State law encourages the provision of school counseling or guidance services in secondary grade levels (9-12).
California Education Code 1761. Provision of guidance services under district agreements
The county superintendent of schools may, with the approval of the county board of education, enter into an agreement with the governing board of any district for the provision of guidance services in the district by the county superintendent of schools. The agreement shall provide for the payment by the district of the cost of providing the guidance services. The county superintendent of schools shall transfer from the funds of the district to the county school service fund the amounts set forth in the agreement.
California Education Code 49600 Educational Counseling
(a) The governing board of a school district may provide a comprehensive educational counseling program for all pupils enrolled in the school district. It is the intent of the Legislature that a school district that provides educational counseling to its pupils implement a structured and coherent counseling program.
(b) For purposes of this section, "educational counseling" means specialized services provided by a school counselor possessing a valid credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services who is assigned specific times to directly counsel pupils.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that school counselors do all of the following:
- (1) Engage with, advocate for, and provide support for, all pupils with respect to learning and achievement.
- (2) Plan, implement, and evaluate programs to promote the academic, career, personal, and social development of all pupils, including pupils from low-income families, foster youth, homeless youth, undocumented youth, and pupils at all levels of academic, social, and emotional abilities.
- (3) Use multiple sources of information to monitor and improve pupil behavior and achievement.
- (4) Collaborate and coordinate with school and community resources.
- (5) Promote and maintain a safe learning environment for all pupils by providing restorative justice practices, positive behavior interventions, and support services.
- (6) Intervene to ameliorate school-related problems, including issues related to chronic absences.
- (7) Use research-based strategies to reduce stigma, conflict, and pupil-to-pupil mistreatment and bullying.
- (8) Improve school climate and pupil well-being.
- (9) Enhance pupils' social and emotional competence, character, health, civic engagement, cultural literacy, and commitment to lifelong learning and the pursuit of high-quality educational programs.
- (10) Provide counseling interventions and support services for pupils classified as English learners, eligible for free or reduced-price meals, or foster youth, including enhancing equity and access to the education system and community services.
- (11) Engage in continued development as a professional school counselor.
California Education Code 8804. Award of grants to local educational agency or consortium
The superintendent shall award grants to a local educational agency or consortium to pay the costs of planning and operating, on behalf of one or more qualifying schools within the local educational agency or consortium, programs that provide support services to pupils and their families at or near the school, as follows: (g) For purposes of this chapter, support services shall include case–managed health, mental health, social, and academic support services benefiting children and their families, and may include, but are not limited to: (6) Counseling, including family counseling and suicide prevention.