Military puts social workers in elementary schools
The U.S. Army Medical Command budgeted $1.3 million in fiscal 2011 to put social workers and other mental health experts in military elementary schools to help children whose parents have been deployed, according to this Associated Press article.
These children may experience sadness, anxiety, and other mental disorders, the article said. Mental health experts may also give them help when a parent returns from overseas and the family has to adjust to the change.
The article mentioned the work of National Association of Social Workers member Raquel Shoch, MSW, who works in elementary schools at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
Shoch uses a table top sandbox and toy soldiers to engage children in play, which puts them more at ease and willing to share what may trouble them, she said.
“Play is their world,” Shoch explains. “It allows them to bring their guard down, to emote through play.”
Social workers help military personnel and their families. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Veterans Affairs website by clicking here. NASW is also committed to helping service members, veterans and their families through various initiatives. To learn more click here to visit the NASW Social Work with Veterans and Military Families website.| Leave A Comment