A TENTATIVE REPORT
FLORIDA PROGRAM FOR
IMPROVEMENT OF SCHOOLS
BULLETIN NO. 61 APRIL 1954
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
THOMAS D. BAILEY, Superintendent
There is a unique place in education for the visiting
teacher. He can serve not only to insure that pupils who
belong in school attend school, but also can serve as a con-
necting link between the home and the school an interpreter
of both, and above all can get at the root causes of pupil
problems and help with their resolution.
Florida statutes require children to attend school; more-
over, under the Minimum Foundation Program law, public
S support of education is computed in terms of pupil attendance.
SThese are good reasons for the study of attendance and of the
role of the visiting teacher, but these reasons, as good as they
S are, only partially reflect the importance of this phase of
public education. Pupils who do not grow and develop
satisfactorily in school constitute not only immediate difficulty
for schools and for homes, but also reflect long range problems
with both personal and social implications.
\ Emphasis upon social casework methods is relatively new
in education; hence, few published guides which have grown
out of experience are available to chart direction for visiting
teachers. To meet Florida needs in this field, a workshop
S was organized in the summer of 1953 which has resulted in the
S production of this bulletin, "The Visiting Teacher in Florida."
This manual, sponsored by the Florida State Department of
Education and Florida State University and prepared by
Florida visiting teachers, guidance counselors, school welfare
and social workers, and others in related fields, represents
the pooled thinking and interchange of experience of those
who are closest to the problems of the visiting teacher in
Florida. The manual should be of significant help to those
S in the school system who are charged with responsibility for
ascertaining causes of pupil failure and maladjustment and
for the formulation of plans for their eradication.
We are grateful to the workshop participants and to those
who assisted. We acknowledge with thanks the contributions
of Miss Mildred Sikkema, Professor of Social Work, University
of Hawaii, who directed the workshop production group, and
Mrs. Margaret C. Bristol, Florida State University, Dr. T. Q.
Srygley, State Department of Education and Dr. Sam H.
Moorer, State Department of Education, who provided leader-
ship and served as consultants for the study.
Especial acknowledgments should be accorded Dr. Doak
S. Campbell, President, Florida State University, and Dr.
Coyle E. Moore, Dean of the School of Social Welfare, Florida
State University, who provided facilities and made available
the services of Miss Sikkema and Mrs. Bristol.
Acknowledgment also should be made for the services
of Mr. T. George Walker, Director, and the staff of the Di-
vision of Publications and Textbook Services, for editorial
work on the manuscript, and to Mr. J. K. Chapman, Deputy
Superintendent, State Department of Education, for technical
direction and preparation of specifications.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREW ORD .........................................
I. DEVELOPMENT OF VISITING TEACHER SERVICE
IN FLORIDA ..................................
Significant Changes in Attendance Laws in
Changes in Concepts of Attendance Service...
Development of the Visiting Teacher
II. PURPOSE AND PREREQUISITES OF VISITING
TEACHER SERVICE .............................
III. WHO ARE THE CHILDREN? ......................
IV. SHARED RESPONSIBILITIES IN ADMINISTRATIVE
Superintendent's Responsibility ............
Principal's Responsibility ..................
Teacher's Responsibility ..................
Visiting Teacher's Responsibility ...........
V. THIS Is WHAT THE VISITING TEACHER DOES .......
VI. VISITING TEACHER JOB ADMINISTRATION ..........
Organization of Office Work ...............
Suggested Initial Steps in Casework With the
C hild .................................
Referral Procedures ......................
Cooperative Working Relationships after Re-
ferral to Other Agencies .................
Case Records ............................
R reports .................................
APPENDIX .................. ........................ 33
VISITING TEACHER SERVICE FORMS .............. 33-38
Summary Content for Agency Referral ..... 33
Day Sheet .............................. 34
Face Sheet .............................. 35
Referral Blank ........................... 36
Principal's Clearance File Card ............ 37
Master File Card ......................... 37
M monthly Report .........................38-39
SUGGESTED BIBLIOGRAPHY ...................... 40
Bulletin Production Workshop Personnel
Mariruth Adams, Visiting Teacher, Dade County; Harriet
B. Baeza, School Social Worker, Pinellas County; Joyce M.
Chick, Guidance Counselor, Brevard County; Eleanor Clukey,
Visiting Teacher, Dade County; Lois Evans, Visiting Teacher,
Dade County; Mary Jane Gourley, Visiting Teacher, Pinellas
County; Bernice Holcombe, Visiting Teacher, Duval County;
Bernard J. McCabe, Visiting Teacher, Lake County; Earle
Overby, Visiting Teacher, Duval County; Frances F. Smith,
Visiting Teacher, Gadsden County; Paul B. Stephens, Jr.,
Visiting Teacher, Pinellas County; Providence Velasco, Di-
rector of Pupil Welfare, Hillsborough County; Leola Young,
Director of School Attendance and Child Adjustment, Putnam
Special Phase Consultants
Sylvia Carothers, Executive Secretary, Florida Children's
Commission; Minnie Hall Fields, Supervisor, Elementary
Schools for Negroes, State Department of Education; Robert
Gates, Consultant in Special Education, State Department of
Education; Mary Frances Hubbard, Elementary School Prin-
cipal, Gadsden County; Jack H. Hyatt, Principal, Havana
School, Gadsden County; Zola M. Jiles, Supervising Teacher,
Leon County; Spencer A. Summers, Visiting Teacher, Pinellas
County; Anita Townsend, Public Health Nurse, Leon County.
Mildred Sikkema, Professor of Social Work, University
of Hawaii, School of Social Work, Honolulu, H. I., Director.
Margaret C. Bristol, Associate Professor of Social Work,
Florida State University, School of Social Welfare, Consultant.
T. Q. Srygley, Director of the Division of Instruction,
State Department of Education, Consultant.
Sam H. Moorer, Director of the Division of Instructional
Field Services, State Department of Education, Consultant.
I. DEVELOPMENT OF VISITING TEACHER
SERVICE IN FLORIDA
A brief description of some of the significant changes in
Florida's attendance laws and the development of the visiting
teacher service in the state has been included in this chapter
to provide general background and orientation for the study.
Significant Changes in Attendance Laws in Florida
State laws provide that all children between the ages
of seven and sixteen shall attend school. Florida passed its
first compulsory school attendance law in 1915. This was a
local option law, and only the three largest counties attempted
to put the law into operation on a county wide basis. By 1919
public sentiment had crystallized sufficiently so that a state
wide law was enacted. Its provisions allowed many exemptions
which made it ineffective and difficult to enforce. The em-
phasis was placed on compulsory school attendance, and the
enforcement carried the concept of punishment. Moreover,
the law provided for an "attendance officer" to be appointed
by the county school board, and the courts held payment of
such officers to be unconstitutional.
Experience had proved that problems of non-attendance
were not solved simply by getting children back to school.
Educators became aware that it was necessary to understand
the causes of non-attendance and to help remove the causes
if children were to attend school regularly and make a satis-
factory adjustment in school.
In 1939 these changes in attitude resulted in a revision
of the school attendance law. Several significant changes were
made. All children between the ages of seven and sixteen
were required to attend a private, public, or parochial school.
The title "attendance officer" was omitted, and the county
board was authorized to employ "a sufficient number of quali-
fied attendance assistants who hold a certificate prescribed
under regulations of the State Board to guarantee regular
attendance at school of all children of the county within
compulsory school age."' The other significant change was
embodied in the provision that "the principal shall check the
enrollment of the school to determine whether all children
'Florida School Laws, 1952 ed., Chapter 232, Section 232.17.
required to attend have entered school, and if any have failed
to enter to make diligent effort to ascertain the reason for such
failure to enroll."2
The interrelationship of these two changes reflected new
attitudes and points of view which have been the basis for
developments since that time. One change implied what
has since become philosophy and practice; namely, that at-
tendance is a joint responsibility between visiting teacher and
principal. The law states that the principal has a first respon-
sibility for attendance, and when his efforts are not sufficient,
he may refer the situation to the county superintendent or
attendance assistant for help. The second change, the pro-
vision for certification of the attendance assistant, reflected
the changing attitude towards causes of non-attendance and
methods of solving the problem.
Changes in Concepts of Attendance Service
Compulsory public education stimulated the development
of varied and enriched curricula to meet the interests and
abilities of all children. In the process, educators discovered
that a different understanding of children and of families, of
community, and of culture was necessary as well as the varied
curricula. Various services were added to bring about better
adjustment of individual pupils and to enable them to par-
ticipate fully in the school program and in community living.
The visiting teacher service was initiated in 1906-07 in
several eastern cities and gained impetus throughout the
country. The central purpose of the program was to bring
about better understanding between home and school in order
to help the child in school. In some cities the early emphasis
was on truancy and non-attendance, but later concern was
broadened to include children who were withdrawn, aggres-
sive, sullen, or who failed in their school work. From this
early progress the American Association of Visiting Teachers
which is now the National Association of School Social Workers
was organized in 1919.
The pattern in Florida followed the national trends. The
emphasis in attendance service has been not solely on non-
attendance or truancy, but also in helping children who were
not making the best use of the opportunities the school offered.
For example, in a summer workshop in 1941 a group of
attendance assistants and school administrators compiled a
2Ibid., Section 232.11.
handbook on school attendance service in Florida (Bulletin
No. 32) which was published in 1942 by the State Department
of Education. This handbook pointed out significant changes
in dealing with problems of non-attendance. Attendance
service was not considered simply a means of enforcing
attendance laws; a broader field of service was envisioned.
The visiting teacher service had the responsibility of studying
the causes of non-attendance and learning how to help solve
the resultant problems of the children in order to achieve
not only improved attendance but also satisfactory school
adjustment. This interpretation made it necessary to consider
the nature of problems and to develop a service which con-
sidered home, school, and community as interacting forces
in the development and solution of these problems.
In 1941 the State Board of Education required an
attendance assistant to hold a valid graduate certificate based
on four years of college work including courses in child psy-
chology, social welfare with a course in social casework, child
care and welfare, and school administration. Both the school
law and the regulations of the State Board recognized the
fact that an attendance assistant should have specialized
training in education and social work to enable him to serve
The attendance departments in the large counties were
among the first to discontinue the use of the title "attendance
assistant" and to use the title of "visiting teacher." The
emphases of the service provided were not only upon truancy
and irregular attendance, but also upon pupil progress and
Development of the Visiting Teacher Organization
In March, 1942, the attendance assistants organized and
in 1947 were known as the Visiting Teacher Section of the
Florida Education Association.
In 1948 the first state wide institute for visiting teachers
and school administrators was held in Tampa, Florida. The
consultant for this institute was provided by the National
Association of School Social Workers. The purposes of the
institute were to develop concepts of the visiting teacher's
role in the school and community and formulate ideas for
helping children who were having difficulties in the school.
The visiting teachers recognized the need for additional
knowledge and skills and requested the help of the state
universities to provide in-service education which would
stimulate professional growth. Two universities held summer
workshops during the years 1949, 1951, and 1953.
In the fall of 1952 the State Superintendent of Public
Instruction appointed a State Advisory Committee on Ex-
tended School Services which is assisting in long range plan-
ning for special school services. Representatives from each
of the three fields, visiting teacher, guidance, and education
for exceptional children, were requested to study present
trends and needs in Florida and the present status and trends
in other states, both at the local and state level, to define
functions, and to make recommendations based upon their
At a state visiting teacher institute in 1952 jointly spon-
sored by the General Extension Division of Florida and Hills-
borough, Pinellas, and Polk Counties, the visiting teachers
recommended that plans be made to compile a manual on
visiting teacher services in Florida. The visiting teachers
cooperated with the State Department of Education and the
School of Social Welfare at Florida State University and
arranged for a three-week workshop during the summer of
1953, in order to prepare this manual.
II. PURPOSES AND PREREQUISITES OF
VISITING TEACHER SERVICE
It is the will of the Anierican people that there shall be
universal education. This has grown from the realization
that citizens must develop abilities in leadership and support
of leadership if the American way of life is to be perpetuated.
If all children must attend school, it follows that society has
an obligation to provide schools which are worth attending.
Moreover, society has a further obligation to provide
school experiences which are profitable for all children, and
school leadership has a corresponding obligation in this con-
nection to utilize all of the professional knowledge and skills
of other fields concerned with human development. From
the fields of medicine, biology, psychology, psychiatry, and
social work have come enriched understandings of the growth
Physical, mental, emotional and social development pro-
ceed at varying rates for each child. The configuration of
growth at any given time for a given child is the combination
of the child's innate self and his interaction with his environ-
ment. Recognized as some of the determining environmental
factors are the quality of his relationships with people, the
meaning of his culture, and his physical condition.
As a result of individual differences in the rate of growth
and the life experiences which have influenced development,
some children find participation in the educational process
difficult and in some instances impossible. Some withdraw
from learning by not trying or not working up to capacity, and
others fight against it through truancy, belligerence, and other
socially unacceptable behavior.
Educators recognize that there is no substitute for the
teacher-pupil relationship. Its importance as a dynamic in
learning cannot be minimized. Moreover, there is also recog-
nition that some children need individual help to enable them
to resolve problems which are impeding their progress in
school. Schools have, therefore, provided various professional
services for children. Some of these services are provided
by the nurse, counselor, psychologist, and the visiting teacher.
The school team, representing, as it does today, knowledge
and skills from professional services can do much to make
education a useful living experience for children.
Individual work with a child is based upon a belief in
the individual's ability and right to participate, up to his
capacity, in the solution of his own problems, and assume
responsibility for his own decisions. As an integral part of
this help to the child, the visiting teacher assists parents better
to understand their child in school his needs, abilities, and
limitations and helps them to realize how they can work
more effectively with the child and the school in the dis-
charge of parental responsibilities.
The function and skill of the visiting teacher is that of
social casework. Professional education for the visiting teacher
with this social casework competency aims not only to impart
specific knowledge and to develop skill in its use in practice,
but also to assist the visiting teacher in becoming a professional
person who develops a conscious and responsible use of a
professional self. Ideally, professional education for visiting
teacher work is to be attained by meeting the requirements
for a Master's degree in Social Work with an emphasis in social
casework from an accredited school of social work. This
course of study is a closely integrated combination of class
and field practice.
Since a Master's degree in social work requires two years,
it may be necessary for some students to take this work in
two separate parts, which is acceptable if the intervals between
sessions are not too widely spaced. As a matter of fact, this
arrangement may prove to be beneficial particularly if the
student uses interim time between sessions for practical work
and application of his learning. The field practice should
be in a visiting teacher department of a public school with
qualified professional supervision meeting the requirements
set up by a school of social work, or in an approved agency
offering casework services to children and adults.
Field practice in the public schools deals with problems
of school children and parents; it involves working and
planning with teachers and other school personnel, making
available to children and parents the resources within the
school and community. Throughout the field practice the
student has the help of regular supervision with a qualified
caseworker. The training in social work includes courses in
understanding growth and development of the individual,
psychiatric and medical information, child welfare, community
resources, and methods of social casework.
In selection of visiting teachers, consideration should, of
course, be given to the personality characteristics of the in-
dividual. A visiting teacher needs to have good health, en-
thusiasm, and be resourceful and patient. He should show
evidence of his ability to get along well with children and
adults and be able to understand many different types of
III. WHO ARE THE CHILDREN?
Children express their problems through behavior. The
behavior is the symptom. What the symptom means in his
social environment is quite different from its meaning to the
child. It represents his best effort at the time to handle
troubles within himself and with his environment.
Who are the children who may need the help of the
visiting teacher? The symptoms of some children for whom
the principal and teacher may seek help from the visiting
1. Children whose major symptom is truancy or non-
attendance but whose problems are many.
Example A: Tom likes to play truant frequently. It is worse
this year. Tom is fifteen and in the fifth grade. Tom's intellectual
capacity is in the 70-80 range according to an Individual Binet. Tom
says "How'd you like to be fifteen and in the fifth grade? I know
I can't do regular work in Junior High but I just can't stand to be
with these little kids. And I've got troubles at home too and with
everything put together I just have to get away."
Example B: Jerry is out of school a great deal. His father
does not yet recognize the value of education. Jerry's father says
"I only went to the third grade and I got along all right without
school." He can see no need for Jerry to go because the boy doesn't
learn when he attends school.
Example C: Lila has many colds and as a result is absent
one-third of the time. She is thin, pale, small and looks tired.
When she is in school she seems sluggish and unable to concentrate.
Her father is an unskilled laborer, works regularly, but the family
just can't "make ends meet" on his wages.
Example D: On some days Larry has to work in the fields in
order to supplement the family income, while on other days he may
be kept home to baby sit to permit the mother and father to work.
2. Children who are having difficulty adjusting in the
classroom and in playground groups.
Example A: John, age fourteen, is in the seventh grade; he
has superior capacity and works in spurts. He comes to school
regularly for a week, then defies a teacher, becomes angry, fights
with his friends and classmates indiscriminately, leaves school and
does not return for several days. At times he fights so hard that
interference is necessary to prevent injury to others. Teachers say
John is a likeable boy but they "cannot give him an inch or he
takes a mile."
Example B: Mary is eleven years old and in the sixth grade.
She won't participate in group activities unless she can be the leader,
frequently withdraws to a small group where her leadership is un-
disputed, remains at home from school when someone else is allowed
leadership, indulges in temper tantrums if corrected, and likes to have
her own way.
3. Children who are experiencing physical or emotional
Example A: Jean, age nine, is frail and her eyes are both wistful
and hopeless. Her father is dead, and her mother is rarely at home.
She has only one dress which she makes attempts to wash occasion-
ally. Recently Jean was sent home with pediculosis and returned
to school wearing a bandanna. She refused to remove it and finally
in tears told the teacher her head had been shaved and she couldn't
bear to have the children know.
Example B: Barbara, age twelve, has been stealing money from
her mother's purse and buying candy to treat the children in her
class. She passes a fruit stand on her way to school and sometimes
reaches school with several pieces of fruit. She took a dollar from
her teacher's purse and spent it for the class. Barbara likes her
teacher and she wants the children to like her. She is a shy, almost
withdrawn, only child. Her father is a prominent civic figure in
the community, and her mother has always been active in many
community activities as well as the church. Although her parents
are away from home many evenings, they have provided a person
to stay with Barbara. She has very nice clothes, goes to camp, has
music lessons and other advantages. Both the school and parents
are troubled about Barbara's stealing when she has an adequate
4. Children who are making unsatisfactory academic
progress within their ability range.
Example A: Jim is in the fourth grade. He is reading at 2.4
grade level although he is above average in intellectual capacity.
He is easily distracted and gains the attention of the children by
acting the clown role. He is frequently absent from school. He
does not seem to know how to make friends and he stoutly maintains
that he doesn't care whether or not he can read. His older sister
is popular and gets along well in school, and his parents do not
understand why Jim doesn't try harder.
Example B: Kate is very slow to form any relationships with
her teacher or classmates. She accepts passively any assignments
or projects in which the other children show much interest. She
fails to respond to all efforts on the part of the teacher to motivate
her interest. Her mother reports the same situation exists at home.
The alertness of the teacher to recognize these children,
and refer them at the first indications of their need for case-
work service, contributes much in making the visiting teacher's
IV. SHARED RESPONSIBILITIES IN
The Superintendent and the County School Board are
responsible for establishing visiting teacher service in the
county school system.
The development of working policies and procedures is
a shared responsibility. At times this will involve a representa-
tive cross section of the whole school team or the visiting
teacher working with various personnel all making their
professional contributions. The professional contribution of
the visiting teacher is primarily social casework service. They
will work within the pattern of local administrative provisions
for pupil personnel services.
The school staff turns to the county superintendent for
leadership in administrative matters. Through him plans are
made for the formulation and acceptance of working policies
and procedures which will (1) best meet the needs of children,
(2) make the most effective use of the particular service which
the visiting teacher brings to the school, and (3) point up
how the visiting teacher service differs from that of the teacher,
principal, and other school personnel. To do this, the super-
intendent will need to have a clear understanding of what
the visiting teacher service offers, and how it can most effec-
tively serve the child and the school. He will also need to
assume responsibility for the selection of professionally quali-
fied staff. In the largest systems the staff may well include
not only visiting teachers, but also clerical workers, psycholo-
gists, a nurse, and perhaps an attorney.
Together the superintendent and the visiting teacher will
need to devise methods for involving the whole school team
in working to: establish sound county policies and procedures
for the service; interpret visiting teacher plans and methods
to school personnel, children, parents, and community; estab-
lish a regular plan for evaluation and modification of policies
and procedures; make a budget that will provide professional
and clerical staff, adequate equipment and travel allowance.
Moreover, the superintendent has the additional responsibility
for supporting the working policies and procedures of the
service once they have been approved.
The principal is the administrative and professional
leader in his school. He needs (1) to have a clear under-
standing of the visiting teacher service, (2) to give full
support to the service, and (3) to interpret it to his faculty
and the community.
Together the principal and the visiting teacher should
consider methods for carrying out the following responsibili-
1. Establish working procedures with the faculty, in keeping with
county policies, for the operation of the service in the school.
2. Interpret the visiting teacher service in the school and community.
8. Assign priorities to problem areas which have major service emphasis
for a given time, such as non-attendance, or children who are not
learning up to capacity.
4. Provide opportunities for the visiting teacher to participate in meet-
ings, conferences, and to serve on appropriate committees.
The classroom teacher normally will have a better under-
standing of individual pupil differences and the individual
needs of his pupils than any one else in the system; hence,
with him rests the responsibility to identify and refer those
children who need other school services. Because of the
teacher's responsibility in making the service available to
children, he is in a unique position to assist both in policy
formation and evaluation of procedures and policies already
established. Moreover, he is in a key position to participate
as a member of the school team in working with other services
The teacher can be expected to use visiting teacher service
comfortably and interpret it helpfully to children only if
there has been opportunity for him to understand (1) what
the service can and cannot offer to children and how it oper-
ates, (2) how he and the visiting teacher can and will need
to work together to serve the child, (3) the referral procedure
established in the school, and (4) the visiting teacher schedule
in the school.
Opportunity for initial teacher orientation can be pro-
vided through faculty meetings with the visiting teacher
attending and through formal and informal conferences.
Understanding develops in part through working with the
visiting teacher on individual child situations.
The joint responsibility of the visiting teacher and teacher
1. understanding the necessity to work closely together on those cases
referred to the visiting teacher;
2. sharing knowledge, understanding and experience which will help
each to help the child;
3. planning together what each can and will do in a given situation.
Teacher and visiting teacher as partners can do much to help chil-
dren resolve their problems.
Visiting Teacher's Responsibility
In addition to participation in establishing and developing
the service as indicated, the visiting teacher has the responsi-
bility of providing knowledge regarding tested policies and
procedures which can insure efficient service. Some of these
are briefly suggested here but are given more complete dis-
cussion in the Chapter, "This Is What the Visiting Teacher
1. A plan for regularly scheduled time (e.g. every Tuesday or every
third Tuesday, etc.) in each school will give the school better
service, and children, teacher, principal, and parents can make
better use of the school service provided.
2. A caseload or quota needs to be based on the number of schools
and their population as well as on geographic area covered. The
caseload should allow for differences in the need for and use to be
made of the visiting teacher's services from school to school. A
visiting teacher's caseload of thirty-five to fifty at any given time
will allow work on a continuing basis with one group of children
toward a lasting adjustment. In addition to the suggested caseload,
a number of children may be served through a short contact service,
and still others may be served through visiting teacher consultation
with teachers about the children not referred for casework service.
3. A referral should be written. The form should be simple, brief,
and easily completed. This statement tells the visiting teacher of
the concern of the school and serves as the beginning of the case
record. The method of referral should be direct and simple. The
visiting teacher takes responsibility for clearing with the principal
any referrals which may come directly. Whatever the method, it
should not interfere with easy access of teacher and child with the
visiting teacher to decide about referring him, or consult with the
visiting teacher about a child whom they do not want to refer.
4. Planned methods of clearance and coordination will result in more
economical use of services. An evaluating conference before assign-
ment of the referral can result in assignment to the most appropriate
service. Often, assignment of responsibility to see a case through
to completion will reduce duplication of effort. Sometimes such
duplication occurs when a child is referred to the visiting teacher
one week and to the nurse the following week for different symptoms
but frequently the same problem. If more than one service is
needed, it should be provided on the basis of a conference between
representatives of the services involved. Oftentimes, a clearance
card file can prevent overlapping of services and duplication of re-
ferral. Scheduling which allows visiting teacher and nurse to be
in a given school simultaneously is a desirable coordinating device.
V. THIS IS WHAT THE VISITING
The visiting teacher has the responsibility of assisting the
school in evaluating the nature of problems which are brought
to his attention, of knowing and understanding the social or
other factors which contribute to problems of children and
families, and of providing methods in helping to solve these
difficulties. The visiting teacher must know which of these
problems require individual help, which should be brought
to the attention of the school for broad school planning for
all children, and which should be brought, by way of the
school administration, to the attention of the community for
modification of policy or planning, or for stimulation of
planning in regard to services needed.
The specialized contribution which the visiting teacher
brings to the school is a social casework service. This service
supplements the work of the teacher and other school per-
sonnel and is carried out in cooperation with them. It ap-
propriately plays its part in integrating school and community
services for the benefit of children.
Problems showing evidence of social or emotional diffi-
culty are those usually served by social casework. Truancy
and other forms of non-attendance are the symptoms of one
large group. These problems may lie primarily within the
child or stem from his family and other relationships, from
environmental conditions, or from the school situation, and
more often from various combinations of these. The respon-
sibilities and duties of a visiting teacher are to a large extent
influenced by his assignments and the resources of the school
and community as well as by his background of training and
experience. The primary duties and responsibilities of the
visiting teacher are to provide -a casework service and to
offer consultation to teachers. In addition, the visiting teacher
must provide a continuing interpretation of his own services
and coordination of the cooperative help from auxiliary
agencies. Beyond that the matters of records, reports, and
research will engage a large part of the visiting teacher's time.
Social casework services, as used in the school, are of
two types: (1) the continuing service based on regular
interviews over a period of time (the length of time is de-
termined by the needs of the child and parent), and (2) the
short contact service. Both may include, as a part of the
helping process, the integrated use of other school or com-
Continuing Social Casework Service
This section illustrates how in any one case there may
be work with child, parents, teacher, other school and com-
munity services. In other situations the work might be only
with child, parent and teacher. In still others with child
and teacher, or the service may include the parent and teacher
The visiting teacher functions in a direct casework re-
lationship with the child. This is directed toward helping
the child achieve a satisfactory adjustment of the problem
he brings and enabling him to continue without special help.
The number of regular interrelated interviews in a given
situation may be many or few as determined by the needs of
The visiting teacher helps the child express and clarify
whatever feelings he brings about his problem for which he
can accept responsibility. The visiting teacher must remain
aware that the interviewing process is another growth process,
a slow, orderly progression, which will weave back and forth
as the child realizes that he has strengths and capacities that
he can use to bring about changes or modifications of his
attitudes and behavior. These same strengths and abilities
can help him to bring about changes in many areas of his
The direct social casework relationship is based then, in
part, on the assumption that the child has a right and the
capacity to work on his own problems. For example, Lois
and several other girls had defied the principal and teachers
by locking themselves in the restroom. They expected as a
result to be expelled. Later the principal asked the visiting
teacher to talk with Lois because she had indicated that
she might run away from home. The dialogue set out below
is illustrative of the interview which might have followed:
Lois: There's something else that I want to tell you. I've never told
anybody anything like this before, but I would like to leave
home for a while.
V.T.: Do you know where you want to go?
Lois: That's what I thought you could tell me you see, I thought
that if I could leave for just a while, to see how I could get
along or just for a change, then I might like staying at home
V.T.: Do you mean that you'd like to know about a home for girls?
Lois: I've heard about a home you know Mary Smith? She told
me that you helped her one time.
V.T.: Yes, I do know Mary. She was in the girl's home.
Lois: Yes, that's it. She's back home now.
V.T.: I'm happy about Mary. May I ask you, Lois, about your mother
and if she knows how you feel?
Lois: Yes, mother knows I'm not happy at home. She's sick. I do all
the housework and the cooking and the washing for daddy and
one of my brothers. My brother just wants me to wait on him
and he's so fussy he wants to do just what he plans, but
fusses when I go out.
V.T.: You mean after school hours?
Lois: Yes, when I go to church, or with girl friends, or sometimes
have a date. He says if I run around I might get a bad reputa-
tion. That's why I though I'd like to leave home for a while.
V.T.: Do you plan to talk with your mother?
Lois: I don't know.
V.T.: Would you like me to make a visit to your home?
Lois: I don't know.
V.T.: Since this is your lunch time, would you like to eat and think
over whether you'd like me to visit your home.
Lois: Thank you Miss R., I'll go to lunch and see you later.
Lois: Miss R., I've been thinking about your going to see mother.
V.T.: You have?
Lois: Yes, and if you don't mind, I don't think I want you to go
V.T.: All right.
Lois: I want to talk with her again. Then I'd like to talk with you.
Parent-Visiting Teacher Relationships in
The visiting teacher offers casework service to parents
as an integral part of helping the child. Parents need to
understand from the beginning the role of the visiting teacher
in school, and together they decide what part of the problem
they can work on and how parents and visiting teacher can
work together. Together they will need to consider ways in
which the parents may assume responsibility as members
of the educational team. Through this service the parents
also may understand better their child's needs and capacities
and be enabled to participate more freely in the school-child-
The visiting teacher and parent usually plan interviews
on a regular continuing basis while the child needs individual
help. There are exceptions. Some determining factors are
the nature of the problem, the living situation of the child,
and the ability of the child to solve his own difficulty.
Parents may have personal problems which are con-
tributing to the child's difficulty. A discussion of these may
in some instances relieve the tension of the parent. However,
if the parents wish help with problems beyond the scope of
the school, the visiting teacher will assist them with their
application to an appropriate agency. This interview shows
how the visiting teacher, through focusing on Doris's school
adjustment was able to help Mrs. M. begin to think differently
about Doris's needs and plan to do something about them:
Doris is repeating 7-B. She repeated a semester in the third
grade and one in the fourth. Doris has poor vision, has had trouble
with one ear and is undernourished and underweight according to the
teacher. The teacher says she is irregular in attendance, and the
school administration says their contacts with the home have not been
I discussed Doris among other children with Mr. V, junior high
school principal, and saw here a large family, Doris's failure, her
relatively high reading and arithmetic levels in view of her low mental
ability on the aptitude test and apparent health difficulties. We also
noted that her attendance was good until last term. We agreed that
I might find out what resources Doris seemed to have and what she
wanted and what cooperation we could get from the parents. I sent
a letter first to Doris asking that she come to school to see me on
March 5th, and she did not appear. I then wrote to Mr. and Mrs. M.
and made an appointment to be at their house on Monday, March 9th.
Interview with Mrs. M. on March 9th: The home is a shack among
a community of similar ones in a rather bleak area of the waterfront.
Mrs. M. is a billowy woman .with few teeth. There was a small child
eager to see the visitor. The room was large and cluttered with
furniture in varying states of ill repair. On the stove, a small two-
burner one, was a boiling pot of children's socks. With some effort
Mrs. M. kept the room clear of smaller children, but they came in, one
to show a baby duck he had. At another point when Mrs. M. told
of not having money for clinics, a little five year old said "if we had
money, we would buy a new home."
Mrs. M. knew why I had come to see her and was aware of
Doris's poor attendance. She indicated that Doris has had ear trouble
ever since she was a little baby, that she was susceptible to a rather
serious infection almost every winter. She had devised an effective
treatment for what sounded like abscesses, but she indicated that they
took a long time to heal, and that much of Doris's strength was drained
as a result of it. Doris had had no medical attention for a few years.
When she did take her to the clinic, she was told that Doris would
always have this difficulty. I pointed out that she certainly had
thought about taking care of Doris's ears, but did she really think
that it would have to develop into being so bad? Had she thought
about the possibility of medical attention that might prevent these
terrible infections? Mrs. M. felt that she had never had in the past
couple of years enough money to take Doris to a clinic. I pointed out
that there were clinics that charged only as much as the person could
afford to pay, and was she ready to think about something that would
get Doris back on her feet. Mrs. M. then ventured to ask where
a clinic might be. I pointed out that there were clinics both at City
Hospital and at Clark. She said that she had been to Clark Hospital,
and that they would make you wait a very long time. I accepted what
she said but again brought her back to whether she was willing to put
out some additional effort to help Doris in a different way. She was
not sure but believed she could try at least once.
Toward the end of the interview Doris appeared. She is a very
fragile-looking child with rather delicate features and long uncurled
brown hair. I introduced myself to her and recalled the letter I had
written. We agreed that I might meet her at school on Thursday.
Teacher and Visiting Teacher Relationships as
Part of Casework Service
The first contact between the visiting teacher and teacher
on a given child usually takes place at the time of referral. At
this time the visiting teacher and teacher will discuss the
child as he appears to the teacher in classroom work and
other school activities. The visiting teacher and classroom
teacher, together with others who may be involved in the
particular case, will also plan for future conferences and will
consider the responsibility each will assume in his work with
the child. As work progresses, the visiting teacher and teacher
together, through regularly planned conferences, will discuss
and evaluate methods of helping the child. The following
The teacher and visiting teacher met again to share their under-
standing of Gloria, her needs and her progress. Gloria, age seven, in
the second grade, has been so timid that she hasn't been able to talk
aloud in school, either to the children or the teacher. At recess time
she remains in the room and does not play with the other children. She
does all of her class written work very well.
The teacher pointed out that Gloria lacks self-confidence and
wondered how she might help her in the classroom. The visiting
teacher said she has had three interviews with Gloria, and that she
expressed in a number of ways her feelings that her father, who is ill,
does not like her as well as he likes the twins, that she feels she cannot
do anything well, that she is afraid to play with the children because
she might not do the right thing, and then they won't like her, that
she is afraid of the teacher because last year her teachers talked loudly
and she was frightened. There were other ways in which Gloria ex-
pressed her deep feelings of inadequacy, too.
The teacher and visiting teacher decided that her feelings were
so total that it would take quite a while before Gloria could feel
differently about herself and find her place in the classroom. They
decided to move slowly and at Gloria's pace. The teacher said, "Maybe
I could assign her some responsibility in the classroom, and she would
get a sense of achievement and confidence because, of course, she can
do things very well," and before the visiting teacher could reply, the
teacher added, as if thinking aloud, "No, that wouldn't be right. I
guess everything we've said points out that she isn't ready for that. I'm
not going to do anything right now except be there for Gloria."
Both agreed that this was sound for now, and that they would
talk again in two weeks after the visiting teacher had had two inter-
views with Gloria and with Gloria's mother by telephone and re-focus
and re-plan with their new understandings of Gloria and whatever
change she was showing.
Utilization of School Resources as Part of
The visiting teacher will be familiar with all special school
resources which may include health, psychological, education
for exceptional children, and counseling services available
to children. Requests for such services for children with
whom the visiting teacher is working will be made through
channels established by the school. The visiting teacher will
plan with the child for use of the services and, in some cases,
will retain primary responsibility for the case. Through his
work with the child the visiting teacher will know when the
child is ready to use the service advantageously so it can
serve as another link in his growth. The following excerpt
from Doris's record shows results of joint planning as the
visiting teacher uses several services but retains responsibility
for the case, thus providing a supporting and unified experi-
ence for Doris to use:
It was apparent that it was difficult for Doris to return to school
because she felt out of place. She did not find the work too difficult
but seemed to have no place in the smaller cliques that existed. She
felt left out. She is small and rather poorly dressed. Doris has lost
a great deal of her hearing. She is frightened about losing more and
feels funny about not being able to hear people. It was not until the
second interview that she let some of her real fears be revealed. Doris
agreed that she would like a medical examination, and we made an
appointment to talk with Mrs. S., school nurse, and learned that the
school doctor was to be there on that day. I shared with Mrs. S.
some of the medical information I had learned from Mrs. M. and
wondered about the possibility of treatment for her ears. Mrs. S.
indicated that clinic appointments could be obtained for Doris, and
free treatment including X-ray was available. She set the time for
appointments and gave them to Doris. We agreed that I would contact
the parents to confirm these appointments. On March 27th I wrote
to Mrs. M., Doris's mother, about them.
Doris had a tonsilectomy. She returned to school three weeks
after the Easter holidays. I saw her and learned that she had had a
very bad time with her throat, and that it was still hard to swallow.
She looked bright and had color in her cheeks. She had also been to
have her eyes examined and was to get glasses. I saw Doris again,
and we talked about possible vocational placement for next year. We
agreed that I should see the counselor who could talk with her regarding
this. She was not very sure if this was what she wanted.
I talked with Mr. W., the counselor. We reviewed the case and
the changes in Doris. We really did not know how much she could
get out of school now with her hearing and vision corrected. It was
agreed that he look into her achievement in the fall. The great distance,
if she had to go to vocational school, was also taken into consideration.
I saw Mrs. S., the school nurse, and we agreed that our mutual planning
and working had been effective.
Utilization of Community Resources
Referring parents and child to another community agency
is another process through which the visiting teacher offers
casework help to the parents, in order to help clarify some of
the problems in the family situation and to identify those for
which they wish to seek some solution. The visiting teacher
must understand the difficulties which people have in attempt-
ing to change and in reaching solutions as well as how to help
people release the strengths which they have in order to do
The visiting teacher should stimulate cooperative effort
of school and community in procurement of necessary services
not currently available for the children. The basic problems
of some school children and their families call for service of
a nature not appropriate to the school, such as financial
assistance, foster home placement, and marital counseling.
Some agency resources which the visiting teacher will use
are public welfare including aid to dependent children, public
health services, juvenile court, family service agencies, chil-
dren's service bureau, child guidance clinics, recreation centers,
traveler's aid societies, Salvation Army and others. Such
referrals may be made directly by the visiting teacher through
appropriate procedures. (See Appendix P).
That a referral of parents and child cannot be hurried,
and that people cannot simply be told about a service and be
expected to use it successfully is illustrated in the following
excerpt describing work accomplished with Teddy's mother:
Teddy, six years old and in grade 1-B, was referred to the visiting
teacher at the request of both the mother and the teacher. Teddy is
fearful and says he is afraid his mother may die and leave him. At
school he alternates between being very cooperative and doing what-
ever is asked without speaking or he becomes very noisy and negative.
At the first interview with the mother, the visiting teacher helped
her consider the problem she felt was her greatest worry. Her husband
had deserted several years ago. She leaves the three children (ages
nine, six, and three) alone at night while she works in a hospital from
11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. She reaches home in time to get the older
children off to school and to be with the youngest during the day. The
mother discussed the various solutions she had considered and discarded
the visiting teacher's suggestion that she go to Child and Family Service.
They might want to take her children away on grounds of neglect if
they even knew about this and she wanted to keep her children with
At the end of the third interview the mother was ready to go and
to make her own appointment at the Child and Family Service Bureau.
These interviews were planned mutually between the visiting teacher
and mother and took place one week apart so that the mother could
have time to bring each her thinking, her fears, her problems, and then
clarify how and with what people she wished to seek some solution.
She was then ready to think with the visiting teacher about a plan to
,Short Contact Casework Service
This is another casework activity of the visiting teacher.
Single interviews or several interviews may be used for various
purposes. Determining the validity of requests for work per-
mits for children between fourteen and sixteen who are
dropping out of school because of economic need in the family
is one example. The visiting teacher, upon assignment from
the superintendent, must determine the validity of requests
for work permits for children between fourteen to sixteen
years of age who wish to leave school because of livelihood
considerations. Another type of such service is consultation
with parents who desire to increase their understanding of
the child's problem, or who desire help and do not know
what assistance is available or how to secure it.
CONSULTATION WITH TEACHERS
Consultation with teachers about children whom they
do not wish to refer is recognized today as one of the most
noteworthy contributions the visiting teacher can bring to a
school's program. Some teachers say that the opportunity to
discuss the attitudes and behavior of a child with the visiting
teacher helps to provide a new perspective and to clarify
her understanding of her own attitudes and feelings about
INTERPRETATION AND COORDINATION
The visiting teacher must interpret his services to the
school staff to parents and children, to the community, and
to lay and professional groups. He must play his appropriate
role in working with school personnel and others to achieve
a community-wide understanding of the school and its goals
and how school and community agencies are related to their
functions. He must establish cooperative procedures with
community agencies so that smooth working relationships will
Example A: Industrial Commission: The law states that "attend-
ance assistants employed pursuant to ... Section 232.17, Florida Statutes,
1953 (See also Section 450.24) shall report to the Florida Industrial
Commission all violations of the Child Labor Law that may come to
Joint understanding between the school and Commission of how
the visiting teacher carries out this responsibility is important. It should
be an educational and helpful experience for the child. A suggested
procedure might be (1) the child should understand the provisions
of the law and be given an opportunity to leave the job in question,
(2) the situation should be shared fully with the parents, (3) the em-
ployer should have an understanding of the provisions of the law and
know that the school is concerned, that both child and parents know
that continuation is illegal, and that the school will need to report if
the practice continues. And finally, if reporting becomes necessary, it
must go to the Commission from the Superintendent or Director of the
Department of Education.
Example B: The Juvenile Court: This court is established for
protective service dependency, neglect, delinquency. Preparation
and referral of a family to juvenile court should be carried out through
a casework approach which can aid in making the experience a strength-
ening one for the family. The reason for referral and the procedures
should be thoroughly defined and understood by all, including school,
court, parents and child. The referral comes from the Superintendent
or Director of the Department of Education.
Responsibilities of court and probation counselor for
family and child should be clarified as well as the respon-
sibilities of the visiting teacher. The latter does not serve
as a probation counselor. Definitions and responsibilities of
each during the time a child is on probation is important.
The visiting teacher will be concerned with assisting the
child in adequate school adjustment.
RECORDS, REPORTS AND RESEARCH
The visiting teacher must devise and maintain appro-
priate case records and reports. In addition by law the
visiting teacher is responsible, unless it has been otherwise
assigned, for seeing that a satisfactory system of child
accounting has been developed, and that it is functioning
efficiently. He must participate in and carry on appropriate
research in his field. Records and reports are one source of
material for various approaches to study of problems and
unmet needs of children, of school and community conditions.
The tasks of the visiting teacher are important and work
presents a great challenge and a correspondingly great respon-
sibility. The visiting teacher serves the home, the school,
and the community to bring about a more complete education
for school children and a better understanding of their prob-
VI. VISITING TEACHER JOB
This section is designed to assist the visiting teacher with
some details of job administration which are basic to efficient
Organization of Office Work
In some counties the visiting teacher department is in
the administration buildings; in others, the visiting teacher
office is in the county office or in one designated school.
Minimum equipment required for maintaining this office in-
cludes a desk, chairs, files equipped with locks, a telephone,
and office supplies. A minimum allotment of clerical assistance
per visiting teacher is one-fourth time for records, correspon-
dence, reports, and summaries to other agencies.
Children and parents should think of the visiting teacher
as a part of the school. They, as well as teachers, should know
where to find the visiting teacher on his scheduled days in
the school. In each school the visiting teacher needs a room
in which to talk with a child or others without distractions or
About three-fourths of a day per week devoted to office
work and case planning will be an economical measure. This
allows time for such duties as (1) telephoning, (2) corre-
spondence, summaries, appointments and, (3) keeping records
and reports. Often it is necessary for the visiting teacher to
offer appropriate participation on community committees
whose focus is services for children.
Staff meetings in visiting teacher departments are impor-
tant for staff development and should be planned as often as
1. Day Sheet
A day sheet of services and activities performed which
follows the same general pattern as the monthly report form
will facilitate accounting at the end of each month. (See
Appendix P. 34).
2. Field Appointment Planning
In addition to the suggested schedule plan to be worked
out on a county-wide basis, the visiting teacher will accomplish
more by making appointments with parents in advance, by
card or letter, whenever possible. When a schedule is main-
tained, it is very often possible to do this. Such preparation
may save a trip and will mean that the parent is more ready
to focus on the purpose of the visit than he would be if the
visiting teacher were to arrive unexpectedly.
Suggested Initial Steps in Casework with
Although the visiting teacher might see a child immedi-
ately, if the situation so indicated, or might see a parent before
seeing the child in certain situations, the following steps
usually made in the beginning will save time and give the
visiting teacher a sound working agenda.
1. Use what the school knows about the child
The visiting teacher synthesizes what the school knows
about the child. The written referral statement serves to
acquaint the visiting teacher with the problem as the teacher
sees it. Two additional, useful sources of help are:
a. An understanding deriving from a conference with the teacher
of what she sees about the child's attitudes toward school and
how the teacher feels the child uses the pupil-teacher relation-
b. An understanding deriving from analysis of the cumulative and
other school records of the unusual or changing patterns of
attendance, academic progress, behavior, individual health prob-
lems and handicaps, teacher comments, as well as results of tests.
2. Avoid duplication and integrate services in current use
by securing clearance
a. With clearance file (see Appendix P. 37) ascertain whether or
not some other member of the team such as the nurse, dean or
counselor may be working with or has worked with the child.
b. With community agencies such as Social Service Exchange, if one
is available, if not, with existing social agencies, ascertain current
activity with family or child.
In a number of instances both of these steps may be
taken after a first interview.
3. See the child
The visiting teacher makes clear his role in the school
and helps the child see his problem as the school sees it. He
then listens to the child's expression of how he feels about
talking with the visiting teacher. They plan for what they
can do together and when they will have their next inter-
view. From this point the visiting teacher may determine
whether he should see parents, use other resources, or continue
for the time being only with the child.
Referrals to other services within the school are made
through the established channels. Any such referral should
be preceded by a conference involving appropriate personnel
from the other service. Such a conference serves to clarify
the problem, to determine the extent of services available to
the child, and to establish the basis for the follow-up con-
ference or for further cooperative work. Such conferences
are believed to be indispensable in planning for a unified
experience for the child.
Exceptions to referrals to other agencies made through
the visiting teacher department director are those established
by law. Reports on child labor (Industrial Commission) and
referrals to Juvenile Courts are made through the Superin-
tendent or the Director of the Department.
Cooperative Working Relationships after
Referral to Other Agencies
A plan for cooperative working between visiting teacher
and agency in a given situation should clearly define the
responsibilities of the visiting teacher and agency and include
a plan for adequate communication between them. The
visiting teacher may need to assume certain responsibilities
with a child in the school situation during the time he and
his family use service in another agency. For example: a
child and parents have been referred to and are using child
guidance clinic service. The child may continue for a time
to show difficulties which are very troubling in the classroom.
It is important for the visiting teacher to help relieve tensions
so that the teacher does not carry the entire work alone. In
order to be helpful both to child and teacher, the visiting
teacher needs to have sufficient contact with clinic personnel
to understand the effect of treatment on the child, his progress,
and to define the nature and extent of her work with the child
Or perhaps the parents are unable to make continued
use of an agency service to assist in resolving the problems.
This may mean that they have not been helped sufficiently
in the process of referral, and the visiting teacher will need to
ascertain this from the agency in order to work further with
the parents on the referral.
The visiting teacher must have a clear understanding of
the purpose of case records and the kind of information needed
in order to devise and maintain a useful system. The child,
family, school, or persons concerned have a right to expect
that the visiting teacher will keep an accurate account of
happenings. Memory is not dependable.
The record the visiting teacher keeps in the school is
different from the existing school records. It is the account
of what happens between the visiting teacher and the child
or person involved in the adjustment of the child. It may
contain confidential information relating to the family, a report
from other social agencies or medical data. Such information
may be shared only upon consent of the individual or agency
who furnishes it.
Case records accomplish the following: (1) Serve as
one method of helping the visiting teacher evaluate and im-
prove his skill, (2) Aid the visiting teacher in a continuing
evaluation of the total case situation and its needs, (3) Make
available pertinent and accurate material necessary for referral
to other agencies or for conferences with other school per-
sonnel, (4) Make available material which can be used for
study and research to bring new understanding of children
and their problems or to point up ways for the school and
community to meet the needs of groups of children with
Because of the confidential nature of the material, the
visiting teacher must take responsibility for keeping case
records in locked files. The visiting teacher will share relevant
material from the case record with the teacher and other staff
members as needed with consent of the informing person or
agency. It may be helpful to the school staff for the visiting
teacher to note in the child's school record or cumulative folder
that the child had consulted with the visiting teacher.
1. Form of case record
The visiting teacher's record consists of the face sheet
and the chronological recordings of the casework process. This
record and related material, such as correspondence, medical
reports, psychological reports, etc., should be kept in a folder
labeled with the name of the child. These individual folders
should be filed alphabetically in a cabinet which can be locked.
2. For recording information in case records
Approximately in the order in which a visiting teacher
proceeds with a referral, the written material included in the
folder is described as follows:
a. A face sheet will furnish at a glance identifying infor-
mation about the child and his family relationships, as well as
birth dates, names, etc. Skillful interviewing will bring out
these facts with little direct questioning. (See Appendix 35).
b. A written referral from the teacher is evidence of the
teacher's concern about the child. It contains a statement
of the problem as he sees it at the time of the referral. (See
Appendix P. 36).
c. Periodic summary is a synthesis of the progress and
activity in the case for a stated period of time. It should also
include reference to the number and regularity of contacts
with the child as needed and of parents, teachers, and any
other school or community personnel involved. The following
sample of a periodic summary recording is an excerpt for a
month period. There are previous entries in the record.
Feb.-May, 1952: During this time Mary and I had weekly inter-
views, and I talked with her teacher every other week. I had two
contacts with Mary's mother. In the first one we discussed Mary's
feeling of worthlessness about herself and her place in the family
and in the school. Her mother saw clearly what seemed to be
happening at home which probably was accentuating Mary's feelings.
She thought she could find a number of ways to help. The second
contact was her visit to the school to tell me that Mary had the
measles and could not return before school closed, and to discuss
what this might mean to Mary with regard to promotion and also
our work together. The mother stated that Mary was feeling much
better, finding a real place in the family and was beginning to find
participation in family activities enjoyable. She seemed more com-
fortable and happier. Even her grandparents have noticed it and
they are trying to see her as the eight year old which she is.
In our interviews over this period Mary was able to say a little
at a time how frightened she is, how troubled she is about the way
her Daddy played more with the twins, how she felt the children
did not like her, and how she was still afraid of her teacher. Mary
made steady progress toward solution of these feelings. Little by
little she was able to talk to her teacher, and finally, the class, on
their own, selected her for their leader for a day. Mary was be-
ginning to be a real participating member of the class. She was
feeling secure and comfortable with her teacher and she could say
"Daddy and I are going to Copeland alone next Saturday. He and
the twins are there today, and I would like to go soon, too. But I
can't because I have to come to school. But I like to go to school,
too." Mary and I talked about how hard it is sometimes to give
things up, to grow up, etc., and we talked about how much better
she is feeling. She agreed that she was better. We discussed how
much longer she might need to come and decided that it would
be four more times.
In my last contact with Mary's teacher, we agreed that Mary
is now adjusting very well and that she has been able with some
help to find her own strengths and to change a great deal in herself.
The teacher wondered if Mary might have trouble again in the
fall and answered her own question by saying, "But if she does,
she will be able to use some help and come out with more of her
own strengths. I am sure of that." We agreed that this is the im-
portant thing for any child or individual, and that although we had
helped, Mary was the one who had done the most in solving her
We agreed that I will see Mary when she returns to school
in the fall only to know how her summer has been, unless she
indicates that things have not gone well and that she wants further
d. Process recording is a more detailed writing out of
what took place in the interview as it happened. It provides
the opportunity for the visiting teacher to report in sequence
the interaction in the interview between the visiting teacher
and the child or other person who is a participant in the
interview. However, it is not or need not be a verbatim report.
This kind of record is rather difficult to write but it provides
an excellent way for the visiting teacher to go back over his
interview in detail and study possible meaning of various
It is not suggested that all records be written in this form
as it is not practical. However, it provides the best learning
medium, and it is suggested that the process form of recording
be used, particularly at times when the visiting teacher has
a need to understand more thoroughly what is taking place
in the case. The following is one interview as an example:
March 20, 1952: Interview with Evelyn -
Evelyn walked into my office after recess. I invited her to
sit down. She is a well developed seven year old tall and broad
shouldered. Her eyes are very large, and in them there is a look
of sadness. No smile lit her somber face when I asked her how
she was. She looked at me questioningly, and I explained who I
was and my function in the school. I told her that Miss A., her
teacher, had told me what a fine reader she was and what excellent
work she does, but that she was very much concerned with her
crying spells. "You must be a very unhappy little girl to want to
cry when you are in school." Evelyn just looked at me solemnly
and didn't answer or nod. I told her that my offer to talk things
over with children held for her too, that together we could work
on her problem to see if we could find a way out of her present
unhappy state. She ignored this and asked if she could show me
how well she reads. I accepted her unwillingness to talk at this
point and listened to her read from a book she chose from my
bookcase. I commented on the excellence of her reading. I told
her that I saw on her records that she had lived in another city.
She told me she was living with her great-aunt and uncle here.
Mrs. Jones had no children of her own and asked Evelyn's mother
if she could raise her. Evelyn expressed no dissatisfaction with this
arrangement. She told me about their apartment. She is fond
of her aunt and uncle; she doesn't miss her family at all. I didn't
question her about her family, and she volunteered no information
about them. She said she likes our school better than the one
which she went to in the other city. I expressed the thought that
perhaps she was not entirely satisfied with Smith since she had been
having a little difficulty. Perhaps if we could talk that over, she
would like our school even better. Evelyn says she cried because
she was angry, not with Miss A., just angry. She doesn't like to be
scolded, though she knows she deserves it. By this time, the half
hour was almost over. I explained to her that her time was almost
up and that if she liked, we could arrange weekly interviews. She
said she would like to come again and talk over things to see if she
could stop crying. We made an appointment for the Monday
3. For filing case records
A master file is a card index to all case records. It saves
time in identifying quickly whether a referral is "new" or
whether service has been given previously. (See Appendix
In a visiting teacher department or one in which visiting
teacher service has existed for some time, there may be validity
in keeping the master file as an "active" and a "closed" file.
The former will represent the total department caseload at
any given time, and the latter represents a master file of all
closed cases. When a case is "re-opened," the card is pulled
from the "closed" file and placed in the "active" file.
4. Principal's Clearance File
A card file in the principal's office for clearance of all
school services will save time and avoid duplication. (See
Appendix P. 37). The card, filed alphabetically according
to child's name, provides space for the personnel of any service
to write the date service began, the name of the service, and
the date service completed. This file will be of assistance
to a teacher in knowing whether any service is currently
active with a child whom the teacher may wish to refer.
A copy of a monthly report and of the annual report
should go regularly to the county superintendent, to principals
and others involved in the service work. Good reports furnish
material valuable to both school administrators and visiting
teachers for evaluation of a total program. Uniform monthly
reporting provides the basis for an annual report which serves
both school and visiting teacher to assess the growth, strengths,
and weaknesses of the service.
Monthly and annual reports help visiting teachers study
objectively the effectiveness of scheduling, the use of time,
and the areas of emphasis in service in relation to the effective-
ness of the service.
Reports can show what is being done by the visiting
teacher in the school and the community, and what school
resources are being used. Knowing the types of problems
for which children are referred will help the school to evaluate
how it is using the visiting teacher service and how it is meet-
ing the needs of children. Reports will assist in determining
need for program changes and for acquiring additional per-
1. Monthly report
A good monthly report should give an account of the
visiting teacher's work. It should include reasons for referral
based on statistical information, the number of children served
(grade and age levels are also desirable), and should also
include the kinds of service given and which school and com-
munity resources have been used to assist children and their
families. A narrative statement or other descriptive material
may be added to bring out special emphasis or to interpret
further the meaning of statistics. (See Appendix P. 38-39).
2. Annual report
The annual report can be made on the same form as the
monthly report. (See Appendix P. 38-39) and totalling the
statistical information over a period of an entire school year.
However, descriptive narrative should be added to point up
specific accomplishment or failures during the year, scope of
service to children, and a general overall evaluation of the
program for the year. This report can help to create a better
understanding of visiting teacher services to children, can point
up state and local trends, identify unmet needs of children,
and other information pertinent for the school and community.
The copy of the annual report to the superintendent should be
accompanied by appropriate recommendations for his con-
SUMMARY CONTENT FOR AGENCY REFERRAL
TO: (Name of social agency) RE: (Full name of child)
FROM: (Your name and position) (Child's address)
I. IDENTIFYING INFORMATION (From your face sheet, etc.)
(Give name of parents, relation to child, birthplace and date, marital
status and religion. If parents and child do not live at same place, give
enough identifying information to clear whereabouts and status.)
Children Birthplace Birthdate School and Grade
(List in order of birth. Place asterisk before name of child or children
II. REASON FOR REFERRING: (Make a clear statement explaining why
you are re-referring case to this particular agency at this time. Include
brief summary of situation as you found it, how you reached the decision
to refer, what you think the referral may accomplish, and how the family
feels about the use of agency service. This will help the agency decide
whether or not they should accept the case).
III. HOME AND COMMUNITY. (Include statement of economic and social
conditions which have a bearing on the problem as well as attitudes within
the home and toward the school, the community and your relationships
with the family).
IV. CHILD: (Include information regarding physical condition, intelligence
and achievement tests, school grades, attendance, school placement, and
home and school adjustment. Select only material that is pertinent to
the problem. If the problem is in school, give as much information as
possible on this including the teacher's experience with the child. If
the child is referred due to parental neglect, a simple statement about
it from the school will be sufficient. In either case try to include how
the child feels about school and how he has been able to use help).
V. OTHER: (This should not duplicate any information given above but
may include material not covered, such as referral to other agencies. Do
not include reports or summaries from other agencies without their con-
DATE .................--.. ........... ....... ...
School Child New Reopen Grade Sex Age Reason for Referral Referred by Closed to Other from Other
FOR ALL CASES:
Interviews in school
Child ......- ----- .............. .......... ... ........
Teacher ..... -........................................ ..
Other than school personnel.... --...............................-
Parent ..................................... ...............................
Other ......----- .....................
Home. .. .......................
Consultation and limited service with
Teacher ....- .... .............................. .......
Parent -..- .. ...-. ........... ........ .. ........
Child ............................. ..
Other school personnel...... .............................. ...............
NAME OF CHILD..................... ... -------.....SCHOOL..... ........... ................
BIRTH DATE..... .................. .. ........ BIRTHPLACE....................... ........... ACE............... .......
Date Address Phone School Grade
SPECIAL SCHOOL INFORMATION SOCIAL SERVICE EXCHANGE REPORT
PARENTS (or GUARDIAN) De. Marital Place of
ceased Status Age Birth Occupation Religion
Last Name First Middle
..---.-- --- -- ---- -----. .--- -- --- *-- ---- .*--- --- ---- -- .I--- -- -. I.. .. ... ..
Other __________________________________ ______________
Name in Order of Birth Sex Relation Birth Date School Grade Occupation
2. ....... -.-...........- ---... -------- -- --- -- .....
3. ......... .-... ...............-- -- -----.---- -----......... ---
43 .... ..... ....... ........................................................................... .........
.. ....................--.-.----- ...
....................... ...... ------ ............................ .......................... ..............
Others in Household Relationship to Child Age Occupation
Last Name First
1. ....................---...................- ------- -- -------- --............. --... --
2 ... ............................ -- -- ------------ ------ ----- -------- -- -
..................................... ...... .................. ..................
4. ............................................... 1 .................................................... ...........- I ..................................... ........
(Name of Person or Agency) Date Date Closed Reopened Closed
.... -- ----- --- -------- ------.-. ---.. .... .... .... ............... --- .................. ........ ..-----
.............. ------------------------.... .... ................... ... .....- -...............
.. .... . --------------------- ............................ .
NAME OF CHILD BIRTH DATE__ AGE__
DATE ENROLLED_ LAST SCHOOL ATTENDED
NAME OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN
OCCUPATION OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE REGARDING THIS PROBLEM?
PRINCIPAL (if so planned in your school) TEACHER/other
Principal's Clearance File Card
Child's last name First Middle
Age Grade School
(Date) (Person making contact) (Closed)
9-5-52 School Nurse
10-22-52 V.T. 1-10-53
Master File Card
Name of Child
School Grade-_ _
Address Birth Date
Name of Parents Telephone
Known to other School Services
Social Service Exchange Clearance
(Yes or No)
Date Case Closed
Date Reopened Closed
Date Reopened Closed
NAME OF VISITING TEACHER-
COUNTY___ MONTH__ 19---
I. CASE LOAD*
Carried over (from previous mo.)
New referrals (during mo.) --...-.
Reopened cases"* .... ...--....-
Closed (during mo.) .... --.. ...
Carried forward (to next mo.) -.-
A. Referrals on new and reopened from:
Pupil -. ............. .... ... ... .. ..
Parent --.-....... ......... ........-----------
School personnel --___ ---..... ___
B. Reason for referral on new and reopened:
Behavior personality -- ---------.
Non-Attendance .-..--....- --_... -_ .. _
Parental neglect .----- --------
School failure without obvious cause ----....
Other ...._--....._---....... .._ -.
C. Analysis of caseload
Sex: Boys Girls__
Grade: Kgn. 10-12_
II. REPORT OF V.T. ACTIVITIES
A. Number of referrals (during mo.)
Elementary- Secondary -- -.---------
B. Interviews (in schools)
Teachers -...---. -----------...........---.-...-..
Pupils ----..------ --------- ----
Parents -------------- ---
Other school personnel --------...........----.---
C. Visits to:
Homes --- -...-...-.....-- -- ---- --- ---
Field (Agencies, employers, etc.) ...- -- -----. ----
Total. --- _____
D. Group Conferences" .-- --
Total No. Contacts -...--
Total No. Children ...-
F. Professional meetings:
Staff .....-- -- -
Total --- ___._-
Monthly Report- (continued)
4-6_ Spec. Ed._
7-9 Voc. Ed._
Age: 5 9 13 16
6 10_ 14 17
7 11 15 over____
G. Other activities or meetings ..................--- .......
III. REFERRALS MADE BY V.T.
Child welfare unit --------- ------- _____
Psychological service ---......-.. ------------- _____
Other community agencies .------.....------------.. _____
Other school personnel --.....---------..---- __...__.._
*a "case" is so counted and a record made up if the V.T. plans to see the child for more than two interviews, to offer a continuing
service for as long as he can use help.
"Reopened" refers to those cases which have been known to V.T. during the previous school year or during the present school
year and have been closed. No cases are held open from one school year to the next. Cases should be closed as service is com-
pleted even though reopening may be necessary during the same school year.
** "group conferences" refers to small group meetings to discuss a child's problem which needs clarification by those working with
the child. It may be (1) principal, nurse, two teachers, visiting teacher, and a dean, (2) the visiting teacher with several teachers,
(3) the visiting teacher, principal, dean, counselor and physical education instructor. The screening conference may also be
known as a group conference.
**** "consultation" refers to discussion with teachers or other school personnel about children who are not referred, but about whom
the teacher or others wish some help. This includes contacts with parents, one or two interviews with children when no other
contact is planned.
A. GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL
ALLEN, FREDERICK H. Psychotherapy With Children. New York: W. W.
Norton and Co., 1942.
BARUCH, DOROTHY W. New Ways in Discipline. New York: Whittlesey
BENEDICT, RUTH. Patterns of Culture. New York: Houghton Miffin Co.,
CORNER, GEORGE W. Ourselves Unborn: An Embryologist's Essay on
Man. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1944.
ENGLISH, O. S. and PEARSON, G. Emotional Problems of Living. New
York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1945.
FRANK, ANNE. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl. New York: Double-
GESELL, A. and ILG, F. L. The Child From Five to Ten. New York:
Harper and Co., 1946.
GREEN, ROSE. "Inner Significance and Outward Expression of Children's
Problems," The Family, XVIII (May, 1937), 85-90.
HANKINS, DOROTHY. "Mental Hygiene Problems of the Adolescent Period,"
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,
CCXXXVI (November, 1944), 128-35.
HYMES, JAMES L. "A Health Personality for Your Child," Federal Se-
curity Agency, Children's Bureau Publication, No. 837, 1952.
JOSSELYN, IRENE N. "Social Pressure in Adolescence," Social Casework,
XXXIII (May, 1952), 187-93.
PLANT, JAMES S. The Envelope. New York: The Commonwealth Fund,
--------..... Personality and the Culture Pattern. New York: The Common-
wealth Fund, 1937.
REDL, F. and WATTENBURG, W. Mental Hygiene in Teaching. New
York: Harcourt Brace and Co., 1951.
RYAN, W. CARSON. Mental Health Through Education. New York: The
Commonwealth Fund, 1938.
TOWLE, CHARLOTTE. Common Human Needs. American Association of
Social Workers, 1 Park Ave., New York 16, N. Y., 1945.
WITMER, H. and KOTINSKY, R. Personality in the Making. New York:
Harper and Brothers, 1952.
B. GENERAL CASEWORK READINGS
APTEKAR, HERBERT. Basic Concepts in Social Casework. Chapel Hill,
North Carolina: University Press, 1941.
The Confidentiality of the Agency-Client Relationship. New York: Pre-
pared by the American Association of Social Workers, Washington,
D. C. Chapter.
HAMILTON, GORDON. "Helping People The Growth of a Profession,"
Social Casework, XXIX (October, 1948), 291-99.
Principles of Social Case Recording. New York: Columbia University
SYTZ, FLORENCE, "The Development of Method in Social Casework,"
Social Casework, XXIX (March, 1948), 83-8.
TOWLE, CHARLOTTE. "Casework Methods of Helping the Client to Make
the Maximum Use of His Capacities and Resources," Social Service
Review, XXII (December, 1948), 469-79.
C. SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL ASPECTS OF ILLNESS
BAnTLETr, HARRIETT. "Emotional Elements in Illness," The Family, XXI
(April, 1940), 39-47.
COHEN, ETHEL. "Social Planning for Children with Rheumatic Heart
Disease," The Child, V (January, 1941), 164-67.
COOLEY, CAROL H. Social Aspects of Illness. Philadelphia: W. B. Saun-
CUMMINS, JEAN. "The Family as a Factor in the Epileptic's Social Ad-
justment," Social Casework, XXX (November, 1949), 384-87.
HUSE, BETTY. "Rheumatic Fever and the Child's Emotions," The Child,
XVI (August-September, 1951), 3.
McBaooN, E. and FRAELICH, U. "Interpretation of Physical Disability to
Children," Social Casework, XXX (April, 1949), 154-59.
NrrzBERc, HAROLD. "The Social Worker in an Institution for Asthmatic
Children," Social Casework, XXXIII (March, 1952), 111-17.
PHELPS, WINTHROP M. "When a Child Has Cerebral Palsy," The
Child, XI (June, 1947), 194-97.
STERN, E. and CASTENDYCK, E. The Handicapped Child: A Guide for
Parents. New York: A. A. Wyn, Inc., 1950.
D. DEVELOPMENT AND PRACTICE OF VISITING TEACHER WORK
ALDERSON, JOHN J. "The Specific Content of School Social Workers,"
Bulletin of the National Association of School Social Workers, XXVI-
XXVII (June, 1952), 3-13.
BRYANT, CLARA BAY. "Use of Community Agencies in School Guidance
Service," Bulletin of the National Association of School Social Work-
ers, XXVI-XXVII (December, 1950), 3-21.
.------ "Why Keep Records?" Bulletin of the National Association
of School Social Workers, XXII-XXIII (January, 1948), 3-10.
Children Absent from School. Citizens Committee on Children of New
York City, Inc., New York, 1949.
COOK, KATHERINE M. The Place of Visiting Teacher Service in a School
Program. U. S. Office of Education, Bulletin No. 6, 1945.
Early School Leavers. New York: National Child Labor Committee, 1949.
HANKINs, DOROTHY. "Cooperative Working Relationships Between School
Social Workers and Agency Social Workers," Bulletin of the National
Association of School Social Workers, XXIV-XXV (September, 1949),
LARSON, GARNET. "Parents Who Refuse Casework Service," Bulletin of
the National Association of School Social Workers, XXIV (June,
MILNER, JOHN G. "Understanding the Pressures oi -.-._ ory School
Attendance," Bulletin of the National Association of School Social
Workers, XXIX (March, 1953), 3-11.
MITCHELL, GRACE. "The Process of Interprofessional Relationship Be-
tween Teacher and School Social Worker," Bulletin of the National
Association of School Social Workers, XXIV-XXV (December, 1949),
NuDD, HOWARD. Purpose and Scope of Visiting Teacher Work. New
York: The Commonwealth Fund, 1930.
POOLE, FLORENCE. "Analysis of the Characteristics of School Social Work,"
Social Service Review, XXIII (December, 1949), 454-59.
PRAY, KENNETH. "The Place of Social Casework in the Treatment of De-
linquency," Social Service Review, XIX (June, 1945), 235-48.
School Attendance Service in Florida, A Handbook, Bulletin No. 32. Tal-
lahassee, Florida: Florida State Department of Education, March,
SIKKEMA, MILDRED. Report of a Study of School Social Work Practice in
Twelve Communities. New York: American Association of Social
Workers, 1 Park Ave., $1.00, 1953.
SMALLEY, RUTH E. "The Philosophy and Objectives of Adjustment Ser-
vices as Expressed in Practice," Bulletin of the National Association
of School Social Workers, XXVIII (December, 1952), 9-19.
._.------_-.. "School Social Work as Part of the School Program," Bulletin
of the National Association of School Social Workers, XXII-XXIII
(March, 1947), 51-4.
---- "The Significance of Believing for School Counselors," Bul-
letin of the National Association of School Social Workers, XXVIII
(September, 1952), 9-18.
S "Social Casework Techniques in Attendance Service," Bulletin
of the National Association of School Social Workers, XXII-XXIII
(June, 1947), 11-18.
Social Work Yearbook, 1951. New York: American Association of Social
Teamwork Project: A Progress Report of the Harlingen Project After the
First Six Months of Operation, Charles F. Mitchell, Executive Secre-
tary, 406 E. Fifth St., Austin, Texas, 1951.
Understanding the Child: Ten Articles on School Social Work. New York:
The National Committee for Mental Hygiene, Inc., 1950.
WILLE, JANE. "The Relation of the School to Protective Service for Chil-
dren," Bulletin of the National Association of School Social Workers,
XXIV-XXV (June, 1949), 19-26.
"School Social Work in Relation to the Use of Community
Agencies," Bulletin of the National Association of School Social
Workers, XXIV-XXV (March, 1949), 3-10.
YOUNG, E. and ZWINK, D. "Experiments in Preventive Work with 1B
Children." Bulletin of the National Association of School Social
Workers, XXII-XXIII (May, 1948), 3-8.