As part of its ongoing efforts to expand school-based mental health services, Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) has hired Social Worker Clara D'Agostino to offer on-site support to high-need schools. D'Agostino will oversee a team of interns who are currently pursuing graduate degrees in school social work. D'Agostino and the interns will provide prevention services, on-site counseling and case management for at-risk students at targeted GGUSD elementary, intermediate, and high schools.
"Nationwide, schools are moving toward school-based behavioral mental health services because it provides more immediate assistance to students and reduces the amount of time children are missing school," said Walter Muneton, GGUSD Board of Education member.
D'Agostino is a trauma trained Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a master's degree in social work from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She has a wealth of experience providing support to school districts on effective implementation of school mental health services. She has provided extensive training and consultation to staff, teachers, administrators, as well as presented nationally and internationally. D'Agostino has worked in several school districts as a school social worker, and as a program coordinator in areas like dropout prevention, safe schools, and an array of mental health areas. She has also served as an instructor at USC and helped guide graduate students pursuing a master's degree in social work.
Under the direction of the GGUSD Director of Student Services, Dr. Arthur Cummins, D'Agostino will be collecting data to monitor the success of targeted social, behavioral and emotional interventions to help the district improve mental health services for all students. GGUSD will continue to collaborate with local universities to expand its social work program.
"Our goal is to provide a framework that allows for earlier detection of mental health issues and a system that provides students the support they need to be successful," said Muneton.