Author Affiliation

Department of Social Work, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Document Type

Policy Advocacy Brief

Publication Date


Issue Statement/Executive Summary

Communities throughout rural Minnesota would greatly benefit from full-service community schools to support academic achievement and contribute to thriving communities. Lack of health and human services, mental health disparities, and cultural divides are among the greatest concerns for students in rural areas. One in 5 children birth to eighteen has a diagnosable mental health condition and 1 out of every 10 children experience a mental health problem that is severe enough to impair how they function at home, in school, and in their communities. When youth come to school hungry or experiencing in-home trauma, academic success is hard to achieve. Many children who have mental health needs and are referred to services do not attend the first appointment. Up to three-quarters of youth end services prematurely. The full-service community school model is an approach demonstrated to increase enrollment, and improve attendance and academic outcomes. Full-service community schools around the nation are providing supports, uniting communities, reducing barriers, improving educational achieve, and reducing educational gaps. It is vital that local health and human service agencies work together with community schools to improve service delivery for students and their families. Minnesota needs to increase its investment in the full-service community school model by expanding the availability of full-service community schools throughout every region of greater Minnesota.


Social Work



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