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School social workers sharing resources through
Herkimer BOCES Health and Safety Service meetings

May 5, 2017



Local school social workers meet at BOCES
School social workers from Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES and component school districts meet to share resources and ideas at their first regional meeting organized by the Herkimer BOCES Health and Safety Service on Friday, April 28, at Herkimer BOCES.


HERKIMER – The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Health and Safety Service organized a meeting of school social workers from BOCES and its component school districts to network, share resources and discuss what’s happening in their schools.

The meeting took place on Friday, April 28, at Herkimer BOCES with 14 people in attendance – including social workers from Herkimer BOCES, the Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington, Central Valley, Little Falls, Mount Markham, Poland, Richfield Springs and West Canada Valley – and others.

“Hopefully, this is the first of many meetings because they’re all dealing with the same types of issues,” Herkimer BOCES Health and Safety Service Coordinator Adam Hutchinson said.

During the meeting, the school social workers decided to meet again on June 16 at Herkimer BOCES and once every other month next school year. They also started to generate a list of topics and possible guest speakers for next school year’s meetings.

Tricia Zupan, a school social worker at New Hartford, was a guest at the meeting for her role as a board member and regional representative of the New York State School Social Workers’ Association. She talked about membership in the association, the regional meetings, the state conference and how the association advocates on state issues and gets answers to questions. She also contributed to the group discussions.

“I think what you guys are doing here is a great idea,” she said.

Kaitlyn Miano Clifford, a school social worker at Little Falls, brought up the idea for the meeting after hearing about school guidance counselor meetings that have been arranged in the Herkimer BOCES region. She proposed the idea to Glenn Manning, Herkimer BOCES Health and Safety Service educator, and Gina Cannistra, a clinical social worker for Herkimer BOCES, and they all planned the meeting.

The idea is to gather more information to help them all learn together, Clifford said.

“I think it’ll be great,” she said. “I think it will be really helpful.”

Manning said his aim in helping to organize the meeting was to allow school social workers a chance to talk about current topics they’re responding to and get organized with their resources, so that when something happens, they’re not all trying to figure out how to respond.

“The goal is that they work together, share information and use each other as resources,” he said.

During the meeting, Cannistra led discussions on resource sharing, county services, mental health services, common issues they’ve faced and more.

“This was a beneficial first meeting to discuss what we're doing to help students in our schools,” she said. “We're looking forward to continuing to support each other through our future meetings.”



Additional photos:

Local school social workers meet at BOCES

Local school social workers meet at BOCES

Local school social workers meet at BOCES

Local school social workers meet at BOCES







 
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