Frequently Asked Questions
Will my child be in trouble if he/she visits the school counselor?
No. School Counselors are not disciplinarians! Our role is different from an administrative role and does not include issuing citations, referrals or any other discipline consequence. Our primary role is to assist in removing barriers that may keep the student from being successful in the academic environment.
Will others know that my child is being seen by the counselor?
School counselors take every precaution to protect the confidentiality of each student. A student’s right to privacy and confidentiality is the basis for an effective counseling relationship. Confidentiality ensures that school counselors will not share students’ disclosures with others (including teachers and other staff members) unless the student authorizes it or when there is a clear and present danger to the student and/or to other persons.
What are the limitations to confidentiality that parents should know about?
The limitations of confidentiality don’t include information of possible abuse or harm to a child. By law, the school counselor must report any case of abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.
Will my child miss an academic time when they see the school counselor?
While the school counselor makes every effort to protect academic time, it may occur that a student briefly misses academic time to meet with the counselor. School counselors do their very best to prevent the counseling session from being a burden on the student academically.
Can the school counselor provide therapy?
While school counselors have specific training in regards to mental health issues, they are not intended to function as therapists. The role of school counselors is to assist students with academic issues that may interfere with their academic success. School counselors are equipped to serve as liaisons with outside agencies and can consult with families about the steps to take to link to outside therapeutic services.
If my child sees the school counselor, will I be contacted?
Many times parents initiate the referral process and may speak to the counselor before counseling sessions take place with the students. However, parents are not called every time a counselor meets with a child. And, should parents be called in to meet with the school counselor in a collaborative effort to help the student, parents must also realize that confidentiality is the hallmark of a school counselors’ work. When students enter into a counseling relationship, the school counselor will educate the student about the purposes, goals, techniques and rules of procedure under which they may receive counseling. As counseling with a student progresses, it may become beneficial or necessary for the school counselor to consult and collaborate with parents. It’s the school counselor’s responsibility to reach an agreement with the student about what information to share with the parents; unless, of course, there is a clear and imminent danger to the student or others. While respecting the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians for their children, the school counselor works to establish a mutual relationship with parents/guardians to maximize a student’s development. In addition, school counselors respect students’ values and beliefs without imposing their own personal values on the situation.
If the counselor sees my child, is this on the student's permanent record?
No information shared with the counselor is included in the permanent record. Again, information is shared only with others when there is a clear and present danger to the student or other persons.