Stephanie Ochocki, MSSW, LICSW
A little about me...
My name is Stephanie Ochocki, the School Social Worker at Andover Elementary. I received my Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies and a Certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed my Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) with a School Social Work Specialization from the University of Louisville. Prior to joining the staff at Andover, my professional experiences have been in the area of children's community mental health services, as well as after school programming for school-aged youth. I am currently licensed by the Minnesota Board of Social Work as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and as a Licensed School Social Worker by the Minnesota Department of Education. Another of my professional activities is my membership and involvement with the Minnesota School Social Workers Association (MSSWA). I am trained as a mental health professional, available to provide supportive services to the students of Andover, and to work collaboratively with staff, creating environments that promote student success. Thank you for taking the opportunity to learn about the social work services available at your student's school. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your time!
Students can be referred for Social Work Services when...
School Social Work Services Available to Children & Families
Primary prevention programs facilitated by or coordinated from the social work office engage students in character and skill building activities that develop their connection to peers and the school community, making students available for academic learning.
One of the primary prevention programs available in the Anoka-Hennepin School District is the Second Step program. Second Step is a program that teaches social and emotional skills for violence prevention. This program helps to create a safe and caring classroom and school environment. Please visit the link to the left if you are interested in learning more about the Second Step violence prevention program.
Character Education is another of the primary prevention programs offered in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Character Education reaches students through discussions or activities that target the Core Values of the district. These Core Values are Respect, Responsibility, Appreciation of Diversity, Integrity, and Compassion.
Secondary Prevention Efforts
When a student's issues are impacting their school performance, consultation between the school social worker and the student's teacher is often crucial. Academic, social, emotional, and behavioral targeted concerns can be addressed through collaborative intervention strategies that include input from the student, the parent/guardian, the teacher, and the school social worker. Many times, communication and consultation with the school social worker helps link home, school, and community in a way that promotes a struggling student's efforts in the classroom.
At times, students may be in need of additional supports to be successful at school. Therefore, in addition to the primary and secondary prevention efforts available from the social work office, individual support is also available to the students at Andover. Individual support work with students allows their strengths to be identified and built upon in a way that removes barriers to learning and opens the door to their academic success.
Group opportunities provide students with a safe atmosphere in which they can share concerns, practice skills, and interact with peers. Group opportunities, much like individual support, are available to students whose needs are greater than those the primary and secondary prevention programs alone can meet. When working with groups, my goal is to create an atmosphere in which students feel important and connected to their peers, allowing them to work on areas of concern. Group cohesion is promoted by engaging students in activities that create opportunities for interaction and topics may include New Students, Friendship, Family Change, Anger Management, and others as the needs are identified.
As the school social worker at Andover, one my responsibilities is to assist children and families when they are in need of additional resources and supports, such as housing, counseling, financial assistance, etc. Many times these resources and supports can be found outside of the school in community agencies. Please contact the social work office at (763) 506-1737 if you feel you may be in need of additional resources or supports.