IDEA Public Schools is celebrating National School Social Work Week March 5-11, 2023. Social Workers at IDEA, play a critical role in creating a safe, orderly, and welcoming learning environment for our students in educating and preparing them for college and beyond. Research indicates that access to school-based mental health and counseling services improves students’ physical and psychological safety, academic performance, and social-emotional learning.
School Social Workers at IDEA Public Schools have a master’s degree in social work. Their special expertise in understanding family and community systems and linking students and their families with community services is essential to promote student success.
Eloisa Bustamante Oviedo, Social Worker at IDEA Rise, noticed students exhibiting behaviors of loneliness and isolation. She leads small group sessions where students can share their experiences and socialize in a safe space during school. She explained how important it is to have a safe space for students to share their diverse experiences.
“We need to make sure our students have a safe space to share diverse perspectives,” Oviedo said. “One group, conducted entirely in Spanish, is dedicated to students who have recently migrated to the United States.”
Eloisa identified the need for 5 different small groups at IDEA Rise College Prep that support students with social skills, self-esteem, and cultural differences. Each group explores different topics that give students an extra boost of confidence by being able to share in a small setting.
“A lot of our students are grieving family connections they have lost, and they have been able to connect and support each other,” Oviedo shared. “We begin by identifying their journey and discuss where they are coming from and where they first arrived when they moved to the United States.”
The groups give students opportunities to meet other students they haven’t met before that might share similar struggles and experiences. In each group, Eloisa develops approaches that range from arts and crafts to writing.
At IDEA, social workers partner with teachers, administrators, parents, and other educators to provide coordinated interventions and consultations designed to keep students in school. With their hard work and dedication, families have access to the support needed to promote student success.
IDEA’s Team & Family fosters a sense of belonging and inclusivity by treating students and families —with compassion, respect and the support they need. Are you interested in learning how you can join the IDEA team? Visit us at careers.ideapublicschools.org/ to learn more about our open roles near you.