Mental Health & Support Services
The Mental Health and Support Services Department offers a range of tiered mental health, counseling, referral, and social and emotional services and supports to help children, youth, and families become better equipped to thrive. Services are rendered at schools through various programs at KIPP SoCal, and povided by School Counselors and graduate level social work interns from social work graduate programs. Services and supports are free of charge and are provided to students based on need and availability regardless of immigration or insurance status.
Who can receive school counseling services?
School Counseling services are reserved for students whose social and emotional needs are impairing their academic abilities. For students that are experiencing challenges outside of school, referrals to local mental health agencies will be provided. Reasons for a school counseling referral impacting academic or school performance:
- Loss of a family member or loved one (e.g. death, incarceration, or deportation).
- Stressors at home are affecting school performance or self esteem (e.g. divorce, financial stress).
- Student is very sad, angry, or worried.
- Difficulty making and maintaining appropriate friendships with peers.
- Student lacks school motivation to participate or attend school or is extremely distracted.
- Severe changes in a student’s behavior.
- A traumatic event that is impacting school performance (e.g. abuse, car accident, bullying, etc.).
What do school counseling services look like at KIPP SoCal?
Meeting with the school Counselor will look different at each of our KIPP Schools, but in general they may receive support the following ways, based on what is appropriate:
- Classroom support and teacher consultation:
- Counselor consults with teacher about appropriate interventions and supports that can help the student be more successful in their classroom.
- Counselor may come into the classroom to present on a particular topic (e.g. bullying prevention, appropriate friendships, or suicide awareness for middle school students).
- Referral to a community mental health agency:
- Sometimes the school Counselor's caseload is full or the need of the student goes beyond school performance, and a referral will be initiated in partnership with the parent/family for outside counseling services or services provided for by a contracted therapist.
- Group Counseling:
- Counselor will meet with a group of no more than 10 students to work on increasing skills in a certain area, such as coping with strong emotions, processing grief or social skills.
- Individual Counseling:
- Students meet with the school counselor one on one to address a particular concern or behavior.
How can my child receive School Counseling services?
- In order to benefit from these services, students must be referred (by staff, parent or self-referral), and schools must demonstrate that all other options have been exhausted, qualify through school counseling assessment and parent interview.
- Parents also must sign for consent for participation in mental health services for students, however, School Counselors are permitted to meet with students without parental consent up to 3 times and in the case of emergencies (e.g. suicidal ideation or suspicion of abuse).
- In the state of California, children aged 12 and above are able to consent for their own mental health services, however, School Counselors will always attempt to partner with parents/legal guardians to collaborate on treatment and referrals.
- Consent for counseling can be revoked in writing at any time by the parent or legal guardian and given to the main office or directly to the School Counselor.
Confidentiality and Privacy
A counselor-student relationship must be built on trust and confidentiality. This means that School Counselors are bound by ethical codes of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to keep conversations between counselors and students private. School Counselors maintain the confidentiality of their students and their families at all times and will only break confidentiality if given specific permission or if the student’s or when student may be susceptible to or there is suspicion of:
- Harming themselves.
- Harm to others.
- Abuse and/or Neglect.
School Counselors, like all KIPP SoCal Public Schools employees, are mandated reporters.
Mental Health Agency Partnerships
- South LA Partnerships
- South East LA Partnerships
- East LA Partnerships
- Compton Partnerships
- San Diego Partnerships
Who provides School Counseling Services?
Mental health services are provided by Master’s level Social Workers (MSW or equivalent - e.g. school psychology) that are registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as Associate Clinical Social Workers (ACSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), in addition to possessing their Pupil Personnel Services Credential with certification in school social work / school counseling, and child welfare and attendance through the Committee on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). All clinicians are trained in multiple evidence-based practices and specialize in treating depression, anxiety, special education, disruptive behaviors, and trauma.