Frequently Asked Questions About School Counseling
- Who are School Counselors?
-A person who provides support services for all students.
-A resource for all staff members and parents.
-A liaison with outside community resources.
-We are NOT: Disciplinarians, Administrators, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, or Social Workers.
- Who does the School Counselor see?
ALL students at the school, however continual counseling sessions will require a signed consent from the parent or legal guardian of the child.
3.What services does the School Counselor provide?
The School Counselor provides preventive and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of a child’s life. School Counselors provide appropriate tools for communicating, making decisions, developing friendships/relationships and coping skills. School Counselors provide services by developing and delivering classroom lessons that teach skills for achieving success, providing small group counseling and immediate short-term counseling when needed; providing support during personal crisis. In addition, School Counselors work collaboratively with parents/staff to help children succeed in academics, college/career exploration, personal/social development, and provide referrals for community resources.
- Meeting immediate needs and concerns of students.
- Support in crisis situations.
- Consultation and collaboration with staff, families, and outside agencies .
- Classroom behavior support
- Goal setting
College & Career:
- Explore interests and skills
- Awareness of college & career options
- Development of life skills
Personal & Social Development:
- Building Self-Esteem
- Making & Keeping Friends
- Coping Skills
- Bereavement & Grief
- Anger Management
- Problem Solving Skills
- Strengths and Resiliency
- Conflict Resolution
- Peer mediation
- How are school counseling services delivered?
- Classroom lessons will consist of many of the topics listed above in the Academic, College & Career, and Personal/Social areas.
- Frequency of classroom guidance lessons will vary.
- Engage students with developmentally appropriate, interactive lessons.
- Create awareness of self and others.
Small Group Counseling:
- Generally a group of 3-5 students, formed by grade level and or sharing a common concern.
- Help and support students in areas of self– confidence, friendship, grief, attitude and behavior changes, and more.
- School Counselor will work one-on-one with students, specific to the individual need and area of growth of the child.
- How does a student get referred to the school counselor?
Students can see the School Counselor via self-referral, parent/guardian request and/or staff referral.
5.Why would my child see the School Counselor?
Students may be referred to the School Counselor if there are concerns that are impacting their learning at school. Some concerns, but not limited to are: behavioral, social/ emotional, and academic concerns.
- How do parents/guardians contact the School Counselor?
The School Counselor is available 7:30am - 3:30pm Monday- Friday. Parents can contact the School Counselor at any time via phone or email regarding their child. We can discuss concerns over the phone or make an appointment to meet in person.
- How long/often does the school counselor see a student?
-Sessions may be ongoing (short term, 6-8 weeks) or as needed.
-Depending on the student, those receiving services will meet with the school counselor between 2-3 times a month for 20-30 minutes per session.
- Student may take part in both a small counseling group & 1:1 counseling or periodical check-in's.
- Appropriate adjustments will be made as necessary.
- All services and sessions will be during school hours
8.Will parents/guardians be notified if child speaks to the School Counselor?
Parents are notified at the discretion of the School Counselor. Information discussed between the school counselor and the child is confidential (with exceptions: see #10 below). If the School Counselor will be seeing a student on an on-going basis the School Counselor will notify the parent and seek parental consent for School Counseling.
9.What is confidentiality and how does it work?
Confidentiality is an important aspect of counseling; this is how the School Counselor builds trust with the student. What the child says during a counseling session is to remain between the School Counselor and the child, unless:
The child is in imminent danger.
-The child is threatening to harm him/herself or someone else.
-The child reports an incident of abuse and/or neglect.
- The child gives permission to disclose. When a breach in confidentiality is necessary, I would make a report to the appropriate agencies, support staff and/or parents depending on the situation.
*Note: School Counselors and ALL school staff members are mandated reporters. Mandated reporters are required by law to report to Children Protective Services (CPS) any time a child is suspected of being in danger, abused or neglected.
10.Is a child in trouble if they see the School Counselor?
No, when a child receives a slip for the School Counselor, it does not mean the child has been called in because they are in trouble or “bad.” It means staff personnel, parent/guardian or self-referral was made.
11.If it is a weekend, how do I get help for Crisis Counseling?
- How can my child be referred to outside service agencies?
The School Counselor can provide information regarding local outside counseling agencies.
- If a student is getting outside counseling (therapeutic) services, what is the School Counselors role?
The School Counselor can collaborate with the outside counseling service provider if needed. There is a form that parents/guardians need to fill out and sign allowing school personnel to contact outside service agencies. The forms are available in the front office, please ask office staff. The forms are titled: Authorization for Disclosure Of Confidential Information (HIPPA), this form will allow communication between providers and school personnel.