The overall role of the school counselor is to support students in managing emotions, resolving conflicts, and helping students engage in successful personal relationships. At times, the Counselor engages in classroom lessons regarding social and emotional development as well as helps with minor, one-time issues or immediate crisis situations. 

School counseling is considered a regular/general educational service the school provides. The Counselor may meet with all students at the school; however, continual counseling sessions will require signed Informed Consent from the legal parent or guardian of the child (see parent permission form below).   With consent, the Counselor is available for short-term, ongoing, one-on-one counseling related to grief/loss, anxiety, family issues, and other personal concerns. The counselors ask a Counseling Referral Form be completed upon request for individual counseling (see below). The Counseling Referral Form helps the counselors gain a better understanding of significant issues a student is experiencing.

For the Counselor to work successfully with students in an individual counseling relationship, confidentially is an essential piece of the relationship and in building trust. However, the Counselor is under professional mandated reporting laws, and any situation where a student may be involved in behavior that could be identified as dangerous to either themselves or others or where reasonable suspicion of child abuse is identified will result in mandatory reporting as stipulated by California law.  

In addition, because individual counseling is offered in a school setting and not in private practice, there may be times when sharing information with parents/guardians, the child’s teacher, and/or administrators or school personnel will be in the best interest of assisting the student. Building trust with the student is the primary goal, but when appropriate, the Counselor will be collaborative and use a team-based approach to best assist the student.

Students may be referred for individual counseling by a school faculty member, his/her parent, or the students themselves. If you would like your student to participate in individual counseling, the below consent form is required. Parents who wish to refer their child for counseling or parents who would like to schedule a meeting to discuss their child can contact the Counselor directly by email.

For counseling requests, please contact Mrs. Jennifer Schmidt by email ([email protected]) or phone (x348) or Mrs. Kelly McCarty by email ([email protected]) or phone (x345). 

About the Counselors:

Kelli McCarty is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT# 88339), holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling, and has a School Counseling credential (PPS-SC). Kelli has worked in San Francisco and Houston but grew up in Orange County and attended Rosary High School. She has been in the mental health field for over eleven years and is excited to serve the students and families of St. Francis.

Jennifer Schmidt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #42544). She has over 20 years of experience as a counselor working in various schools and a nonprofit social service agency throughout Orange County. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Analysis and Design from the University of California, Irvine. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton. Jennifer looks forward to working with students and families at St. Francis.

Mental Health Resources:

New Hope Crisis Counseling Center

Faith based response, 24/7
714-639-4673 (Hotline)

Text TALK to 741741
Text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 911 for emergencies
OC Warmline
The Warmline provides confidential 7-day a week phone/text/chat support service for anyone who has concerns about mental health, substance use, is lonely or confused, or who needs information about available mental health services.
Once a trimester, our School Counselor, Kelli McCarty LMFT, hosts "Coffee with the Counselor"- an informal and interactive conversation on various social and emotional topics to help in the journey of parenting.  Discussions are open to ALL SFAYL parents and guardians and provide an opportunity to discuss meaningful issues with fellow parents, guardians, and a mental health professional.  Please check the weekly newsletter for the Coffee dates/times.