Gateway received a grant for $15,000 from the Daniel Foundation to continue their program of school based counseling. During the school year, 115 students will receive mental health counseling. The schools served are Oliver Elementary and Hayes K-8 in the Birmingham City School System. The Daniel Foundation recognizes the importance of mental health care and the trauma that is experienced by children living at or below the poverty level. Due to the overwhelming demands on school guidance counselors, it is often necessary to bring outside partners in to provide the much needed counseling that many of these children need. This program, an extension of Gateway Family Counseling, provides a counselor in the school taking referrals from the teachers and the guidance counselor.
Since the start of this school year, Gateway’s licensed and trauma informed therapists have provided more than 800 counseling hours to 70 students. By helping these students overcome their current crises, they can then cope better in the future. Therapists create individualized service plans for each child in the program as well as provide trauma training to teachers and school administrators and family counseling where needed to support the student’s needs. The schools served report that 77% of the students served have experienced moderate to significant progress.