Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of Children
When the social and emotional needs of all students are supported, the school environment improves for everyone. We do not have enough school counselors to adequately meet these needs, employing 1 for every 447 students – about twice the recommended ratio of students to counselors. We are requesting $5 million to create 62 new counselor, social worker and psychologist positions to provide students with the skills needed to make good decisions.
Research shows that adults who experienced trauma in childhood are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, to suffer from depression and other mental health disorders and to suffer from chronic illness. We also know that students experiencing trauma in their home life – whether that is witnessing domestic or neighborhood violence, or enduring abusive behavior from family members – can act violently, attempt suicide and/or abuse drugs.
While the school system cannot change the environment of students, we can teach resiliency and restorative skills so students can better understand what they are feeling and why. The requested funding, in addition to creating new positions, will support training our counselors, social workers and psychologists to identify and support students experiencing trauma.
Addressing the social and emotional needs of students provides students with the skills needed to make good decisions about their well-being and that of their peers, and improves the overall safety of the of the school environment. It also will help these students enjoy academic success and promising futures.