New IL Law Blurs Lines Between Counselors and Social Workers
I previously wrote an article about my concerns with schools using “counseling services” rather than “social work services” in students’ IEPs. One of my chief concerns was the increasingly blurred line between the professional roles of school counselors and school social workers. In Illinois this line has been made barely distinguishable with the signing of a new Illinois law (public act 98-918) that expands the definition of the roles and services provided by school counselors.
Here are some of the roles and definitions outlined in the new law that I found most alarming:
School counseling services may include, but are not limited to:
(3) school counselors working as culturally skilled professionals who act sensitively to promote social justice and equity in a pluralistic society;
21) contributing to a student’s functional behavioral assessment, as well as assisting in the development of non-aversive behavioral intervention strategies;
(22) actively supporting students in need of special education services by facilitating, participating in, or contributing to a student’s individualized education plan (IEP) and completing a social-developmental history;
(34) acting as a liaison between the public schools and community resources and building relationships with important stakeholders, such as families, administrators, teachers, and board members
View the complete law: 098-0918
What are your thoughts? Do you feel the role of the school social worker is being threatened? Are counselors equipped to be conducting FBA’s and Social Developmental Studies? What action, if any, should be taken to re-establish ourselves as the experts on culturally sensitive practice, community linkages, functional behavior analysis, and conducting social-developmental studies?