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Resources for School Psychologists / Position Papers / Educationally Related Counseling Services in an AB 114 World

Educationally Related Counseling Services in an AB 114 World

Schools have repeatedly been demonstrated to be an ideal place to provide counseling services to students to support social, emotional, and behavioral health, as well as the ability to cope with challenges (NASP, 2008). School psychologists provide school-based services as part of a continuum of tiered interventions for the well-being of all students. Within the continuum of tiered interventions, school psychologists are able to provide these services at the universal, targeted, and intensive levels, in order to assist students with their social-emotional needs (NASP, 2006). This has been consistent in schools throughout the United States, except for a period in California, which created an exception at the intense level from 1987 through 2011, with the implementation of Assembly Bill 3632. That bill mandated that those services be provided by the county mental health agencies. This collaborative relationship between schools and mental health agencies was the norm for 27 years until the California Legislature passed AB 114, repealing the state mandate that county mental health agencies provide those services to pupils qualified for special education services (Fagen, Friedman, Fulfrost, 2011.) School districts are once again responsible for the provision of educationally related counseling services to pupils qualified for special education and that are necessary for them to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment.

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