Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services Staffing: Policies in U.S. School Districts
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Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services Staffing: Policies in U.S. School Districts
  • Published Date:

    June 2018

  • Source:
    Am J Prev Med. 54(6 Suppl 3):S215-S219
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-56.43 KB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    Am J Prev Med
  • Description:
    Introduction: Schools are in a unique position to meet the mental and behavioral health needs of children and adolescents because approximately 95% of young people aged 7–17 years attend school. Little is known, however, about policies related to counseling, psychological, and social services staffing in school districts. This study analyzed the prevalence of such policies in public school districts in the U.S. Methods: Data from four cycles (2000, 2006, 2012, and 2016) of the School Health Policies and Practices Study, a national survey periodically conducted to assess policies and practices for ten components of school health, were analyzed in 2017. The survey collected data related to counseling, psychological, and social services among nationally representative samples of school districts using online or mailed questionnaires. Sampled districts identified respondents responsible for or most knowledgeable about the content of each questionnaire. Results: The percentage of districts with a district-level counseling, psychological, and social services coordinator increased significantly from 62.6% in 2000 to 79.5% in 2016. In 2016, 56.3% of districts required each school to have someone to coordinate counseling, psychological, and social services at the school. Fewer districts required schools at each level to have a specified ratio of counselors to students (16.2% for elementary schools, 16.8% for middle schools, and 19.8% for high schools), and the percentage of districts with these requirements has decreased significantly since 2012. Conclusions: Increases in the prevalence of district-level staffing policies could help increase the quantity and quality of counseling, psychological, and social services staff in schools nationwide, which in turn could improve mental and behavioral health outcomes for students. Supplement information: This article is part of a supplement entitled The Behavioral Health Workforce: Planning, Practice, and Preparation, which is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Pubmed ID:
    29779545
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC7075633
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