Information for Parents

  • How do I know if my child might be having difficulty in school due to mental health related issues?

    As a parent, you usually know your child better than anyone else. There are a variety of indicators that might suggest your child is having difficulties at school. Some possible things to look for include:
     
    • Suddenly complaining of illness when it is time to go to school or avoiding school
    • Sudden changes in school performance
    • Increase in disciplinary issues at school
    • Difficulty concentrating at school and at home
    • Sudden changes in mood
    • Complaining about physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, fatique, or chest tightness
    • Problems getting along with peers
    • Stressful situations at home such as marital or family problems, substance abuse, changes in living status, or domestic violence
    • History of exposure to traumatic events
    • Family history of mental health problems or concerns
     
    These are just some of the potential warning signs that your child may be having difficulties at school related to mental health concerns. As your child’s caregiver, it is important to look for any significant changes and pay attention to possible warning signs. 
     

    I have some concerns, what do I do next?

    If you have concerns about your child's mental health at school, contact your child's teacher, school counselor, school social worker, or school administrator. Your child's teachers are able to observe your child with other children in a classroom setting. Support staff, including school counselors, school social workers, and school administration may have insight about your child's emotional and behavioral health. School staff members want to partner with you and your child to ensure your child has the supports he or she needs to succeed, not only academically, but socially and emotionally. Our school counselors and social workers can talk with you about your concerns and make referrals to the appropriate services or resources to help your child with mental health concerns if needed. 

     

    What does the School Social Worker do?

    TCS School Social Workers help identify and assess family and school situations, and provide intervention to students whose social or emotional needs affect their academic learning on a consistent basis. TCS School Social Workers are all licensed mental health professionals with specific expertise in the area of child and adolscent mental health. School Social Workers may provide short-term mental health interventions for students who do not require more intensive interventions. For students/families that may need long-term, more intensive counseling services or additional services, the school social worker connects them with the appropriate community resource(s). The school social work role is a vital part of the educational team, working closely with school administrators, school counselors, school psychometrists, teachers, and pertinent staff to ensure a successful experience for all students. 

    School Social Workers help STUDENTS by working collaboratively with School Counselors/faculty to:

    • Identify problems and work to find help for them. These problems may include but are not limited to misbehavior in class, problematic peer relationships, alcohol / substance abuse, teen pregnancy or excessive absences
    • Develop effective coping strategies
    • Develop decision making skills
    • Understand themselves and others
    • Improve interpersonal relationships
    • Work through personal matters
    • Utilize school and community resources

    School Social Workers help PARENTS to:

    • Understand and meet their child’s social and emotional needs
    • Participate effectively in their child’s education
    • Utilize school and community resources
       

    School Social Workers help SCHOOLS to:

    • Understand factors (familial, societal, economic, etc.) that affect students’ abilities to make maximum use of their school experience
    • Utilize their resources to meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of students
    • Promote a safe school environment
    • Connect with resources within the community
       

    School Social Workers help COMMUNITIES to:

    • Understand school policies, programs, and practices
    • Develop and utilize resources to adequately meet the needs of students and families

    When should I contact the School Social Worker?

    Parents can contact the school social worker with questions about mental health and substance abuse issues, homelessness, food, clothing, domestic violence, access to healthcare, community resources, and all school-based concerns. 

     

    What Does a School Counselor Do?

    Your children might mention their school counselor or bring home newsletters and other information from the school counselor, but just what does a school counselor do? School counselors are key members of the education team and provide a wealth of services to help your children develop life skills and prepare the whole child for academic success. Some of the ways the prepare our students to be successful in the classroom include:

    School Counseling Curriculum

    • Academic skills support
    • Organizational, study and test-taking skills
    • Education in understanding self and others
    • Coping strategies
    • Peer relationships and effective social skills
    • Communication, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution
    • Career awareness, exploration and planning
    • Substance abuse education
    • Multicultural/diversity awareness

    Individual Student Planning

    • Goal-setting/decision- making
    • Academic planning
    • Career planning
    • Education in understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
    • Transition planning

    Responsive Services

    • Individual and small group counseling
    • Individual/family/school crisis intervention
    • Peer facilitation
    • Consultation/collaboration
    • Referrals

    System Support

    • Professional development
    • Consultation, collaboration and teaming
    • Program management and operation

    Parents

    • Parent information night
    • Communication/networking
    • Academic planning programs
    • Parent and family education
    • One-on-one parent conferencing
    • Assessment results interpretation
    • Resource referrals
    • College/career exploration

    Teachers

    • Assistance with students’ academic plans
    • Classroom guidance activities on study skills, career development, etc.
    • Classroom career speakers
    • At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success
    • Parent communication/education

    Administrators

    • School climate
    • Behavioral management plans
    • Student data and results
    • Student assistance team building
    • Leadership

    Students

    • Peer education
    • Peer support
    • Academic support
    • School climate
    • Leadership development

     

    When should I contact the School Counselor?

    Parents should contact the School Counselor to discuss academic, social/emotional concerns and behavioral issues. School Counselors are available to offer family support, discuss individual student needs and make appropriate referrals to community resources.

     

    How do I make an appointment with the School Counselor?

    Please call your child's school to set up an appointment with the School Counselor.

     

    How do I know if my child needs help right away?

    If your child is in crisis and is at risk for hurting himself or others, you should get help right away by calling 911.