Empowering School Social Workers with Generative AI: Saving Time While Enhancing Services

Dr. Marina A. Badillo-Diaz, LCSW
Mar 15, 2024By Dr. Marina A. Badillo-Diaz, LCSW

As the role of school social workers continues to evolve, so does the need for innovative tools and technologies to enhance their crucial work. As someone with experience as both a school social worker and school administrator, I am deeply passionate about harnessing AI to bolster the efforts of school social workers, thereby improving their service delivery and saving time. In our role as social workers within schools, we understand that our support extends to the entire community—encompassing students, teachers, support staff, families, and community partners. Artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a tool that has the potential to significantly improve the work lives of school social workers, offering a way to provide more effective student support while also optimizing time management.

The Power of Generative AI

In the rapidly evolving landscape of education and social work, embracing technology, especially generative AI, can revolutionize how school social workers perform their duties. From writing emails to developing workshops, interventions, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, to crafting meeting agendas, generative AI can be a powerful ally. This blog explores practical ways school social workers can integrate generative AI into their practice, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. Free prompts are also included below. 

Writing Emails

Email communication is a cornerstone of effective school social work, whether it’s reaching out to parents, collaborating with teachers, or coordinating with external support services. Generative AI can help draft emails that are clear, professional, and empathetic.

Generative AI Prompt for Emails:

"Generate a professional and empathetic email to parents discussing their child's recent achievements and areas for growth. Include encouragement for a collaborative meeting to discuss support strategies."

Creative flat lay back to school concept blank tablet with alarm clock, color school and office supplies on white table background with copy space, frame, template for text or design

Developing and Writing Workshops

Workshops are vital for educating students, parents, and teachers about social and emotional learning, mental health, and support strategies. Creating engaging and informative workshops can be time-consuming, but generative AI can assist in outlining and developing content.

Generative AI Prompt for Workshops:

"Create an outline for a 30 minute workshop on self-esteem and coping strategies for middle school students. Include interactive activities, discussion prompts, and key takeaways."

"Create an outline for a 45-minute parent workshop on social media safety for high school youth. Include interactive activities, discussion prompts, and key takeaways."

"Create an outline for a 1 hour education staff professional development workshop on what is the role of a school social worker. Include learning objectives, interactive activities, discussion prompts, and key takeaways."

School supplies on a blue background, paints and brushes

Efficient Resource Finding

Another way generative AI can empower school social workers is by helping them allocate resources more efficiently. 

Generative AI Prompt:

"Generate a comprehensive list of local and online resources available for families in need of food assistance, including descriptions, eligibility criteria, application processes, and contact information."

"Outline available legal assistance resources for low-income families dealing with custody disputes, including pro bono legal services, legal aid organizations, and family law clinics."

colored pencils with red apple

Developing Interventions for Students

Personalized interventions are crucial for supporting students facing social, emotional, and academic challenges. Generative AI can help brainstorm and tailor interventions to meet the unique needs of each student.

Generative AI Prompt for Interventions:

"Develop a personalized intervention plan for a student experiencing anxiety, focusing on school-based strategies. Include steps for gradual exposure to anxiety-provoking situations, coping mechanisms, and progress tracking."

"I am a school social worker conducting a group for students to reduce testing anxiety. Can you write can you write discussion questions on reducing testing anxiety"

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Writing and Enhancing IEP Goals

IEP goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Generative AI can assist in crafting goals that meet these criteria while also being aligned with the student’s needs and strengths.

Generative AI Prompt for IEP Goals:

"Generate SMART goals for an IEP focusing on improving a student's social skills. Ensure the goals are tailored to the student's current abilities and long-term educational objectives."


Integrating generative AI into school social work practice offers numerous benefits, from saving time to ensuring that communications and interventions are well-crafted and targeted. By leveraging AI for routine tasks, school social workers can dedicate more time to direct student support and professional collaboration, ultimately enhancing the support network for students in need.

Remember, while AI can greatly assist in your work, it's essential to review and personalize all AI-generated content to ensure it meets the unique needs of your students and complies with our ethical standards.