School District Granted Funds For Additional Social Workers, Counselors

 

Traci Davis
Traci Davis

The Nevada Department of Education this week awarded a grant to the Washoe County School District (WCSD) to fund 37 social workers and other mental health professional positions for the next two school years.

“This is wonderful news for our students and school families, and we are grateful to the Nevada Department of Education for its support,” Superintendent Traci Davis said in a statement. “These vital resources will be directed to schools with identified needs, and we are eager to work with the state to get this process underway.”

The Social Workers in the Schools Grants are administered by the Safe and Respectful Learning Environment Office within the Department of Education.

District spokeswoman Victoria Campbell said the majority of social worker positions are funded through grants, while some are funded by the district. There are eight licensed social workers in the district, with six of them school social workers.

“The other positions covered under this state grant embrace other mental health disciplines, including social work, but some of these employees may not have the full licensure,” Campbell said. “Some of these employees are working to earn their licensure now.”

Social workers and mental health professionals work with students to provide support, referrals, resources, and interventions to keep them on the pathway to graduation and make sure they are college or career ready.

Campbell said the district also has a grant that funds three social workers through the U.S. Department of Education as part of Project Prevent.

“Other social workers are funded through various other state and federal grants and funding for those is year to year,” Campbell said.

Other positions are funded through the PEACE Grant, which covers licensed school social workers, along with the Family Resource Center and district counseling department, Campbell said.

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Carla O'Day
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Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.