Happy Social Work Month! We are so excited to be sharing a little more about our small, but mighty, department here at HMS School.
Laura Boyd, MSW, LSW is the Director of Social Work who has been working at HMS for nearly 5 years. Christine Cuvo, MSS, LSW is a Social Worker at HMS who has been working with HMS for 8 years. Learn more about them and what they do here at HMS below:
A glimpse into the Social Work department: A ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ team
We get to do a little bit of everything at HMS! We meet with students about things on their minds, work with staff on addressing student needs, coordinate with administration and families, and sometimes run to the store for supplies. We help to support just about anything that impacts the work that students, families, or staff are doing. The beauty of the “jack-of-all-trades”-ness of our roles here is that every day is different. Some days we are heavily involved in administrative meetings, while other days, we may find ourselves more directly in team meetings or working with students. We’re also excitedly getting to a point with COVID restrictions where we can go see adult placements.
“There are no average days when you’re a social worker. We believe social work is crucial to the work done at HMS because our families are a key part of every student’s team. We work hard to support the families in navigating many systems and advocating for their child.”
Many paths lead to HMS
We both took interesting roads to get to HMS. Christine first came to HMS as a 1:1 caregiver for a young alum who was volunteering at HMS. When she decided to go to social work school, she was lucky enough to be placed here at HMS as a first-year intern. Since then, she has taken on a variety of roles including social work intern, social work assistant, social worker, and even served a brief stint as the admissions coordinator. As our student population grew, we recognized the need for a second full-time social worker. Laura applied for the job, and with her history working at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Health Partners Plans, we knew she’d be a great fit! We greatly enjoy working with each other, as well as Diane Taylor, who joined as a social worker in 2017, and is now in the role of admissions coordinator.
We really appreciate the reliability of having a colleague who you are so aligned with professionally and philosophically. We always joke that we’re sort of interchangeable; one of us can go to a meeting and know the other one will say what we would have said.
‘The Time is Right for Social Work’: Finding your niche
We were happy to see that the social work profession is expected to grow 12% by the end of the decade. After all, we believe that social workers are useful everywhere! While social work is a challenging profession, it has the benefit of being an extremely wide field of opportunities. To make it work, good mentorship and supervision are helpful. It’s important to find your niche and prioritize boundaries and balance.
We are interested in PA’s new School Social Worker certificate, certifying the many skills school-specific social workers have.
Advice for aspiring social work professionals
We would tell anyone entering the workforce to find a place that you enjoy being and where you can learn a lot from your coworkers. The best part of being on an interdisciplinary team here is getting to learn so much about assistive technology, feeding, orthopedics, and all the other things that affect HMS students and their families. The HMS team is always patient in explaining a situation to us and what we need to advocate for. Find good coworkers and colleagues who you can learn a lot from.
A look ahead
Currently, we are excited about the Home and School Association and conversations that are happening in that space! In the future, we hope to see our department expand our family offerings, especially for siblings. We look forward to seeing what the future of the Social Work department here at HMS can become.
Learn more about Social Work and Transitional Services at HMS here.