International Schools Review
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School social worker looking for an IS position

School social worker looking for an IS position

Postby javjenatru » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:03 pm

I’m a School social worker looking for an international position as a school counselor or social worker. I have my masters, LSW,, school social worker certification, and over 12 years experience. I provide both individual and group counseling to students but I primarily work as a case manager for our special education students. I work with an interdisciplinary team to evaluate and determine if a student is eligible for services. I then create and individualize education program for the student.
To provide some additional context I’m married with 3 kids my eldest is 5, our twins are 1 (so they won’t be attending school for a while). My husband’s background is in risk and compliance. He also has his TEFl and several years of English teaching experience.


1. What are my chances of landing a job? You can be honest. Lol
2. Based on my special education background are there any other possible positions that would be a good fit?
3. Should I apply to every school counselor position i come across? Meaning is it possible to land a position due to a shortage in applicants and therefore worth throwing those Hail Mary applications?
4. Lastly, my husband and I are in our late 30’s we live in comfort and have good jobs. But something inside us both doesn’t want the next 30 years of our lives to be like the movie Groundhog Day. For any families that have done this has the overall living abroad experience been worth the comforts and stability you left behind?

Thank you for your time!
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:42 am

Re: School social worker looking for an IS position

Postby mamava » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:13 pm

1. There aren't social worker positions in overseas schools.

2. If you have special ed. background, you may find schools willing to hire you on your experience, even though you don't have a license--although the teachers that I have known in that situation do have classroom or subject area teaching licenses. You will likely have a difficult time, though--academic support teachers have to teach as well as manage.

3. As well, some schools may consider you for a guidance counselor based on your background rather than your credential. Some countries may put up visa blocks, in that they can be picky about the credentials matching the job description.

4. Is your husband going to be teaching? If not, you would be carrying 4 dependents and that's a lot for most international schools. Even though your twins are young, they would need insurance, housing, flights, etc. and most school cap at 1 dependent per teacher, with some doing 3 dependents per teaching couple. QSI and ME schools are more generous with that number.

It's always good to give things a shot. You have good experience and I think some schools would consider you for guidance, less so for academic support. For HS counselors, they are generally looking for that college counseling experience, so that could limit you if you don't have that. Some schools have HS college counseling and HS social/emotional counselors, but those are bigger schools and will more likely have more (licensed) applicants. You never know until you try!
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Re: School social worker looking for an IS position

Postby javjenatru » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:15 pm

Thank you mamava for your input. I'm going to give it a go and see what happens.
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:42 am

Re: School social worker looking for an IS position

Postby interteach » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:51 am

A fair number (it's impossible to say all) of international schools prefer not to hire applicants with a social work background as the skillset for school counseling is regarded as fairly different. You may find some schools who would like to offer you a job, but generally the first positions to be filled will be those with school counseling training and certification.
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:25 pm

Re: School social worker looking for an IS position

Postby Nomads » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:14 am

This year, my school hired an experienced social worker to be our elementary counselor and we are very pleased with her work. It is definitely possible, but the four dependents could be an issue at many schools. I would encourage you to create a file with one of the major placement firms and see what happens. The more flexible you are in terms of location the better your chances will be.

Good luck.
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Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:08 pm

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