Therapists will tell you that children who experience trauma often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions; they will internalize or externalize stress reactions, resulting in depression, anxiety, or anger. Social Workers are mental health professionals who are trained to address those issues— and they can help relieve the pressures on already overworked educators and staff. 

I have been calling for every school to have at least one social worker for some time. And we needed these workers even before the pandemic. (The Independent Budget Office estimated in 2019, in a study I requested, that it would require $94.4 million to fund a full-time worker in every school that did not currently have one—a total of 716 workers needed system-wide.)

But it’s clear that regardless of whether students meet in classrooms or online at the start of the 2020-21 school year, the pandemic and its economic aftershocks make the need for this change greater than ever before.

Please join our advocacy in calling for the Mayor and Council to pass the FY21 budget with funding for at least one full time social worker in every school.



National Child Traumatic Stress Network Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019:

Partnership with Children Town Hall Meeting on COVID-19 and children’s mental health (April 24, 2020):

Community Technical Assistance Center of New York (CTAC), which is co-directed by the NYU McSilver Institute, has shared this collection of COVID-19 training resources:

Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies Courageous Conversations Webinar April 28, 2020: Addressing trauma during times of crisis; young people experience trauma too:

Sesame Street “Caring for Each Other” COVID-19 resources:



Independent Budget office report on school based social workers, as requested by B.P. Brewer (May, 2019):

B. P. Brewer’s school-based mental health report, “Who’s Caring” (August 2017):

February 2019 letter to schools Chancellor Carranza: