School-based mental health providers are specially trained in school system functioning and learning, as well as how students’ behavior and mental health impacts their ability to be successful in school. According to Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), defined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), the term ‘specialized instructional support personnel’ means— ‘‘(i) school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists; and ‘‘(ii) other qualified professional personnel, such as school nurses….involved in providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services.. as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs.’’ These professionals are considered “school-based mental health providers” as well as providers of related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, Sec. 62, paragraph 22). These staff have a Pupil Personnel Services License and are hired to provide direct mental health services to students among other job responsibilities.
Areas of expertise include but are not limited to: education law, curriculum and instruction, classroom and behavior management, individual and group counseling, learning disabilities, school safety and crisis response, effective discipline, cultural competence, and consultation with educators, families and community providers (NASP, 2016).
All Henrico County Public Schools are staff with school-based mental health teams inclusive of a school counselor, school psychologist and school social worker. School Counselors are site-based staff while School Psychologists and School Social Workers are centrally managed and may serve schools in a full-time or itinerant capacity. Equitable assignment of staff to schools is determined yearly and guided by a needs rubric which considers multiple data points.
Interested in learning more about the HCPS school-based mental health providers? Click the links below for more information and assignments by school.
School Social Work
Questions? Please contact Jaee Bodas, School-Based Mental Health Specialist