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


Update from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) 1/2/2019

Multiple School Safety and Security Information Updates Added to PCCD Website:

Free Threat Assessment Team Materials, NASRO Training Equivalent Standards,

and Third-Party Security Guard Vendor Application Process


Harrisburg, PA. — The School Safety and Security Committee (Committee) within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) recently posted a series of informational updates on the School Safety and Security Committee webpage, meeting the statutory requirements of Act 18 of 2019 and Act 67 of 2019

Specifically, Act 18 required the Committee to develop and adopt model procedures and guidelines, guidance for communication with school-based intervention teams, as well as free informational materials and training resources for schools to use in the establishment of threat assessment teams.  Act 67 required PCCD to consider training equivalents to the training provided by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and establish criteria and an application process for third-party vendors providing security guard services in schools.  All materials and policies were adopted during the Commission’s and Committee’s December 2019 meetings. 

Threat Assessment Teams Act 18 of 2019 amended the Public School Code of 1949 by adding Article XIII-E, Threat Assessment, which requires each school entity in Pennsylvania to establish a threat assessment team.  The Act also tasked the Committee to research, develop and provide free threat assessment training and informational materials, as well as model procedures and guidelines for school entities and guidance for coordination with school-based intervention teams.  The following are available on PCCD’s School Safety webpage: 

·         Model K-12 Threat Assessment Procedures and Guidelines, to support school entities in developing their own policies and threat assessment teams in compliance with the expectations delineated in Act 18.

·         Guidance on Communication and Information on Confidentiality, in a Q&A format, to assist schools in ensuring open communication and effective coordination with other school-based intervention teams (particularly Student Assistance Program (SAP) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams) and maintaining appropriate confidentiality in accordance with state and federal law.

·         Information for School Staff, Parents, and Guardians, in a PowerPoint format, that school entities can adapt to include local connections and utilize as part of an interactive presentation.

·         Students Preventing Violence in School, in a PowerPoint format, provides age-appropriate information that students can access directly, teachers can use in the classroom, or school entities can otherwise adapt and incorporate into an interactive or multimedia presentation.

In addition to these resources, PCCD will also provide comprehensive, no-cost Threat Assessment Team training and technical assistance opportunities for school entities during the 2020-21 school year, which will be funded through a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant PCCD received this year through the U.S. Department of Justice.  More information on the training will be posted on the Threat Assessment webpage in early 2020.

NASRO Training Equivalent Program.  According to Article XIII-C (relating to school security) of the Public School Code, all school police officers, school resource officers, and school security guards are required to successfully complete the Basic School Resource Officer Course offered by NASRO or an equivalent course of instruction approved by PCCD.  School security personnel intending to work in a school setting are required to receive this instruction either prior to employment, or, for current employees, within a certain time frame allowed by law.

To help determine what constitutes an “equivalent training,” PCCD adopted, on December 11, 2019, a set of School Security Personnel Training Standards that will be used by PCCD staff to evaluate and approve vendors offering equivalent course of instruction to the NASRO Basic School Resource Officer Course.  Vendors that are seeking to be considered as an ‘equivalent training’ should refer to the standards, and then email or contact Carol Kuntz at 717-265-8450.

Third-Party Vendors Providing Security Guard Services.  Act 67 also required the Commission to establish criteria for certifying approved third-party vendors to provide school security guard services to school entities and nonpublic schools throughout Pennsylvania.  On December 11, PCCD adopted the criteria, which can be found on the website at Vendors that are seeking to be considered should fill out the application and email it to

More information about the Committee, including information on school safety assessment criteria, an online registry of individuals qualified to perform those assessments, and a Model Trauma-Informed Approach Plan can be found on PCCD’s School Safety and Security webpage     


PCCD’s mission is to enhance the quality, coordination and planning within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, to facilitate the delivery of services to victims of crime, and to increase the safety of our communities.



    * * *

    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.

    * * *

    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. 

    * * *

    Join the PASSWP Networking Forum below! 

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

    * * *

    Upcoming events

    Wednesday, March 18, 2020 8:00 AM • Baltimore, MD
    Friday, April 24, 2020 8:00 AM • State College, PA


    Sunday, October 20, 2019 10:31 AM • Anonymous
    Friday, December 14, 2018 11:20 AM • Anonymous
    Wednesday, September 05, 2018 2:33 PM • Anonymous
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018 3:27 PM • Anonymous
    Friday, August 10, 2018 2:32 PM • Anonymous

                                      * * * * *




    * * * * * 

    PASSWP Networking Forum


    Last message


    Your feedback is important to us.  If you have questions, comments or suggestions, email us!

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software