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Standard 13

Collaboration and Coordination of Pupil Support Systems

The program provides candidates with opportunities and experiences to collaborate effectively with community-based organizations, agencies, and other professionals. Candidates demonstrate knowledge of programs and services within a comprehensive model of support at the school site level designed to promote high expectations and increase pupil learning and achievement.


Candidates are provided with opportunities for effective collaboration with community based organizations, agencies, and other professionals. They also develop knowledge of programs and services at the school site that support pupil learning and achievement. Demonstration that each content area has been satisfactorily learned and applied is evidenced by a passing grade in the relevant courses, an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and a grade of “Credit” for the field practicum. The specific content areas are listed and discussed below.

Opportunities for effective collaboration

PPS candidates have a variety of opportunities to participate in collaboration in their role as school social workers. These opportunities include being a member of the multidisciplinary education team, interfacing with public and private agencies, and developing and maintaining viable school-community partnerships.

The foundation human behavior class addresses the multidisciplinary team approach to service delivery, including services to pupils within the school system. Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multi Systems Approach (S Wrk 212) includes the theoretical framework of multidisciplinary team approaches (Organizational Theories/Models)

Candidates explore the advantages and disadvantages of a multidisciplinary team to service provision. Students also examine issues of leadership and roles within a multidisciplinary team approach.

Both with the foundation practice classes (S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221) and the advanced macro practice class (S Wrk 246), a multidisciplinary team approach to service delivery presents interactive modalities for social workers in an education environment. This approach centers on techniques of team intervention as well as designing teams for specific task goals. For example, see the class session from S Wrk 221 which addresses Inter-organizational collaboration. Students also learn about the importance of collaboration with community-based organizations and other professionals in support of client and agency needs.

The Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools courses, S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, focus specifically on the educational environment and the utilization of collaboration and a multidisciplinary team approach in providing services for students. For example, see the content from S Wrk 274 on Collaboration withSchool Personnel, Families and Community. The core components of effective collaboration are addressed, as well as common barriers to collaboration. The specific characteristics of team intervention within an educational framework are also examined. Finally, in field instructed practice in the schools (S Wrk 282/283), PPS candidates routinely participate in multidisciplinary teams such as the Student Study team and the IEP team and also collaborate with outside agencies and other professionals.

The growth of the school-linked services movement has increased the opportunities for school social workers to interface with public and private community-based organizations, agencies and other professionals. The theoretical foundation for effective collaboration is presented in S Wrk 212, Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multi Systems Approach. The knowledge base for practice skills to implement this collaboration is acquired in S Wrk 246: Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations. These skills include administrative practice, effective communication, and interagency networking.   S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, School Social Work/CWA, provide specific content on collaboration in the school setting, including community-school collaboration, community practice and school-linked services. For example, see the course content in S Wrk 275 on Community Practice andSchool Linked Services. Candidates are familiarized with the importance of effective interagency collaboration to minimize fragmentation and improve the coordination and effectiveness of pupil support services. They are also oriented to the logistics of interagency collaboration, including the need of formal memoranda of understanding between schools and agencies to clarify roles and implementation of policy and procedure.

S Wrk 247, Social Work Practice with Communities, provides additional content on the importance of organizational partnerships with communities. Specific practice strategies for developing and maintaining these partnerships are examined. For example, see the Role Play on citizen participation and consensus-building.

The concurrent field practicum in the schools, S Wrk 282/283, provides candidates with the opportunity to apply principles and skills for effective collaboration into practice. These assignments include participation in grant programs, establishing partnerships with community agencies for delivery of school- based services, and collaborating with various professionals at the school in the delivery of effective services for pupils and families.

Knowledge of programs and services

Traditionally, a primary component of social work has been linking people with needs to community resources and services. The practice component of this specialized skill is the center of the practice foundation courses, S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221. It is also part of the advanced practice skills learned in the community practice course, S Wrk 247. Candidates learn the intricacies of case management. Candidates explore techniques of developing relationships with community-based organizations in order to enhance services to clients. This knowledge and experience is brought to fruition in the field experience specifically within the educational environment (S Wrk 282/283). PPS candidates gain direct experience in identifying, linking and evaluating resources between pupils, families, the school and the community. For example, the CWA specialization requires completion of field internship hours in interdisciplinaryexperiences in a setting outside the field of education . These experiences are completed as part of the PPS learning agreement addendum. They provide a unique opportunity to gain knowledge of programs and services for future collaboration.

Participation in the field practicum in schools, (S Wrk 282/283), allows candidates to develop direct knowledge of school-based and school linked services as resources available on site. During the orientation phase of the internship, students devote considerable time to establishing professional relationships with school staff, analyzing the organizational structure and functioning of the school, and becoming familiar with the myriad of programs and services available at the school. This familiarization involves interviews with school staff and other professionals, reading program literature, visiting programs, and collaborating with others in the linkage of pupils and families to needed resources. As a result, candidates become very familiar with resources available to support pupil learning and achievement both in the community and at the school.

In addition to developing the knowledge and skills for effective brokering, PPS candidates also develop the ability to document the need for pupil services. This documentation provides accountability for the continuation of services as well as the rationale for the development of new services and programs. S Wrk 246, Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations, presents content on evaluation and assessment of agency programs. See the course session on Program Design, Part II. Mechanisms for evaluating program goals, demonstrating accountability, and evaluating the effectiveness of one’s own professional practice are examined. S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools I and II, provide information on evaluation of school social work practice. Specific strategies for documenting the outcomes of services as well as the needs of pupils are explored through assigned readings, assignments, and class discussions. One example is an assignment from S Wrk 275, the End-of-Year Report . The concurrent field placement in the schools, (S Wrk 282/283), provides the opportunity for candidates to participate in evaluation processes to document the need for pupil support services.

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