Outline of the state of Iowa

State Models and Supports—Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services

State Models and Supports—Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services

State law requires state agencies to develop models and guidance for districts to support implementation of counseling, psychological, and social services.

AWARE Iowa School Mental Health Framework

Report detailing mental health and trauma informed care training, and administration in the state of Iowa public schools.

Policy Type

Iowa Administrative Code 281-12.3 Administration.

12.3(11) Standard for school counseling programs. The board of directors of each school district shall establish a K-12 comprehensive school counseling program, driven by student data and based on Standard in academic, career, personal, and social areas, which supports the student achievement goals of the total school curriculum and to which all students have equitable access.

b. The program shall be regularly reviewed and revised and shall be designed to provide all of the following:

(3) Responsive services through intervention and curriculum that meet students' immediate and future needs as occasioned by events and conditions in students' lives and that may require any of the following: individual or group counseling; consultation with parents, teachers, and other educators; referrals to other school support services or community resources; peer helping; and information.

Policy Type

Iowa Administrative Code 281-14.4 Suicide prevention, identification of adverse childhood experiences, and strategies to mitigate toxic stress response.

14.4(1) Definitions. "Adverse childhood experience" means a potentially traumatic event occurring in childhood that can have negative, lasting effects on an individual's health and well-being.

"Postvention" means the provision of crisis intervention, support, and assistance for those affected by a suicide or suicide attempt to prevent further risk of suicide.

14.4(2) Required protocols. School districts shall adopt protocols for suicide prevention and postvention and the identification of adverse childhood experiences and strategies to mitigate toxic stress response. The protocols shall be based on nationally recognized best practices.

14.4(3) Required training.

a. By July 1, 2019, the board of directors of a school district shall require annual, evidence-based training at least one hour in length on suicide prevention and postvention for all school personnel who hold a license, certificate, authorization, or statement of recognition issued by the board of educational examiners and who have regular contact with students in kindergarten through grade 12. The content of the training shall be based on nationally recognized best practices. b. By July 1, 2019, the board of directors of a school district shall require annual, evidence-based, evidence-supported training on the identification of adverse childhood experiences and strategies to mitigate toxic stress response for all school personnel who hold a license, certificate, authorization, or statement of recognition issued by the board of educational examiners and who have regular contact with students in kindergarten through grade 12. The content of the training shall be based on nationally recognized best practices. 14.4(4) Resources for implementation. The Iowa department of education will publicly provide resources and technical assistance to assist districts in compliance with this rule.

Policy Type

Iowa Administrative Code 281-66.1 Scope, purpose and general principles.

66.1(1) Scope. These rules apply to the provision of school-based youth services authorized in Iowa Code section 279.51(3) as amended by 1994 Iowa Acts, Senate File 2330, sections 47 to 49 and 60.

66.1(2) Purpose. The purpose of the school-based youth services education program is to enable children and youth, especially those with problems, to complete their education and to obtain skills that lead to employment, additional education, and to a mentally and physically healthy life.

66.1(3) General principles. School-based youth services programs (SBYSP), at a minimum, may be made available at the elementary school, middle school or high school level, to offer career development services, mental health and family counseling services and preventive and primary health care services in the context of the educational needs of the students. Only school districts or consortiums of districts in cooperation with other service providers may apply for funds to support such programs. The management of the programs may be by a school district or school district consortium or by a nonprofit service organization. All programs must be provided in or near schools to make services accessible to children and youth. Moreover, all programs must be designed for implementation over no less than a four-year period. The inclusion of abortion counseling or the dispensing of contraceptives with these programs is prohibited by Iowa Code section 279.51(3). Budgets for proposed programs will be funded by the state to a maximum of $ 200,000 per year. Local contributions of at least 20 percent of the total costs of the program are required.

Policy Type

Iowa Administrative Code 281-66.2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter the following definitions apply. "Children" means those enrolled in any of grades kindergarten through five or those aged five through ten.

"Consortium" means an alliance of two or more school districts.

"Contributions" means in-kind services plus gifts and cash donations from private and public sources that are directed at establishing and maintaining the youth services program.

"In-kind services" means existing person-power, equipment, facilities, materials, tools, and other local resources owned or maintained by a school district or consortium of districts, other service providers, nonprofit service organizations or local private organizations that contribute to carrying out the goals of the youth services program.

"In-school support services" means services provided by the district, area education agency or other education agencies in a contractual arrangement with the school district. These services may include, but are not limited to, speech and language, psychology, social work, school nurse, audiology, academic assistance, individual counseling, occupational therapy, physical therapy and food service.

"Job training and employment services" means preparing and assisting students to enter employment on a competitive or noncompetitive basis including, but not limited to, assessment and exploration of skills, abilities and aptitudes for work; support services to access available vocational classes; work experiences; on-the-job training; assistance in locating and securing employment and follow-up services to ensure continuation in employment.

"Mental health and family counseling" means evaluation and diagnostic services, the development of individual treatment plans, individual and group guidance in and outside the home, parent education on parenting skills, and referral to other legitimate services identified through evaluation, guidance services and training.

"Nonprofit service organization" means a public service organization conducted not for profit nor supported by public tax dollars including, but not limited to, recreational services, job services, human services, civic services, juvenile treatment services, and rehabilitation services.

"Other education agencies" means all in-state as well as out-of-state public or private education agencies not covered in the definition of "school district."

"Other service providers" means all public human and health service providers apart from education including, but not limited to, recreational services; employment services; civic services; juvenile treatment services; mental health services; maternal and child health services; woman, infant and child nutrition services; child health specialty clinic services and substance abuse prevention and treatment services.

"Preventive and primary health care services" means services which include, but are not limited to, physical examinations, immunizations, hearing and vision screening, preventive care, maintenance services, diagnosis, treatment, referral, case management, health supervision, and health teaching. These services shall be delivered by specifically credentialed providers such as licensed physicians, dentists, registered nurses, nutritionists, social workers, psychologists, dental hygienists, physical or occupational therapists, and respiratory therapists. Youth with complex health needs may require referral to specially trained and skilled health care providers.

"School-based youth services" means career development assistance; job training and employment services; human services, including mental health and family counseling; primary health care services; day care; transportation; recreation services; parenting education; rehabilitation services; mentoring; family involvement assistance; and other services designed to assist school-age children to be able to succeed in school and be productive citizens upon leaving school.

"School district" means an Iowa public school district directly supported in whole or in part by tax dollars as defined in Iowa Code section 280.2 and with the power and jurisdiction provided by Iowa Code section 274.1.

"Youth" means adolescents enrolled in school in any of grades 6 to 12 or those aged 11 to 21.

Policy Type

Iowa Administrative Code 281-66.4 Program plan.

The following areas shall be included in a program plan developed by a school district in response to an RFP issued by the department of education.

66.4(1) Identifying the need for the program. An explanation shall be provided which identifies the significant children and youth concerns that exist in the district. This explanation may include but not be limited to:

a. High rates of child and youth problems, compared to average state rates, including school dropouts; absenteeism; teen pregnancy; teen parents; juvenile offenders; unemployment; teen suicide; mental health problems; substance use and abuse; other health problems; homelessness; and language, gender and disability barriers.

b. Indications of poverty including such areas as the percentage of parents in the district qualifying for the economic eligibility requirements established under the federal National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Act, 42 U.S.C. Sections 1751-1760, for free or reduced price lunches, and census economic data that can be seen as a proxy for other youth concerns.

c. Percentages of school-age children needing additional assistance to succeed in the elementary school, middle school, and high school education program and for whom appropriate services are not being provided.

d. Comparisons of existing resources and demands for services in mental health, employment, child care, health care, in-school instructional support services and school guidance services.

e. Identification of existing staff needs for training to improve services.

f. Description of problems in existing arrangements to coordinate school and other service providers.

66.4(2) Identifying objectives. The following objectives shall be included in the program plan.

a. The establishment of a youth services education program located in or near an elementary school, middle school or high school that integrates multiple service providers with children or youth in need of services to assist them to succeed in education programs, to complete high school and be productive workers and contributors to the community.

b. Provisions for no less than the minimum education program as defined in Iowa Code section 256.11 and rule 281 -- 12.5(256).

c. Flexibility of the education program to accommodate other community-based services such as mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and health care.

d. Career development activities including job training and employment services at the high school level.

e. Mental health and family counseling.

f. Family involvement activities.

g. Preventive and primary health care services.

h. Recreation services.

i. Mentoring.

j. Access to program including before and after school, weekend, and summer activity.

k. Personal skills development.

l. Other educational and noneducational services considered necessary to achieve the program plan.

66.4(3) Identification of the components and development of a schedule for the youth services program. At minimum, the following shall be included:

a. Description of the career development activities including job training and employment services; mental health and family counseling; family education and involvement services; preventive and primary health care services; recreation; mentoring; and personal skills development in the context of how these services and others will be provided in conjunction with the education program.

b. A schedule or timeline for the operation of the program taking into consideration day and evening accessibility, the number of days per week and the number of months per year the program will operate including 24-hour counseling services.

c. If applicable, descriptions of partnerships between public and private sectors to provide employment and training opportunities.

66.4(4) In-school support services. A description of in-school support services as defined in these rules and offered to students in the youth services program must be provided.

66.4(5) Parent and family involvement. A complete plan of parent-family involvement must be included and shall, at a minimum, contain:

a. The parent communication system to be used which may include letters, checklists, personal contacts by telephone and home visits.

b. In-service provisions for individual and group participation, which may include parent/family counseling, assistance at home, attendance in school affairs, parent training and volunteer assistance.

c. Involvement in the development of program goals, decision-making processes and the evaluation of program services.

66.4(6) Evaluation procedures to be used in monitoring program objectives and student outcomes. A system to monitor and report program implementation and outcomes shall be established to identify:

a. Numbers and characteristics of students served and type and magnitude of services provided.

b. Improved school attendance and performance.

c. Increased potential for placement in employment.

d. Improved health.

e. Improved social interaction and behavior.

f. Increased high school completion rates.

g. Reduced criminal/delinquent behavior.

h. Improved coordination between schools and other service providers.

i. Increased ability of "other service providers" to deliver services.

j. Utilization of economic resources to improve employment and productivity of students leaving school. Evaluation shall coincide with the objectives of the youth services program. The methods that are used to monitor progress shall be identified. Monitoring and testing instruments shall be kept on file within the school district or managing agency.

66.4(7) Record keeping. Each school-based youth services program shall keep records of all requests for assistance from children or youth making use of the program and, where appropriate, maintain a confidential case file for children and youth. Records shall be maintained to enable complete reporting as prescribed by the department of education in cooperation with the departments of human services, employment services, public health, human rights, economic development and institutions of higher learning with applicable programs. Records must yield numbers and characteristics of students served, services provided, indicators of impact/behavior change, indicators of coordination with other service providers, use of economic resources, indicators of parent involvement, and indicators of juvenile crime/delinquent behavior.

66.4(8) Identification of the roles and responsibilities of staff. A list of school and other service provider staff involved in the youth services program and their responsibilities related to services, monitoring and reporting, identification of and referral of students to the program, staff development, family involvement and other program objectives shall be provided.

66.4(9) Qualifications of program personnel. All staff involved in the youth services program shall have preservice or in-service training that is commensurate with their involvement in providing services.

66.4(10) Staff utilization plan. Staff shall be assigned and managed to ensure a quality program by employing the following procedures:

a. A designated school or other service agency person shall be responsible for the overall coordination of the youth services program including coordination between the schools and other service providers.

b. Time shall be made available for youth services program staff and regular school staff to coordinate and carry out professional responsibilities.

c. Time shall be made available to youth services program staff and regular school staff for in-service training.

d. School administration staff and nonprofit agency personnel shall assume some responsibility for coordination, even if another service agency assumes the major responsibility of management of the youth services program.

66.4(11) Specifying staff development plans. A training component must be established to update youth services program staff, school staff, other service provider staff, and the community. At minimum, the following provisions shall be included:

a. Designated number of days (not less than one) for training for youth services program staff.

b. At least one program to orient all school staff or other service provider staff on the youth services program.

c. At least one public relations program to orient community members to the youth services program.

d. A specific budget to support training.

66.4(12) Specifying provisions for ongoing identification of students. Students shall be referred and served in accordance with the following:

a. Services shall be available to in-school as well as out-of-school children and youth.

b. All children and youth will be encouraged to utilize services.

c. School personnel and other service providers may refer children to the program by a counseling approach encouraging free choice.

d. Children and youth involved in juvenile court or delinquent behavior will be specifically targeted and encouraged to participate in school-based youth services.

66.4(13) Facilities. The following information concerning facilities shall be included in the program plan:

a. Identify facilities and equipment to be used. An accessible and attractive center in or near an elementary school, middle school or high school that is most likely to be used by children or youth shall be identified and provided. Grant funds may not be utilized to build a new facility or renovate an existing facility.

b. Equipment and resources used to provide services and used as an in-kind contribution must be listed and prorated using the most recent available figures for fair market value.

c. Assurances that the facilities are accessible and equipment is appropriate for the population to be served shall be provided.

d. Private entrances and offices to protect confidentiality and personal dignity shall be provided.

66.4(14) Measures to ensure nondiscrimination in the provision of services. Specific procedures shall be identified to ensure that children and youth and family members and employees are not discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, age or disability. At minimum, the following measures shall be followed:

a. Student data (participation and progress) shall be collected, processed and analyzed with regard to age, disability, gender, and race.

b. Specific steps shall be taken to encourage student involvement when discriminatory patterns become apparent, such as a lack of minority and female or male student involvement.

c. The hiring of staff shall be completed giving consideration to the minority makeup of the community and the need for certain role models to promote cultural understanding.

d. The staff hiring process shall be free of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

e. Efforts shall be made and documented to implement public relations activities in all parts of the community including homeless populations and minority neighborhoods.

f. Materials utilized for training and public relations shall be screened to ensure freedom from bias.

g. Staff development and training shall include elements to assist staff to implement non-discriminatory practices.

66.4(15) Budget. School districts shall identify a separate budget for the youth services program and be able to account for all expenditures directly related to the program. The following limits shall apply to the budget:

a. All expenditure items identified in the Uniform Financial Accounting System for Public School Districts and Area Education Agencies are allowable.

b. The maximum grant dollars allowable for a youth services program is $ 200,000. The total local budget may exceed $ 200,000.

c. At least 20 percent of the total cost of the program shall be provided locally using inkind services and cash contributions.

d. Grant funds may not be used to construct a new facility or renovate an existing facility.

e. All grant funds shall be used to develop new services or to supplement existing services.

f. All grant funds and local contributions shall be used to implement the youth services program.

66.4(16) Advisory council. An advisory council shall be identified and utilized for the youth services program. At a minimum, the membership of the council shall include persons to represent the following:

a. Private industry council.

b. Parents of children in the school district. c. Teachers. d. Health and mental health fields. e. Job training and employment training. f. Students enrolled in the youth services program or school housing the SBYSP. g. Nonprofit service provider. h. Juvenile court system. i. Community-based substance abuse counseling or treatment providers. j. In-school support services providers. One person may represent more than one of the service areas identified above. A plan of action for the advisory council shall be included in the written application for grant funds. The plan of action shall include the utilization of advisory members on an individual as well as group basis and indicate group meetings no fewer than two times annually.

66.4(17) Letters of support. Letters of support for the youth services program must be provided from:

a. The local teachers association or, if no organization exists, from representatives of the teaching staff.

b. Parent-teacher organization.

c. Nonprofit agencies providing human services (mental health and substance abuse) health services and job services.

d. Community organizations.

e. The area private industry council.

f. The juvenile court system.

66.4(18) Commitment of schools. A written commitment must be provided from the school principal and the board of directors of the school district that the school will work to cooperate and integrate existing school services and activities with the program. As well, there must be a commitment to work continuously toward identifying resources for continuation of services after grant funds are withdrawn.

Policy Type

Iowa Administrative Code 281-66.6 Responsibilities of area education agencies.

Area education agencies shall assist school districts in developing program plans and budgets for school-based youth services programs. Assistance may include, but is not limited to, the following:

66.6(1) Providing person power to coordinate planning between districts and other service providers and in writing grants.

66.6(2) Gathering and providing information for completion of program plans.

66.6(3) Identifying staff development resources and organizing staff training.

66.6(4) Identifying resources for establishing at least a 20 percent local contribution.

66.6(5) Participating in the advisory council.

66.6(6) Helping develop and implement recording procedures for evaluation of data and analysis of results.

66.6(7) Providing in-school support services.

66.6(8) Assisting with implementation of nondiscrimination measures.

Policy Type

Iowa Administrative Code 281.66.7 Responsibilities of the department of education.

The department of education shall:

  • 66.7(1) Provide guidelines and forms to school districts for submitting program plans.
  • 66.7(2) Provide technical assistance to school districts, other education agencies and service providers in the development of plans.
  • 66.7(3) Organize reviews and approval of written plans in at least three size categories of school districts including those below an enrollment of 1,200; between 1,200 and 4,999; and 5,000 and above. The process will give priority to need and plans that indicate high degrees of active participation by community-based youth organizations and agencies. Review criteria and a point system are contained in guidelines for school-based youth services programs.
  • 66.7(4) Develop and administer a format for evaluation. An annual evaluation report shall be filed with the department of education by school districts following the close of each school year.
  • 66.7(5) Provide technical assistance to school districts and other service providers in designing preservice and in-service training.
  • 66.7(6) Consult with the departments of human services, human rights (division of criminal and juvenile justice planning), public health, economic development (division of job training and entrepreneurship assistance) and employment services (division of job services) to develop rules, administer programs, and monitor and evaluate programs.
  • 66.7(7) Establish assistance through the F.I.N.E. Foundation and other foundations and public and private agencies in evaluating programs under this chapter and to provide support to school districts in implementing the funded programs.
Policy Type

Iowa Code 279.50 Human growth and development instruction.

  1. The department of education shall identify and disseminate information about early intervention programs for students who are at the greatest risk of suffering from the problem of dropping out of school, substance abuse, adolescent pregnancy, or suicide.
Policy Type