Student Assistance Program
Voorhees High School


 

Student Assistance Program


Information

 

 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Our Mission:

Voorhees High School (VHS), being firmly committed to the wellbeing of its students, has established a comprehensive Student Assistance Program (SAP) with a wide range of focus. The SAP ‘s mission includes but is not limited to the prevention of substance abuse, addressing the effects of substance abuse on teens, both through their own use and that of family members, and many other issues that affect students’ emotional lives and performance. The program further addresses those personal and developmental concerns which would contribute to students developing substance use issues, depression, anxiety, and/or suicidality.

The program described on this site which follows N.J. State guidelines for such programs, is comprised of numerous components, each of which is described herein.

Key elements include assessment, individual counseling, group counseling, referral, drug screening, policy review and development, consultation, community relations, and education of students, staff, and parents.

 

Other elements of the Student Assistance Program include but are not limited to Substance Awareness, Children of Addicted Parents group, Diversity Group, Out & About group (LGBT issues), Divorced Parents (Split Ps), Adoption Support Group (the A Team); Stress reduction (OM). Jeffrey M. Hunt, LCADCLPC joined the Voorhees staff as Student Assistance Coordinator in September 2006. Click the “Meet our “SAC” link for more information.

 

ALIVE AT 25 Initiative

 

VHS is also firmly committed to reducing the tragic and horrifying mortality rates among teen drivers to the extent that it can. To that end, VHS incorporated the Alive at 25 program, a product of the National Safety Council and the NJ Safety Commission, into the student curriculum beginning in the Spring semester of the 2008-09 school year. Students receive four classes of the well developed curriculum in Junior Health. Program materials are purchased from the NSC and the presenters are certified by them.

 

In addition, since parents play such a key role in supervising new, inexperienced drivers, the NHV District mandates a parent’s attendance at the Alive at 25 program for those whose child would apply for parking permit privileges.

The parents’ component is offered on several dates at Voorhees each year. More information is available by contacting Jeff Hunt.

 

LIFELINES: Suicide Prevention Program

 

Since 2009, VHS presents: The Hazelden Foundation’s Lifelines Curriculum

 

A comprehensive curriculum for our school’s administrators, staff, parents and students. Voorhees has been given the distinction of being the national pilot school for this program.

For more information on the Hazelden
Foundation, one of the country’s premier mental health treatment and publishing
organizations, click on:


Official Hazelden Site

 

Resources available in the Parents’ and Staff Resource areas
on the Main Page

 

The term of art used presently by professionals who specialize in this subject is “help-seeking”  – the focus is on identification of at-risk kids and getting them referred to the appropriate helping professionals. Referrals may be self-referrals or through the agency of their friends, family members, school staff or others. Staff and student education is offered to encourage active involvement of all members of the school community to safeguard each other’s wellbeing.

 

For more information , please feel free to contact Jeff Hunt, or proceed to the Parent Resource page.

 


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 ASSESSMENT

 

Each student enrolled in Voorhees High School with indicators of present or past substance abuse is referred to the SAC for assessment. Assessment may be informal or a more formalized thorough bio-psychosocial assessment. Students who are identified during their tenure at Voorhees as being in need of SAP services are referred to the SAC by teachers, guidance counselors, administrators,  other staff or students; assessment is performed at that time and the appropriate referral is made either to in-school services, outside referral, or a combination thereof.

 

Assessments for other conditions such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, self-injury, and others are done initially within the purview of the SAP. Referrals may be made to outside agencies should the student need more intensive services than can be provided in a school setting.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY

 

•The legal authority regulating confidentiality for Substance Abuse professionals is located in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, or the “CFR 42” as it is affectionately referred to. With regard to school substance abuse professionals, this authority is referred to in the New Jersey Administrative Code, 6A:16-3.2 wherein it states: “Each district board of education shall assure compliance with the following confidentiality requirements:

 

1. Confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records, pursuant to  CFR  42 part 2; and

 

2. Confidentiality of information provided by….a secondary school student while participating in a school-based drug and alcohol counseling program which indicates that the student’’s parent or other person residing in the student’’s household is dependent upon or illegally using substances…”.

 

•Thus, there is little distinction between the confidentiality rules governing treatment professionals and school substance abuse counselors. 

 

•In most cases, only the standard exceptions to this law apply; these are: with written consent; when a crime is being threatened; under a proper court order; in cases of a medical emergency; and child abuse reporting. However parents are informed legally whenever a student is suspected of being under the influence of substances, or when a positive drug screen has been received through the school’s Random Drug Screening program. Based on Board policy, a parent is informed if a staff member becomes aware that his or her child is self-injuring.

 

•However, for the purposes of giving proper care, and on an as needed basis, a counselor may share information with members of a student’s treatment team when it is pertinent. Thus, information sharing by the SAC with a student’s guidance counselor, as well as limited progress reports to the CST, when proper releases have been obtained, is allowed.


E
DUCATION

 

    • The education component of the SAP is comprised of several modalities.

 

    • For the entire student body: information about the core substance abuse topics is delivered through a series of  presentations delivered in health classes through a contractual arrangement with Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program,
      that more than fulfills the state’’s ten hour per year requirement; this website, a  substance awareness newsletter – The Sober Times , other mass student emailings, classroom presentations, auditorium presentations, and the SAC’s availability for classroom resources.

    • For those students identified and enrolled in the SAP, additional education will occur in group setting. 

    • Staff education is primarily handled through a series of monthly memos, in-service education, and by individual request. 

    • Parent education is distributed bi-monthly by email to all parents entitled “Parents e-Pages“. An area in the SAP Website, Parents’ Resources, is maintained to offer numerous resources on teen health and mental health issues, the VHS Community Health and Wellness Education Series (6 times per year).

 

GROUPS

 

Several group therapy and discussion groups usually meet on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. These include: 

    • COAP – Children of Addicted Parents for kids with a substance abusing parent; 
    • Power Girls – a group to help empower girls with regard to self-esteem, relationships, body image and much more;
    • Diversity Group – for students of diverse ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds; 
    • Split P’s – For kids whose parents are, or are getting separated or divorced;
    • Grief – run on an as-needed basis for students experiencing significant loss;
    • The A Team – a discussion group for adopted kids;
    • Out & About –  a support group on sexual identity and gender issues;
    •  Open Mind – a mindfulness/meditation group for the anxious and stressed;
    •  WHSPR – We Have a Sick Parent Resource group; (not running in ’18-19)
    • Tough SOBs – a group for the survivors of bullying incidents (new in ’18-19)
    •  DPS (Deceased Parents Society) – a network of students who have lost a parent. Meets on request, at times of need – does not meet on a regular basis. 

 

INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING

 

    • In the school setting, individual counseling is offered often on an as needed or weekly basis, or when a student is mandated to five sessions following a substance-related incident. Individual needs are taken into account when determining the type of counseling a student will receive. The scope of counseling approach varies widely from psycho-educational, incorporating elements of CBT, adjunctive therapies, relaxation techniques, and post-trauma work.


C
OMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

 

    • The Voorhees High School Student Assistance Program maintains regular contact with numerous local agencies and its counterparts at other schools. SACs from Hunterdon South, Central, North, Delaware Valley H.S. and Educational Services Commission schools meet twice per semester; the SAC attends meetings of the Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition.

    • Relationships with numerous treatment providers in the area are maintained. 

       

       

 


REFERRAL

 

    • Students are most often referred to individual counseling, or group counseling within the school’s SAP scope of services. However, the SAP maintains a resource file of treatment referral resources to be used in the event that a student requires more assistance than can be delivered in the school setting.

 

    • Parents are welcome to call for referrals for adult family members needing substance abuse services on a confidential basis as well.

 

    • Or click here to go see a list of agencies.

 

 


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