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Who are the Outreach Workers?

Dr. Allison Ertl

Where are they located in WHS?

Phillips House Office – Room 434

Contact Information:

Who are the Outreach Workers?

The Outreach Workers are clinical psychologists employed by Human Relations Service, Wellesley’s private, non-profit community mental health agency. They are housed at the high school.  They provide short-term and ongoing school-based counseling, individually or in groups, for students in the regular education population who are experiencing a variety of social/emotional challenges.  Treatment is provided in conjunction with families and remains confidential except for certain life-threatening situations.  In addition, the Outreach Workers may help to coordinate mental health care between the school and outside providers and serve as a referral resource for students needing support outside of the school environment.

How is a referral made to the Outreach Workers?

The first step is to speak with a student’s guidance counselor. Counselors will work with staff to deem the most appropriate next steps and, if warranted, will involve an Outreach Worker. Students can also refer themselves by dropping in to see a guidance counselor or an Outreach Worker.

I’m concerned about a student on an IEP.  Can s/he see the Outreach Workers?

One of the three school psychologists serving the special education department should be consulted when a student who is already identified and receiving services through an IEP is exhibiting serious emotional issues affecting his/her learning.  The Outreach Workers are here to serve students from the regular education population who do not have access to these additional services.

Does the student need parental permission to meet with the Outreach Worker?

Students are eligible to meet with the Outreach Worker up to three times before written parental consent is required.  This provides the Outreach Worker with the opportunity to get to know the student’s needs, as well as to assess the level of intervention necessary.  It also provides the student with the opportunity to determine if school-based counseling is what s/he is seeking.  Even when a student is 18 years of age, parental consent is needed, given the school counseling setting.

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