The Leadership Program maintains a Social Work Services Department, headed by our full time LMSW. The department members work closely with all staff members to address concerns for any students as well as designing and implementing trainings to identify and manage issues in this field.
Any meaningful connection with students, especially those in underserved urban environments, will uncover personal and often daunting issues that need to be addressed carefully and responsibly in order for students to be able excel academically. First and foremost in all Leadership Program activities is the creation of a safe space for students and teachers. Often described as a “holding environment” by mental health workers, this space becomes a place for relational “off-the-couch” counseling and a valuable resource to help direct students to seek the help they may need. We offer a series of workshops and integrated services in our programming for schools, teachers, staff and students to help bolster this holding environment that allows students to openly express themselves and to prepare youth development stakeholders to address issues that might arise.
The staff of the SW department work to develop:
- Integration of developmental psychological tenets in all programming to effectively model and promote pro-social behavior resiliency building, relationship building skills, socio-emotional health and other tenets of social work/mental health
- Meaningful collaboration with guidance counselors, deans and assistant principals at each site
- Original, dynamic trainings for both Leadership and school staff
- Onsite staff, including master’s level social work interns from NYC’s best colleges and Universities, who work directly with students and staff at each school