School Social Workers

social workers


Role of a School Social Worker

The School Social Worker serves as a vital link between the home, the school, and the community. The mission of the School Social Worker is to alleviate barriers for students so they can be successful in school. School Social Workers are professionally trained and licensed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

In Johnston County, School Social Workers are assigned to a cluster of three to four schools. School Social Workers make school visits on Tuesdays through Fridays; many referrals require School Social Workers to make homes visits to talk with parents about school related concerns.

School Social Workers work with students and families for many different reasons. Several of these include: attendance concerns, family dysfunction, substance abuse, child abuse/neglect, life-threatening behaviors, economic deprivation, inadequate health care and lack of understanding of school policies and procedures.

School Social Workers provide advocacy for the child or family and are a link to community resources as well. They make home visits to get parents involved in their children’s education.


The McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.) is a federal law that addresses the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The law defines homeless to include the following temporary living situations due to hardship:

  • Living with a friend, relative or other person due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason

  • Hotel or motel

  • Shelter or transitional housing

  • Car, park or other public place

  • Campground or inadequate home

  • Youth living on their own, runaway youth or youth kicked out

The McKinney-Vento Act addresses educational challenges created by homelessness and guarantees students the right to enroll, attend, and succeed in school. The law places the responsibility for guaranteeing the rights of students experiencing homelessness on states and school districts (NCHE, 2014).

Johnston County Public Schools McKinney Vento program includes a District Liaison, school liaisons and school social workers that work together at each school.


Housing Assistance


Click here for a listing of housing resources 

North Carolina State Homeless Resource Center:

Local Shelters:

Contact Us

Britney Gibson

Johnston County Public Schools

McKinney-Vento Liaison

Phone: 919-634-0535


NC Homeless Education Program

Lisa Phillips


Total # of students identified as homeless for JCPS

2022-2023: 566

2021-2022: 401

2020-2021: 362


2018-2019: 403

Data for NC can be found at the NC Homeless Education Profile Page.

Community Resources

Community Action 919-934-2145

Provides assistance to families in need. Also regulates the local Head Start program.

CommWell Health 910-567-6194

Provides health care services including general health, obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health and dental for adults and children. Payment is accepted from insurance as well as pay based on incomed.

Department of Social Services 919-989-5300

The Johnston County Department of Social Services provides resources for families in need.

Harbor 919-634-5478

Provides assistance to anyone involved in or connected to a domestic violent relatioship. Offers temporary housing, advocacy and education.

Johnston County Child Support 919-989-5080

Assists with obtaining and maintaining child support.

Johnston County Health Department 919-989-5200

Providing general and specific health services for all Johnston County residents.

Johnston County Juvenile Services 919-934-5880

The main monitoring agency for juveniles in the Judicial System.

Johnston County Mental Health 919-989-5500

Provides evaluation, treatment, referral and crisis intervention for people with mental health concerns.

Partnership for Children 919-202-0002

Provides a variety of different services for families with children 5 and under.

Salvation Army of Smithfield 919-934-9102

Provides monetary and clothing assistance to families in need. Click on the link for more information.

Social Security Administration 888-527-9331

Provides access to benefits for eligible persons.