Ethics and Law for School Psychologists

By Susan Jacob; Dawn M. Decker et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN
SCHOOL-BASED INTERVENTIONS

As noted in Chapter 1, school-based practitioners often provide consultative services that are not within the scope of an established psychologist–client relationship to school districts, to student assistance teams, or within classrooms. In this chapter, we first explore the ethical-legal issues associated with delivering services within a multitiered system of academic and behavioral support. Then we explore the ethical-legal issues associated with providing counseling and other therapeutic interventions within the context of a school psychologist–client relationship.


MULTITIERED SYSTEMS OF ACADEMIC
AND BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT

In 2006, a task force composed of experts in the field of school psychology completed the document titled School Psychology: A Blueprint for Training and Practice III (Ysseldyke et al. 2006), in which the authors suggested that the goals of improving educational and mental health outcomes for all students, and the capacity of systems to meet the needs of all students, can best be achieved by a three-tier model of service delivery (p. 13), now referred to as a multitiered system of support (MTSS). Tier I or universal services are systems-level programs and services designed to meet the academic and social-behavior needs of the majority of students. Examples include “use of evidence-based approaches to reading and math instruction or the implementation of a positive school-wide discipline program to reduce problems with behavior management” (Ysseldyke et al., 2006, p. 13; also Stoiber, 2014). At Tier I, school psychology practitioners might assist in developing a universal (districtwide) screening process to identify students at risk of not making adequate progress in the general education curriculum. Tier II or targeted interventions are for students who do not succeed in response to Tier I services and address “specific academic or social-emotional skill or performance deficits” (Ysseldyke et al., 2006, p. 13). At Tier II, school psychologists might provide consultation to student assistance teams or in classrooms with the goal of implementing evidence-based interventions and monitoring their effectiveness. Tier III or intensive interventions are tailored to the needs of the individual student (Stoiber, 2014). Tier III interventions might include special education and related services, therapeutic interventions in the context of a school psychologist–client relationship, and/or assistance provided through interagency collaborations.

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