School Counselors have many responsibilities that assist with supporting the mental health needs of students, as well as creating a safe, positive climate on campus. The following list includes the services provided by school counselors:
- School Counselors provide community referrals to families in need of counseling, social services, healthcare, support groups, and medication management. They also facilitate referrals for School-Based mental health agencies so that students are able to receive mental health therapy on the school campus.
- School Counselors provide on-going individual support to the foster students in our schools by meeting with them on a regular basis and assisting them with academic, attendance, and behavioral issues they are experiencing. In addition, the counselor ensures that students are receiving available supports on campus, if needed, such as tutoring, school-based mental health, intervention classes, and participation in after school programs.
- School Counselors are active participants in the Student Study Team process. They assist with developing and monitoring behavior contracts and behavior plans, as well as providing community referrals when needed. Through the Student Study Team process, counselors help address chronic attendance issues, behavioral problems, and academic concerns.
- Various group counseling sessions are offered by the school counselors to address behavior, social, and academic issues. These topics may include organizational skills, study skills, anger management, conflict resolution, anti-bullying, and goal-setting.
- Crisis intervention is available for students who are dealing with suicidal ideation, self-mutilation, loss, home issues, among other issues. These students are seen on an as-needed basis and referred to community agencies, if necessary. The counselors follow up with the students to make sure they have received the support they need following the crisis event.
- Classroom presentations that address the needs of particular classes and grade levels are on-going in our schools. Presentation topics could include homework tips, social problem-solving, identifying learning styles, improving study habits, and how to communicate effectively.
- Counselors identify and meet with students with chronic attendance issues. They assist with solving underlying issues contributing to tardies and attendance concerns. Families are provided community resources, when needed, and counselors provide individual counseling for personal issues.
- The counselors work with the site administrators to implement the Abolish Chronic Truancy (ACT) program in coordination with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. The counselors facilitate ACT parent meetings in addition to Student Attendance Review Team (SART) meetings. A School Counselor is a representative on the district level Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) as well. Throughout this process, the counselors work with families to address the root causes of poor attendance, then provide the families assistance to correct the problem.
- All the school counselors are members of their school site Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS) teams. They take a leadership role in making sure the necessary steps of implementation are completed and the framework is being implemented with fidelity. Through a positive school environment, the school climate and academic achievement improves, as well as improved behavior through decreased suspensions and expulsions. Increased school attendance is also a byproduct of a positive school environment.