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Counseling for the Whole Child: Dropout Prevention Framework



Counseling for the whole child involves developing data-driven, systemic school counseling programs and connections to intensive support that support students in meeting academic, career, and personal development goals. This strategy is intended to combine effective school counseling programs and other intensive support and build ownership and implementation of the strategy with staff across the school and district. 

Robust programs include multiple layers of support designed to strategically and effectively respond to student academic, social-emotional learning (SEL), and mental health needs. They work in combination with supportive school cultures and relationships that embrace the importance of shared responsibility for student success, safety, and well-being. School counselors, mental health providers, teachers, and other school staff who carry out the mission and goals of school counseling programs have a unique opportunity to understand, identify, and assist students showing signs of dropout and disengagement. They play a critical role in developing and coordinating programs that integrate education, prevention, and intervention activities and serve as key connectors between students, parents/guardians, educators, and community members. 

Full Documents

The following are reference documents. 

  • Overview: This document provides a more detailed overview of Counseling for the Whole Child
  • Dropout Prevention Framework: This document includes the full framework, with foundational practices, prioritized strategies, and research citations. 
  • Research: This document provides links and titles of research that has informed the Counseling for the whole child strategy in the dropout prevention framework. 

Funding Opportunities

There are multiple competitive grants, among other funding sources that can be used to support the implementation of the Counseling for the whole child. 

  • School Counselor Corps Grant: The goal of this grant is to increase the availability of effective school-based counseling and support work-based learning awareness, education, and opportunities. 
  • Project AWARE: This grant works to build a comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated school behavioral health services system. 
  • Expelled and At-Risk Student Services Grant: This grant focuses on students who have been expelled, at-risk of expulsion, or chronically absent. 

Implementation Spotlight

This section will be updated during the 2023-24 school year.