RCPS hires long-sought so­cial worker

Rappahannock News - - Front Page - By Holly Jenk­ins

In a closed ses­sion of the School Board meet­ing Tues­day, the RCPS School Board ap­proved the hir­ing of Kathy Sick­ler, MSW, LCSW for the po­si­tion of school so­cial worker.

This marks the first time Rap­pa­han­nock County Public Schools has em­ployed a full-time so­cial worker.

RCPS said that having a li­censed profession­al on staff will prove to be a valu­able as­set to as­sist students and fam­i­lies in times of need.

An ex­pe­ri­enced clin­i­cian, Sick­ler pre­vi­ously worked in a va­ri­ety of roles in­clud­ing Clin­i­cal Su­per­vi­sor, Men­tal Health Case Man­age­ment Su­per­vi­sor, Men­tal Health Case Man­ager, and Emer­gency Ser­vices Clin­i­cian in Culpeper. She earned a Masters in So­cial Work from Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth Univer­sity and a Bach­e­lors in Hu­man Ser­vices and Coun­sel­ing from Old Do­min­ion Univer­sity.

Her nearly two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence re­volve mainly around work­ing with at risk youth, and she has par­tic­u­lar spe­cial­iza­tion in ado­les­cents in cri­sis and sub­stance abuse in­ter­ven­tion. She is also work­ing to­ward becoming trauma-cer­ti­fied as well.

“I am very ex­cited about this new op­por­tu­nity for Rap­pa­han­nock Schools,” said Sick­ler. “I have worked col­lab­o­ra­tively with the school sys­tem for the last 5 years and am thrilled to be join­ing the team as the School So­cial Worker. We have a lot of ex­cit­ing and in­no­va­tive ven­tures planned that will help to fur­ther strengthen the students, their fam­i­lies and the com­mu­nity at large. I am very much look­ing for­ward to be­gin­ning in this new role.”

When de­sign­ing the new po­si­tion of school so­cial worker, RCPS Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Shan­non Grim­s­ley en­vi­sioned that the po­si­tion would serve three main roles. First, the so­cial worker will fa­cil­i­tate the cre­ation of a K-12 par­al­lel cur­ricu­lum that ex­plic­itly out­lines so­cial/emo­tional sup­ports avail­able at every level.

Se­condly, the so­cial worker will be on-site to pro­vide im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance, in­ter­ven­tion, and treat­ment for students in cri­sis sit­u­a­tions. And thirdly, the so­cial worker will de­velop and man­age an anony­mous hotline to report in­ci­dences of bul­ly­ing, threats, sui­cide-risk, and re­quest for fam­ily ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to Grim­s­ley, “This is an enor­mous step to­ward becoming a more trauma-in­formed school and com­mu­nity. Ms. Sick­ler will be an amaz­ing re­source for our chil­dren and fam­i­lies.”

Grim­s­ley: “This is an enor­mous step to­ward becoming a more trauma-in­formed school and com­mu­nity. Ms. Sick­ler will be an amaz­ing re­source for our chil­dren and fam­i­lies.”

COUR­TESY PHOTO

Kathy Sick­ler, MSW, LCSW will be the school’s so­cial worker.

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