10 years of school social work: Offer supports education  

District Administrator Dr. Reinhard Kubat provides information about an important service that celebrated its 10th anniversary last year under the auspices of the district: school social work. "School social work has been carried out at the educational institutes in the district since as early as 2008," says the district administrator. Since 2010, the expert staff has been employed by the district as the school authority, he added. Very different areas of expertise are combined in school social work: youth work and social pedagogy, youth welfare and individual support come together here - an ideal complement to the classic teaching mission.

Changes in the living environments of children and young people made it necessary to deploy socio-educational staff; this had already been recognized in Waldeck-Frankenberg in the 1990s. Working groups and committees determined the exact needs and developed concepts until the time came in 2008 at initially eight schools in the district. Initially, the school social work positions were financed by the state of Hesse as part of the "Tuition Guarantee Plus" program, and the specialists were employed by the state education authority. Since 2010, the district has been responsible for two-thirds of the funding; since 2015, the remaining third has been borne by the schools from their own budgets.

In the anniversary year 2020, there were 23 ladies working in school social work; team leader and socio-pedagogical supervision lie with Ms. Svenja Lotze in the Schools and Education Department of the district. From the Kaulbach School in Bad Arolsen or the Comprehensive School in Battenberg to the Elementary School in Edertal or the Hans-Viessmann School in Frankenberg to the Old State School in Korbach or the Edersee School in Herzhausen - all types of schools in almost the entire district benefit from the important contact persons in the learning and living environment of school. Twice a year, the school social workers meet for service meetings in order to network and gain a common knowledge of current challenges and services in Waldeck-Frankenberg. In addition, regional team meetings are held. At the beginning of the new school year, there is also a team day with, for example, experiential exercises for team training.

Just as diverse as the schools in the district are the consultations in school social work. Most students make use of the offer several times, the focus is on the age group 11 - 16 years. Both female and male children and adolescents seek counseling with the school social worker, most frequently in high schools. Predominantly, these are ad hoc conversations, which are often followed by an agreement on goals and their review. Difficulties in the classroom and personal life issues top the list of reasons for counseling. Contact with relatives and cooperation with other institutions have proven to be additional support for school social work.

School social work will continue to be an important topic at the local educational institutions, District Administrator Dr. Kubat concludes his information. He calls on all children and young people at schools with social workers to make use of the free offer if they feel they need to talk to someone who is not a relative, friend or teacher. "We are happy to provide this assistance and will, of course, continue to offer it," emphasizes the district administrator.