Warsaw R-IX Social Worker Is Beacon Of Hope For Kids

Warsaw High School alumnae Jonna Arnett has accepted the job of district social worker for the Warsaw R-9 School District.
“I am happy to be working with the students and parents of the Warsaw District as I strive to do anything I can to keep kids safe and comfortable,” said Arnett.
Arnett graduated from WHS in 2011 and then attended the University of Central Missouri to complete a degree in community health and psychology.  She worked for a while at Compass helping adults with mental health issues.  She then worked at the Benton County Courthouse in the Assessor’s office.  Arnett received her advanced degree in education at UCM then took on the position as a social studies teacher at the Lincoln school district.  After six years at Lincoln, Arnett opened a children’s store on Main Street in Warsaw.  She was there a year before she decided to go back to Compass to work with children.
Compass Health Network takes a “person-centered, integrated approach” to a patient’s care that focuses on treating the whole person. It is a collaboration between individual patients, their personal providers, and when appropriate, their family. It is a true team approach that assists the person/family with learning techniques to help them manage their own illnesses and also focuses on ways to prevent the onset of illnesses. Efficient and effective care is enhanced by data and technology to assure that patients receive the care they need when and where they need it.  Care is delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
“When the position of social worker at Warsaw became available, I knew this was what I was called to do,” said Arnett.
In just the first week of school, Arnett has been busy locating resources for students and their families.
“School should be a safe inclusive place where children can grow up,” said Arnett.
Arnett pointed out that if children do not have food or clothing, they aren’t worried about their homework.  Arnett worked with WARM House this past week getting clothing and shoes to children who needed them.
Arnett is also working closely with Benton County Youth Coalition (BCYC) to help educate students about the dangers of vaping, drug and alcohol abuse.
According to Arnett, students dealing with drug abuse lose all motivation to do anything.
Arnett will also be working closely with the school counselors in the district.
“Students can be referred to me by their counselor, teacher, or parents,” said Arnett.  “My door is always open and I look forward to helping students as they work through the process of growing up.”
Arnett will also be working with students who are having behavioral issues at school and at home.
“I learned a great deal about mental health problems that children are dealing with by working with Compass,” said Arnett.  “Problems at home can create problems at school so I will also be doing home visits to help children who are struggling.”
Warsaw Superintendent Scott Gemes was pleased with the addition of Arnett as the district social worker.
“The addition of a social worker will take some of the workload off of our counselors,” said Gemes.  “Jonna will also be in charge of working with homeless students and their families.”
Homeless students are identified as any student living with someone other than their legal guardian so that could include a student living with friends or grandparents.
Warsaw residents, Arnett and her husband Hadley are the parents of a three-year-old daughter, Blaire.
“I am glad to be back at Warsaw and I am excited to help kids prosper and break down barriers that stand in the way of their education,” said Arnett.