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					                                 SCHOOL

                      COUNSELLING


                    A Client Centred
                      Perspective

Wendy Reid, Projects Officer, Kids Help Line, September 1996
                               Abstract


This paper describes research carried out at Kids Help Line surveying
150 young people’s perceptions and experiences of school
counselling.

Results demonstrate that of the students who had seen a counsellor,
half had found the experience beneficial. Students who were not
satisfied with their counselling experience reported contributing
factors to include confidentiality, ease of access, counselling skills
and location.

Fifty school counsellors were interviewed to gain a picture of the
factors that help or hinder in delivery of counselling in schools.
Issues for counsellors include school ‘climate’ towards counselling,
time constraints, role conflict, and professional supervision and
development.

Recommendations call for State Education authorities to make
explicit their code of ethics for the delivery of school counselling
services, and to adequately resource the role in all Australian schools.
              KIDS HELP LINE                                  CONTENTS
             Mission Statement
                                                                                          Page
Kids Help Line exists to assist people to
develop strategies and skills which enable          Background to the Research             1
them to more effectively manage their
own lives.
                                                    Kids Help Line                         2
An integral part of achieving this mission
is the provision of             free, accessible
                                                    - telephone counselling
                                                    - empowerment
national services which are founded on
                                                    - child-centred practice
the principles of empowerment.                      - advocacy for young people
                      Goals
                                                    Method                                 3
! To         maintain a free, confidential
    telephone counselling service for all 5
    to 18 year olds in Australia which              Results                                4
    meets     the     highest     standards    of
    professional          practice            and   • Students perceptions and             5
                                                      experiences of school
    management.
                                                      counselling:
! To collect, analyse and disseminate
    non-identifying     information       which       - confidentiality
    supports research and reflects the                - access
                                                      - privacy of counselling location
    issues and problems of            Kids Help
    Line's clients.                                 • The experience of service            8
! To advocate on behalf of Kids Help                  delivery in schools - issues for
    Line clients where their interests are            school counsellors:
    ignored, minimised or unrepresented.
                                                      - school climate
! To assist young people to have a
                                                      - role conflict
    direct voice on those policies or issues          - time constraints
    that affect them.                                 - professional supervision
•   To utilise existing technological and
    professional expertise in developing            Summary and Recommendations           10
    services to other groups in the
    community.
                                                    References                            12

                                                    Appendices
BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH


Children and young people spend a significant proportion of their time at school. Outside of family
life, school is the most important social setting in which children and young people participate. It
is not surprising then that school-related issues are a major area of concern about which young
people frequently phone Kids Help Line. Whether the problem be specifically school-related, such
as study pressure, problems with school authority or discipline; or social situations at school, such
as peer relationships or bullying, there is no doubt that the classroom and the playground are key
forums in which children and young people can learn to be responsible and effective members of
society.

During 1995, KHL counsellors responded to 104,930 problem calls of which:
• 1%       concerned problems with school authority
• 2%       concerned problems with study
• 4%       concerned bullying
• 9%       concerned child abuse
• 11%      concerned problems with friends
• 17.5% concerned family relationships
(See Appendix I)

As the number of calls concerning family relationships reflects, many children at some time during
their school years experience significant difficulties in their homes. These problems are not left at
the school entrance but go with the child into the school environment. For some children school is
a safer and friendlier environment than their home.

School counsellors are the most visible and accessible professional help for young people, being
present within that school environment. In a 1991 study examining who adolescents turn to for
help when they have problems Offer et al found that school counsellors were the most well-known
and frequently accessed formal helping agents. Seen in this context, the school counsellor becomes
a critical first point for intervention and prevention for those students who choose to seek help.

Kids Help Line (KHL) counsellors, in the course of counselling interactions, frequently identify
school counsellors as a possible source of immediate support or referral for young people. Across
five years of KHL operations, children’s responses to this referral have been mixed. Many young
people either phone KHL after attempts to gain help from school counsellors fail, or they do not
identify school counsellors as an alternative means of assistance even with encouragement to do so.
While there are many examples of students gaining beneficial outcomes from their contact with
school counsellors, there are also situations where young people have been dissatisfied with their
experiences of school counselling.

Kids Help Line workers have frequent contact with school counsellors themselves, either through
school visits, peer counselling programs, or the KHL newsletter. School counsellor’s observations
and comments about delivering a counselling service in schools have also been mixed, with some
expressing satisfaction with their job, and many describing the frustrations and limitations of their
role.




School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                      APPENDIX III
September 1996
Consultation about possible research and advocacy projects with the 70 Kids Help Line counsellors
who are at the coal-face of service delivery, also raised concerns about school counselling.

These included:
•   “re counselling at school: most kids(I’ve spoken to) avoid talking intimately with a school
    counsellor because of lack of assurance of confidentiality”

•   “school counsellors, like teachers and administration staff, are seen by kids as power figures.
    Kids do not feel comfortable talking to school counsellors within the context of the school”

•   “often callers prefer to talk to a favourite teacher about problems rather than the counsellor -
    however school-systems (apparently) discourage students from going to a favourite teacher but
    rather to consult the year adviser or school counsellor - who the caller may not like or feel safe
    with”

One of Kids Help Line’s organisational goals is “advocating on behalf of young people where their
interests are ignored, minimised or unrepresented”. Kids Help Line believes a child centred
approach to advocacy is essential - that advocacy is in the interests of children and young people
and based on what they tell us of their experiences. All too often information about children and
young people is obtained from adult and professional perspectives but not from children and young
people themselves.

Given the consistency in themes raised by students, school counsellors and KHL counsellors, it
seemed pertinent to examine young people’s experiences and perceptions of school-based
counselling services to identify more clearly the issues of concern for students when accessing
school counselling.

It is unrealistic to expect that most children have the knowledge or opportunity to comment on
legislation and policy on a governmental level, given that most have limited experiential
knowledge and understanding both of the concept and process of legislation and government
policy. They nonetheless experience the implementation of policy and can provide valuable
feedback about their experiences in families, schools and services they access. Kids Help Line has
found that young people are eager to express their opinions and experiences of a wide range of
issues when asked to do so in a genuine and respectful manner.

The information gained from this research can be used by school communities in general and
school counsellors in particular to manage, target and deliver this important service in order to
make it more relevant and useful to its clients - Australia’s children and young people.


KIDS HELP LINE

Kids Help Line (KHL) is a national, 24 hour, free telephone counselling service for children and
young people aged between 5 and 18. The demand for the service is very high as evidenced by the
25,000 calls made to the service every week, on average. The service is staffed by 70
professionally trained, paid counsellors who respond to 8,000 to 10,000 of these calls weekly. Kids
Help Line is fully funded by BoysTown National Community Projects through its Art Union
lotteries, and community and corporate donations.




School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                       APPENDIX III
September 1996
Kids Help Line has several operational principles that make it unique in terms of service delivery to
children. Telephone counselling allows each caller to remain anonymous and to end the
counselling interaction whenever they want. Callers are free to choose the gender of the counsellor
with whom they speak, access the same counsellor if they wish to call back, and are encouraged to
give feedback about Kids Help Line and the service they receive. Confidentiality is a key aspect of
the service which makes it attractive to young people.

The principle values underpinning the service are empowerment and child centred practice.
Empowerment involves working with each caller to assist them to identify and clarify their
concerns, formulate options for positive change and understand the consequences of particular
courses of action. Callers are encouraged to have a belief in themselves and their personal
strengths. Respect is accorded for each client’s individuality, feelings and the right to make
personal decisions. Kids Help Line encourages productive relationships with parents, teachers and
other significant people in the caller’s life.

Providing a child centred practice involves a commitment to examining the consequences of
professional practice on children, and making explicit the ideological and ethical base on which
decisions regarding children are based. It proposes an ethical stance in relation to practice which
demands that the interests and welfare of the child be paramount, allowing children to challenge
interpretations of their own interests and to express their own perceptions and beliefs.

                      Counselling from a child centred perspective involves:
                         - listening to and respecting what children have to
                             say;
                         - focussing on their needs;
                         - seeing the world from their perspective;
                         - acknowledging and believing that the child is the
                             primary client;
                         - seeing the child as an individual person rather than
                             a member of a class or group;
                         - respecting the child.

Child centred practice also involves the constant review and evaluation of practice to ensure the
service is truly focussing on and addressing children’s needs, and making the service relevant,
accessible, visible and child friendly.


METHOD

During April and May 1996 Kids Help Line counsellors were asked to fill in a survey form (see
Appendix II) in response to individual callers whenever they had the opportunity to do so, and
where questioning the caller was appropriate and not disruptive to the counselling process.
Counsellors explained the research and gained each caller’s consent to participate in the project.

The survey was designed to gather information in two areas. Firstly, quantitative information
regarding the demographics of the target group, including:
         •    age and gender of respondents;
         •    the type of school attended;
         •    whether there was a counsellor or guidance officer available at their school;
         •    whether the participant had ever seen the school counsellor.

School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                         APPENDIX III
September 1996
Secondly, qualitative information about each callers experience and/or perceptions of school
counselling was gathered, including:

         •    how they felt about their school counselling experience
         •    how the counsellor helped or otherwise
         •    whether confidentiality was explained
         •    the process for accessing the counsellor
         •    the location of the counsellor in the school grounds
         •    their reasons for not seeing a school counsellor
Across the two month period a total of 150 callers from all states were surveyed. The results were
collated by scoring the frequency of responses for each question and converting this into
percentages.


RESULTS

The age range of callers was 8 to 18                            TAS (7.00%)
with a mean age of 14. Ninety                          WA (8.00%)
percent of the 150 callers surveyed                                                  QLD (27.00%)
were attending secondary schools.
                                                   SA (9.00%)
Females represented 70% of the calls
from which the research was derived
                                                                                         NT (1.00%)
and males 30%. This matches the
overall gender breakdown of all
callers to Kids Help Line.                         NSW (23.00%)
                                                                                   VIC (24.00%)
Figure 1 (right) shows the breakdown                            ACT (1.00%)
of calls by state:
                                                   Figure 1: Breakdown of Research Calls by State


Callers who participated in the survey were also asked the type of school they attended, whether
state or independent, co-educational or single sex. Sixty-nine percent attended a state school with
the remaining 31% at independent schools. Almost 80% of respondents were at mixed-gender
schools. Ninety percent stated there was a counsellor or guidance officer at the school.
State school participants more often reported a counsellor available than independent school
participants. Seven percent of state school callers reported no knowledge of a counsellor being at
the school, and 14% of independent school participants indicated no knowledge of a counsellor
being available at school.

In response to the question ‘do they offer help for any issue or just school-work’, 70% said the
counsellor was available for any issue.

NOTE: Most secondary schools have a counsellor on site, either on a full or part time basis.
Primary schools generally have a counsellor/psychologist who visits periodically and whose main
role is that of testing and assessment. In primary schools it is teachers who deliver ‘pastoral’ care
and children are referred on for counselling, usually in consultation with the child’s parents or
carers.


School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                          APPENDIX III
September 1996
STUDENT’S PERCEPTIONS AND EXPERIENCES OF SCHOOL
COUNSELLING

Fifty percent of the 150 students surveyed had been to see the school counsellor. Of these all but
four had sought help voluntarily.

Two-thirds of these indicated they had seen the school counsellor about personal problems rather
than school-related issues.

When asked whether they had found the counselling session helpful, half expressed dissatisfaction
with the experience. These students were requested to be specific about what was not helpful to
them.

The most frequently mentioned reason for dissatisfaction with the counselling process was
confidentiality - the counsellor had breached confidentiality by telling parents, teachers or other
members of the school without the student’s permission.

Other issues raised included:
                                                         Male, 14, “fired too many questions at once”
          •    failing to take the time to build
               trust and rapport
                                                         Female, 15, “didn’t listen and didn’t answer
          •    failure to address the problem
                                                         me”
          •    being uncomfortable with or
               ignoring emotions
                                                         Female, 17, “(the counsellor) talked and didn’t
          •    taking no action or action that
                                                         listen……(the counsellor) treated me like a nuisance”
               was ineffective or inappropriate
          •    giving unsolicited advice
Some students felt the counsellor disbelieved, disliked or blamed them and came away from the
session feeling they had been a nuisance or a burden to the counsellor.

On a positive note, half of the students who had been to see the school counsellor expressed
satisfaction with the interaction.

When asked to specify what they found
helpful the students identified such things as:

•   being a good listener and easy to talk to            Male, 15: “(the counsellor) is never in a
•   showing respect and treating the student             hurry. (the counsellor) is always prepared to
    as an equal
                                                         give a lot of things up to help students
•   identifying and validating the client’s              Female, 17: “(the counsellor) was friendly
    feelings                                             and spoke to me like an adult”
•   explaining things clearly and giving                 Male, 13: “(the counsellor) listened without
    appropriate information                              judging”
•   taking further (effective) action                    Male, 12: “(the counsellor) helped me to
•   having the ability to explore the client’s           understand…it’s a place you can say
    world
                                                         whatever you want”
•   made an appropriate referral



School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                               APPENDIX III
September 1996
CONFIDENTIALITY
All students who had seen a school counsellor were asked whether the counsellor had explained
their role and what confidentiality they could offer.

Forty-one percent answered in the affirmative to this question - the counsellor took the time to
explain. Disturbingly, 17% of counsellors who offered confidentiality later broke it. Those
students who had confidentiality explained to them had a larger proportion of satisfaction (76%)
with the counselling session, and three-quarters said they would see the counsellor again. Where
the counsellor did not discuss confidentiality, only 20% of respondents expressed satisfaction with
the session, and only 13% said they would return to see the counsellor.


ACCESS


Callers were also questioned as to how                     Through principal
a student arranges to see the school
                                                            Put name on list
counsellor.   Thirty-eight percent of
respondents stated that they could make                    Leave note in box

an appointment by seeing the
                                                          Counsellor/teacher
counsellor and arranging a mutually
acceptable time. They also reported                         Through teacher

that many of these counsellors had an
                                                      Through administration
‘open door’ policy except when
actually counselling.                                    Direct appointment


                                                                               0   10     20         30         40
                                                                                        % of calls



                                                   Figure 2: Process of Arranging to see School Counsellor

A further 39% were required to make an appointment through a third party - either administrative
personnel or member of the teaching staff. This process, necessitating the involvement of third
person, deterred many students from accessing school counselling simply because they want to
retain their privacy.
Some school counsellors have developed innovative ways of arranging appointments with students:
•   “put slip of paper in a box - the slip enabled description of problem (urgent or non-urgent) -
    he/she clears the box and gets back to you”.
•   “sometimes write your name in a book, sometimes we can just walk in if the sign is up that says
    ‘FREE’.”

Half of the 150 students surveyed had never been to see the school counsellor. When asked if they
would ever see the school counsellor if they had a problem, 45% said they would and 55% would
not. When questioned as to why not, the most frequently noted response was concern and mistrust
of the counsellor as a result of perceived breaches of confidentiality. Other concerns include:
•   the perceived competency and attitude of the counsellor
•   the student’s feelings of embarrassment
•   the lack of anonymity
•   the lack of privacy of the counsellor’s office

School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                                          APPENDIX III
September 1996
These students were asked who they                                No-one

would talk to instead if they had a
problem. Their responses are shown                     Teacher/other adult
in the graph (right).
                                                   Parents/family members
Other trusted adults included school
personnel such as a teacher, school                               Friends
nurse, chaplain or peer mediator;
doctor; and relations such as an aunt,
                                                          * Kids Help Line
uncle or grandparent.
                                                                             0   10     20         30      40
                                                                                      % of calls



                                                     Figure 3: Who Students Would Talk To Instead of
                                                              School Counsellor.

* Kids Help Line is disproportionately represented, as the young people were already aware of and accessing
the service.


PRIVACY OF COUNSELLING LOCATION

Students were asked about the location of the counsellor’s office within the school. While 80% of
counsellors had their own office, only half of these locations were perceived by students as being
private. Students could be seen either entering and leaving the counsellor’s office or there was high
visibility of the actual counselling session, because of windows or the office being adjacent to other
areas of activity within the school.

The 20% of counsellors without their own office used either the administration area, staff room,
library or shared an office with other school staff.

The privacy of the counsellor’s location appears to have some impact on student preparedness to
return to visit the counsellor. Where the office was perceived as private 29% of students would
return compared with only 14% where the office was perceived as lacking privacy.




School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                                    APPENDIX III
September 1996
THE EXPERIENCE OF SERVICE DELIVERY IN SCHOOLS
- ISSUES FOR SCHOOL COUNSELLORS
During the course of the research project 50 school counsellors were interviewed by phone using a
‘force-field analysis’ technique. An article in the Kids Help Line newsletter, which is sent to every
school in Australia, explained the research project and invited counsellors to phone Kids Help Line
and discuss their experiences of delivering counselling in schools, in particular the advantages and
limitations of the role. Fifty counsellors from all states and both state and independent schools
responded. Despite variations between states in the structure of school-based counselling services,
the issues raised by counsellors reflected common themes.


SCHOOL CLIMATE

Perhaps most significant of these issues in terms of counsellor’s satisfaction and commitment to
their job was the school ‘climate’ towards counselling. Some schools value counselling as an
integral and valuable part of the school environment and well-being of students. The school
climate and attitude towards counselling services clearly played an important role in the
counsellor’s ability to deliver a quality service.

The research showed that teaching and administrative staff have considerable influence on the ease
by which students can access the school counsellor and also on student’s perceptions of the school
counsellor. Some counsellors also felt their role was personally threatening to other school staff
and in some cases, parents. In those schools where counselling is not seen as integral, many school
counsellors spent considerable time and energy both justifying their role to other school staff and
marketing their service to both staff and students.

Several counsellors and students commented on remarks made by classroom teachers when
students had to leave the classroom for a counselling appointment:
“You’re not going to see the counsellor again are you?”


ROLE CONFLICT

Another common issue for counsellors was the conflict they sometimes experience between
personal values and school ethics and policies. School policies can prevent counsellors giving the
assistance they would like to provide, most commonly about suspension and exclusion decisions, at
a significant cost to the students in question. When major decisions such as these are to be made
counsellors see themselves as playing a valuable part in a consultation process between the
principal, administrative staff, the student and the student’s parents or caregivers. Many
counsellors advocated for more involvement of the young person in these decision-making
processes. Most secondary school counsellors are directly responsible to the principal - a
consultative relationship with a supportive principal being the most desirable arrangement. Some
counsellors also were torn between keeping confidentiality and the demands of principals and
teachers who felt they had a right to know what was bothering particular students.




School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                      APPENDIX III
September 1996
TIME CONSTRAINTS

Almost all counsellors interviewed said that time constraints were a major issue and impacted on
the quality of service they could deliver.

Most large state-funded secondary schools have at least one counsellor employed in a full-time
position. Even so, meeting the needs of 800 plus students places significant demands on
counsellor’s time and restricts their availability, particularly where (as is often the case) counsellors
are expected to fulfil many functions, from personal and guidance counselling through to testing,
assessment, teaching commitments and committee work.

Counsellors responsible for several schools found the quality of service they could deliver
adversely affected. Many were reduced to only one day per week or fortnight at these schools, and
in some cases were only available for one half-day per week. This made it difficult to network with
teaching and administrative staff, with little time to market their services themselves or build
rapport with the student body. Furthermore, the time spent in these schools is invariably jam-
packed with appointments so that students can not just drop in, nor are counsellors present or
available in crisis situations. Time constraints also mean that counsellors have shorter sessions
with students and are sometimes unable to take time to explain their role and confidentiality.

As one counsellor stated:
         “The job is much bigger than what we’re paid to do - there’s not much time for follow-up -
         suicidal kids need at least two visits a week and I’m only there one day per fortnight.”

Spending time in different schools often means playing different roles in different schools, and
many counsellors full-time in one school also have a multiplicity of roles. Counsellors may be
expected to switch between personal counselling, behaviour management procedures, testing,
academic assessments, guidance counselling and teaching. In those schools where counsellors are
required to teach, students may be uncomfortable to talk to someone who is later going to see them
in a classroom situation.


PROFESSIONAL SUPERVISION

Of major concern is the lack of opportunity and facilities for professional debriefing and
supervision for school counsellors. While this is a commonly neglected area in the helping
profession as a whole, and counselling professions in particular, its value for relieving stress,
developing effective case management plans and promoting continuing growth of knowledge and
skills cannot be underestimated. While in some areas (e.g. Tasmania) counsellors in a particular
region do meet fortnightly for debriefing and supervision, its implementation around the country is
sporadic, or non-existent. Some counsellors have chosen to access supervision externally in their
own time and at their own cost.




School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                         APPENDIX III
September 1996
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

In 1989 the Australian Education Council (now the Ministerial Council for Employment,
Education, Training and Youth Affairs) prepared a statement of the objectives of schooling in
Australia with agreement from Education Ministers from each state and territory. The statement
encompasses ten goals that assist each education system and each school to enhance schooling in
Australia and which form the basis for performance indicators for assessing how well schools
perform. (see Appendix III)

The second goal refers particularly to student’s personal well-being. It reads:
         “To enable all students to achieve high standards of learning and to develop self-
         confidence, optimism, high self-esteem, respect for others, and achievement of personal
         excellence.”

(Source: Report on Government Service Provision, 1995)

School counselling plays an important role in supporting the personal, social and intellectual
development of each student. However, it must be acknowledged that schools do not and should
not have the sole responsibility to support the needs of students. The role of the school should be
part of a broader collaborative response by the community to the issues faced by young people in
society.

This research indicated that half of the students who had accessed school counselling were satisfied
with the service they had received and the outcome gained. This highlights the fact that many
counsellors are delivering a professional, effective and student-friendly service in their schools,
sometimes in difficult circumstances.

However, several issues raised are of concern. Perhaps the most significant of these is the issue of
confidentiality, the resolution of which should not fall entirely onto school counsellors themselves.
It must also be resolved by the policy branches responsible in each state’s Education Department so
that policy translates into schools in a way that is empowering to both students and counsellors and
provides clear guidelines to principals and administration staff.

The students surveyed in this research clearly require that counsellors take the time to explain the
parameters of confidentiality and the limits to this under duty of care, legal obligations and
mandatory reporting requirements. The development of a code of ethics for school counsellors
would go far in assisting them to deliver a service that is more accountable to the consumers of that
service.

Currently the models of service delivery of school counselling are very diverse, not only between
states but also within states. The lack of a clearly defined and agreed upon role of the school
counsellor, coupled with variations in terms of qualifications and skills often means the individual
counsellor’s role is shaped by the counsellor’s strengths and personal skills, leading to considerable
diversity in the service offered. A structured framework for practice and clearly defined
performance appraisal system which includes professional debriefing and supervision would do
much to assist counsellors in delivering a better quality of service, as well as enhance their own
skills and training needs.




School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                       APPENDIX III
September 1996
If adequate counselling is to be provided in schools, education authorities and respective schools
should establish an agreement which specifies:
•   the role description for the service, including relationship between school counsellors and other
    staff
•   procedures for sharing information, and parameters for access to confidential information
•   the desired qualifications of personnel
•   agreed ethical standards for practice
•   access to facilities and resources needed for the service
•   the process for evaluating the service, including student feedback

Counsellors themselves are aware of gaps in their knowledge, skills and needs for further
professional development. In her 1993 South Australian study looking at school counsellor’s
perceptions of their role, Jill Grove found that of 86 counsellors, less than half reported that they
had any formal counselling qualifications. Many of the issues raised by students dissatisfied with
their counselling experience pertained directly to skills that constitute the counselling process such
as active listening, building rapport, reflecting feelings, and establishing connections.

It is true also that for many people, to even admit to a problem and then seek help for that problem
takes a lot of courage and requires a sensitive and supportive response. Adolescents and teenagers
are typically very emotional and sensitive about themselves. All efforts should be made to enable
counsellors to be not only directly and easily accessible, but also respect the need for their location
within the school be private and out of sight of areas of high activity, including administration
areas and popular gathering places in the school grounds.

It may be argued that the sample population, being consumers of Kids Help Line, is not
representative of the school student population. All respondents were students and consumers (or
potential consumers) of both school counselling and Kids Help Line. This highlights the fact that
there may have been, during the 1990’s, a change in young people’s help-seeking behaviour.
Young people are perhaps now more likely to identify problems and seek help for these problems
than ever before.

Perhaps most importantly Australians must ask the question ‘how well do our school systems and
processes meet the needs of our students?’ Schools and education authorities must be accountable
not only to school staff and parents, but also to their target group, students themselves. If children,
the consumers, do not see a service as effectively meeting their needs then there is ultimately little
point in providing the service. Children and young people not only have the ability, but also the
right to be able to express their opinions on matters affecting them which is often perceptive,
valuable and creative. The onus is on adults to provide a safe and genuine environment that listens,
takes note, and especially acts on this feedback. It is incumbent on services claiming to be child-
centred to provide ‘friendly’ mechanisms for feedback.

Education systems must value the role of school counselling, resource the role adequately and
provide support to the people filling the role.




Thanks to the young people and school counsellors who participated in this research; the Kids Help Line
counsellors and my colleagues who helped with data analysis editing and preparation.
REFERENCES
School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                       APPENDIX III
September 1996
Grove, Jill (1995) ‘School Counsellors: Perceptions of their Role’. Paper presented to the Second
Window of Opportunity National Congress Brisbane, July.

Grove, Jillian (1994) ‘Students, Their Families and Drugs: The School Counsellor’s Role’.
Flinders University, S.A.

NSW Department of School Education, ‘Guidance and Counselling Services for all Students’,
Sydney.

Offer, D; Howard, K; Schonert, K and Ostrov, E. (1991) ‘To Whom Do Adolescents Turn for
Help? Differences between Disturbed and Non-disturbed Adolescents’. Journal of the American
Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 30:4, July.

Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision (1995) ‘Report on
Government Service Provision’ Chapter 5, Page 210.




KIDS HELP LINE
PO BOX 376
RED HILL QLD 4059

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School Counselling - A Child Centred Perspective                                  APPENDIX III
September 1996

				
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