Britta Mullany, LGSW

Home and Hospital Office

Britta Mullany, LGSW

Britta Mullany’s path to school social work followed a circuitous route. Having initially been trained as a researcher in behavioral health, Mullany’s passion always has been working with youth and families. She spent the first 10 years of her career implementing and evaluating community-based family strengthening programs on Native American reservations and in Asia.

As time passed, Mullany realized she wanted to work with families and children directly – instead of on a programmatic and research level – and she returned to graduate school to gain clinical skills and pursue her master’s degree in social work. Mullany officially joined Baltimore County Public Schools in 2017, after two years of serving as a contractual school social worker at Franklin Middle School and Halethorpe Elementary School.

Mullany finds her current assignment – as the school social worker for the Home and Hospital Office – to be interesting and rewarding. (The Home and Hospital program provides instruction to BCPS students who are unable to attend their comprehensive schools due to certified physical illnesses, emotional conditions, or pregnancy.)

Covering the whole county for all K-12 students receiving home and hospital services presents unique challenges and opportunities. As the Home and Hospital Office processes approximately 1,500 applications each school year, the pace of work is intense. Mullany finds that her caseload is varied and fluctuates on a regular basis. First and foremost, she provides mandated school social work services to students with Individualized Education Program (IEPs) or 504 plans (designed to ensure appropriate supports for students with disabilities) when they go on Home and Hospital. The majority of these students are diagnosed with severe anxiety, with a smaller number having emotional health conditions in conjunction with significant illnesses or injuries. She also receives referrals for young women throughout the county who become pregnant and go on Home and Hospital. In the future, Mullany hopes to expand the network of support for young pregnant students by collaborating further with her Home and Hospital colleagues, school nurses and social workers, and the local Judy Centers. Lastly, Mullany regularly receives referrals from Home and Hospital teaching staff regarding concerns related to mental health, family well-being, or home stability for students.

Flexibility is key in her current assignment, as Mullany does the majority of her work meeting students in homes, public libraries, and sometimes even at Dunkin’ Donuts or other locations most convenient for families and students. Given the nature of home visits and the complex circumstances for which many students receive Home and Hospital services, Mullany spends a lot of time working with families providing therapeutic intervention and assisting them in following through with referrals and attaining resources. Mullany also attempts to serve as the bridge between homes/families, community-based therapists and providers, and the schools. She feels that this networking is fundamental to helping youth and families navigate their ways to wellness.

When asked what she enjoys most about the position, Mullany shared, “The position lends itself well to being clinically creative, which is exciting and at times challenging. No two cases are alike!”

(Photos of all of the five school social workers to be profiled can be found on the BCPS Flickr site. Profiles of the school social workers, once posted, will all be available in the BCPS Spotlight archives.)

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