Tennessee - School-based or School-linked Mental Health Services: Programs and Services

Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation

State law encourages districts to establish school-based or school-linked mental health promotion and intervention programs.

2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-805. Template minimum requirements.

At a minimum, the template prepared by the state-level safety team shall include:

  • (1) The designation of an emergency response team;
  • (2) Policies and procedures for communication with law enforcement officials, parents and guardians in the event of emergencies and incidents of or threats of violence;
  • (3) Policies and procedures relating to school building security, including, where appropriate, the use of school resource officers, security devices or security procedures, and addressing, where appropriate, the use of the building by the public for events other than school activities and the impact the other use may have on building security;
  • (4) Procedures for assuring that crisis response and law enforcement officials have access to floor plans, blueprints, schematics or other maps of the school interior, school grounds and road maps of the immediate surrounding area;
  • (5) Procedures for coordination of the school safety plan with the resources available through the department of mental health and substance abuse services, the department of intellectual and developmental disabilities or a similar local agency to assure that the school has access to federal, state or local mental health resources in the event of a violent incident;
  • (6) Appropriate violence prevention and intervention strategies such as:
    • (A) Collaborative arrangements with state and local law enforcement officials, designed to ensure that school resource officers and other security personnel are adequately trained, including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations, and are effectively and fairly recruited;
    • (B) Dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection and identification of potentially threatening behaviors and violent acts to teachers, administrators, school personnel, parents or guardians and students;
    • (C) Nonviolent conflict resolution training programs;
    • (D) Peer mediation programs and youth courts;
    • (E) Extended day and other school safety programs; and
    • (F) Comprehensive school counseling and mental health programs;

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:

Rules of the Tennessee Department of Education 0520-01-03-.08 PUPIL PERSONNEL SERVICES.

(1) Each local board of education shall develop standards and policies for:

  • (a) Attendance Services
  • (b) Guidance Services
  • (c) School Psychological Services
  • (d) School Social Work Services
  • (e) School Health Services
    Tennessee Secretary of State
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