School Refusal Support
Giving every young person a chance
Our School Refusal Support program offers early intervention for young people who have anxiety and difficulty attending school. It supports families to understand and deal with the complex issues that can cause non-attendance at school. The program aims to reduce young people’s anxiety and re-engage them with their education, and provide family and school support to keep young people attending school.
Non-attendance can happen during a stressful life event or period of transition in a young person's schooling or family life (eg moving from primary to secondary school, family breakdown, moving house and school etc). Young people may also develop a fear of school attendance or become disengaged as a result of trauma at school or home (eg bullying, parental conflict, family violence etc).
Our counsellors are qualified professionals trained in a range of disciplines including psychology, family therapy and social work. They specialise in working with young people and work holistically with parents/carers and the school community.
How does the program work?
Counsellors seek to understand and help young people with their reasons for non-attendance or school refusal. They work closely with appropriate members of young people's and family's networks, including child and youth mental health service providers, school counsellors, GPs and other professionals.
The program takes an integrated approach including:
- assessment and counselling for children, adolescents and their families
- early intervention for students showing anxiety or the first signs of school refusal
- parent and teacher information workshops
- confidentiality for students, parents and schools
- referrals to specialist services
- training for school administrators and teachers
- consultancy support for schools
- family therapy
How do I know if a young person needs support?
School refusal can present in a number of ways:
- crying spells and upsets before school
- frequent physical complaints like headaches and stomach aches
- fear of some teachers and/or other students
- refusing to return to school after a weekend, holiday or illness
When a few missed days extend to a longer period of time, it can have serious consequences for a young person's social, emotional and academic development and their long term mental health and wellbeing.
Early intervention is important, so we encourage families and schools to contact us as soon as they notice a problem.
Our School Refusal Support program is available to all students in Catholic, State and Independent schools.
How do I access the service?
Referrals can be made in the following ways:
- families can self-refer
- schools can refer young people
- community agencies and child and youth mental health service providers can refer young people and and families
There is a schedule of fees based upon a clients' income and their ability to pay.