School social workers and school counselors are pupil services professionals who work either in several schools in a district or specifically in one school. Schools generally have both a school social worker and a school counselor on staff.


The function of school social workers and school counselors is to provide counseling, intervention and academic assistance services and evaluation to ensure that children are achieving their highest level of academic success.


Both school social workers and school counselors may provide intervention and advocacy, referrals to outside agencies for further assistance, and individual and group counseling to students and families.

Related Articles


School counselors generally focus on curriculum and future educational planning, whereas social workers are more involved in social and family problems.


School social workers usually have, at minimum, a master's degree in social work, whereas school counselors have a master's in school counseling.


Both school social workers and school counselors are required to be state certified in order to practice; however, requirements differ from state to state.

About the Author

Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.