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During his first State of the Union Address, President Biden outlined his plan for tackling the mental health crisis, an ongoing issue plaguing Americans of all ages, including children.
President Biden’s plan includes:
In response to the President’s remarks, CASP, the California Association of School Social Workers, and the California Association of School Counselors have issued a joint statement.
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the recent invasion of Ukraine. Recognizing the daunting task our school psychologists face in providing support to those students affected during this difficult time, we’ve compiled several resources.
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the fires devastating our state. We’ve compiled several resources to help students and schools cope with wildfires. In addition to the documents linked below, check out this webinar: Wildfire Crisis Response Using the PREPaRE Model. The two-hour webinar is entirely free for anyone who was unable to watch it live, documented CEU/CPD hours are available for a small fee.
Got a resource to share? Email it to email@example.com.
CASP’s guiding vision is to foster the social, emotional and academic wellbeing of all students and to ensure that students are educated in schools that support equity, access, and respect for all. Recently, unfounded fears and stigma have increased related to the origins and spread of the pandemic illness. We know that our vision cannot be fully realized while Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) children and community members suffer from this and other continued inequity and racial trauma. Read more
President Biden recently signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in to law. This is the latest COVID-19 relief bill and includes $122.8 billion for K-12 under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. California schools will be receiving $15.3 billion. The majority of the funds (90%) will be going directly to districts based on their share of Title 1 funding. Now is the time for every school psychologist to advocate for this funding, here’s some more information and ideas for you to use.
The mental health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be widely felt as students return to school. School psychologists will be afforded the opportunity to support our students with the service they deserve, provided California schools heed the recommendations outlined in a recent federal report, calling for schools to increase their workforce. The US Dept of ED released.COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs earlier this month. This guide addresses many areas of consideration in the reopening of school, including adding additional School-Based Mental Health Professionals. Explicit language encourages district and school leaders to factor in school counselors, psychologists, and social workers staffing ratios, as well as developing a plan to meet recommended ratios. This language can be found predominantly on pages 7, 14, 17, and 40. Page 9 of the document included a paragraph so important for you to reference, that we have copied and included it below:
While a schoolwide approach benefits all students, school-based mental health professionals, such as counselors, social workers, and psychologists might need to provide additional and more intensive support to students with the most urgent needs that have been caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. A multitier system of supports (MTSS) framework, like positive behavioral interventions and supports, relies on a continuum of evidence-based practices matched to student needs. The tiers provide an increasing amount of support and intervention moving from support provided to all, then to some, and finally providing the most intensive support to a few. Successful approaches to MTSS begin with leadership teams who (1) meet regularly to collect student data through ongoing screening to determine student needs; (2) monitor student progress; and (3) analyze schoolwide data to address emerging or new needs to add or adjust personnel to provide additional services and expertise (Page 9, Covid-19 Handbook).
In a historic first, CASP has teamed up with the California Association of School Counselors and California Association of School Social Workers to issue a joint position paper regarding school and community partnerships. The organizations recognize that the State and Local Education Agencies need to invest in capacity building to meet students’ mental health needs. “Having trusted adults, trained in mental health practices and familiar with all aspects of the inner workings of schools, is effective and practical in preventing and addressing mental health issues.” The organizations call for adequate financial support (including funding PPS positions to recommended ratios), well-defined partnerships with community organizations, utilization of the MTSS and COST models, appropriate professional development, and more. View it here.
School psychologists, school counselors, and school social workers have been working since this summer to craft the first-ever comprehensive guide to the mental health services these professionals provide in schools. We are excited to present the result of that effort, Fostering the Whole Child: A Guide to School-Based Mental Health Professionals. In this time of crisis, with mental needs growing exponentially, we hope this guide will be a useful tool for all schools in designing, funding, and implementing mental health services. Enjoy – and share it with your school administration!
The Social Justice committee, with endorsement from the Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the release of our position statement on Social Justice and Anti-Systemic Racism Practices. Social justice is both a process and a goal that requires action. CASP reaffirms its commitment to promote values and practices that facilitate safe educational environments and equitable educational practices. As school psychologists, we have an ethical responsibility to engage in social justice and anti-racist action. This position statement will provide you with advice and resources on doing so.
Take advantage of convention discounts, webinar discounts (need CEUs?), hotel discounts, and continue to receive referral services for those issues in which you need some guidance, representation in Sacramento on issues that affect how you do your job. And don’t miss out on CASP Today, the association’s quarterly newsletter; Contemporary School Psychology, CASP’s quarterly academic journal; major discounts at CASP’s annual convention, and more. Fill out the appropriate renewal application today by visiting the CASP membership page.