• Thursday, November 20, 2014 2:31 PM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    As you should have heard by now, Act 31 - related to mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect - was passed into law and takes effect on 1/1/15. This law impacts our social work licenses and states that all social workers renewing their licenses will be required to complete 2 hours of training on child abuse recognition and reporting requirements. New licensees need to complete 3 hours of training. NASW-PA recently announced an official, approved course to meet the new requirement. 

    Click here to register.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014 2:32 PM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Upper Darby School District is looking for a substitute Social Worker from approximately December 2014 to June 2015.  This will likely be a long term sub contract but not guaranteed at this time.  This position would be short term at UDHS then a few months at a Drexel Hill Elementary School.  Eligible HSV must be registered through STS, though registration prior to interviewing is not required.  If interested, please send a resume to, and/or call


    Monica Strachan, LCSW

    UDSD Coordinator of Social Work Service

    610-853-4510 X7274


  • Thursday, October 16, 2014 1:45 PM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Governor Thomas Corbett signed House Bill 2204, the homeless infant and toddler bill, on Tuesday, October 14.

    HB 2204 amends the Early Intervention Services Act of 1990 to add a sixth category of at-risk children to trigger automatic tracking of an infant or toddler by early intervention services.  Currently, there are five categories that trigger the automatic tracking of a child by early intervention services.  These categories include children whose birth weight is under 1500 grams; children being cared for in neonatal intensive care units of hospitals; children born to chemically dependent mothers; children who are seriously abused or neglected; and children with confirmed dangerous levels of lead poisoning.

    If a child does not fall into one of these categories, the parent can have their child tested in order to qualify for early intervention services.  In the case of a homeless parent, often times they will not seek out help for their children for fear that their child might be taken away due to their circumstances, and homeless shelters do not pro-actively offer the free developmental screening tools that are available. These children then go unheard and unseen by professionals who can help to improve their current and future lives.

    An estimated 6,000 Pennsylvania infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years old) experience homelessness each year.  Most are in homeless shelters, and others are in camp grounds or vehicles, some are in temporary housing, or they move from place to place where anyone will take in their family.

    We know from pediatricians and researchers that, trauma and poverty impact infants and toddlers in unique ways leading to low learning capacities, developmentally inappropriate behaviors, and long term learning, and physical and mental health problems. 

    House Bill 2204 can be expected to guide homeless infants and toddlers to testing and, if needed, Early Intervention services.  Early Intervention services are evidenced-based practices that can get a child back onto their developmental track in time for schooling.

    Read the final bill here:


  • Monday, September 15, 2014 9:47 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    From the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and
    Professional Counselors



    The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), in conjunction with the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), is providing advance notice to all health-related licensees and funeral directors that are considered “mandatory reporters” under section 6311 of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) (23 P.S. § 6311), as amended, that EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2015, all persons applying for issuance of an initial license shall be required to complete three hours of DPW-approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of licensure.


    Additionally, EFFECTIVE WITH THE FIRST LICENSE RENEWAL AFTER JANUARY 1, 2015, all health-related licensees and funeral directors applying for the renewal of a license issued by the Board shall be required to complete at least two hours of Board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of renewal.


    Please note that Act 31 applies to all health-related licensees, regardless of whether they are subject to the continuing education requirements of the applicable board.

    More information regarding this requirement will be posted on the BPOA website when it is available.

    Act 31 may be reviewed by clicking here. 

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:39 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    PDE has finally published the rubrics and accompanying documents to support the educator evaluation system initiated by Act 82.  The documents (in PDF format) can be found at:-


    On that page you will find the rubric for Home and School Visitors in the section entitled “Specialists” and the sub-section “Approved Rubrics” and the next sub-section (“Guiding Questions to support dialogue between specialist and supervising administrator”) you will find the guiding questions for “Home and School Visitor” (sic).  This document actually is the guiding questions for both HSVs and Social Workers.


    You will find the rubric for School Social Workers toward the bottom of the main page in the section entitled “Other Optional Resources” and sub section entitled “Rubrics to support the evaluation of licensed professionals”.  Again the “Guiding Questions” for Social Workers actually is to be found under the respective Home and School Visitor link.


    We are hosting a discussion board for questions and comments about the rubrics and their application - click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to leave your feedback!


  • Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:30 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Do you know a colleague who is innovative, energetic and dedicated to her/his work with students?  Consider nominating them for the HSV/SSW of the Year Award!  Recognize their exceptional contribution to the field of education.  Highlight the important work they do for their students, families, district, and community - let it inspire others to rise to that level of excellence.


    Click here for more information!  Deadline for nominations is September 30, 2014.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:20 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has been working since 2010 to develop an educator effectiveness model that will incorporate those attributes that are most critical to the way teachers, non-teaching professionals, and principals are evaluated as well as providing training tools for professional growth that provide support as part of a fair effective evaluation process.

    The first of the new field-tested systems, for classroom teachers, has been implemented as of July 1, 2013. The next systems for non-teaching professionals and principals will begin implementation on July 1, 2014.  Click here to learn more about the project.  Click here to review the rubrics developed for HSVs and SSWs.  You can also review the Guiding Questions that were used in the development of the rubrics.  

    This PA Bulletin outlines the Educator Effectiveness Rating Tool that will be used to evaluate non-teaching professional employees.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:12 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    House Bill 1559 (Act 71), sponsored by Rep. Frank Farina (D-115), amends the Public School Code to provide for youth suicide awareness and prevention education. Act 71 requires each entity to adopt youth suicide awareness and prevention policies and include four hours of training every five years for professional educators in school buildings serving students grades six through twelve. It also authorizes but does not require schools to develop an age-appropriate child exploitation awareness education program and incorporate the program into the existing curriculum for students grades K-8.


  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:10 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    House Bill 1424 (Act 70), sponsored by Rep. Paul Clymer (R-145), amends the Public School Code to provide for instruction on the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights violations. Act 70 allows each school entity to offer instruction in the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations, and requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to conduct a study regarding the manner in which such instruction is offered. If most school districts do not voluntarily offer this instruction, the Act requires the State Board of Education eventually to force them to do it.


  • Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:03 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    The School-Based Health Alliance is partnering with the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust to create the next generation of school-based health centers (SBHCs). The New Directions for School-Based Health Grants – funded by CVS and administered by the School-Based Health Alliance – will build the capacity of the school-based health care field to become integrated and active participants in the larger health care ecosystem through policy and practice solutions.

    Click here for information from the School-Based Health Alliance.

    Below are two additional resources:


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