Guidance Counselling Service

students laying in a circle

The Guidance Counsellor addresses issues impacting on the social and emotional wellbeing of students. The support offered has a strong focus on improving and enhancing the educational outcomes for the student. This support is offered across several different delivery modes:

• Psychological screening and assessment
• Individual brief solution-focused counselling
• Group programs targeting social-emotional issues and resiliency building
• Consultation, education and upskilling teachers and staff
• Collaboration with Learning Support Team and Leadership
• Working with parents/carers and families to support the student’s wellbeing across the home environment
• Providing psychoeducation across multiple platforms including Assemblies and the Newsletter
• Facilitating and promoting wellbeing through whole-school initiatives
• Assisting parents/carers/students access external specialised services and community professional support to meet more long-term and/or high complex mental health needs or family support.

chalk drawings around students

Reasons for Referral
• Students with maladaptive social and emotional coping strategies that have a negative impact on learning
• Students with significant behavioural difficulties
• Students who have been diagnosed and/or verified with a social-emotional disorder (e.g. anxiety, depression, conduct disorders). Not all students with a diagnosis will require school counselling especially if they are receiving psychological support through other community or government agencies; however, the counsellor can provide in-school support through monitoring and reviewing strategies, advocacy and advice to assist with educational and social-emotional outcomes.
• Students with significant social and peer conflicts
• Students who are experiencing an acute stressor in their life (i.e. grief and loss, parental separation, adjustment) • Students requiring psychometric/psychological assessment to understand their learning needs better
• Students requiring case management and advocacy due to being a child in out of home care.

student handing in form

All of these issues must have a significant impact on the student’s learning to warrant a referral. If a student is having mild to moderate emotional problems (e.g. due to an issue such as family breakdown), but this issue is not impacting on how the child is coping with any aspect of their engagement in the learning environment, then external counselling support will be recommended. Additionally, Guidance counsellors cannot usually undertake long-term intervention and support.

Confidentiality
School counselling is considered a confidential service. In order to improve educational outcomes, suggestions and strategies can be discussed with school staff and parents/guardians but this is usually negotiated with the student. In matters of safety, communication with others including the College Principal, Toowoomba Catholic Services Office Student Protection staff, the police, and/or the Department of Child Safety can be mandatory.

Student Protection Officers
St Saviour’s College reports any form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse of a child to the relevant authorities. Our Child Protection Officers who undergo yearly training and deal with such matters are: Sharon Collins (Principal); Heather Hagemann (Assistant Principal - Mission and Student Wellbeing); Renee Hunter (College Guidance Counsellor); Jesse Bolton (Boarding Manager); Juanita Doherty (Middle Leader - Student Wellbeing). Students are informed of our Child Protection Officers and encouraged to report any form of harm caused by an adult.