About SSWAM and the Profession

Who We Are

‚ÄčEstablished in 1980, the School Social Workers Association of Missouri was started by volunteer school social workers who saw the need to advance, grow, and strengthen the profession. SSWAM is still governed by volunteer school social workers from across the state today.

If you are already a member, we invite you to become more involved by becoming part of one of our committees. The success of our organization, and ultimately to the strength of our profession, hinges on membership playing an active role in the organization. Committee service from membership greatly increases the ability of our organization to do the work necessary to improve social work services in schools and, most importantly, meet the needs of the students, families, and schools we serve.

If you are not yet a member, please consider joining and becoming part of the only organization in Missouri that is dedicated solely to the advocacy of the profession of school social work. Exciting changes in education are happening across the state and across the nation. Become part of and help influence change by getting involved in SSWAM today.


About School Social Work

    School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession.

    School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district's ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school, and community collaboration is the key to achieving student success. 

    School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team.

    School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.  

    School social workers are instrumental in furthering the mission of the schools which is to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence.

    For more information about school social work, please follow this link to the School Social Workers Association of America website. 

    For more information about how the roles and responsibilities of school social work are similar to and also unique from school counselors and school psychologists, please see the below resource, created by MASP, MSCA, and SSWAM in 2009 and then updated in 2016.




    Board of Directors

    President

    Kim Harrelson, LCSW

    Term: 2016-2018

    President Elect

    Sherri King, LMSW

    Term: 2016-2018

    Secretary

    Tara Olendorff, LCSW

    Term: 2016-2018


    Treasurer

    Cherise Grandison, LCSW

    Term: 2017-2019

    Member-at-Large

    Deidre Townsend, LCSW

    Term: 2016-2018

    Member-at-Large

    Liz Kostas, MS, BSW

    Term: 2017-2019

    Region 1 Representative

    Mary Ellen Traschel, LCSW

    Appointed Board Member

    Region 2 Representative

    Jean West, LCSW

    Appointed Board Member

    Region 3 Representative

    Jane Piester, LCSW

    Appointed Board Member

    Region 4 Representative

    Debbie Griffith Fujinami, LCSW

    Appointed Board Member

    Region 5 Representative

    Vacancy

    Appointed Board Member

    State Consultant

    Vacancy

    Appointed Board Member

    Contact Us

    The best way to reach one of SSWAM's volunteer Board officers or members is by email. Click on the picture of the Board Member you would like to contact to send them an email. Not sure who to contact? Use the following guide to contact the proper officer or member of the Board of Directors. Still not sure? You can always email us at sswam@sswam.org and someone will get back with you as soon as possible.

    Membership Questions? Contact Jane Piester

    Legislative Questions? Contact Becky Cowman

    Website Questions? Contact Kim Harrelson

    Conference Questions? Contact Cherise Grandison

    Lose a CEU certificate? Contact Tara Olendorff

    Want to Get Involved? Contact Your Regional Representative

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