In-School Social Work Program

The In-School Social Work Program (ISSWP) enhances student success by providing comprehensive character development skill building activities for students through short-term individual sessions, small groups and classroom presentations.

The ISSWP program helps address emotional factors and improve family dynamics to reduce high risk behavior. Outcomes reflect improvement in 10 character development areas:

  • Students' academic engagement
  • Safe and healthy peer and adult relationships
  • Healthy and effective communication
  • Respect and caring for self
  • Respect and caring for others
  • Cooperation and teamwork
  • Personal safety
  • Self-esteem
  • Solution-building/coping skills
  • Creativity and participation in non-academic activities.

Group based activities have targeted healthy friendships, personal safety, non-violent conflict resolution, feelings and empathy, kindness and respect, school success, personal responsibility, handling peer pressure and bullying, improving engagement with school. 

Consultation services are also available for parents, teachers and principals, as well as staff development for teachers and principals to expand strategies and interventions for strengthening student character. Based on the assessment of other student or parent needs, a referral to other Catholic Charities' programs, including counseling, is available.

Supported through both a grant from Fidelis Care, the New York State Catholic health plan for Catholic schools, and Catholic Charities' Appeal funds, the ISSWP program is currently offered in Catholic Schools (below) in six counties, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee and Niagara:

  • Catholic Academy in Niagara Falls
  • DeSales Catholic School in Lockport
  • Immaculate Conception School in Wellsville
  • Notre Dame Academy in South Buffalo
  • Our Lady of Black Rock in Buffalo
  • Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna
  • Queen of Heaven in West Seneca
  • Southern Tier Catholic School in Olean
  • St. Aloysius in Springville
  • St. Benedict School in Amherst
  • St. John the Baptist in Alden
  • St. John the Baptist in Tonawanda
  • St. Joseph University in Buffalo
  • St. Peter School in Lewiston
  • Ss. Peter & Paul in Williamsville
  • St. Mary's in Swormville
  • Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Lancaster
  • Ss. Peter & Paul in Hamburg
  • St. Amelia - Tonawanda
  • Northern Chautauqua in Dunkirk
  • St. Joseph School in Batavia

Contact Information

For additional information regarding either of these programs and contracting with Catholic Charities please contact Elise Pogorzelski, assistant director of School Based Services, at (716) 725-4431 or [email protected].