School Social Worker

Posted on: July 25, 2022

Founded in 2001, LEARN is a network of high-performing college preparatory, tuition-free public elementary and middle schools with the mission of providing children with the academic foundation and ambition to earn a college degree. There are 11 LEARN Schools serving 4,100 students in grades PK-8 across Chicago, Waukegan, North Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
It is our goal to create an environment, on every campus, in which our staff members feel supported, respected, and appreciated. Our staff work together at each school and across the network to share ideas, problem solve, and innovate to move our schools and students beyond the expected.
LEARN and our amazing educators, have received numerous recognitions for making an impact in public education, including the 2018 Chicago Magazine’s Top Elementary Charter Schools and the 2018 Illinois Network of Charter Schools Principal of the Year Award.
LEARN’s mission remains crystal clear: to provide children with the academic foundation and ambition to earn a college degree. LEARN is currently looking for hard-working and passionate professionals that are dedicated to transforming public education.
About the Opportunity
At LEARN, we recognize our Social Workers face unique challenges, but they say their hard work proves to be incredibly rewarding and worthwhile. LEARN is a great place to work because colleagues are empathetic and encouraging. Administrators are on their side by providing a supportive and nurturing environment with resources for scholars, professional development, and internal transfer opportunities.

LEARN wholeheartedly embodies staff appreciation. From a genuine interest in staff opinions, to celebrating and promoting professional advancement, to providing a yearly retention bonus and other rewarding perks like gift cards, LEARN values our staff’s dedication to our scholars.

What differentiates LEARN staff is their passionate advocacy for students and their commitment to set high expectations. We welcome inspired professionals and give them the opportunities to do work that excites them.

Through our implementation of a Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS) at all of our campuses, LEARN embraces the idea that ALL scholars are capable of becoming expert learners. Staff and administrators are constantly evaluating how to best support and celebrate our diversity to benefit ALL scholars’ academic and social-emotional needs and create learning environments that tear down barriers.
The Social Worker will provide social work services to students and their families using various social work methods, including individual, group and family counseling.
Role and Responsibilities
As a Social Worker, your critical tasks will include:

• Participating with interdisciplinary team members in developing and implementing program policies and procedures and preventing crises.
• Assessing the social and emotional needs of students.
• Providing direct social work minutes/services to students referred by self, faculty, administration, special education team members, and other ancillary staff.
• Participating and occasionally presenting at teacher meetings, assemblies, etc.
• Serving as an advocate for students’ rights within the school and serving as a mediator between parents, child, and school.
• Attending all scheduled clinical team meetings.
• Establishing referral network/linkages with outside agencies for both students and parents. Tracking and following up on all referrals made in and out of school.
• Coordinating social work services and student referrals between LEARN and other agencies providing social and educational services in both the school and local community.
• Ensuring that all clients, (students, parents, families) visitors, guests, as well as coworkers, receive personalized, prompt attention and are treated with receptiveness, dignity and respect, no matter how limited the contact.

Additional tasks may include:

• Remaining available for crisis intervention social work as the need arises or arranging for such coverage by emergency social services.

Required Qualifications

Education, Training and/or Experience

This job is a great fit if:

• You have a master’s degree in Social Work and valid State/District School Social Work Endorsement/Licensure

Preferred Qualifications

This job is an ideal fit if:

• You are bilingual
• You have 2 or more years of direct Social Work experience

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics

To succeed as a Social Worker, you have a high degree of initiative and independent judgment and are capable of engaging and diffusing crisis situations. You love working effectively with children, families, professionals, and other personnel from a wide range of cultural, social, and economic backgrounds.

You demonstrate our core values by setting high expectations for yourself and our scholars, along with bringing a high level of energy and consistently positive attitude. You are proficient with Microsoft Office and Google applications, databases, and intranet and internet usage. You possess strong written and verbal skills, and the ability to express yourself effectively and concisely.

Above all, you are a collaborative professional with superior interpersonal skills who is comfortable interacting with internal and external stakeholders. You are a detail-oriented professional with the ability to defuse situations and get others organized to meet project expectations. You have the capacity to tactfully and effectively deal with families, students and staff in a personable and professional manner.

Benefits Summary
We offer a comprehensive and competitive benefits package for all full time employees, including health insurance, dental, vision, paid vacation, personal days, paid holidays, short and long term disability, paid life insurance, 403B and the Chicago Teachers’ Pension fund.

Physical Demands
Caring for children can be physically demanding. School Social Workers may be lifting and carrying children and equipment and may spend time sitting on the floor or child sized furniture. Nature of work requires an ability to operate standard business office equipment. Requires the ability to communicate and exchange information, collect, compile and prepare work documents, set-up and maintain work files. Physical demands require the ability to stand, bend, reach high and low, stoop, walk around the classroom and kneel upwards of 60% of the day. In addition, walking up and down stairs several times a day. Must be able to lift 15 to 20 pounds for short periods of time and push and pull 15 to 20 lbs.

Working Conditions
School Social Worker will be working in a busy and occasionally noisy environment. There may be a number of activities and situations happening at once. Majority of work will be performed in a general office/school environment. Requires participation and attendance at organization sponsored events and meetings.

This job description is not intended to be a complete list of all responsibilities, duties or skills required for the job and is subject to review and change at any time, with or without notice, in accordance with the needs of LEARN Charter School Network. Since no job description can detail all the duties and responsibilities that may be required from time to time in the performance of a job, duties and responsibilities that may be inherent in a job, reasonably required for its performance, or required due to the changing nature of the job shall also be considered part of the jobholder’s responsibility.

For applicants who apply after 11/1/21, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical or religious exemption required.