The Mission of PASSWP                      Stay In the Know!


Since 1978, PASSWP has been actively involved in the professional education of Home & School Visitors and School Social Workers in Pennsylvania.

Our Board works with the Department of Education, and other professional organizations, to stay on the cutting edge of trends in the field.  We look to experts to provide training for the school social workers and home and school visitors who are delivering critical support services to students across the Commonwealth.

We are devoted to maintaining the highest possible standards for school social work personnel employed in our schools.  To that end, we work with Schools of Social Work and programs that provide education for Home & School Visitors in colleges and universities located within our state.

PASSWP strives to offer a variety of continuing education options and networking opportunities for our members and the broader social services community.

Check out our FEATURED MEMBERS page!  Interested in nominating someone?  GO FOR IT!  We all benefit from sharing positive stories and ideas!

The 2019 PASSWP Home & School Visitor/

School Social Worker of the Year Award

goes to...

Click HERE to nominate the next

HSV/SSW of the Year! 


Hello and welcome back to a new 2018-2019 school year!  All of the board members here at PASSWP hope that you had a nice and relaxing summer.   I am happy to say that I made a western trip to Pittsburgh this summer for a college visit with my son, who is a junior in high school. Although I did not get to catch up with the folks who are doing a great job of keeping us all connected in the west, I was able to stop in on the 21st floor, the Cathedral of Learning, at the University of Pittsburgh which houses the School of Social Work offices.  What views they have in that building!   I hope to get out there again.

This, like most years, has been a busy one!  Tension stemming from national events such as politics and school shootings always seem to have a trickledown effect with the students and families we work with.  As we look at what is happening here in Pennsylvania, a report released by the Governor and the Auditor General’s Office suggests “We probably need more money for mental health.”   As we all know, school social workers often provide support and assistance to students and families who struggle with mental health issues. I have received great information and statistics from our past president, Peter Fidgett, who recently attended a meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on School Safety on April 6th, 2018. The question was asked “How many Social Workers are there in Pennsylvania Schools?"  A short answer might be “not enough!”

The real numbers are:

  • 2016-17:  287 SSWs and 283 HSVs = Total of 570 personnel
  • 2017-18   328 SSWs and 262 HSVs = Total of 590 personnel 

It is great to see an increase and, although it is not so great that it has taken tragic events to evaluate what can be done, the consensus seems to be that there needs to be more of us! Did you see the article we posted on Facebook in August? One PA school district will be using grant money to add social workers to their staff!

In other news...

  • On June 29, Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 530, sponsored by Senator Tom Killion (District 9), into law. The bill, recognized now as Act 76, will limit the practice of independent clinical social work to licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) and grant them the right to diagnose.  For those working on keeping up with Act 138 for Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism, a good resource is:
  • Grants for school safety are available now! View the announcement on PCCD’s website
  • On October 25th 2018, our very own Chris Rich will be facilitating an Ethics training (3 CEU’s) at the Bucks County IU in Doylestown.  Our State-wide conference for the fall 2019 will begin the planning phase soon.  If you are interested in joining the conference planning committee, please email me or one of the board members.  
  • We have a request from Jamie Stokes who is working on a doctoral dissertation at Capella University.  She will be recruiting School Social Workers to participate in her study on PA School Social Worker’s Experiences Working With Students Struggling With Their Gender Identity in a School Setting.”  Please see her flyer and email her if you can help a fellow colleague out.
  • Follow us on Facebook for information, resources, and articles that are important to the work we are doing across Pennsylvania!
  • Are great things happening in your school/district/community?? Email us so we can share it with the PASSWP community! Let's build on our STRENGTHS!!

Good luck with the school year!

Joe Werner, MSW, LSW, HSV

PASSWP President


The PA Coalition on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has opportunities for social workers and others with expertise in behavioral health, and experience in school settings, to qualify and be registered as School Safety Assessment Providers. Below are links to the pertinent information:


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New reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Education identifies its largest number ever of children and youth experiencing homelessness – 38,823

Read the report here.

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Congratulations to PASSWP’s own Dee Stalnecker on recently being named as the Northeast Representative Board Member for the School Social Work Association of America! She will be serving as a liaison for Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, District of Columbia and DOD schools. In this role, Dee will share national/organizational information to the state boards. She will provide support to the state organizations (or encourage them to form a state organization), and she will act as a resource for states regarding legislation, policy and professional development. 

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Join the PASSWP Networking Forum below! 

A place for questions, comments, concerns, & requests for ideas!

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Sunday, October 20, 2019 10:31 AM • Anonymous
Friday, December 14, 2018 11:20 AM • Anonymous
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