State law encourages districts to establish school-based or school-linked mental health promotion and intervention programs.
Kentucky Framework of Best Practices for School Counselors
Framework providing overview of school counselor resposiblities.
Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.4416 Trauma-informed approach to education — Definitions — School counselor or school-based mental health services provider to facilitate creation of trauma-informed team — Training and guidance of school personnel to assist in recognizing and dealing with issues of student trauma — Application to charter schools — Collaboration for provision of services between two or more school districts or between school districts and educational cooperatives, or other public or private entities — Annual report to department of number and placement of school counselors in each district, source of funding, summary of job duties, and percentage of time devoted to each duty — Department of Education to make available toolkits to develop trauma-informed approach in schools — Plan and strategies for implementing trauma-informed approach.
(2) The General Assembly recognizes that all schools must provide a place for students to feel safe and supported to learn throughout the school day, and that any trauma a student may have experienced can have a significant impact on the ability of a student to learn. The General Assembly directs all public schools to adopt a trauma-informed approach to education in order to better recognize, understand, and address the learning needs of students impacted by trauma and to foster a learning environment where all students, including those who have been traumatized, can be safe, successful, and known well by at least one (1) adult in the school setting.
- (a) Beginning July 1, 2021, or as funds and qualified personnel become available, each school district and each public charter school shall employ at least one (1) school counselor in each school with the goals of having one (1) school counselor for every two hundred fifty (250) students and the school counselor spending sixty percent (60%) or more of his or her time in direct services to students.
- (b) A school counselor or school-based mental health services provider at each school shall facilitate the creation of a trauma-informed team to identify and assist students whose learning, behavior, and relationships have been impacted by trauma. The trauma-informed team may consist of school administrators, school counselors, school-based mental health services providers, family resource and youth services coordinators, school nurses, and any other school or district personnel.
- (c) Each school counselor or school-based mental health services provider providing services pursuant to this section, and the trauma-informed team members described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, shall provide training, guidance, and assistance to other administrators, teachers, and staff on:
- Recognizing symptoms of trauma in students;
- Utilizing interventions and strategies to support the learning needs of those students; and
- Implementing a plan for a trauma-informed approach as described in subsection (5) of this section.
- School districts may employ or contract for the services of school- based mental health services providers to assist with the development and implementation of a trauma-informed approach and the development of a trauma-informed team pursuant to this subsection and to enhance or expand student mental health support services as funds and qualified personnel become available.
- School-based mental health services providers may provide services through a collaboration between two (2) or more school districts or between school districts and educational cooperatives or any other public or private entities, including but not limited to local or regional mental health day treatment programs.