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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 8, 2018 02:38 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Certification for School Social Workers
I will introduce legislation that would require the Department of Education (PDE) to develop a certificate for school social workers.

PDE regulates the developmental services that school districts are to provide –counseling, psychological services, health services, home and school visitor services, and social work. Each of these except for social work corresponds to a specific educational specialist certificate and reflects additional education and training specific to the school setting. Many of these professional specialties require both licensure and certification.

The need for social work services in schools continues to rise and is particularly important as the General Assembly considers a stronger focus on student wellness as part of our collective efforts to make schools safer. Certification will ensure that school social work services are fully integrated, accountable, and staffed by well-trained staff who are committed to the long-term success of students and schools.

Certification for school social workers allows social workers to be part of the integrated team to provide mental health, case management, crisis intervention, and referral services for students, and allows school counselors and school psychologists to focus on their designated roles.

Certification for school social workers ensures educational quality, professional standards, and accountability, including being subject to the Educator Discipline Act, Educator Code of Conduct, and Act 48 (professional development) requirements.

My bill will not require school entities to employ school social workers. Rather, when a school chooses to employ social workers, my bill would require those professionals to be certified. Further this requirement would be prospective, so those who are already performing social work in schools would not be required to obtain a school social work certificate to continue working in their current positions.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

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Introduced as HB2512