“Community support services are services and supports necessary to assist the youth ages 3 to 17 years of age or younger (20 years old or younger for children enrolled in Medicaid) and their caregivers in achieving, rehabilitative, and recovery goals. Community support services are psychoeducational and supportive in nature and intended to meet the mental health or substance abuse needs of children and adolescents with significant functional deficits or who, because of negative environmental, medical or biological factors, are at risk of developing or increasing the magnitude of such functional deficits. Included among this latter group are those at risk for atypical development, substance abuse, or serious emotional disturbance (SED) that could result in an inability to live successfully in the community without services and guidance.”1
In the school setting, the service activities of community support should consist of one-on-one interventions with the consumer to develop interpersonal and community relational skills, including adaptation to the school setting. Interventions should focus on skill enhancement and/or acquisition, and should support functional gains through various activities such as therapeutic mentoring, the development of adaptation skills, symptom monitoring, teaching self-management of symptoms, the development of social skills and behavioral/anger management techniques.
IMPLEMENTING COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES
1. Once a Student is evaluated by a mental health provider and it is determined that community support services are appropriate, it should be determined if the child needs one-on-one assistance in the school setting. The classroom teacher and a school administrator must be included in this discussion to accurately evaluate the student’s need for services. Provider agencies should recognize that a need for services in the home environment does not automatically necessitate a need for services in the school setting.
2. If it is determined that the student cannot be successful in the school setting without the assistance of a one-on-one Community Support Worker, an Implementation Meeting must be scheduled with a school administrator (typically the principal or assistant principal) prior to the worker reporting to school. This meeting should include the Community Support Paraprofessional Worker, the Community Support Professional providing clinical oversight of the student’s mental health treatment services, the teacher, a representative from the Exceptional Children’s Department (Central Office) and the parent or legal guardian. The team should review the student’s community support treatment goals (Person Centered Plan) along with the appropriate goals per parent or legal guardian release. Behavioral goals will be consistent with agreed upon interventions that support the student’s ability to meet expectations in the classroom and will be provided by all personnel (both school and support agency). Plans should be finalized regarding the implementation date for services, time of day the Student will receive services and contingency plans if the worker cannot attend work. Contact procedures and contact numbers will be provided by the Community Support Agency and the school.
3. A crisis plan should be developed that outlines the responsibilities of school personnel and the responsibilities of the Community Support Provider (as the “first responder” for crisis 24/7/365). The plan should include initial intervention strategies, a plan of whom to contact, contact numbers for family/legal guardian, mental health crisis numbers, and other information relevant to the Student’s individual situation (such as numbers of social worker, court counselor, residential provider, etc).
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SCHOOL
1. The school maintains responsibility for the overall education and management of the classroom and the student, including providing direction regarding school policies and procedures to the Community Support Worker.
2. The teacher is considered the qualified professional in the classroom and will be responsible for ensuring that the student’s educational and behavioral needs are being met.
3. The school will provide the Community Support Provider with a copy of the Policies and Procedures for Community Support Services in Wilkes County Schools.
4. The school will monitor the performance of the Community Support Worker and will communicate as needed with the Community Support Provider Agency and school central office administrators.
5. The school administrator will have the authority to remove Community Support Workers and/or request an alternate worker in the event that a worker does not comply with school policy, demonstrates any inappropriate behavior, or does not carry out the responsibilities established at the initial implementation meeting.
6. Whenever possible, school personnel will attend Child and Family Team meetings to participate in planning for the Student’s Community Support services.
7. The teacher and school administrator will provide feedback to the Community Support Provider to ascertain the effectiveness and ongoing need for community support in school. The teacher should note any issues related to the student’s dependency on the worker or a decline in the student’s abilities or skills (for example, a young child shows a regression of skills by developing the expectation that the worker will complete the task for him.) If the administration determines that the worker is no longer needed in the school setting, the provider agency will be informed and plans can be made to transition the worker out of the classroom.
RESPONISIBLITIES OF THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROVIDER
1. The Community Support Provider Agency will train all community support workers in the Policy for Community Support Services in Wilkes County Schools and will provide supervision regarding compliance.
2. The Community Support Provider will screen all community support workers and complete appropriate background checks and drug screenings as established and required by Wilkes County Schools prior to placement with a student in the school setting. These should be made available upon request and will apply to both the paraprofessional worker and the professional worker.
3. The Community Support Provider will comply with all liability requirements and standards as required by their endorsement by the Local Management Entity (LME).
4. The Provider Agency will provide lists of students receiving community support to the Exceptional Children’s Department on a monthly basis, including any notations of upcoming reductions in service or termination of services in the school setting.
5. The provider will give notice to the principal when community support services are being requested for a student in the school setting. As stated earlier, an Implementation Meeting will be held prior to a worker being placed in the school. In the event that a new worker is assigned, the principal must be notified and a meeting held with the principal or assistant principal to review all necessary school policies and procedures.
6. The provider will provide the principal with two weeks notice when community support services are being terminated in the school setting. During the two weeks, plans will be implemented to ensure the student’s success once services are no longer available.
7. The provider will comply with safe school practices by wearing an agreed upon identification badge while on school grounds.
8. The Community Support Provider Agency, along with the input from the school administrator, will consider factors such as the ratio of adults to students in the classroom, class size, and other relevant information in determining the overall effectiveness and positive impact that a community support worker will have on an individual student and the classroom environment.
9. The provider agency will consult with Wilkes County Schools, Exceptional Children’s Department prior to implementing agency initiatives and service changes to ensure compliance with Wilkes County School Board Policy and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
10. The Provider Agency will provide regular, ongoing supervision to the paraprofessional in the school and will seek input from school personnel (teacher, principal, assistant principal, and Central Office staff) to assess the student’s progress and ongoing need for community support services in school.
1. The school agrees to train and monitor school personnel to ensure that the student’s confidentiality is maintained in regards to mental health services.
2. The school agrees that all appropriate and necessary releases of information, consistent with the Federal Education & Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will be obtained prior to communication between agencies regarding students.
3. The Provider Agency will train and monitor agency personnel to ensure the confidentiality of the student receiving services as well as the confidentiality of other students encountered in the school setting.
4. The Provider Agency agrees that all appropriate and necessary releases of information, consistent with the Federal Education & Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will be obtained prior to communication between agencies regarding students.
5. The Community Support Worker will NOT have access to the student’s confidential school record or any confidential student files housed at the school. The worker will be provided with the IEP goals and other relevant information as needed to meet the needs of the student.
1. In the event that conflict arises regarding the conduct or the work of the Community Support Worker, resolution will be sought initially between the classroom teacher and the worker, recognizing that as stated in Section III, item number 2, the teacher is the professional in the classroom and maintains responsibility for the student.
2. If this initial resolution process is unsuccessful, the teacher will inform the principal and contact will be made with the Community Support Professional supervising the paraprofessional worker. If the concern is being expressed by the paraprofessional worker, the agency Supervisor will contact the principal. Documentation should be kept to record the resolution of the problem.
3. It should be noted that ALL communication with the student’s parents or legal guardians regarding his/her academic progress will originate with the teacher. It is inappropriate for the Community Support Worker to act as a messenger between the parents and teacher or to assess the student’s level of achievement.
4. As noted in Section III, item number 5, the school administrator maintains the right to remove a community support worker or to request a change in workers.
1 NC DMH/DD/SAS, Enhanced Benefit Services for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Effective March 20, 2006
Adopted: August 6, 2007
COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
Implementation Meeting for Community Support Worker
A meeting with the school administrator, Community Support Paraprofessional and the Community Support Professional (QP), teacher, and parent or legal guardian will occur prior to Community Support Services beginning in the school.
1. The Community Support Worker is authorized for mental health/medical reasons for a particular student. The worker’s primary focus is on that student. The worker may participate in a group activity that involves other children, if directed by the teacher, but the identified Student must be involved in the activity.
2. The authorization is based on mental health/medical issues and not instructional or academic skills. The worker is to monitor the student’s behavior and ability to focus and participate in classroom assignments, to provide redirection and prompts, to teach skills for selfmanagement of symptoms, to assist with anger management techniques, and to teach social skills.
- Parent/Legal Guardian signed release of information between school and Community Support Agency. The release is filed with the school and the Provider Agency
- Review a copy of the student’s goals that the Community Support Worker will be addressing. Emphasize that the goals in the Community Support treatment plan should compliment the goals in the student’s behavior plan (as part of the IEP).
- Discuss appropriate ID badge
- Review sign in / sign out procedures
- Review school dress code and expectations of professional behavior (including a review of the policy regarding WCS being tobacco free)
- Provide worker with School Handbook
- Discuss use of cell phones and school phones
- Discuss student’s transportation; If and when Community Support worker would be transporting
- Develop a plan regarding student’s absences and worker’s absences (Will the family notify the Worker if Student is unable to attend school? Will the Provider Agency provide a substitute worker if the Worker is absent? How will the school be notified if the worker will be absent?)
- Discuss Board Policies related to Student Behavior, Authority of School Personnel, and School Plan for Management of Student Behavior (Codes 4300, 4301, and 4302)
- Develop a crisis plan and make a list of contact numbers for both the school and the Provider Agency
Memorandum of Agreement
Wilkes County School and Community Support Provider Agencies
The purpose of this Memorandum of Agreement is to efficiently and effectively provide mental health Community Support Services for eligible students in the Wilkes County School System. For the purpose of this agreement, Wilkes County Schools will hereinafter be referred to as SCHOOL and the provider agency will be refereed to as CONTRACTOR.
A. SCHOOL’S OBLIGATIONS
1. The school is responsible for the overall instruction and management of the classroom and students, including providing direction regarding school policies and procedures to the Community Support Worker.
2. The school will provide training and/or direction to their staff members regarding the utilization of Community Support Services in the school setting.
3. It will be the responsibility of the school to identify students who need Community Support Services in the school setting and school personnel will inform the parents/legal guardians of the need for additional services.
4. Once the student has been authorized for Community Support Services, the school will meet with the contractor for an Implementation Meeting as outlined in the Policy Community Support Services in Wilkes County Schools.
5. During the Implementation Meeting, the SCHOOL will identify the number of hours the service is being requested, the school’s expectations of the worker and the appropriate amount of supervision provided in the school setting to the worker by the Community Support Agency.
6. The school will monitor the performance of the workers and communicate with the Community Support Provider Agencies and /or Central Office Administrators/Coordinators.
7. The school will provide school personnel a copy of the Policy for Community Support Services in Wilkes County School and will monitor for compliance.
8. As part of the Implementation Meeting, the school will provide training in school policies and procedures, including safe school procedures and policies.
9. The school will have authority to remove Community Support workers and/or request an alternate worker for workers who do not comply with school policy and procedures after appropriate intervention has occurred.
10. The school will have the authority to remove Community Support services in the school setting if it is determined that the student no longer needs the service in the school setting or if the IEP team determines that the service is detrimental to the student’s academic progress.
B. CONTRACTOR’S OBLIGATIONS
1. Contractors will provide Community Support workers a copy of the Policy Community Support Services in Wilkes County School and will provide supervision regarding its compliance.
2. Contractors will screen all Community Support worker applicants, obtain criminal background checks, arrange drug screening, and provide appropriate supervision and ongoing training in compliance with Endorsement Standards established by the Division of MH/DD/SAS and the Division of Medical Assistance. Verification must be made available at the request of the Wilkes County Schools Human Resources Manager.
3. Contractors will comply with all liability requirements contained in their Endorsement by the Local Mental Health Entity (LME).
4. Contractors will provide lists of students receiving Community Support in the school setting to the Exceptional Children’s Department on a monthly basis.
5. Contractors will contact the Principal when Community Support Services have been requested for a student in the school setting. An Implementation Meeting MUST be held prior to the worker initiating services with the student.
6. Contractor will provide at least two weeks notice when services are being reduced or terminated to allow for appropriate planning and transition.
7. Contractors will comply with safe school procedures regarding an agreed upon identification badge to be displayed while on school grounds.
8. Contractors will consult with Wilkes County Schools prior to implementing agency initiatives and services that affect services in the school setting to ensure they do not compromise Wilkes County Board policy or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
1. All parties agree to train and monitor their staff to ensure the confidentiality of the student receiving services as well as the confidentiality of other students encountered in the school setting.
2. All parties agree that appropriate releases of information, consistent with the Federal Education and Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA), HIPAA regulations, and other appropriate state and federal laws, will be obtained prior to communication between agencies regarding students.
D. MODIFICATION OF AGREEMENT
No modification of this Agreement shall be binding unless the modification is made in writing and signed by the authorized agent for each party. Each party shall act in good faith in responding to future proposed modifications in order to effectively address any circumstances which may be unforeseen at the time this Agreement is entered into.
E. CONFLICT RESOLUTION
1. Resolution of concerns regarding the work or conduct of a Community Support worker will be sought initially between the classroom teacher and the worker.
2. If the initial attempt at resolution is unsuccessful, the teacher will inform the principal and contact will be made with the worker’s supervisor to resolve the situation.
3. In the event that the conflict cannot be resolved, the Principal has the discretion to request a new worker or to terminate Community Support Services in the school setting.
This Memorandum of Agreement shall be in effect as of the date signed by the school and the contractor and must be renewed on an annual basis. Either party to this agreement may terminate participation upon seven days written notice to the other party.
WILKES COUNTY SCHOOLS: