Roles of the Health and Social Services Coordinator

In performing daily duties and responsibilities, a Health and Social Services Coordinator (HSSC) is knowledgeable and skillful in a variety of roles. The role selected and used is the most effective depending on the situation. These roles are used commonly In assisting: Students, Parents/Guardians, Administration, Faculty and Staff

Health and Social Social Services: Broker, Advocate, Initiator, Mediator, Negotiator, Educator, Coordinator, Researcher, Group Facilitator, SpeakerThe Irvington School District is unique in the manner in which health and social services are implemented. Health and Social Services Coordinators (HSSC) are master’s level, clinically trained social workers that possesses a particular area of expertise. The delivery of services is aimed at removing the roadblocks to success so that each student can reach their potential and have academic success.

The overall duty of the supervisor, is to demonstrate integrity, accountability and oversee staff to ensure quality, effective and efficient interventions and ancillary activities provided by the coordinators.

All services are provided to facilitate behavioral change in students, support families and to assist in the educational process.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the services provided. All information shared with the Heath and Social Services Coordinator will be in strict confidence. No information will be shared without permission. Exceptions to the rule are that in cases where suicidal or homicidal behavior is evident, the appropriate people will be contacted. Cases of abuse and neglect must also be reported.


If your family lives in any of the following situations:

• In a shelter, motel, vehicle or campground
• On the street
• In an abandoned building, trailer, or other inadequate accommodations or
• Doubled up with friends or relatives because you can not afford housing

Then, your pre-aged and school-aged children have certain rights or protections under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act.  Contact the school’s Health and Social Services Coordinator/School Homeless Prevention Liaison from the list on the right side of this web page or the District/School Homeless Prevention Liaison:

Shelley E. Pettiford

McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison
973-399-6897 Ext 1808

1253 Clinton Avenue
Irvington, NJ 07111



If you or another teen you know has a problem with drug addiction, please reach out to the following organization for help:

Drug Rehab by Advanced Recovery Systems

The Bridge

Legal Assistance for Immigrants in NJ

American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights
89 Market Street, 6th Floor

Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 643-1924

Catholic Charities
976 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 733-3516

International Institute of New Jersey
1 Journal Square Plaza, 4th Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 653-3888

El Centro Hispanaoamericano
525 East Front Street
Plainfield, NJ 07060
(800) 753-8730
(908) 753-8463

Lutheran Social Services
P.O. Box 30
Trenton, NJ 08601
(609) 393-4900

Legal Services of New Jersey
P.O. Box 1357
Edison, NJ 0818
(732) 572-9100

LaCasa de Don Pedro, Inc.
39 Broadway
Newark, NJ 07104
(973) 481-4713

Drug Abuse Prevention Curriculum

Project Drug and Alcohol Free: Reach for the Stars!! Is a research-based universal classroom program designed for grades Kindergarten through twelve. It has been designed based on the theory of the social influence model to address a wide range of risk and protective factors by teaching general personal and social skills along with normative education and drug resistance skills.

The two major content areas are personal awareness and substance awareness and resistance skills. The following multi-level components have been incorporated into the curriculum:

  • Exploring reasons for youth usage of ATOD
  • Providing normative education about actual usage
  • Learning about societal influences, such as advertising
  • Learning about the effects of ATOD on youth and society
  • Learning short-term and long-term consequences of usage
  • Learning and practicing peer resistance skills
  • Learning about personal awareness and the power within to refuse ATOD
  • Improving social skills to increase their ease in handling social situations
  • Supporting the development of positive relationships, and challenging, youth to live up to their potential.

The strategies used in this curriculum are based on similar strategies in the other “social influences model” programs, which have been implemented and evaluated in longitudinal studies and have shown to be effective in the prevention of drug use in youth.

The curriculum covers grades K-12, and has been divided into four grade clusters: K-3; 4-6; 7-9; 9-12. It has been designed to meet the developmental needs of the students in each cluster. Successful prevention programs are ones that offer “booster” sessions, and this curriculum is designed to be implemented in each cluster, thereby allowing students the opportunity to relearn and build on preceding information as they advance to each succeeding cluster.

This curriculum is interactive and avoids didactic teaching. It incorporates opportunities for parent involvement in each unit, thereby increasing communication between child and parent. Much group work is provided, and students will learn from the group process (i.e. social problem-solving, consensus building, etc.) and will learn from each other. A community involvement component is included in the program.


  • To establish a supportive network of services to bridge the gap between home, school, and community
  • To collaborate with administrators and school personnel in meeting the educational, social, and emotional needs of the students


  • To help students develop healthy coping skills
  • To empower students to make positive lifestyle choices
  • To improve academic success
  • To provide substance abuse awareness, education and prevention

The objective of the Health and Social Services Coordinators of Irvington Public Schools is to help students solve social, emotional and/or academic problems, which seriously interfere with their progress in school or in their personal development.