Friend of School Social Work 2021


Today we are celebrating Education Minnesota who has been selected as the Minnesota School Social Workers Association 2021 Friend of School Social Work. As an organization dedicated to the social and emotional growth and academic success of all Minnesota students and as professionals with the ethical responsibility to advocate for children and their families, the Minnesota School Social Work Association (MSSWA) wanted to officially share our gratitude to President Denise Specht, the staff and Board of Education Minnesota for your commitment to ensuring safe schools, reducing barriers to educational success and for your dedication to ensuring all students have equitable access to the necessary resources to be prepared and successful beyond graduation.

The MSSWA Board of Directors and our members are truly grateful for Education Minnesota’s continued support of licensed school social workers and our unique expertise. For many years, your staff has worked diligently to ensure that our school social work voice is always at the table. MSSWA has hosted 14 of our 18 MSSWA Days at the Capital professional development opportunities at Education Minnesota. Ashley Behrens and the staff have been an integral partner behind the scenes providing technical support and coordinating with MSSWA Legislative Chair Christy McCoy in the facilitation of our Day at the Capitol events. In addition, Education Minnesota’s advocacy team led by Paul Winkler has been instrumental in ensuring that school social workers are recognized by the legislature and other stakeholders as an invaluable resource to our school communities. Sara Ford, David Aron and Justin Killian have also been tremendous allies and advocates for our organization, especially in assisting with presentations to PELSB about the role, educational background and scope of practice of school social workers.

MSSWA members have relied on the services and support that Education Minnesota consistently provides to not only ensure that school social workers have a voice and are valued as a vital asset to the educational community but to also assist us in our advocacy work on a state level. Education Minnesota’s ongoing advocacy for children, youth, families, educators and Specialized Instructional Support Personnel like school social workers continues to be instrumental in shaping equitable policies and practices across the state. It is for these reasons that MSSWA wanted to say thank you to everyone involved with Education Minnesota.



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