Collaborating through a virtual meeting

If the school has a school counselor or dedicated mental health clinician (social worker, licensed professional counselor, etc) it is recommended this staff member serve as the Equity Associates Liaison for the school.

A collaborative and systemic partnership is supported between Equity Associates and any onsite school-based mental health staff as well as community mental health partnerships in order to assure students receive a personalized experience and targeted interventions that match their unique needs and the needs of the school. Equity Associates Collaborative Care Model provides a structure for this robust partnership to occur in a systematized fashion.

The school’s Equity Associates Liaison, other school-based mental health personnel and community mental health practitioners when applicable will work together through Equity Associates Collaborative Care Model in order to proactively establish student safety and crisis intervention plans and the school-based mental health personnel will be essential in responding as outlined within these plans when responsive counseling and crisis intervention are necessary.

According to ASCA, the American School Counseling Association, school counselors should spend 80% or more of their time in service delivery. This includes individual student planning, responsive services, delivering the school counseling core/tier-one curriculum. The remainder of a school counselor’s time should be spent on assessment, management and planning. ASCA indicates that the following activities are not appropriate for school counselors according to the ASCA National School Counseling Standards, providing therapy or long-term counseling in schools to address psychological disorders or coordinating student study teams (ASCA National Model A Framework For School Counseling Programs, n.d.).

ASCA recommends a caseload of 250 students per counselor however, according to Department of Education statistics, 430 one counselor is the national average caseload for school counselors. Therefore statistics also indicate that while many schools are able to deliver tier-1 services, tier-2 and tier 3 services are often undeveloped and delivered due to limited school counselor accessibility. Equity Associates can supplement the direct services available to students within the school setting.