Guidance personnel ensure that all students have the opportunity to develop their social-emotional competencies, make positive contributions to the school and their communities, and become equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful future.
With variations depending on the needs of the school community, the school counselor's role in terms of student personal-social development often includes:
School counselor areas of focus in terms of personal-social development include:Child AbuseCourt Involved Youth and FamiliesCrisis SupportDe-Escalation: Responding To Behavioral CrisisHuman TraffickingLGBTQ ResourcesMental HealthPregnant and Parenting StudentsRelated Services CounselingRespect for AllSchool Culture and ClimateSocial Emotional LearningStudent ActivitiesStudents in Temporary HousingSubstance Abuse Prevention and InterventionUnaccompanied Child MigrantsYouth Leadership
Child abuse/mandated reporting resources including the ACS/DOE joint policy statement on educational neglect are available (here).
Students who are court involved or who transition back from court ordered settings may need a variety of academic and guidance supports to be successful in school.
Having a parent, caregiver, or family member incarcerated is an adverse childhood experience. Children with incarcerated parents and family members may exhibit behavioral and academic concerns. Following are resources for educators and families.
Each New York City Public School is required to have an annually updated crisis intervention plan and should have a trained school crisis team. Schools are responsible to provide and encourage proactive planning within their school communities regarding their specific crisis protocols and provide professional development opportunities in such areas as stages of grief, victims of trauma, tips for parents, suicide prevention, etc. to ensure everyone will be prepared when a crisis occurs.
School counselors facilitate suicide prevention campaigns, and work closely with school administration to provide immediate assistance to students and families in crisis.
NYC DOE protocols and tools for schools, as well as additional Crisis Support Resources for such areas as grief and bereavement; suicide; self-injury; trauma; parent support; and natural disasters are available at the Principals' Portal, as well as (here) at the Guidance Portal.
New York City has the most diverse school system inthe entire country. Students, families, and staff bring an incredibly wide range of backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, religions, and languages. Diversity also includes the way that people—and students in particular—identify and see themselves.The reality is that many young people feel afraid to share who they are or what they are feeling. Nationally, over half of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of how they identify. This leads to one out of every three students missing a day of school. Students may be afraid to express themselves because of a personal experience they had, or because of an experience they witnessed. But teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, and other school staff can serve as trusted adults for students to talk to, even if that just means being able to say out loud who they are and what they feel.
School counselors connect students and families who may have mental health needs to vital community resources. School counselors lend their full assistance in these referrals, and provide follow up in order to build networks of support between the home, school, and the community.
Additional mental health resources are available (here) at the Guidance Portal.
School counselors help pregnant and parenting students by facilitating guidance conferences with their families about their needs, helping them remain focused on class assignments, and providing information on pregnancy-related health care and child care.
Related Services Counseling Providers offer the on-going support of individual and group counseling to help ensure the success of students with disabilities.
Additional DOE resources for students with disabilities include:
Resources, including websites that offer free curricular, video and other classroom resources, professional development opportunities, fact sheets, research and other materials are available at Respect For All Resources.
School counselors positively impact school culture and climate, which have a profound effect upon students’ social development and academic achievement. For further information, please visit the Principals' Portal.
“Social and emotional competence is the ability to understand, manage, and express the social and emotional aspects of one’s life in ways that enable the successful management of life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, solving everyday problems, and adapting to the complex demands of growth and development.” (Elias et al, 1997). Further information is available at the Principals' Portal.
School counselors facilitate social-emotional learning opportunities for students involved in disciplinary action.
School counselors help to develop Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), and provide insight when Manifestation Determination Reviews (MDRs) are conducted.
School counselors work closely with Coordinators of Student Activities (COSAs) to connect students to extracurricular activities based on their personal and career interests. Youth leadership opportunities are offered routinely to empower students to utilize all of their talents and skills in the service of their school community.
Comprehensive resources to support students in temporary housing (STH) including the McKinney-Vento Residency Guide and Questionnaire, as well as a list of STH borough content area experts are available (here).
Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialist (SAPIS) Counselors facilitate a range of prevention and intervention services in grades K-12. The goals of the program are to:
Further information is available (here).
School counselors play a critical role in supporting students who have recently arrived and settled in New York City. Due to the increase in violence, murder, gang activity, and political insecurity in the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, children ranging from infancy through 17 years of age are arriving in the United States unaccompanied by parents or an adult guardian.