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The director of Grady County School district’s social services department, Dr. Katina Cooper, is now leading the School Social Workers Association for Georgia.
During this spring’s virtual conference for the School Social Workers Association of Georgia (S.S.W.A.G.), Dr. Cooper was elected the association’s state president for the term 2021-2022, effective at the end of the conference. Prior to becoming president, Cooper served as the association’s vice president from 2019 to 2021.
According to the association’s procedural guidelines, Dr. Cooper’s duties as president include representing the state at any School Social Workers Association of America meetings and to professional organizations; presiding over and guiding all S.S.W.A.G.; orienting new school social workers; and helping to recruit and develop new leaders within the association.
Dr. Cooper, a Thomasville native, began working for Grady County Schools in 2008 as assistant school social worker. After graduating as a Doctor of Social Work from Capella University in 2016, she became Director of Social Services for Grady County Schools in 2017.
Dr. Cooper previously worked as a social service technician with child and adolescent day services at Georgia Pines from 1999 until 2003, when she joined American Work, Inc., as a Thomasville-based social service provider for their Intensive Family Intervention program.
Cooper earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1996 and a Master of Social Work in 2006, both from Valdosta State University.
As the Director of Social Services for Grady County Schools, Dr. Cooper manages the school-based telehealth and virtual counseling services for Grady County students and their families. Cooper also serves as the school system’s point of contact for foster care, homeless liaison, and county contact for the Southwest Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency’s Wraparound Service Collaborative.
Dr. Cooper says she also volunteers on the board of directors for Grady County Family Connection.
School Social Workers Association of Georgia members are school social workers throughout the state of Georgia, Dr. Cooper says.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, school social workers help students, families, and school systems overcome barriers that interfere with learning through assessment, crisis intervention, and coordination of community services.