District Social Worker

  • Kathleen M. Bremer, LCSW-R
    District Social Worker
    96 Stark Street
    Waterloo, NY  13165

    Phone: (315) 539-1442
    Email:  kathleen.bremer@waterloocsd.org

    Kathleen Bremer is the Waterloo Central School District social worker.  She helps to identify and assess family and school situations as well as engages in counseling students whose social or emotional needs affect their academic learning on a consistent basis.  She also acts as a consult to and works collaboratively with district personnel.  She participates in Student Study Team meetings on an as needed basis to work with the student’s ‘team’ to develop and implement intervention strategies.  For students/families that may need long-term, more intensive counseling services or additional services, Mrs. Bremer connects them with the appropriate community resource(s).  Mrs. Bremer is a vital part of the educational team, working closely with school administrators, guidance counselors, school psychologists, school resource officer, teachers, and pertinent staff to ensure a successful experience for all students. 

    What do school social workers do?

    School Social Workers help STUDENTS by working collaboratively with School Counselors:

    Ø      Identify problems and work to find help for them.  These problems may include but are not limited to misbehavior in class, problematic peer relationships, alcohol / substance abuse, teen pregnancy or excessive absences

    Ø      Develop effective coping strategies

    Ø      Develop decision making skills

    Ø      Understand themselves and others

    Ø      Improve interpersonal relationships

    Ø      Work through personal matters

    Ø      Utilize school and community resources

     

    School Social Workers help PARENTS:

    Ø      Understand and meet their child’s social and emotional needs

    Ø      Participate effectively in their child’s education

    Ø      Utilize school and community resources

     

    School Social Workers help SCHOOLS:

    Ø      Understand factors (familial, societal, economic, etc.) that affect students’ abilities to make maximum use of their school experience

    Ø      Utilize their resources to meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of students

    Ø      Promote a safe school environment

    Ø      Connect with resources within the community

     

    School Social Workers help COMMUNITIES:

    Ø      Understand school policies, programs, and practices

    Ø      Develop and utilize resources to adequately meet the needs of students and families

     

    As our district social worker, I am committed to providing counseling services in a confidential, non-judgmental and safe atmosphere. The social and emotional well being of our students is a top priority for me. I work with students to problem solve and develop coping and prevention strategies to encourage students’ academic success. Discussions during counseling sessions will be kept confidential UNLESS I feel the student is a danger to him/herself or someone else or if someone has put the student in danger. As a mandated reporter, I will need to take measures to keep all students and others potentially involved safe.

    Attention Students and Parents:  If you are interested in attending a SUMMER CAMP (sports or other), but are not able to pay for it, please contact the Seneca County Youth Bureau at 539.1790 to see if you are eligible for help. (Students must be at least 8 years old.)

    Below are links to files that describe Community Resources available through this department, a news article on a Wellness Day held at the High School, and information on the "Covers for Children" program.


    Things to Say Every Day

    TEN WORDS AND PHRASES TO BE USED AT LEAST ONCE A DAY

    by Vera Lane and Dorothy Molyneaux

    Thank you.

    It's important to acknowledge your child's efforts to help you or others. You might say: "Thanks for helping me look for that missing sock" or "Thanks for setting the table; I got the salad made while you were doing that."

    "Saying 'thank you' communicates that you see and acknowledge your child-a wonderful thing to let him know," says Heidi Feldman, chief of the division of general academic pediatrics at Children's Hospital, in Pittsburgh. "A child is much more likely to try to please a parent who acknowledges his contribution and his thoughtful, helping behavior."

    Tell me more.

    Words like these show your child that you are listening and that you would like to hear more about what's on her mind. "Tell me more" encourages conversation without passing judgment or giving immediate advice-two responses that discourage further communication from your child.

    You can do it.

    Your expression of confidence in your child's ability to do many things without your help is important. A toddler can respond to, "You're getting to be such a big boy. Pretty soon you'll be able to get dressed all by yourself." As your child grows older, there will be many times when your encouragement will mean the difference between his giving up on a challenging task to seeing it through.

    How can I help?

    Let your child know you are willing and available to help her accomplish a particular task that may be difficult for her to manage on her own. You might say: "I think you can read that story by yourself now. Let me know if you need help with a new word."

    As your child takes on projects in school, encourage her to think of specific steps that are necessary to complete a project. You both can decide which tasks your child can handle on her own and which ones she'll need help with.

    Let's all pitch in.

    A child is never too young to learn that cooperation and team effort make many jobs easier and speedier-and often more fun: "Let's all pitch in and finish raking the leaves so we can go in and bake cookies," or "Let's all pitch in and clean up or we'll miss the movie." Family activities and group chores can develop into pleasant rituals that enrich a child's life and create fond memories.

    How about a hug?

    Don't just tell your child you love him-show him. Research indicates that young children deprived of physical touch and displays of affection often fail to thrive. Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, says this: "Touch is as essential to the growth and well-being of a child as diet and exercise." As children grow older, they vary in the ways they like us to show affection. Some love to be cuddled, while others prefer a quick hug or pat on the shoulder. It's important to be aware of what your child enjoys most at a particular age.

    Please.

    After all these years, "please" is still a classic. When you ask a favor of anyone-including children-this "magic word" acknowledges that you are asking for a behavior that will help you and/or make you happy. (P.S. Don't forget to say "thank you" when the job is done.)

    Good job.

    Good for you. Self-respect and self-confidence grow when your child's efforts and performance are rewarded. Whenever possible, give your child lots of praise. Be sure your praise is honest and specific. Focus on your child's efforts and progress, and help her identify her strengths.

    It's time to...

    "It's time to get ready for bed," or "do homework," or "turn off the TV." Young children need structure in their daily lives to provide a measure of security in an often insecure world. It is up to you as a parent to establish and maintain a workable schedule of activities, always remembering that children benefit from regular mealtimes and bedtimes.

    I love you.

    Everyone needs love and affection and a feeling of acceptance and belonging. We can't assume that children know and understand our love for them unless we tell them. "A child must feel very, very loved," says Feldman. "It's one of the most important things." Letting your child know that you love him (and showing him with countless hugs) is important not only in toddlerhood, but as he gets older too.



    FIVE WORDS OR PHRASES TO BE USED UNDER SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

    I'm sorry.

    Parents need to acknowledge their own mistakes and express regret whenever they cause their child unhappiness or distress. "I'm sorry I got soap in your eyes," or "I'm sorry I wasn't listening; tell me again," or "I'm sorry I can't read any more stories to you; I have to make a phone call now." By expressing your sincere regret, you are showing your child that you are being considerate of her feelings and providing her with a model of good behavior as well.

    No.

    "No, don't do that; you might hurt someone," or "No, we don't behave that way," or "No, we don't have enough money to buy that." "Many parents have a hard time saying 'no' to their child," says David DeMaso, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and clinical director of the department of psychiatry at Children's Hospital in Boston. "But these kids grow up without knowing how to respond to limits." DeMaso notes that parents can provide their child with some freedom of choice (for instance, let your child pick out his own outfit, or let him decide what he'd like to eat for lunch), but be prepared to set boundaries.

    That's enough.

    "That's enough TV," or candy, or roughhousing, or arguing. This phrase sets limits and paves the way for your child to develop a sense of self-control. Sometimes a "time-out" period is necessary if your limits have been reached and your child isn't responding to the verbal message you are trying to send.

    How do you suppose she feels? Asking this question provides an opportunity for your child to consider the effects of her actions on another person, and it gives her the chance to develop empathy toward others. When you and your child read stories or watch TV shows together, look for opportunities to talk about the feelings of others.

    This isn't working. Can you think of another way? 

    Considering alternative ways of behaving in difficult situations is one of the steps of problem solving—an important skill that is useful throughout life. How you respond to problems that arise in daily life, at home, or at work provides a model of behavior for your child. Aside from these key words and phrases, you may want to add others that are relevant to your specific family situation. For example, families with religious convictions may want to add a prayer of thanks to God before meals and a bedtime prayer to their lists.

    How to Say It

    Communicating with your child involves more than the words and phrases you use. What you are saying will be more effective if you:

    • Try to speak to your child in a pleasant tone of voice instead of an angry one.
    • Speak in a light conversational tone instead of yelling. If you do end up yelling, apologize to your child.
    • Take the time to really communicate with your child instead of rushing through a conversation.
    • Devote your full attention to your child when she is talking to you, and try not to let your mind wander.
    • Use facial expressions that correspond to the words you're speaking and the emotions you're feeling.
    • Let your love and respect for your child guide your words and actions.
    • Let the responsibility of being a parent be reflected in your willingness to take control when it's necessary.
    • Smile more often than you frown.

    Vera Lane, Ph.D., is Associate Dean and Dorothy Molyneaux, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita, at the San Francisco State University College of Education. They are specialists in child-language development and family communication. This article originally appeared in Healthy Kids Magazine.



    CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE


                                   If a child lives with criticism,

                                         they learn to condemn.

                                   If a child lives with hostility,  

                                         they learn to fight.

                                   If a child lives with ridicule,  

                                         they learn to be shy.

                                   If a child lives with shame,  

                                         they learn to feel guilty.

                                   If a child lives with tolerance,

                                         they learn to be patient.

                                   If a child lives with encouragement,  

                                         they learn confidence.

                                   If a child lives with praise,  

                                         they learn to appreciate.

                                   If a child lives with fairness,  

                                         they learn justice.

                                   If a child lives with security,  

                                         they learn to have faith.

                                   If a child lives with approval,  

                                         they learn to like themselves.

                                   If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,  

                                         they learn to find love in the world.


                                                                          - Dorothy Law Nolte




     

Related Files