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NYC’s plan to hire 500 full-time social workers is still short of the need: analysis

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Original article written by Reema Amin for Chalkbeat

Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed hiring 500 social workers as children return back to the classrooms in New York City.

The hiring spree would ensure every school has at least one full-time social worker or access to a school-based mental health clinic, city officials have said.

But that plan still leaves 75 schools without a full-time social worker, according to a new analysis from the Independent Budget Office, or the IBO.

The education department disputed the IBO’s findings, saying that the analysis didn’t take into account campuses that are served by one of the city’s 200 school-based mental health clinics. The type of staff at each of these clinics varies but can include social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Those clinics can serve campuses with multiple schools. Schools sharing a clinic will get a full-time “mental health clinician – whether that be a social worker or someone from a clinic,” said Nathaniel Styer, a spokesperson for the education department.

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