultures that address bullying, conflict resolution and diversity.

    School-wide programs are often the most efficient way to address prevention and intervention for character issues. When needed, school social workers bring their expertise into the classroom to deliver lessons on topics or skills that the whole class can benefit from.

    For students requiring more intensive help, school social workers will work with them individually and/or in small groups. The trend has been for social workers to do more work outside of their offices when possible to focus on being proactive, continuing to promote a prevention focus in delivering service in keeping with the Response to Intervention model.

    Coordinator of Social Work Services
    Paul Budin, LCSW
    budinp@ccsd15.net, 847-963-3159

    CLA Social Workers

    Lara Kowalski, LCSW, KowalskL@ccsd15.net, 847-963-3411
    Genna Guttman, LCSW, GuttmanG@ccsd15.net, 847-963-3434
    Cristina Verdin, LCSW, VerdinC@ccsd15.net, 847-963-3475
    Don Sommerville, SW, SommervD@ccsd15.net, 847-963-3427