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Career Story: Social Worker And Guidance Counselor At A Vocational School

Social Worker And Guidance Counselor At A Vocational School

Job Title: Social Worker

Type of Company: I work in the technical high school system in Connecticut.

Education: MSW

Previous Experience: n/a

Job Tasks: I work as a social worker at a technical high school in in northeastern Connecticut, where I am responsible for providing individual counseling to students in grades 9-12. I see students who are having family issues, struggling to get along with their peers or having trouble with their course work. Many students I see are dealing with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, etc. I also run groups for students with social issues. I do social skills education, peer support, team mother groups, anger management, and school success. I do crisis intervention such as suicide assessments, DCF referrals, referrals to outside agencies if students are in need of hospitalization. I facilitate the Student Assistance Team which is a group of teachers who work on individual cases to help determine intervention to assist and support a student who is struggling in school. I run the Senior Mentor program and help incoming freshmen adjust to a new high school situation with the help and support of a senior. I am on the school climate committee and work to encourage the improvement of relationships in the building, student to student, staff to student, and administration to staff and student. I am also a senior class advisor and have worked with a class for the last four years helping to coordinate its activities.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being able to work each day in direct contact with the students. I truly enjoy seeing them come into the school as ninth graders and leave as seniors ready to take on the world. I find my job exciting, each day different and rewarding. I always feel a sense of accomplishment when a student succeeds and I was able to help. I really enjoy hearing from the students after and having them say thank you for the support. That means the most.

I really don't have anything I do not like about the job. The hardest part for me is when I have to make the DCF referrals or work with families where there is a lot of hurt and abuse.

Job Tips:
1. Be patient with yourself: experience will give you the confidence you need to be successful.

2. Go with what you feel is right. So many get hung up on theories and book stuff. This is real life and do what you would want done to your family.

3. Make personal connections with people. That will take you the farthest.

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