Hamilton Southeastern Schools has added new resources to aid in the support of its students. A team of seven school social workers are currently working in the junior high and high schools.
The school social workers provide mental health services related to a students’ social, emotional wellbeing by helping foster positive problem-solving and decision-making skills, learning to improve interpersonal relationships and connecting students with resources.
“The strength of this team is that they all come from different backgrounds and bring unique perspectives to the work that we are currently doing,” says Brooke Lawson, Mental Health and School Counseling Coordinator.
Who is your school’s assigned social worker?
Heidi Ricks, Fall Creek Junior High School (FCJ)
Nikki Willhelm, Fishers Junior High School (FJH)
Sarah Sayers, Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate Junior High School (HIJ)
Sara Roorbach, Riverside Junior High School (RJH)
Chelley Gastineau, Fishers High School (FHS)
Kylene Toney and Jamie Anderson, Hamilton Southeastern High School (HHS)
This is the first year for HSE Schools to employ school social workers. As Sara Roobach explains, each have goals they would like to achieve with their students.
“I think we have a unique position that we are able to mold our interventions depending on what specific needs a child has at that time,” said Roorbach, who works at Riverside Junior High School.
Heidi Ricks from Fall Creek Junior High Schools adds “one of my specific goals is to create a more cohesive sense of belonging. We sometimes find there are students who fall through the cracks, so reaching out to them and making sure they do feel like this is a family and that they do belong, is going to be really important for me.”
In addition to their work with students, the school social worker team will also provide support to the buildings and school community. For example, they will educate and collaborate with staff members on what are appropriate ways to support the students and encourage families to actively be engaged in their child’s education, helping connect them to local resources.
If you think your child would benefit from the support of an HSE school social worker, reach out to the school counselor to learn more about accessing this resource.