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Columnist: Despite Tough Economy, Social Workers Needed in Schools

Esther Cepeda

Our nation’s schools and teachers are increasingly finding themselves having to help students grapple with psychological and social issues, including bullying and sexual discrimination, according to nationally syndicated columnist Esther Cepeda.

That is why having a social worker in a school is so important, Cepeda wrote in this recent column. Studies show that social workers are the major mental healthcare providers to children in many areas and the sole providers in some rural and inner city areas, she said.

Yet social work jobs are some of the first states will cut to help balance the budget in these tough economic times, Cepeda wrote. This happens because the public does not understand the valuable services social workers, psychologists, career guidance counselors and others provide in schools, she said.

“According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, at least 100,000 more social workers will be needed by 2018 just to keep pace with the volume of social needs in communities,” she wrote in her column.

Cepeda’s column mentioned  National Association of Social Workers support for federal legislation to recruit, train and keep social workers. To read NASW statements made during a Nov. 17 Congressional briefing on the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act click here. And to learn more about how social workers help young people visit NASW’s “Help Starts Here” Schools and Communities Web page by clicking here.

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