Chalkbeat: Need for Parental Consent Can Block Students’ Access to Therapy
By NYU Silver Communications OfficeFeb 13, 2024
School Social Work Training Academy’s Chelsea Trout, MSW ’25, and Dr. Jessica Chock-Goldman, MSW ’12/DSW ’21 quoted
Children may face a significant roadblock if school mental health professionals refer them to outside providers for more intensive therapy: the need for parental consent, according to a special report co-published by Chalkbeat and The Associated Press.
Chelsea Trout, MSW ’25, a student in our School Social Work Training Academy (SSWTA) who is doing her practicum placement at a Brooklyn charter school, is quoted on the divide students and their parents often have about mental health. “It’s this disconnect,” said Chelsea. “The kids are all on TikTok or the internet and understand therapy speak and that this is something that could be helpful for their mental health and are interested in, but don’t have the explicit buy-in from their parents.”
In her practicum placement, Chelsea has encountered parents who questioned the school’s recommendation of outside therapy for their children; however, she expressed empathy for their perspective. “If we’re thinking about predominantly Black and brown communities, if your interactions with social workers or mental health services or anything in that realm thus far have not been positive,” she said, “how could you trust them with your kids?”
Chelsea’s SSWTA Practice I/II professor, Dr. Jessica Chock-Goldman, MSW ’12/DSW ’21, is also quoted in the story, addressing the risk to teens with mental health issues who are prevented from accessing care early on because they lack parental consent. Citing her own experience as a Social Worker and Director of Clinical Services at Bard High School Early College of Manhattan, Dr. Chock-Goldman said, “A lot of kids would be hospitalized because of suicidal ideations or intent because the preventative work didn’t come into fruition.”