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Greater Essex County District School Board
Building Tomorrow Together Every Learner, Every Day
Social Work Services
Social Work

and Attendance Counselling Services
Who we are
GECDSB Social Workers possess a Masters Degree from an accredited University. They are certified members of the Ontario College of SocialWorkers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).
Within the Social Work and Attendance Counselling Services department there are Re-engagement Attendance Counsellors who possess aUniversity degree and experience working with youth.
What we do
School Social Workers and Attendance Counsellors (SW/AC) assist children, their families, teachers and administrators to maximize the child’s educational experience. They are assigned to specific elementary and secondary schools within the system and are responsible for providing a variety of social work services to their schools as part of a multidisciplinary team and in partnership with administration, school staff and community resources to enhance student learning, social, emotional and behavioural development.   SW/AC work in a variety of ways to help children overcome these obstacles and to achieve their full potential.  Social Workers/Attendance Counsellors are part of the multidisciplinary educational team
SW/AC may provide the following support:
*Individual Counselling
Some students are seen individually to help them cope with different school, community or family situations. Also they may receive assistance to help them with self-esteem, social skills, anger management and conflict resolution strategies.
*Group Counselling
From time to time, students are offered an opportunity to join groups to discuss and learn about a variety of life skills. The SW/AC leads a group of students who are close in age and who share a common concern.
*Classroom Intervention
SW/AC may be invited into the classroom to instruct students on a variety of issues such as peer relations, bullying, street-proofing, dating violence, respect for the rights of others, and to discuss tragic events which impact the students.
*Crisis and Traumatic Response
When a crisis or traumatic event impacts the school community, SW/AC service personnel provide direct and timely support to staff and students and parent/families around such events.  Professional staff also participate as a trained member of threat/risk assessment team when a student(s) engaging in serious violence or presents as a threat to him/herself.
*Consultation on Social, Emotional or Behavioural Issues
School social workers are available for informal consultation on social, emotional or behavioural issues affecting the lives of children.
*Referrals to Outside Agencies
SW/AC are available to facilitate referrals to social agencies and mental health agencies for children in the community.
*Consultation Regarding the Child Abuse Policy
SW/AC are available for informal consultation on child abuse issues, or to provide in-service sessions to staff at schools on child abuse policies.
*Professional Development
Provide workshops to students and for parents and school personnel in the areas of:
  • safe schools and bullying prevention
  • healthy relationships
  • child abuse prevention and awareness
  • suicide awareness and prevention
  • social skills
  • stress management
  • internet safety
  • parenting issues
*Attendance Counselling
Social Workers/Attendance Counsellors and Re-engagement Attendance Counsellors consult with school personnel and parents/guardians, and examine patterns of irregular attendance.  Students are encouraged to continue their education and are given opportunities to return to their regular classes, or to attend modified or alternative programs.
The Social Worker/Attendance Counsellors respond to concerns of irregular or non-attendance of students who are 6-15 years of age.  Those who are 16 or 17 years of age are supported by the Re-engagement Attendance Counsellors.

*Compulsory attendance

(a)    every person who attains the age of six years on or before the first school day in September in any year shall attend an elementary or secondary school on every school day from the first school day in September in that year until the person attains the age of 18 years; and

(b)   every person who attains the age of six years after the first school day in September in any year shall attend an elementary or secondary school on every school day from the first school day in September in the next succeeding year until the last school day in June in the year in which the person attains the age of 18 years.
Re-engagement Attendance Counsellor – SALEP is responsible for providing services to ensure compliance of students who are approved to be employed or engage in Independent Learning Courses or both.  These programs are available to secondary students only.

Privacy Statement
SW/AC adhere to privacy and informed consent guidelines established through the Personal Health Information and Protection Act (PHIPA).