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Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Nancy Kotowski, County Superintendent of Schools

Alternative Education Social Workers


School Social Workers are a critical link between school, home and the community. The practice of School Social Work is primarily propelled by changes in education policy, research and practice models as they continue to evolve.

School Social Workers provide comprehensive services to improve the learning, behavior, attendance and socio-emotional well-being of all students in Alternative Education.

Listed Below are specific functions that School Social Workers may provide:


  • Participate in special education assessment meetings as well as individual education planning meetings
  • Work with those problems in a child's living situation that effect the child's adjustment in school (home,school and community)
  • Prepare a social or developmental history on a child with a disability
  • Mobilize family, school and community resources to enable the child to learn as effectively as possible in his or her educational program
  • Assist in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies


  • Develop academic strategies to increase academic success
  • Asset with conflict resolution and anger management as per school administration request to improve student/staff relationships
  • Help the child develop appropriate social interaction skills
  • Assist the child in understanding and accepting self and others
  • Conduct strengths and needs assessments and /or risk assessments
  • Provide brief counseling (group,individual and /or family) for out of custody students
  • Provide crisis intervention, in out of custody setting
  • Develop Service Plans to meet and address a students goal(s)
  • Provide Transitional Plans in order to help students' transition successfully to either post-secondary education, independent living or a preferred school placement


  • Conduct home visits
  • Work with parents to facilitate their support in their children's school adjustment
  • Alleviate family stress to enable the child to function more effectively in school & community
  • Student and Family Advocacy:
  • Assist student and parent with accessing programs available to students with special needs
  • Assist students & parents with accessing and utilizing school and community resources
  • Provide appropriate and culturally sensitive case management services for students and families requiring multiple resources

Current Initiatives

  • Expulsion requirements and development of rehabilitation plan in order to assist students to return to schools of their district in a timely manner
  • TAP (Truancy Abatement Program) to assess and provide intervention services to help improve school attendance
  • SPRINT (Student Prevention Intervention Team) School social worker or designee is responsible for facilitating a collaborative discussion from multiple disciplines who are connected with the student in order to promote academic success
  • College and Career Readiness: Help students develop a successful transition plan to post secondary education or career choice


Basic Social Work services are available for all students at the request of school staff or Probation Department/Collaboratives


* Click on tittle for webpage

School Social Work of America

National Association of Social Workers

Alternative Education Social Workers

La Toshia Palmer, MSW/ASW, PPSC
Alternative Education Social Worker
Community Schools
Desk: 831-444-3528

Patricia Peña, LCSW
Alternative Education Social Worker
South County/Court Schools
Desk: 831-783-5017


Dr. Chandalee Wood

Senior Director
Phone: 831.784.4224

Maricela Cruz

Administrative Assistant
Phone: 831.784.4224

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