Surging behavioral health care needs for children put strain on school social workers

Surging behavioral health care needs for children put strain on school social workers
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On paper, the social worker’s role at public K-12 schools is straightforward: to support a caseload of students with special needs to thrive in the often-challenging academic setting. But ask a social worker employed in a public school these days, and they’re likely to tell a much different story.

For social worker Jara Rijs, who works at Windham Center Schoolwhere more than half of its pre-K through fifth-grade students qualify for subsidized lunch, the job responsibilities bleed well beyond the job description, particularly since the pandemic hit.

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