Social Work Program » Social Work Program Home Page

Social Work Program Home Page

Excerpt from December 2021 District Newsletter


Applying mindfulness and grounding exercises, the Social Work Program improves student functioning and outlook, both at school and at home. 

After a nearly two-year pandemic, students across the district have showed significant difficulties re-adjusting to life back on campus. Experiencing heightened and sustained levels of anxiety and dealing with a multitude of grief and loss issues, students face the challenge of adapting to new interpersonal, familial and academic stressors. Continuing to expand its reach and impact since 2015, the Social Work Program is finding new ways to address these growing mental health needs of students and the school. 

Rooted in Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) through individual counseling, classroom presentations and staff workshops, students are provided with innovative and evidence-based practices to use wherever they might be experiencing problems. Some of the leading methods showing effectiveness include using mindfulness and grounding exercises to improve sleep. Conscious belly breathing, for example, has helped some students reduce negative emotions and discomfort before bedtime. Lack of sleep for teens, is a well-documented problem impacting cognitive functioning, school performance and mental health. The Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Triangle is also showing positive results. Students are provided tools with which to identify and better understand the relationship between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This is translating into applicable self-regulation skills and helping promote improved relationships both on and off campus. For more info about the supportive work happening across our district, please read on or contact your school site. 

Welcome to the Centinela Valley Union High School District Social Work Program home page! Here you will find important and valuable information about various mental health resources and services available to students and their families. You will also find the contact information of our School Social Workers. Please read below and click on the links to the right (or at the bottom if viewing from a mobile phone) for more information. 


Services During COVID-19 

For the 2021-22 school year, the district will continue to provide a wide-range of social-emotional and mental health services to students. Regardless of the format of a student's instruction (being in-person or operating virtually), services will be available to help students and their families navigate the road ahead. Telehealth services and related virtual platforms were adopted during the pandemic to address remote operations and ensure that a distance-learning environment did not cause any disruption in a student’s ability to access mental health or counseling resources. With the majority of students now being back on campus, our counseling services are primarily provided face-to-face, however, we can provide virtual services on an as-needed basis (as with students doing Independent Studies). Such services may include brief intervention, biopsychosocial assessment, individual counseling, group counseling, student workshops, parent consultation, community resource linking and other mental health-related supports.


Meeting the Needs

The district has various referral systems in place in order to connect students to respective persons or resources of support. A tiered approach provides for early and progressive intervention within the interdisciplinary school setting. Teachers can quickly report student behavioral concerns to an administrator while Academic Counselors can refer a student with higher social-emotional needs to our school-based Wellness Centers. Student needs, presenting issues, risk level, urgency and protective factors are all evaluated through a social-emotional lens and trauma-informed triage process. Additionally, the district conducts ongoing evaluation of all services provided for mental health or social-emotional reasons. That data is analyzed to address problems, identify trends, inform decision making and improve the overall response process.


Overview of Services

CVUHSD offers comprehensive counseling for all students which includes counseling for academics, college and career, crisis intervention, special education, substance abuse and mental health. These services are provided by CVUHSD School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers and Social Work Student Interns. Listening to the community's voice, CVUHSD is making concerted efforts to address the social-emotional needs of students. Changes in LCAP funding have allowed for on-site services and programs. Each school site has a dedicated School Social Worker and Social Work Student Interns to provide counseling, case management and crisis intervention. See the "Social Work Student Intern Program" tab for more detailed information about the services we offer.


Community Partnerships

CVUHSD also has partnerships with outside organizations that offer counseling for victim-offender mediation, family therapy, grief and loss issues, and many other specialized services. Community-based organizations are regularly utilized when the level of need falls outside of the scope of practice that school staff can provide.  The goal is for every student to receive the support and care they need to prepare for and excel in college, their career and in their personal lives.  Please contact your student's Counselor or School Social Worker for more information about how to get them the support they need to thrive interpersonally and academically.

Lloyde Continuation High School
Kevin C. Brown, LCSW, PPSC
District Social Worker
Leuzinger High School
Beatriz Lopez, MSW, PPSC
School Social Worker
Hawthorne High School
Patrick Baird, MSW, PPSC
School Social Worker
310-263-4400 ext. 4522
Lawndale High School
Celeste Lopez, LCSW, PPSC
School Social Worker