School Social Worker

Sarah BruBaker

Sarah BruBaker


Welcome to the 2022-2023 School Year! As a school family, we want to make sure all College Wood students and their families are able to meet their basic needs. We know that when students and families have difficulty meeting basic financial, medical, social and emotional needs, these areas of need may negatively impact students in multiple life areas, including school performance.

College Wood Elementary is privileged to have a close connection with multiple Hamilton County community agencies which are able to support families in the areas linked below.


If you are interested in being considered for any of the resources available, please complete the referral form listed below.


Community agencies and their resource opportunities are ever-changing. This referral form allows us to provide you with the most up-to-date information on resources available. The replies to this form will come directly to our School Social Worker, Sarah Brubaker, and will be kept confidential from all other Carmel Clay School staff and students.

We understand that each family’s situation is unique. If you would like to speak to our School Social Worker directly about your situation, you can contact her at or by phone at (317) 733-6430 ext. 2058.


What is a School Social Worker?

A School Social Worker's role in Carmel-Clay Schools is very similar to that of a school counselor. A School Social Worker is a specially trained staff member who provides guidance and support to all students.

What are the qualifications of a School Social Worker?

A Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree. As well as knowledge of various elementary school programs, including curriculum, special programs and intervention processes.

What does a School Social Worker do?

A School Social Worker's responsibilities are truly varied! A School Social Worker can:

  • Help students develop a positive attitude toward school and learning
  • Help students develop positive relationships with peers, parents, teachers, and families
  • Help students improve various social skills, such as coping strategies and friendship skills
  • Help students deal with personal concerns, crises, school-related problems, home and family concerns, friendship issues, and any other issue that interferes with learning
  • Help ease the transitions between school settings
  • Plan and implement a variety of programs and activities to enhance the personal, social and emotional development of students
  • Be a liaison for parents, teachers, and students
  • Be a resource for parents interested in general education curriculum, special education, challenge testing, General Education Interventions, standardized testing, character education, and the general well-being of all students.

How can a student be referred to the School Social Worker?

  • Self-referral
  • Teacher referral
  • Parent referral
  • Administrative referral
  • Special services referral
  • Peer referral

Meet Appa
College Wood Elementary Therapy Dog

Born on April 11, 2021

Benefits of Therapy Dog Programs

Research has shown that therapy dogs support psychological and academic growth while increasing social skills and self-esteem in children and adolescents. Therapy dogs have been trained to provide emotional support which positively impacts reading skills, emotional functioning and communication skills. In addition, the use of therapy dogs is known to decrease anxiety, improve self-esteem and increase overall academic achievement in students.

Addressing Concerns

If a student is allergic to or uncomfortable with dogs please complete the CWE Therapy Dog Questions and Concerns Form. We will work cooperatively with our school nurse, administration, parents and guardians to accommodate each individual students’ needs.

Ways Appa Will Help Students at CWE

  • Provide a positive and calming presence on campus

  • Support students who are experiencing big feelings from grief, anxiety, and life changes

  • Support students in group and individual counseling settings

  • Support students who are are feeling reluctant to engage in academics

  •  Engage in classroom visits to support character education presentations.       

Health and Safety Protocols

Appa and her handler are required to follow specific health and safety protocols when interacting with students. Appa’s handler has been trained to effectively monitor and respond to her behavior cues for rest  breaks from her therapy dog duties  as needed.

 Appa will be maintain the following protocols

  • On leash with a certified handler at all times

  • Never left alone with students

  • Only engage in student interactions with permission. 

  • Maintain up-to-date vaccinations and veterinary care

  • Receive regular bathing and grooming

  • Retreat to designated  ‘safe spot’ away from students for rest breaks as needed.

Procedures for Interacting with Appa 

  • Appa should not be given treats except for those provided by her handler.

  • Approach her respectfully and calmly.

  •  Be responsible and ask before petting Appa. 

  • Follow all directions given by Appa’s handler and classroom teacher when she visits  the classroom. 

  •  Link to CWE Therapy Dog FAQs