Foundation Grant Helps UB School of Social Work Establish Partnership With School 53

Release Date: August 27, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- When the school doors reopen this fall, Buffalo's School 53 will have an important added resource. University at Buffalo student interns from the Graduate School of Social Work will now report to an experienced social-work field educator who will work on-site in the East Side elementary school.

The part-time professional supervisor position is being funded by a $10,000 grant from the Josephine Goodyear Foundation in Buffalo.

School 53 is one of only two Buffalo Public Schools designated by New York State as a community school, which makes it eligible to receive additional state resources. The new partnership between School 53 and the UB Graduate School of Social Work will address the growing service needs of the school community that are not being met by other local social-service providers.

"School 53 is an area that has a need for increased services," said Howard Doueck, associate dean for research and program development. "The school community is comprised mostly of families with below-average income and more than 90 percent of its students receive free or reduced-cost lunches.

"An on-site field educator to supervise our students gives us the ability to establish a student unit at School 53 which, in collaboration with students from other UB departments, as well as teachers and other staff from the school, will provide increased services to children and families.

"The on-site supervisor can provide immediate supervision and consultation at appropriate teachable moments," Doueck noted. "This arrangement is highly beneficial to the children and families at School 53 and provides a valuable learning experience for UB social-work students who will have an opportunity to learn from one another. Finally, it provides a potential opportunity for doctoral students to conduct research on the nature of school social-work practice."

Not only will the field educator benefit the community by providing guidance to the student interns, accessibility for the students and families will be greatly improved, and this will allow the field educator to become an integral part of the school's community. The field educator also will work closely with other social-service providers in School 53.

Doueck anticipates the partnership will offer valuable insights into how to structure programs for school social workers.

"Ultimately," he added, "this initiative may allow us to examine the role of school social work in an educational urban environment and compare this with its role in a more suburban environment. We can then see the strengths of our resources available for urban families and children and determine what types of services are still needed."

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