The work of OCSB School Social Workers make this possible by supporting the whole child and enabling them to access the curriculum, achieve academic success and grow as future citizens.
Achieving success at school can be hindered by various social and mental health challenges. School Social Workers have the expertise in mental health, social systems, and community resources to help overcome these barriers. They are concerned with the social determinants of health, and focus not only on the unique needs of each student, but also on the role of the wider social-economic context impacting our diverse communities.
Students may be referred for service from an OCSB Social Worker by school administrators and resource teachers, or requests may come directly from parents/guardians or the student. The involvement of a Social Worker may be an effective support to overcoming barriers to regular school attendance. They provide a variety of interventions and supports to students, parents, and school staff including such services as: counselling, clinical consultation, crisis response, professional development, and referrals to community support agencies, to name a few.
The work of our Social Workers support our Board’s mission to create the best possible conditions in which a child can develop and achieve their full social, emotional, spiritual, and academic potential.
Social Workers at the OCSB
Mary Gallagher is the Chief Social Worker at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Mary oversees the social worker and behaviour consultant teams and is the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Team Lead. Mary has been with the Board for 20 years and is a passionate supporter of Children and Youth in Care and those students who live in poverty. Mary supports the notion that all students should have equal access to all programs, resources, supports and benefits the Board has to offer.