School Social Work Services

Lending a Helping Hand

The School Social Workers are key members of the school team. School Social Workers help improve students’ chances for success in school—and in life. Call us to find out how we can help your child.

CHS:  Dr. Karin Brenner – 845 225-8441, ext. 466, ; Webpage
GFMS:  Brittany Kiechle – 845 228-2300, ext. 519,
KPS:  Angela Sarita – 845 225-5025, ext. 348, 
KES:  Kirsten Carillo – 845 225-5029, ext. 312, 
MPES:  Dana Russo – 845 878-3211, ext. 278,

What Are School Social Work Services?
School Social Work Services are support services provided by licensed school personnel for students and their families. These services are available to students who are experiencing social, emotional and/or behavioral difficulties in school. Carmel Central School District recognizes the complex needs of students and their families and that not all of a students’ needs can be met solely in the classroom. It is important to understand how addressing student concerns will assist in the student’s readiness and ability to learn. School Social Work Services are the link to the school~family~and ~community. Working collaboratively, School Social Workers provide students with the necessary tools for learning as they grow socially and emotionally, in order to reach their highest potential.

Who Are School Social Workers?
School Social Workers are Mental Health Professionals with a minimum of a 2 year Masters Degree, who have completed supervised training and are Certified and Licensed by the State of New York. They are specially trained to provide clinical services to schools and are members of several professional organizations.

School Social Workers assist students and families in managing challenging life circumstances. These may include:

  • School Issues- attendance, poor grades, discipline concerns, learning issues, relationships with peers, problem solving, conflict resolution.
  • Family Concerns- serious illness or death, divorce or separation, trauma, abuse, neglect, parenting questions.
  • Community Problems- violence, substance abuse, homelessness, access to local services, disasters. 

What Do School Social Workers Do?
School Social Workers offer a wide variety of services. They:

  • Provide individual and group counseling to students.
  • Offer academic, social and emotional support to children and their families as needed.
  • Teach behavior management and social skills training.
  • Collaborate with professional staff regarding student needs.
  • Provide crisis intervention, referral and ancillary services to students and families as needed.
  • Conduct parent education training and educational workshops for teachers and families.
  • Complete social work assessments and psycho-socials for the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
  • Serve as liaison to public agencies, private therapists and community resources. 

How Do Students Benefit from Social Work Services?


  • Develop problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Improve self-control
  • Increase self-esteem, confidence
  • Learn conflict resolution skills
  • Improve social skills
  • Learn coping skills in dealing with stressful life events
  • Increase motivation, concentration and organization skills
  • Decrease discipline referrals
  • Increase anger management skills
  • Receive support from adults & peers 

Which Students May Need Help?

  • The student who:
  • Is very shy or withdrawn
  • Is easily upset or often sad
  • Has poor relationships with peers and/or adults
  • Is involved in many fights
  • Has significant behavioral concerns
  • Has a lot of physical complaints
  • Uses alcohol and/or drugs
  • Has trouble completing classwork
  • Becomes angry over small things
  • Has suicidal ideation or attempts
  • Has significant anxiety issues

How Can Parents Help Their Child Succeed in School?

  • Become involved in your child's school and educational process.
  • Take your child to museums, plays, and exhibits to foster a love of learning.
  • Communicate regularly with your child's teachers and school staff.
  • Help your child get organized through the use of calendars and work schedules. Break down tasks into manageable sections. Keep school supplies readily available.
  • Help children seek and find answers themselves. Suggest possible resources rather than providing the answer.
  • Notice and encourage the EFFORT as well as the achievements your child makes.
  • Keep your expectations high for your child and your school.
  • Take time to really listen to your children.
  • Encourage prompt and daily attendance at school.
  • Turn off the TV and video games!