School Social Work
School Social Work

Our Mission 

To promote academic achievement by supporting and linking students and families with school-based and community resources to enhance all areas of student development.


About School Social Workers

CMS school social workers are highly trained, Master’s level professionals with specific expertise in systems theory, child development, counseling skills, psychiatric disorders, community resources and other areas.   School social workers use these skills to serve the students and families of CMS and reduce the barriers to a successful educational experience.   Our goal is to partner with students and their families to develop a collaborative relationship.   There are currently forty school social workers employed by CMS.   They are assigned to schools that experience high rates of economically disadvantaged students, demonstrate challenges in the area of attendance/truancy and serve a significant number of underachieving student learners.

School social workers coordinate Truancy Court in collaboration with district and superior court judges and Truancy Safe Neighborhood programs in collaboration with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers in targeted schools.

School social workers reduce or eliminate barriers to student achievement by targeting four major Areas of Focus (social work service delivery model):

Ø  Assessment

Ø  Drop Out Prevention

Ø  McKinney Vento Services

Ø  Crisis Intervention


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The Areas of Focus model provides a framework for school social work services and most services occur via the 4 Areas of Focus.  However, there are many additional social work services that occur outside of these areas.  School social workers also:

  • Advocate for students to receive academic supports and resources to eliminate barriers and build students' capacity for success in the learning environment;

  • Collaborate with teachers, administrators and professional support staffs to evaluate students' needs;

  • Consult with teachers, administrators, IEP teams and Intervention Teams and other professional support staffs (school counselors, school psychologists, school health nurses, etc.) to develop intervention plans and provide services to students and families;

  • Provide individual and small group counseling to students;

  • Develop behavioral interventions for students struggling with anger and other emotions, displaying poor social skills and having conflicts with other students;

  • Provide classroom behavior support to teachers;

  • Intervene with students and families experiencing a crisis such as child abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, emotional and physical trauma, chronic health problems, poverty, substance abuse, etc. and link them with appropriate services;

  • Respond to the needs of students who have been victimized as a result of abandonment, child abuse, domestic violence, dating violence, neighborhood violence, mental illness, bullying and harassment, gang involvement, etc., and coordinate appropriate school and community services;

  • Coordinate school-wide programs or initiatives (holiday assistance, parent workshops, Operation School Bell, Right Moves for Youth, to meet student and family needs;

  • Collaborate with internal CMS departments and community agencies to meet student and family needs and to reduce or eliminate barriers to student success;

  • Participate on school-based planning and intervention teams; and

  • Serve as the liaison for home, school and community to assist parents in understanding and accessing school and community resources.

CMS school social workers are assigned to targeted schools based on high need indicators.   Click here to identify targeted school sites for the current school year.