It is the needs, issues, challenges and hopes of a young person and their family that drive all decisions in a SchoolKit Clinic and shape the sorts of strategies that can be developed to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.
Ideally, parents or carers are introduced to the idea of school clinics by their child’s school during the enrolment process. Clinics are explained as one of the resources available to them through the school and then at subsequent personalised learning and support plan (PLSP) meetings. Issues that the school identifies as suitable for discussion at a clinic will be discussed with the family ahead of it being raised at a clinic.
Once a parent or carer has confirmed their willingness to participate and involve their child in SchoolKit Clinics, confirming their consent for the sharing of information is essential. Without that permission clinics cannot proceed.
Inviting and Informing the Family
When arrangements have been made for a date and time to hold their child’s school clinic, the family are contacted by the school. This is usually done in writing, with a follow-up phone call.
A form consenting to the release of information for the clinic (and for research purposes, if relevant) is also sent to the family at this time.
The school counsellor may also meet face-to-face with the parent or carer to gain a clear understanding of their issues and expectations.
This briefing and preparation process is a very important part of involving the family and ensuring that they understand that their active and open participation will be considered a vital part of deciding how best to help and support them and their child. It also provides an opportunity to allay any concerns they might have.
In advance of a SchoolKit Clinic:
- Parents or carers should be invited to attend, and be given information about the purpose of the clinic and how it will operate, by way of an information sheet or brochure.
- Parents or carers should be advised that there may be numerous people attending the clinic and why they will be there.
- The option to bring a support person to the clinic should be offered. SchoolKit Clinics can be an emotional experience, so appropriate allied health or family support persons (e.g. a social worker) should be made available if requested.
- The option of having an interpreter present should also be discussed.
- A referral from the child’s general practitioner or specialist is required. Parents or carers should be asked to obtain this, told who it should be addressed to, and asked to bring it to the clinic.
- Relevant past medical information should be requested from the family – a questionnaire may be provided (particularly if the family have not been involved in SchoolKit Clinics before) and ideally any recent medical reports should be made available to the health team in advance of the clinic.
- Parents are encouraged to consider any questions and concerns they have regarding the child or young person prior to the clinic.
If a family has not taken part in SchoolKit Clinics previously, someone from the health team may also contact the family to clarify specific medical issues and confirm whether the SchoolKit Clinic being offered will be right for them.