Describe the historical development of school social work in the USA.
The beginning of school social work was began in 1906-07 in USA schools. The reticent companies and public societies supported the effort of visiting teachers for the improvement of attendance and close establishment of relations between home and school.
A development of school social work programme was attained in 1913 in USA. It was formed when the board of Education of Rochester, New York recognized the employment of qualified social workers as visiting teachers. With this recognition, boards of several parts of U.S employed social workers in schools.
Expansion of Service.
The visiting teacher movement experienced expansion in 1920s after receiving support from the Commonwealth Fund. The financial supporters of the fund were disturbed with the social problem of Juvenile Delinquency. They felt the need of visiting teacher, and felt that they can help in decreasing maladjustment at school and can even play a significant role. The Commonwealth Fund in 1921 gave abundant grants to these boards, who demonstrated the projects of appointing visiting teachers.
These boards appointed visiting teachers for three years keeping in mind that they would take over the service, at the end demonstration period and this proved fruitful. With the effectiveness of visiting teachers a lot of school boards hired them. When the number of visiting teachers grew the National Association of Visiting teacher was formed in 1919.
The Thrust on Casework.
After the expansion of visiting teachers there was a shift in the tasks performed by visiting teachers. Initial workers gave top priority to home school liaison work but the present workers shifted to casework tasks with children. This happened because the enforcement of attendance laws and influence of mental hygiene movement.
The enforcement of attendance laws children from difficult home situations who require individual attention. On the other hand, the popularity of mental health movement encouraged visiting teachers to develop techniques for prevention and care of social maladjustment in children. This popularized the case work approach.
With the advent and popularity of visiting teachers National Association of Visiting Teachers changed its name to American Association of School Social Workers in 1945. And then in 1955 they became National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
The Shift in Service.
The Government of United States passed laws and legislation’s where school social work service had to answer. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act reinvigorated, special educational programs to be started by the schools. The Emergency School Aid gave funds for programs which focused on mainstreaming of children.
With so much developments on the school sphere social workers didn’t stop performing casework with the children. They also started bringing in changes in the school system which resultantly helped immigrants, handicapped and poor children. Now school social workers has started working for pupil rights, issues of violence, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and discrimination based on gender.
The Present Position.
After studying this long history and professionalism school social workers determinedly recognized in United States. They became an integral part of pupil service. This also ensured in minimum national standards and competence on the part of the social workers