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Clinical Support Services requires that parents/guardians give informed consent before their child is referred. Informed consent means that the parents understand the reasons for the referral and the possible outcomes. Therefore, before making a referral to CSS, school personnel must discuss with the parents the issues affecting the student’s progress in school, (e.g. student lags significantly behind in learning), the interventions and possible outcomes, (e.g. intellectual assessment with recommendations for program planning and the specific type of support being offered (e.g. school psychologist).
Pre-referral discussion with clinicians is necessary to assist schools to determine the specific discipline that should be recommended to parents and to obtain an estimate of wait time.
This clarity affords parents the opportunity to consent, or to withhold consent, to a service about which they have good understanding. Consent may be verbal or written, depending upon local policy and practice, but documentation about when the consent was obtained, and by whom, is required and should be recorded on the referral form.
Clinical staff is expected to confirm with parents that they have a clear understanding about the purpose of the referral and agree with the plan of action prior to any direct work with the child.
PHASE I. Accessing Within School Resources
(Note: The following points refer to components of the process and not necessarily sequential steps.)
- School personnel (usually classroom teacher, resource teacher or guidance counsellor) identifies problem.
- Classroom or Resource Teacher/Guidance counsellor notifies and consults with student’s parents about the identified problem.
- Other members of school team are also consulted; e.g. Administration, other teachers.
- School team engages in collaborative problem solving to develop appropriate interventions. CSS clinicians may be invited to participate in problem-solving discussions on a non-referred consultation basis.
- If the problem does not respond to interventions implemented by the school team, of if the problem requires specific clinical expertise, then school proceeds to Phase II.
PHASE II. Accessing CSS Resources
- Resource Teacher or School Counsellor discusses student’s problem with most appropriate clinician
- Outcome of the above may include:
- additional suggestions for school based interventions
- request for academic/resource testing and reports
- classroom observation or screening of student by clinician
- recommendation of formal referral of CSS
- suggested referral to an outside agency
- If formal referral to CSS is recommended, school personnel to complete Referral Form; original referral to be sent to the Child Guidance Clinic office, 700 Elgin Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3E 1B2.