School Social Work

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  • School Social Work

    School Social Workers are mental health professionals embedded in our schools as support staff to help students and families when they encounter barriers that impact a child’s academic, emotional, and social development.

    School Social Workers are advocates who help students achieve academic and social-emotional success by linking the home, school, and community. School social work support services include mental health counseling, crisis support, and intervention, addressing issues of non-attendance and truancy, psychosocial evaluations, and consultation.

    Additionally, the School Social Work Services program manages several District-wide specialty programs that directly impact and support the academic achievement and high school graduation of our students. These programs include Substance Abuse/Expulsion Abeyance, Teen Parent and Military Personnel and Families.



    • Facilitating groups related to social skills, bereavement and grief counseling, conflict management/truancy prevention, parenting, and family adjustment
    • Short-term individual counseling
    • Promoting educational Success
    • Addressing social and emotional concerns
    • Addressing family concerns


    • Available to teachers and parents
    • Available to professionals in the community
    • Available to schools to assist with students needs in the school setting
    • Available during parent conferences
    • Available to Collaborative Problem-Solving Teams (CPST)
    • Available to School Improvement Plan teams
    • Available to District committees


    • Student and family assessment
    • Home Visits
    • Attendance agreements and school-based interventions
    • Referrals to community agencies
    • Referrals to Children in Need of Services/Families in Need of Services (CINS/FINS)
    • Broward Truancy Intervention Program (BTIP)
    • Partnership with the State Attorney’s Office, District 17, State of Florida


    • Collaborating with school staff, parents and community agencies to remove barriers to academic success
    • Linking parents, staff, and students to mental health, medical, and social services, including food, clothing, and shoes
    • Providing follow-up case management with teachers and parents
    • Promoting parent/school/community collaboration
    • Attending community meetings


    Specialized Professionals Advancing Resources, Knowledge, and Skills (SPARKS)

    SPARKS is an initiative introduced to Broward County Public Schools prior to the start of the 2017/18 school year to address specific barriers to academic success. This initiative aims to improve student’s school performance, as measured by increased attendance, improved school behavior, increased academic functioning, and enhanced social and emotional functioning. The program services the Dillard and Boyd Anderson zones in 20 different schools. There are 26 full-time school social workers assigned to schools in these zones. The SPARKS school social worker leads support services within the school in cooperation with school-based leadership, community liaisons, family therapists, school nurses, and other support resources.

    The SPARKS program provides targeted interventions to assist students with excessive absences, behavioral issues, and social/emotional concerns. Services include counseling for individuals and small groups, psychosocial assessments, crisis team interventions, and membership on collaborative problem-solving teams. School social workers and community liaisons partner with local agencies to address the basic needs of students and families. Outreach activities include health and resource fairs, newsletters, and attendance at school-based meetings.


    Military Family Support services are provided by Master’s Level School Social Workers to identify and support the educational and social-emotional needs of our military-connected students and families in BCPS.  Support services are offered in every school in coordination with other departments and programs and in partnership with community agencies. Interventions are implemented within the guidelines of the Military Compact Interstate Agreement, and policies of BCPS.

    There are 1.2 million military children in the USA. Since 2001, approximately 2 million of the military-connected students in the USA have experienced the deployment of a parent. The repeated and extended separation and increased hazards of deployment compound stressors in the lives of these students and have been addressed by BCPS.

    BCPS and community agencies sustain our military forces and strengthen the health, security, and safety of our nation, and families. They serve our nation at the time of deployment as well as their entire families. Non-military community members have the opportunity to show their appreciation by supporting these children, and their families.

    Facilitation of enrollment and placement for incoming families, individual needs assessment, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, attendance issues, referrals for services, school events and projects, cards and writing letters to soldiers in deployment, collection of packages, military drive for military-connected students and families, celebration of April as the Military Child Month, school presentations by veterans, celebration of returning parents from deployment, case consultation with teachers and school personnel, and staff development among others.

    We are pleased to partner with Garrison Army, Southern Command, The Florida Army National Guard, Mission United, and Military Related Support Organizations.


    Students suspended from school for drug or alcohol-related offenses per Policy 5006 are evaluated and referred to appropriate substance abuse counseling. Follow-up services are provided to referring administrators.  Consultation services are also provided for high-risk students who may be involved with alcohol or other drugs.

    Referrals may come from the administration, guidance, parents, or the students themselves.

    For more information:

    Erika Branton, MSW
    Substance Abuse Counselor & Expulsion Abeyance Case Manager


    Sophie Gedeon, MSW
    Substance Abuse Counselor & Expulsion Abeyance Case Manager

    Antonio Nunez, LCSW
    Substance Abuse Counselor & Expulsion Abeyance Case Manager

    Kathy Francis, MSW
    Substance Abuse Counselor & Expulsion Abeyance Case Manager

    Hilah Krieger, MSW
    Substance Abuse Counselor & Expulsion Abeyance Case Manager


    The philosophy of the Teen Parent Program is that dropout prevention is best achieved through the provision of academic and social-emotional support. Our purpose is to offer academic alternatives, access to daycare, and supportive interventions through counseling to ensure a secure future for the student and child.


    Pregnant or parenting persons of legal school age are eligible for these services.

    Pregnant and parenting students have the option of remaining in their home school and receiving support services from an assigned teen parent school social worker. A second option is that they may transfer to one of the three District teen parent centers and receive support services, including daycare.

    The services provided by the Teen Parent School Social Workers listed include but are not limited to comprehensive assessment, individual, group and family counseling, parent education and advocacy, crisis intervention, staff consultation, interdisciplinary collaboration with school counselors, other District school social workers, school psychologists, nurses, teachers, other support personnel, and pregnancy prevention education. Furthermore, the Teen Parent School Social Workers link clients to appropriate community resources.

    For more information call the School Social Work Services office at 754-321-1618 or email the contacts below:

    North Region: 
    Ieesha Crawford

    (754) 321-1618

    Central Region:
    Suze Jean

    (754) 321-1618

    South Region:
    Jane Batista

    (754) 321-1618


    The Master of School Social Work (MSW) internship program in BCPS collaborates with different universities to prepare graduate students by providing a robust internship experience. The program seeks to enhance a global understanding and sensitivity to the economic and social inequities of students enrolled in public schools. MSW interns are expected to demonstrate specialized school social work practice knowledge and skills to successfully serve individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.

    The MSW internship program in BCPS seeks to prepare MSW students to serve Broward County’s most vulnerable school populations in areas such as mental health, homeless education (H.E.A.R.T. program), teen parent program, family therapy in schools, disadvantaged youth, student leadership (mentoring), crisis intervention, child welfare, and disaster relief. These specialized settings demand that students synthesize and apply knowledge and skills in an ethical and competent manner to address needs throughout our school district in micro, macro, and multi-system service environment.

    All school social work interns are paired with an experienced school social worker to allow for experiential learning opportunities that help develop proficiency in the social work core competencies in preparation for professional practice.

    Contact information:

    Terence McGarry, LCSW, CAP


Find Your School Social Worker

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  • Grant, Glenda Maria
  • Graves De Peralta, Ashley
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  • Lockett, Sarah
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  • Maria, Monica
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  • Martelly, Marcelle
  • McGarry, Lisa
  • McGarry, Terence
  • McMain, Veronne
  • Mora, Victor H.
  • Morales, Vanessa
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  • Porter, Karina
  • Price, Camilla M.
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  • Rockensies, Emma Arroyo
  • Rodriguez-Ortega, Luz
  • Rolle, Daphnie
  • Rynerson, Jeni
  • Said, Monica
  • Saint-Louis, Florence
  • Saint-Louis, Tracey
  • Schauben, Lisa
  • Shapiro, Bernard
  • site based SSW
  • Stein, Valerie
  • Suarez-Geacoman, Cecibel
  • Thomas, Judith
  • Thomas, Nicole
  • Tio, Ana R.
  • Toussaint, Carline
  • Victor, Vanessa
  • Vixamar, Tamika
  • volpe, Leslie Jessica
  • Ward, Szatoria
  • Watson, Keisha
  • Watson, Rene
  • Zacca, Faynette J.
  • Zapata, Maria Lourdes
  • Zenon, Paul

Contact Information

  • School Social Work Program

    1400 NW 14th Court

    Ft. Lauderdale , Florida 33311

    Phone: 754-321-1618

    Fax: --

    TTL: --

    Phone: --

    A. Gabriela Joseph, LCSW / Marielande Saint-Preux, LCSW / Dr. Jhonii P. Louis, LCSW


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