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The Relevance Of Social Workers In School Operations


This study was on the relevance of social workers in school operations in ile ife. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected secondary school of Ile Ife. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made principals, vice principals adm, academic staffs and non-academic staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.

Chapter one


  • Background of the study

The profession of school social work began in the 20th century, fueled by immigration, life struggles, social conditions, and poverty which affected the development and expansion of educational opportunities for all children (Allen-Meares, 2006 & Agresta, 2004). Over the time of the Great Depression (1930s) social workers refocused their earlier commitment to changing adverse conditions in the schools and acting as the link between home, school, and community; therefore, school social workers sought a specialized role in providing emotional support for troubled children (Hall, 1936). Then in the 1940s and 1950s there was a shift and the term visiting teacher was replaced with the term school social worker and the profession adopted a more of a therapeutic and clinical approach for individual children within the schools (Agresta, 2004).

In the history of special needs education, there is a controversy in terms of the distinction between human nature and its social environment. It is debatable whether special needs are primarily caused by the child’s psycho-medical body or by cultural concepts of normality and deviance. Settlements of this controversy govern whether the pupil or the educational institution becomes the main point of intervention. There are concerns as to who are the actors in this even though this has originally been the work of teachers particularly in the school setting. Social work is a profession that promotes social change, problem-solving in human relations, empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing social work methods and guided by social work theories, Social Workers intervene at the point where people interact with environments. Principles of human rights and social  justice  are fundamental  to social  work (International  association for  schools of  Social Workers  -IASSW  and  International  Federation  of  Social  Workers  –  IFSW,  2001).  In  2014, Kang’ethe  asserts  that  Social  work  is  an  important  humanistic  profession  recognized  as  a respectable  discipline  to  address  different  vulnerabilities  that  people  in  society  face.  Social Workers play a vital role in nurturing a child’s social-emotional development.  School Social Workers collaborate with teachers, administrators and parents to provide optimal support for students to remain in school (Huang, 2017).

The Social  Workers have a  multifaceted role and  there are ways  school Social  Workers can utilize  their  knowledge, skills,  and values to  improve the lives  of students.  There is  need to incorporate social  work  skills  into the school system on an individual, group, and community level and  particularly while  dealing with children  with special needs.  Schools employ Social Workers to address the needs of at risk and special needs students. The precise social work role in connection with these students varies from school to school and from County to County. Some schools employ school Social Workers to serve multiple schools or to work with a single broad population. School social worker play many roles and have a number of responsibilities but four basic tasks have been identified as common to all school Social Workers. They include but are not limited to: Consultation with others in the school system as a member of a team. They carry out Assessment applied to a variety of different roles in direct service, consultation, and program development. They intervene directly with children and parents in individual, group, and family modalities and also they assist with program development (Constable, Kuzmickaite, Harrison, & Volkmann, 1999).  What Social Workers do is not clear to the  public  and  systems  that  deliver  social services. Some students undertaking social work profession are not aware of their responsibilities after graduation either. One key responsibility of Social Workers is the role of advocacy

Statement of the problem

School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.

Some of the primary challenges that school social workers face include being unable to fully resolve the problems they encounter, working within a system that often lacks adequate resources, and shouldering the emotional burdens of students and their families. Based on this background the researcher wants to investigate the relevance of social workers in school operations,

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain impact of social worker on academic performance of student
  2. To ascertain the role of social worker to build student to achieve their goals
  3. To examine the perception of student on social workers building student towards achieving their goal
  4. To ascertain the important of social workers in school


Research hypotheses

The following have been put forward for testing

H0: there is no impact of social worker on academic performance of student

H1:  there is impact of social worker on academic performance of student

H0: there is no the important of social workers in school

H1: there is the important of social workers in school

Significance of the study

 This study will give a clear insight on The relevance of social workers in school operations in ile ife. The study will be very beneficial to students and the ministry of education. The study points out the major responsibilities of social workers in school and the challenges they are facing. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on the related topic


Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study covers the relevance of social workers in school operations in ile ife.

The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

FINANCIAL CONSTRAINT– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).


SOCIAL WORKER: Social work is an academic discipline and profession that concerns itself with individuals, families, groups, and communities in an effort to enhance social functioning and overall well-being.

STUDENT: A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution who attends classes in a course to attain the appropriate level of mastery of a subject under the guidance of an instructor and who devotes time outside class to do whatever activities the instructor assigns that are necessary either for class preparation or to submit evidence of progress towards that mastery. In the broader sense, a student is anyone who applies themselves to the intensive intellectual engagement with some matter necessary to master it as part of some practical affair in which such mastery is basic or decisive

GOALS: Life goals are the big things to work for and accomplish such as getting married and having a family, starting your own business, becoming a big-time executive, or traveling the globe

SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER: A school social worker is a vital asset to the school community: a link between students, parents, school staff and the school district


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