Tennessee - Early Identification and Referral: Programs and Services

Area: 
Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation
Summary: 

State law encourages or requires districts to implement identification and referral processes to link students and families with needed resources.

2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-124. Universal mental health or socioemotional screening.

(a) As used in this section:

  • (1) "Mental health screening" or "socioemotional screening" means, for the purposes of this chapter, the use of one (1) or more brief, structured questionnaires designed to identify the possibility that an individual has a mental health problem;
  • (2) "Psychotropic medication" means a drug that exercises a direct effect upon the central nervous system and that is capable of influencing and modifying behavior. Psychotropic medication includes, but is not limited to:
    • (A) Antipsychotics;
    • (B) Antidepressants;
    • (C) Agents for control of mania and depression;
    • (D) Antianxiety agents;
    • (E) Psychomotor stimulants; and
    • (F) Hypnotics; and
  • (3) "Universal mental health or socioemotional screening" means, for the purposes of this chapter, any mental health screening program in which a group of individuals is automatically screened without regard to whether there was a prior indication of a mental health problem.

(b) Universal mental health or socioemotional screening is only permitted under the following circumstances:

  • (1) A parent, guardian, legal custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act, compiled in title 34, chapter 6, part 3, of a child under sixteen (16) years of age has provided written, active, informed and voluntarily signed consent that may be withdrawn at any time by the parent, guardian, legal custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act;
  • (2) A court requires the mental health evaluation, examination or testing;
  • (3) Emergency screening, evaluation, examination or testing of an individual under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act or screening done in connection with a disaster or epidemic; or
  • (4) Screening required pursuant to the early periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) program with active, written, informed, voluntarily signed consent as outlined in subdivision (b)(1) that may be withdrawn at any time by the parent, legal guardian, custodian or caregiver under the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act who gave the consent.

Rules of the Tennessee Department of Education 0520-02-02-.23 JOB DESCRIPTION, SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS. [Repealed as of 08/29/2018]

(1) Service to Students.

  • (a) Evaluation and Assessment. The school social worker:
      1. Obtains information and writes social history reports including educational, personal, medical, developmental and family data
      1. Conducts social work assessments and assists in placement of special education students.
  • (b) Counseling and Consultation. The school social worker:
      1. Provides for individual and group counseling to reduce problem behaviors
      1. Assists in integrating new and returning students into the school system.

(2) Service to School Staff.

  • (a) Planning and Program Management. The school social worker:
      1. Plans, coordinates and supervises an effective school social work program
      1. Maintains up-to-date, accurate student records
      1. Serves as a liaison to community agencies and practitioners and works with them in providing comprehensive services to students
      1. Regularly evaluates the effectiveness of social work services and identifies need for additional services
      1. Documents treatment plans and delivery of services.
  • (b) Consultation and Communication. The school social worker:
      1. Interprets criteria for community resource utilization to school personnel
      1. Provides support and counseling to school staff
      1. Assists M-team in program planning for students with special needs
      1. Provides information to school staff about social needs and problems of students and families
      1. Reports student and family status and progress regularly to school personnel.
  • (c) Staff Development. The school social worker:
      1. Assists the school system in assessing staff development needs
      1. Orients school personnel to school social work services
      1. Provides staff development activities for school personnel on topics such as abuse, neglect, developmental delays, emotional disturbances, substance abuse and potential suicide.

(3) Service to Parents/Families.

  • (a) Consultation and Communication. The school social worker:
      1. Make home visits and holds conferences with parents
      1. Mediates between family and school clarifying expectations for students
      1. Interprets criteria for community resource utilization to families and assists in locating appropriate services outside the school when needed
      1. Provides support and counseling to families
      1. Provides information to parents (when appropriate) about social needs and problems of students
      1. Reports student progress and status regularly to parents.
  • (b) Parent Education. The school social worker:
      1. Provides training in parenting skills.

(4) Administration (not more than 10% of total time).

  • (a) The school social worker:
      1. Consults with school and system administrators regarding the social work program and services
      1. Assists in budget preparation for social work services as needed
      1. Assists in preparation of required school and/or system reports.
        Tennessee Secretary of State

2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-303. School counselors.

(d) The school counselor may refer or help facilitate a referral of a parent or legal guardian's student to a counselor or therapist for mental health assessments or services. If a school counselor refers a student to a counselor or other mental health provider, neither the LEA nor the school counselor shall bear the cost of such services provided to the student.

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