Communities In Schools of Houston, an educational nonprofit, celebrates this year’s Social Work Month during March, with the theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers,” to highlight how social workers have enriched our society by empowering people and communities to overcome hurdles that prevent them from living life to the fullest. Social work is in the DNA of Communities In Schools as it works to amplify the power of each student’s potential by connecting them to caring adults, including Student Support Managers and mental health professionals.
Currently serving 173 campuses in six Houston-area school districts and Lone Star College, CIS places at least one full-time Student Support Manager on each partner campus to deliver direct services – counseling, academic support and health and human services. CIS also provides students and families with tailored referrals to community resources, while collaborating with more than 300 community partners, including volunteers, social service agencies, mental health providers and educators, to help students stay in school and thrive.
“Social Work Month is the perfect time to highlight the contributions of social workers in our city, state and nation, with specific focus on our incredible staff at Communities In Schools, who are continually breaking barriers,” says Lisa Descant, LPC-S, LMFT-S and CEO of CIS of Houston. “Social workers are literally transforming lives on our campuses through the comprehensive services they provide.”
“Students face a plethora of challenges today, including poverty, mental health issues, substance abuse, anxiety and depression, along with the pressures of keeping up academically,” Descant continues. “Our Student Support Managers help them, and their families, navigate the toughest situations with compassion, interventions and practical solutions. We appreciate these professionals every single day, but this month allows us to highlight their invaluable contributions to our organization.”
Throughout the month, individual school campuses will honor CIS staff members in various ways, particularly during National School Social Work Week, which is Mar. 5-11. CIS Student Support Specialists will also be highlighted throughout the month on social media, including Facebook and Instagram, for their ongoing contributions to education and to students.
The annual Social Work Month campaign in March, coordinated by the National Association of Social Workers, is a time to inform the public, policymakers, and legislators about how social workers have always broken barriers when it comes to the services they provide in an array of sectors, including schools, hospitals and mental health centers, federal, state and local government, community centers, and social service agencies.
People become social workers because they have a strong desire to help others and make society a better place. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 700,000 professional social workers are hard at work nationwide, but that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2030, BLS said.
For more information about Communities In Schools of Houston, please visit www.cishouston.org.