Authenticity Leads to Trust and Respect for School Social Worker

By Office of Communications
Employee News
March 03, 2024

March 3-9 is National School Social Work Week. Social workers in FCPS help to prevent social, emotional, and behavioral factors from affecting a student's ability to perform at their best. Their primary goal is to remove barriers that prevent a student from fulfilling their academic potential. 

Social workers are assigned to every school and center in the division. Most social workers serve one or two sites. Learn more about the role of social workers in FCPS.

Elizabeth Romeo is the school social worker at Lorton Station Elementary School. She was a finalist for the FCPS Honors 2023 Outstanding School-Based Professional Employee award. 

“When I came to Lorton Station, I was immediately surprised by Ms. Romeo's familiarity and knowledge of students in the building,” said Francis Legagneur, principal. “Ms. Romeo has gone beyond her duties, providing resources to families in need and meeting them at times convenient for the family, even if those times were well before or after her work hours.” 

On paper, Elizabeth is a school social worker. But to the community at Lorton Station Elementary, she is so much more. Elizabeth centers her work around equity and the dignity of students and families — whether in a special education screening meeting, small groups for social-emotional learning, or simply meeting one-on-one for consultation. 

Tania Muskett, Lorton Station’s family liaison, provided a letter of support for Elizabeth’s Honors nomination. 

“Her commitment to our families extends well beyond the basic responsibilities of her job,” Tania said. “She is never satisfied with simply handing out resources, phone numbers, or websites to our families in need. Instead, Ms. Romeo will research and narrow down resources for families, then help walk them through the process of getting the help they need.  

“While providing this targeted support, she also finds a way to empower families to learn and grow and, thus, find ways to help themselves,” Tania wrote. “She is passionate in advocating for families and teaching them to advocate for themselves.” 

In her five years at Lorton Station, Elizabeth has become trusted and respected by the community, and she is counted on for her guidance and leadership. Her authenticity shines through as she provides support and resources needed for student success, allowing her to form strong relationships with staff, students, and parents alike. She has also been involved in opportunities to bring the Lorton Station community together at events like the school’s Wellness Day, Fall Festival, and Spring Fling. 

“Elizabeth leads with patience and kindness in all situations,” her honors nomination stated. “Elizabeth celebrates the uniqueness of each child, and they all love and respect her. When a student needs support, her name is consistently toward the top of the list of the people they request.”