State calls for more social workers in urban school districts

Jan 24, 2013

The Department of Human Services has begun the second phase of their program to increase the number of social workers in urban public schools.

The "Pathways to Potential" program launched in September putting social workers in 21 schools throughout Detroit, Saginaw, Flint, and Pontiac

Sheryl Thompson is the deputy director of field operations for the Department of Human Services. She says the program will continue to help students and their families in areas of the state where crime rates are high.

"The primary goal for being there is to battle truancy - but also looking at: safety, health, education, and self-sufficiency."

Thompson says the program also aims to become more mobile.  "We are going to where our clients are as opposed to them always coming to us," she says. 

By March, the program is expected to have social workers in more than 120 schools.

- Lindsay Hall, Michigan Radio Newsroom