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Citrus Cty, FL: District gets over $430K for more counselors, psychologists, social workers

June 28, 2018, Crystal River, FL, Citrus Cty Chronicle: School district to hire additional mental health professionals, examine Baker Act processes Schools statewide will receive additional funds earmarked for mental health assistance, and the Citrus County School District has decided how those funds will be spent. During its June 26 meeting, school board members and district staff heard a presentation from Director of Student Services Kit Humbaugh about the additional staff and services those funds will provide, and mental health assessment procedures in general. The $434,575 the school district will receive in additional funding for mental health services will pay for two new school psychologists, four more school social workers, and a student services specialist position. It will also fund professional development and implementation expenses associated with those hires and new requirements within the Mental Health Assistance Allocation Plan, according to Humbaugh’s presentation. After hiring for the new positions, the district will employ 12 school psychologists, 11 school social workers, and 36 school counselors. “The school district allocated 90 percent of expenditures to provide mental health services or coordination of mental health services with primary care and mental health providers,” a presentation handout read. … Currently, the district has a plan to follow up with students after they are taken from a school to a Baker Act receiving facility — in Brooksville or Ocala, because Citrus doesn’t have one — for evaluation. That plan, Humbaugh said, will be revised to require additional follow-ups with each child. … The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Safety Act, also called Senate Bill (SB) 7026, allows various state and local agencies and programs “that provide services to students experiencing or at risk of an emotional disturbance or a mental illness” — including school districts, law enforcement agencies, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Children and Families — to “share with each other records or information” that would otherwise be confidential if the information is “reasonably necessary to ensure access to appropriate services for the student or to ensure the safety of the student or others.”…

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