Advocate for the Profession

SSWAM stimulates the development of school social work in Missouri as a legitimate profession whose vital role is recognized and understood by all.

Advocate for Legislation

SSWAM advocates for the needs of children and utilizes all opportunities to influence determinations of policies and standards in Missouri schools.

Upcoming Events

Advocate for Professionals

SSWAM encourages and enables the educational and professional growth of persons practicing as social workers in Missouri schools.

Advocate for Students

SSWAM advocates for and promotes the total growth and development of children in schools through the application of social work knowledge and skills. 

The Purpose of SSWAM:

Promoting Growth and Development

Recent News

Current members should check their inbox now for their invitation to RSVP for the annual membership meeting or access their absentee ballot if they cannot attend. If you are a current member and didn't receive your invitation, check your junk/spam folder or contact us at

Are you interested in serving on our Board? Elections for Treasurer and one Member-At-Large will take place at our Annual Membership Meeting in June. For your name to be put on the ballot, please email your name and which office for which you'd like to run by 5/15/2015. For duties of each office, please download our Policies and Procedures Manual.

The Kansas City Spring Conference is sold out! Thank you to everyone who registered early and we look forward to seeing you on May 1st!

A friendly reminder, you have one week left to nominate someone for School Social Worker of the Year and the Friend of School Social Work Awards.

Did you get our April News You Can Use newsletter in your inbox? It went out today to everyone on our current mailing list. If you didn't receive it - please subscribe using the subscription box above. Highlights in the April issue: Update on the Kansas City Regional Spring Conference - we are on pace to sell out so get your registration in soon! Online registration deadline is 4/27/2015. Annual Award Nominations are due by the end of April, as well.

We hope you are enjoying Social Work Month! For the latest SSWAM news, please like us on Facebook today! If we reach 100 "likes" before the end of March, we are giving away an E-Folio, one of our new merchandise offerings - a $15 value! It's adjustable to fit an IPad, Kindle or other tablet, a paper pad, pen and even has a secret area for your personal cards and includes a screen wipe. Congratulations to Kim Lawhead, SSWAM member who won a laptop bag during School Social Work Week for Liking us on Facebook! District positions for '15-'16 are starting to roll in so check our Jobs page daily. The Kansas City Regional Spring Conference brochure and registration is now available on our Continuing Education page, as well. The conference is May 1st, 2015 and includes workshops on Mindfulness Skills with Youth as well as Trauma Informed Care in Schools.

How are you preparing to celebrate National School Social Worker Week March 1-7th, 2015? Why not register today to attend SSWAM's spring conference in St. Louis on March 6th! Conference information and registration is now available on our Continuing Education page
Another way to celebrate would be to volunteer with SSWAM. We have had two new members answer the call, Lisa and Laura. Please extend a warm welcome to SSWAM's newest appointed member of the Board of Directors, Lisa Christmas. Lisa is a school social worker for ACES in Maryville, MO and will serve as the Region 4 Representative. Thank you for your commitment, Lisa! If you are in Region 4 and would like to connect with Lisa, you can click on her picture on the About page to connect via email. SSWAM would also like to welcome our newly appointed Membership Committee Chairperson, Laura Torode.Laura is a school social worker with Webster Groves School District in the St. Louis Region. If you have any membership questions, please visit the About page and click on her name to connect with her via email.
Finally, consider nominating a coworker, supervisor, or community member/agency for one of SSWAM's Annual Awards. We offer two awards to recognize those who are advancing and supporting the profession. For more information and to nominate someone today, visit our Awards page now! Nominations are being accepted now through the end of April 2015.

Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? Why not resolve to get more involved in your profession's state organization, SSWAM? SSWAM offers many opportunities to refine skills in program development, technology, advocacy, networking, and leadership. SSWAM provides benefits for those in elected leadership positions, such as dues and cost reimbursement, and also the opportunity to travel, as well, representing SSWAM members at local, state, and national events. SSWAM Board of Directors attend, on behalf of its members, the Midwest Regional School Social Work Council twice yearly, SSWAA's Delegate Assembly annually, as well as various national conferences, state level meetings, and local workshops. We currently need school social workers living in Southwest and Northern Missouri to volunteer as Regional Representatives. In addition, we are interested in growing our presence on social media sites and through online retail merchandising, so please contact us today at if you are committed to bettering yourself professionally and strengthening the profession in 2015.

Each year, The School Social Workers Association of Missouri honors a social worker who best exemplifies the values and goals of the profession through that school social worker’s specific accomplishments and contributions in his or her services to students and families. This year, Cherise Grandison of Special School District of St. Louis County has been named Missouri’s 2014-2015 School Social Worker of the Year. Cherise Grandison is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a highly skilled, compassionate school social worker with a high level of personal commitment of time and energy to help others. She has a unique ability to look beyond the initial snapshot to see the student. Then, through enormous effort and innovation, she is able to establish a level of trust and cooperation. For the past five years, Cherise has been assigned to Normandy School District’s high school where she has been a significant team member in addressing the mental health, academic support, and community needs of students and their families. Parents, students, and staff recognize that Cherise genuinely cares, and will go out of her way to ensure that their needs are serviced. Cherise has applied for grants such as those from SDNEA to help students with shoes, clothing, bedding, senior fees, among other needs to assist in diminishing barriers to their success in school. Every year, Cherise takes seniors shopping at the St. Louis Galleria to buy their graduation clothes and shoes. Cherise believes that school social workers are the key stakeholders in connecting, school, home, and community. “As many families within the Normandy School District are experiencing stress and facing critical challenges in adequately caring for their children, School Social Workers are that critical link in families accessing prevention services to reduce significant education interruption. Drawing from the experience I’ve had in my previous jobs, I feel well equipped to reach out to students and their families and eventually linking them to resources that would help eliminate barriers to their academic success.” Cherise has already received honors from SSD as a recipient of the Lasting Impression Award for her initiative in making a difference in the lives of Normandy High School students within and outside the classroom. She was recognized for this award at the 47th Annual Midwest School Social Work Conference in Louisville, KY September 24-28, 2014 and also locally at SSWAM’s St. Louis Regional Fall Conference held on October 17th, 2014. Pictures from both events are available on our News page.Nominations for the 2015-2016 school year School Social Worker of the Year Award will be accepted spring of 2015. SSWAM members, look for nomination information in your inbox then.

SSWAM would like to send out a big thank you to the 40 school social workers who attended the Kansas City Regional Fall Conference on 10/10/2014.  We would like to recognize Rachel Nelson, School Social Worker for Platte County and SSWAM Western Regional Representative, who organized the event and Karla Harris, School Social Worker for Grandview School District, for providing the space. Kim Harrelson, SSWAM President Elect, was also in attendance representing the Board of Directors. Thank you to Beth Schroeder, School Social Worker with Center School District and Western Missouri Coordinator for the Trevor Project for providing such a dynamic and engaging workshop on LGBTQ youth in schools. We would also like to thank Elizabeth Samples, U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights Attorney for the important information regarding the implementation of 504, Title II and supporting students with disabilities.

Conference registration for our fall workshops is underway! Have you registered yet? If not, please head over to our JOIN page, take a look at our offerings, and sign up today. We now offer easy online registration and secure payment through PayPal. Registration deadlines are a week prior to the conference. Our volunteer school social workers have been working diligently to bring you workshops relevant to your practice in schools at a competitive price and hope to see you there! 

Did you know SSWAM is on Facebook? For easy access to the latest information and offerings, be sure to "like" us. Find us by searching "School Social Workers Association of Missouri" or click the link on our ABOUT page.

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June 2nd, 2015

Annual Membership Meeting


Rock Bridge High School

4303 S Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203

All 2014-2015 SSWAM Members are Encouraged to Attend

(free lunch and 1 CEU for current members in attendance with RSVP)

October 16th, 2015

Kansas City Regional Fall Conference

Raytown Education Conference Center

10750 MO-350, Raytown, MO 64138