Student working with children

School Social Work Licensure

School Social Work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession. School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student support services team. They play an important role in furthering the purpose of the schools - to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence.

In order to be a certified school social worker in North Carolina, one has to complete a bachelor's or master's degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program with additional specialized preparation in school social work. Within these school social work education programs, several standards are studied such as the foundations of school social work practice, assessment and evaluation, cultural diversity, consultative and collaborative relationships and understanding of the role of advocacy and facilitation. Also required are intervention strategies to support student development, discernment of statutes and case law and completion of a school social work internship.

School social workers are expected to apply their professional training in schools in order to support student success. Through specialized school social work programs that strengthen the home/school/community partnership and address barriers to student learning, school social workers serve as catalysts in promoting student wellbeing and successful completion of school.

The program at UNCW offers the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction approved School Social Work course in the fall semester for both Graduate Level “M” and Undergraduate Level “A”. 

NOTE: The school social work course without employment as a school social worker or before completion of a school social work field placement will not meet the guidelines for the NCDPI School Social Work License.