What Do Social Workers Do?
School social workers help STUDENTS:
- Achieve maximum benefit from their educational opportunities,
- Understand themselves and others,
- Cope with stress,
- Develop decision making skills.
School social workers help PARENTS:
- Participate effectively in their children’s education,
- Understand and meet their children’s social and emotional needs,
- Understand programs available to students with special needs,
- Utilize school and community resources effectively.
School social workers help SCHOOLS:
- Understand factors (cultural, societal, economic, familial, health, etc.) that affect students,
- Abilities to make maximum use of their school experience.
- Utilize their resources in meeting the educational, social, and emotional needs of students,
- Promote a safe school environment.
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How Fenwick Social Workers Help Our Students:
- Address the social and emotional needs of all students in ways that improve outcomes inside and outside of school.
- Help students manage crises, problem-solve and develop coping strategies.
- Work with the Student Services Department, faculty and administration to provide extra support for students who may need it.
- Provide therapeutic and skill-based counseling services to students individually and in support groups.
- Reduce family stress by working with parents and guardians to help students navigate the demands of high school.
- Coordinate school work and provide a continuum of care when students are out with extended absences by acting as liaisons between Fenwick and outside facilities (when applicable). As students transition back to Fenwick High School, we join forces with school counselors to continue providing academic and social-emotional support.
- Practice with confidentiality, disclosing necessary information upon student and parent request. We abide by The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and may break student confidentiality only in cases where the student is involved in self-harm or harm to others, if someone else is causing harm to the student or when other safety concerns arise.
Meet the Experienced Staff
Phone: ext. 334
Nancy Drennan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who attended the University of Illinois (MSW, BSW). Nancy has worked in a variety of settings (high school and higher education) with a focus on mental health with adolescents and young adults. Before working in the field of education, Nancy worked as a clinician in substance abuse treatment and mental health settings.
At Fenwick, Nancy taught Health class for many years. She continues to plan and coordinate the freshman and sophomore student/parent nights that focus on youth substance abuse prevention and positive decision-making. She is also in charge of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) all-school assemblies and the coordination of all-school surveys (Illinois Youth Survey and the school climate survey). Nancy enjoys working on these programs and projects that are aimed at improving students’ social-emotional and overall health.
Phone: ext. 303
Sandra Montes is a bilingual Latina licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC). Sandra has worked with individuals, families and couples throughout the lifespan in a variety of settings. Her expertise is in adolescent mental health and school social work (PEL/Type 73). She also has experience in the integrated model for behavioral health, trauma-informed care, behavioral activation and case consultation. She attended Loyola University Chicago (MSW, BSW). Sandra also holds a certificate for non profit business management from Notre Dame.
Sandra is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and enjoys teaching and empowering individuals on how to help those with mental health challenges. Sandra is a mentor to new social work graduates, helping them grow in their career.