The focus: Alternative Education Programs school social workers serve to improve student academic and behavioral outcomes by being active members of the educational team in support of social and emotional learning.


Social and Emotional Learning is one of the three foundations upon which Alternative Education Programs is based. 


“Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves the processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 

SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging and meaningful.”


From CASEL: Collaborative for Academic,
Social, and Emotional Learning


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Who we are:


Karenina van Lennep – MCPS, Lead Social Worker/uploadedImages/schools/blairewing/departments/VanLennep, Karenina.JPG


Integrated social services: Alternative Education social workers are an integral part of each student’s educational team. We participate in Collaborative Problem-Solving teams where staff, parents and students engage in identifying areas of need, plan for, and implement interventions and strategies to support student academic achievement, and social-emotional wellbeing. We coordinate social services delivery with other professionals in the multidisciplinary Coordinated Student Services Team, a group of professionals who are dedicated to support social-emotional development in students. Services are thereby fully integrated into student’s overall planning.


Collaboration for social-emotional wellbeing: school social workers work together with educational staff to promote social-emotional wellness for all students as well as provide for the mental health needs of students as needed. On a voluntary basis and according to individual needs we provide a wide range of direct services from social skills groups to more intensive mental health supports, and crisis intervention.


Holistic person-in-environment approach of Social Work: school social workers are the link between home, school and the community. We work with the family to assist with access to community services that support student success. These resources include but are not limited to: Wraparound, Parent Navigators, mentoring, after school programming, mental health services, emergency financial assistance and case management for material needs, and clinical case management.


Our community partners include:


Mental Health Association, Voices versus Violence

Identity Inc.

Maryland Choices, Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS)

Local Care Team

Federation of Families

Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers

DHHS Street Outreach Network





“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin