Please call your TX Representative on Tues., April 25 about TX House bill #743: social-work services in public schools beginning 2017-2018 school year.

Please call your TX Representative on Tues., April 25 about TX House bill #743social-work services in public schools beginning 2017-2018 school year.  Costs nothing & supports children & schools.  For your TX representative’s phone number, please visit www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Talking Points, below, for your conversation with your TX legislator.  For more information, contact SchoolSocialWork2017@GMail.com     HB 743 – We Need Your Help!     GREAT news!! HB 743 will be heard on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 26th! Your help is needed now more than ever! Please help by calling your Texas State Representative.       You can find out who represents you here    http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx         HB 743 – We Need Your Help!

Please let your Texas State House Representative know that you support HB 743 and would like for him/her to support HB 743. Let them know that it is a good bill, it costs nothing, and it supports children and schools. I have attached a copy of HB 743 and I have included below some information/talking points. If you need any additional information, please let me know.

Thank you for your advocacy. Please contact your Representative as soon as you can. You can also ask as many people as you know to do the same. We need people from all over Texas to call!  We can’t do this without you!     Thank you,     Lara

 

INFORMATION/TALKING POINTS

Purpose      The goal of HB 743 is to adequately recognize and address the psychosocial and basic needs of children in Texas schools so they are able to achieve academic success. Many Texas school children are faced with significant obstacles to learning, such as: as bullying, child abuse, substance abuse, gang violence, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, suicide, and other personal crises. Social work services are specialized to meet the needs of these students. A social worker is uniquely trained to provide social work services that identify and address these complex problems.  Adding social work services to schools and school districts allows teachers and administrators to focus on their work yet still provides valuable assistance and support to students thereby meeting the needs of the whole child.     Currently, there is not a definition in the Texas Education Code for social work services or school social workers.  HB 743 provides a definition of social work services.

Key Elements of a School Social Worker

  • Work to enhance a school district’s academic mission by addressing social, emotional or societal factors that impact a student’s success.
  • Part of the collaborative mental health care team that provide high-quality, evidence-based practice for a wide range of mental health services.
  • They match their skills to the requests and concerns of schools, which are as diverse as the people of the State of Texas.
  • Utilize a strengths-based approach which views students and communities as parts of systems. When relationships within these systems are cultivated, the opportunity for student achievement is maximized.
  • Activities include: crisis intervention, child abuse prevention and reporting, consultation with school personnel, counseling, linkage to resources, community collaboration, school improvement planning, and policy and program development in the areas of bullying, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, etc.
  • School social workers are licensed by the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners and are bound by a professional Code of Ethics.

 

Commonly Asked Questions:

Will there be a cost if the bill is passed?    No. There is no cost attached to this bill.

Does this language mandate a school to hire a social worker?   No. School administrators will not be forced to have a social worker on their campuses.

How do students benefit from social work services?     Social workers pick up where teachers and other school staff leave off. They are equipped to address the social and psychological issues that can block academic progress. Through counseling, crisis intervention and prevention programs, and referral/resource provision and linkage, they help young people overcome the difficulties in their lives, and as a result, give them a better chance at succeeding in school.

Will adding this language take jobs away from existing school personnel or other licensed counselors?     No, the role of school social workers is unique because of their training and the nature of their function at the school. Every campus needs teachers, guidance counselors, grant coordinators and other existing staff. Adding this language is only intended to include social work services among the services available to schools and children.

 

 

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