Santa Clara County Office of Education

February: Santa Clara County Office of Education, A Field Guide for Creating Integrated, School-Based Systems of Care

In February 2022, the Santa Clara Country Office of Education presented on Supporting California’s Children Through a Whole Child Approach: A Field Guide for Creating Integrated, School-Based Systems of Care, produced by in partnership with Breaking Barriers, California Alliance of Child and Family Services, and WestEd. The purpose of the field guide is threefold:

  1. To make the case for establishing integrated, school-based systems of care;

  2. To describe key initiatives (Expanded Learning, Early Childhood, Children & Youth System of Care, Children & Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, and ACES Aware) and funding sources to support this approach; and

  3. To support Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with pursuing sustainable implementation through funding and cross-sector collaboration.

The guide describes key concepts and delves into the details for five key initiatives, before delving into a chapter on funding sustainability. The guide ends with a call to action for greater cross-sector collaboration. To elucidate their suggestions, they provided a visualization of how initiatives could fit together and shared two illustrations of how Santa Clara County Office of Education and how Sacramento County Office of Education have blended and braided funding to support well-being at a local level.

A Field Guide for Creating Integrated, School-Based Systems of Care

Amanda Dickey
SCCOE ​Executive Director - Government Relations​

Insights from the Field

What do you predict will be the most impactful aspect of SEL on student mental health and well-being?

Research indicates that providing age-appropriate social emotional learning opportunities helps to reduce mental health stigma amongst youth and can help with the development of protective factors such as resilience, self-esteem and coping skills.

What is one important thing to consider when it comes to measuring the impact of SEL and other whole child initiatives in California?

We should not look for a 1-to-1 outcome between SEL and academics. Short term indicators like attendance and suspension/expulsion are better indicators of SEL impacts, but SEL investments (and other investments related to SEL like community schools, wellness, etc) are more accurately measured through longer term outcomes like adult mental health diagnosis and need for services, graduation rates, and incarceration.