The SchoolKit Clinic is an example of a model of school-based medical clinic. It is a clinic that uses a multidisciplinary team approach in the formulation and implementation of an intervention plan to help address complex issues in students with disabilities.
Children involved in SchoolKit Clinics will often have a combination of diagnoses such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, medical issues and behavioural or psychosocial issues. The issues may be consistent across settings (for example, at home and school) or differ widely.
The SchoolKit Clinic brings together parents and carers, school and interagency personnel to examine the biological, psychological and social factors together with all information from assessments, interviews and observations in order to develop a case formulation and an intervention plan for school, home and the wider community.
With a team approach the expertise of those from health, education, psychology or social work backgrounds can be utilised. This group of people see the child in different environments, and are together able to address the complex needs of the child in a comprehensive way, and suggest sensible and practical ways to approach a range of issues.
While often a paediatrician is involved in the clinics, other medical specialists and sub-specialists, including psychiatrists, rehabilitation physicians, and gastroenterology, sleep and neurology paediatricians, can also be consulted or involved in clinics directly.
While SchoolKit Clinics started in schools for specific purposes (SSPs) clinics are also held in mainstream schools with support classes, and could be held for mainstream class children with complex needs. This can be in cities, or rural and remote areas.
For a clinic to be successful it is crucial for all parties to work together with the shared aim of improving the wellbeing of the child or adolescent.
SchoolKit Transition Clinics
Transitions are experienced throughout life and in many ways.
In education, seminal transition points include transition to school, transition to high school and transition to post-school life and education options. Health services refer to transition as ‘the purposeful planned movement of adolescents and young adults with chronic physical and medical conditions from a child-centred to adult-oriented health-care systems’ (Blum et al, 1993).
While the earlier transition points are usually managed in a general SchoolKit Clinic, SchoolKit Transition Clinics aim to address the needs of young people and their families when preparing for post-school life and transfer from children’s to adult health services.
Schoolkit Transition Clinics are an extension of the Schoolkit Clinic model. All of the same foundation principles, aims and benefits apply, and in general terms the process of arranging, running and following-up after clinics is much the same. A ‘whole of life’ approach is recommended, however, and a Schoolkit Transition Clinic focuses on the development of a transition plan. Issues such as community engagement, employment, leisure, physical activity, communication strategies, respite and financial supports and benefits might be discussed.
Transition care coordination and follow up is available from various agencies such as the Agency for Clinical Innovation Transition Care Network. Or it can be provided by registered nurses with experience in adolescent management.
For more about the key transition points in a student’s life go to Key Transition Points.
- Blum RW, Garell D, Hodgman CH, Jorrisen TW, Okinow NA, Orr DP, Slap GB. (1993) ‘Transition from child-centered to adult health care systems for adolescents with chronic conditions’. Journal of Adolescent Health, 14: 570-576.
- Visit the Agency for Clinical Innovation website to read more about the Transition Care Network