School Social Work Services - Blue Earth Area Elementary Schools - Kelly Bleess, LSW

Credentials
School Social Workers are licensed by both the Minnesota Board of Social Work and the Minnesota Department of Education.  Kelly Bleess is a 1999 graduate of the social work program at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Eligibility
Children attending Blue Earth Area Elementary School and their families are eligible for social work services. These services are free of charge.

Consultation Services
Consultation may be done over the phone, in school, or in the home setting.
Teachers, parents and children may consult with the school social worker about a variety of problems. The school social worker may provide information, make appropriate referrals to community resources, or suggest interventions.  When appropriate, additional school social work services may be suggested.

Assessment
The school social worker is one member of an assessment team within the Blue Earth Area Schools. This team screens referrals, suggests interventions, and provides special education assessments when other interventions have not been effective and further evaluation is needed. The special education assessment is completed with parental involvement and consent.  The social worker’s involvement may consist of parent, staff, and child interviews and observations.

Parent Support
A family may be referred to the school social worker by teachers, other staff members in the school or community, or parents may call the social worker directly for services.  These sessions may be held in the family home, to include as many family members as possible and to respect family privacy, or in the school environment.  Parents and the social worker will set goals and work toward them. The length of service is based on family needs.

Individual Services for Children
Teachers or parents may refer children to the school social worker, or children may refer themselves.  Services are based on student needs.  If the child is to be seen on a regular basis, parental permission is requested.

In Class Service
In class services may be provided in the regular classroom to one or more children.  The social worker may provide services to students in a small group setting in the classroom or to the whole class on specific issues (bullying, friendships, stress management, anger management, etc.)


Groups
Parents, teachers, or children may request participation in a group.  Parental permission is required.  Examples of groups are social skills groups, self-esteem groups, anger management groups, friendship groups, and family change groups.

Parenting Classes
The school social workers also offer parenting classes in the fall and spring using the “Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” curriculum.