School-Based Health Centers
School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) provide basic physical, mental, dental, or other services as needed. The health center provides more services than a school nurse and is not to replace the school nurse. The school-based health center is required to have a working relationship with the doctors of the child they see. Families can apply for ARKids and local resources connected to the health center for students' and family convenience. The goal is for the center to be a resource center for wellness and prevention. Typical characteristics of an SBHC are as follows:
- Located in the school or on school grounds.
- Work cooperatively within the school to become an integral part of the school.
- Provide a comprehensive range of services that meet the specific physical and behavioral health needs of the young people in the community.
- Employ a multidisciplinary team of providers to care for the students: nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, social workers, physicians, alcohol and drug counselors, and other health professionals.
- Provide clinical services through a qualified health provider such as a hospital, health department, or medical practice.
- Require parents to sign written consents for their children to receive the full scope of services provided at the SBHC.
- Have an advisory board consisting of community representatives, parents, youth, and family organizations, to provide planning and oversight.
The vision of Arkansas School-Based Health Centers is “Arkansas students will have quality, integrated school health services that improve health, optimize academic achievement, and enhance well-being, allowing all students to reach their full potential.”
Arkansas' School-Based Health Center Grant Funding
The Arkansas School-Based Health Center Grant is a competitive application process made possible and supported by Arkansas' Governor Mike Beebe and the Arkansas Tobacco Excise Tax created by Arkansas Act 180 of 2009. The funds are to be used to promote health, wellness, and academic achievement in Arkansas' public schools. The program is a collaboration between the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
All Arkansas public and charter schools are eligible to apply unless the district is a current School-Based Health Center recipient. Only one School-Based Health Center per district may be funded by the DESE during a three-year funding cycle. SBHC locations 2010-2020 (arkansas.gov). Pre-requisite for funding includes:
- A full-time equivalent registered nurse employed by the school district (school nurse)
- The Arkansas School-Based Health Center Grant request for proposals is released by DESE via Commissioners’ Memo each January if funds are available.
Applicants intending to create a new health center on school campuses may apply for up to $150,000. The SBHC grant recipients will receive an annual distribution of funds for a three-year period, with decreasing amounts each year. Annual renewal is based on a review of annual progress and appropriation of Tobacco Excise Tax funding. Applicants should carefully read the guidelines for the grant. Grantees must adhere to the SBHC grant guidelines, the ARSBHC standards, and the Arkansas School-Based Mental Health manual. For more information, please click here.
Arkansas Department of Health, School-Based Health Advisor, Amy Davidson, (501)280-4061.
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, School Health Services Office (501)683-3604.