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Program Element 9 - Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling

Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling

What is comprehensive guidance and counseling?

Comprehensive guidance and counseling provides individualized counseling to participants. This includes career and academic counseling, drug and alcohol abuse counseling, mental health counseling, and referral to partner programs, as appropriate. (WIOA sec. 129(c)(1)(C)(J)) When referring participants to necessary counseling that cannot be provided by the local youth program or its service providers, the local youth program must coordinate with the organization it refers to in order to ensure continuity of service. When resources exist within the local program or its service providers, it is allowable to provide counseling services directly to participants rather than refer youth to partner programs.


All youth should receive career and academic counseling. Other counseling should be provided as necessary depending on the needs of the individual youth as determined through the intake and assessment process and as recorded in the youth’s ISS.

Examples of Qualifying Activities

- Drug and alcohol counseling

- Mental health counseling/therapy

- Career counseling

- Educational counseling

- Supplementing guidance and counseling activities with additional materials and resources

Examples of Non‐Qualifying Activities

- Informal guidance and counseling from well‐meaning but inexpert individuals

- Conferences with youths’ teachers without youth being present

- Initial assessment

- Post‐test for literacy/numeracy gains

- Supplying self‐help resources or materials without personal counseling