Students face many social and personal problems that complicate their ability to do well in school and inhibit their progress toward becoming productive citizens. To promote success in and out of the classroom for our students, Orange County Schools (OCS) utilizes School Social Workers, Family Specialists (provided through a collaborative with the Orange County Department of Social Services), and a Teen Parent Social Worker.
These professionals serve as liaisons between families, schools and the community. They serve on Student Support Teams at the individual schools, and they work with school staff to provide comprehensive services for students. Also, they work with community partners to provide some of the most basic needs for our students.
Our school social workers and family specialists connect with various organizations that graciously donate a range of needed items, including volunteering their time to help get the goods and services to the students. From PTSOs to faith-based organizations to the business community to residential communities and other governmental agencies, leaders emerge from all parts of the community to uplift our students. Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to coordinate filling the needs of our families.
“The community sponsors not only provide food, but they give our high school students necessity gifts which include coats, toiletries, shoes, clothes, and gas cards,” commented Ms. Avis Barnes, Lead School Social Worker for Orange County Schools. “Some of these young adults are not only students but are their own caretakers and financial contributors to their families, and they are forced to navigate through life’s maze a little too soon.” added Ms. Barnes.
OCS is thankful for generous support that our community offers for students and our staff. And, with the community’s support, OCS can continue to work to prepare all students to be healthy, productive and responsible members of our community and the world.