What is Student Assistance?
The Student Assistance Program is a way to identify students who are having problems in school because of high risk behaviors and quickly refers them for help. It is designed not as a treatment but as an intervention program.
The Student Assistance Team, a specially trained group of school personnel, is the core of the Student Assistance model. A referral to this team commonly happens as a result of observed changes in the student’s behavior or school performance. The SAP team receives referrals from other school personnel, parents, and students themselves and conducts a pre-assessment to develop an appropriate plan. The SAP Team members include teachers, administrators, school counselors, school psychologist, school nurse, district social worker, and SAP liaison from Community Hospital.
Members of the team receive intensive training in group process, adolescent chemical dependency, adolescent depression, and suicide. Theories of adolescent development, simulations, and action planning are also part of the training.
Referrals typically include:
· Drug and alcohol problems
· Suicidal thoughts, ideation, or behavior
· Abuse (physical, psychological/emotional, and sexual)
· Eating Disorders
· Other issues of concern
How are Referrals Made?Students may be referred to the Student Assistance Team by a peer, teacher, counselor, nurse, administrator or parent. Students may also refer themselves. Anyone (staff, students, and parents) may make a referral to the Student Assistance Team by completing a SAP REFERRAL FORM.
After a referral is received, it is reviewed by the SAP Team. The team then gathers information and determines a plan of action which may include one or more of the following: an interview with the student, in-school counseling, psychological testing, a behavior/performance contract, or other options. When appropriate, students are monitored from one year to the next.
Certain referrals are very serious in nature and may require consultation and/or support from another source. Even in these cases, the confidentially of the student and the referral source will be our highest priority.