VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
The Need for Grief Plan Awareness and Staff Training in Schools
Molly Ann Jenkins, Mardis Dunham, and Susana Contreras-Bloomdahl
School faculty members, regardless of their experience and training, often interact with students who have experienced a loss of someone close to them. Counselors and school psychologists are typically trained to work with grieving students, but those that work most closely with students on a daily basis typically do not have that training. Administrators, school counselors, and school psychologists should be aware of the training level of the teachers with whom they work closely in order to better serve the student population. Researchers have addressed the inadequate training of school faculty members when working with grieving students (Adamson & Peacock, 2007; Allen, Burt, et al., 2002; Allen, Jerome, et al., 2002; Aspinall, 1996; Munson & Hunt, 2005; Pratt, Hare, & Wright, 2001; Reid & Dixon, 1999). It is important for administrators, counselors and psychologists to coordinate and implement a training program that prepares faculty members to properly interact with a grieving student since as many as 200,000 students nationwide experience a death of someone close to them each year (Hoyer, Kochanek, & Murphy, 1999, as cited in Andrews & Marotta, 2005).