School Social Worker

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


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

Prairie Trace has many community relationships throughout Hamilton County which are able to support families in areas such as: weekend meal assistance, access to a home computer, affordable internet access, rent and utility assistance, free and reduced clubs and sports, clothing, tennis shoes, winter coats, furniture and appliances, parenting skill support, mental health counseling, grief support, and holiday assistance.

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

--Family Assistance Request Form--

This referral form allows us to provide you with the most up-to-date information on resources available. The replies to this form should be submitted directly to our School Social Worker, Joan Rhyner and they 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) 571-7925.