There are many strategies a district and/or county can take to staff school mental health services. In this section, you will find a breakdown of what types of providers can be employed to provide different services and the requirements for different types of credentials, as well as sample job descriptions and training calendars.
Some considerations to take into account when considering what type of staffing structure would be the best fit include:
- What types of services are to be provided across the three tiers of the MTSS framework? How are clinical and treatment services staffed? Are staff located on campus? By providing clinical services on school campuses, students are more likely to receive care.
- What services did the needs assessment and input from stakeholders demonstrate to be most necessary?
- What type of staff are necessary to deliver and coordinate the different services? Will the agency utilize mental health interns as well as paid staff? What infrastructure is the school district creating to coordinate these interventions?
- How will mental health providers be integrated into the larger school community? What opportunities are there for cross-training, for attending standing meetings, etc.?
- Who will employ the school mental health staff: county behavioral health, school district, county office of education, community agencies?
- How will the staff be supervised, taking into account both administrative and clinical supervision?
- What credentials and/or licenses will the staff and supervisors need? Are positions created to tap into community member strengths and knowledge who may not have credentials or clinical licenses?
The agency taking the role of hiring the school mental health staff will need to develop a training plan that considers how to train the staff in ways that encompass services across the three tiers of intervention as well as how school mental health staff integrate into the school culture and climate. Training considerations should also include how the school mental health staff can support education staff wellness, social and emotional literacy, and healing centered practices.
There also needs to be considerations for where the services will take place and what type of facilities and space are needed. Some Tier 2 and 3 mental health interventions that take place in the school need confidential spaces for services and record keeping. The type of agency providing the service will help shape factors to consider.
For Medi-Cal reimbursement, you many need to consider licensing and certification requirements for sites or facilities. In the list of resources below there is a link to a guide on facility and certification requirements in order to provide Medi-Cal eligible services.
An explanation of the roles and responsibilities for school-based providers with pupil personnel services credential (PPSC) and non-credentialed providers that may provide mental health services in schools. (California School-Based Health Alliance)
Provides information about various mental health services to help guide and support local collaboration across the county behavioral health and education systems. Includes types of services provided by county mental health plans and LEAs, summarizes the types of licensed and credentialed professionals that can provide support, and includes examples of models to deliver services to students. (California Behavioral Health Directors Association)
In order to get reimbursement through Medi-Cal, either as a community health center or specialty mental health provider (through the county behavioral health department), facility requirements are necessary to certify the site where services are delivered. (California School-Based Health Alliance)
(Orange County Office of Education)
(Seneca Family of Agencies)
(Placer County Office of Education)
(Fresno County Office of Education)
(Placer County Office of Education)
(Alameda County Behavioral Health Care)