The Alexandria City Council tonight will consider the official reallocation of nearly $800,000 in funding previously meant for the School Resource Officer program.
Council voted 4-3 in May to move the SRO funding to add mental health resources to ACPS, support staff to the Teen Wellness Center, hire an additional Behavioral Health Specialist to the Alexandria Crisis Intervention CoResponding Program Pilot. The SROs stationed inside T.C. Williams High School, Francis Hammond Middle School and George Washington Middle School have been reassigned to patrol.
City staff are recommending that the funds be used to add the following:
- $567,000 — One therapist supervisor to the Department of Community and Human Services; two licensed mental health professionals; a human services specialist; and a licensed senior therapist for emergency services
- $122,000 — One new public health nurse at the Minnie Howard campus
- $101,000 — One new Alexandria Mentoring Partnership coordinator
Students who are involved in gangs also have to wait up to a month before seeing one of two counselors with the City’s Court Services Unit.
Staff also reported that the school system is anticipating a “three-fold increase” in the number of students getting mental health referrals, “particularly as students adjust to in-person learning.”
“Each year ACPS Student Support Services requests that CFBHS (Child and Family Behavioral Health Services) provides more clinicians in schools than DCHS has capacity to provide,” City staff reported. “If CFBHS had more capacity, this program would provide considerably more outreach, group therapy, and consultation.”
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