Bernard Yates: BCPS School Social Worker

Constantly developing clinical skills, learning as I teach

Bernard Yates: BCPS School Social Worker

Bernard Yates, LCSW-C, is currently a school social worker at Chatsworth School.  He has been at this school his entire tenure with Baltimore County Public Schools.

Yates graduated from University of Maryland’s School of Social Work in 1988 and, after working for Baltimore City Department of Social Services and Sinai Hospital’s Sex Abuse Treatment Program, he briefly did in-home therapy. 

In 1984, he was hired as the first school social worker at Chatsworth School’s Behavior and Learning Supports Program. Yates began providing group, individual, and family therapy to students in the BLS program, which grew to more than 100 students at one time. His responsibilities widened to the general education classes to assist the included students in their quest to be more successful. 

Yates has instituted a weekly soccer game to teach students teamwork, following directions, and dealing with winning and losing. The program has been going on for about 10 years, co-led by the gym teacher.  The students have learned the game of soccer and the more important skills of successfully competing in an atmosphere of good sportsmanship. 

In the summer of 1984, Yates began working with, and soon thereafter became director of, a special education camp for BLS students run by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks. It then merged with another camp for students with ADHD and other learning issues. Over the years, the park program has been combined with the BCPS Extended School Year program. With the partnership of these two agencies, and with the financial assistance of the Baltimore County Department of Health or Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the camps have provided a structured program to a growing number of students each year. Last summer, the program had almost 150 students enrolled. 

In preparation for retirement this June, Yates had this to say, “While I am very happy to look forward to the next phase of my life after retirement, I am very sad to leave such a wonderful group of students and staff.  Watching the students grow and move on to the next level of education is bittersweet, I am celebrating their success and hoping for the best for them. Teaching social work interns has helped me stay focused on constantly developing clinical skills. I have been learning more even as I teach.  Incorporating the work around Mindfulness Practices into the work here has helped me develop my own practice and assist the students and staff at the same time. I am very grateful for the many years of work and growth as part of the school system.” 

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