Social Work

Sometimes circumstances outside of the classroom get in the way of students learning up to their capabilities. In District 401, social workers are on hand to assist students at each of our schools as they navigate those challenges. 

The job of a school social worker is to help identify external obstacles and then work with students to get the services needed to overcome those difficulties.

Where You Can Find Our Social Workers





District Wide PK-12 Michaela Vasey N/A
John Mills Elementary School PK-5 Bernadine Edwards


John Mills Elementary School


Patricia Faldani


Elmwood Elementary School K-5 Meg Carin 708-583-6259

Elm Middle School


Katie Blunier


Elm Middle School 6-8 Patricia Faldani 708-583-6229

Elmwood Park High School


Abraham Diaz


Elmwood Park High School


Lara Mangialardi


What Our Social Workers Do

District 401's social workers provide a wealth of services at each of our schools.

Besides assisting young people who require additional social and emotional support, they also share their expertise with teachers who work with students struggling socially, emotionally or academically.

Some of the services that our social workers provide include the following:

  • Social/friendship groups
  • Executive functioning groups
  • Individual social work
  • Behavioral/academic observation
  • Support to our response-to-intervention team
  • Support to our special education staff
  • Outside resources to students and families in need

As the National Association of Social Workers puts it: "School social workers pick up where teachers leave off. They are perhaps the professionals best equipped to address the social and psychological issues that can block academic progress. Through counseling, crisis intervention and prevention programs, they help young people overcome the difficulties in their lives, and as a result, give them a better chance at succeeding in school."

To Learn More

For additional information about social work in District 401 and the resources available for our students and families, please visit the pages listed in the section below.