The guidance and counselling of students is an integral component of the educational mission of the school. Guidance and counselling services and programs promote the personal/social, educational, and career development of all students.
In the school setting, school counsellors, like all school staff, have a set of professional responsibilities that define their scope of activities addressing the needs of:
The school counsellor's first professional responsibility is to the students. The educational, academic, career, personal, and social needs of all students within the school setting, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, are the focus in planning and delivering a developmental, comprehensive guidance and counselling program.
The diverse needs of students may require specific counselling expertise and school counsellors recognize their boundaries of competencies by providing only those services for which they are qualified by training or experience. When students require specialized, intensive or long-term counselling beyond what the school may reasonably be expected to provide, appropriate referrals are made.
Parents/guardians fulfill a primary role in the lives of their children. Collaboration with parents in the best interest of students is a key activity of school counsellors. School counsellors do not provide family counselling. The focus of school counselling is on the personal, social, educational, and career development of the student. Providing parents, as appropriate, with accurate information in a caring manner is part of working with minors in a school setting. The open sharing of guidance education activities with parents is separate from the confidential nature of a counselling relationship. Working with students to keep parents appropriately informed without breaching confidentiality is an important responsibility. School counsellors bridge communication with parents at every opportunity.
Guidance and counselling services are part of a broader delivery system designed to enhance the success of all learners. The school counsellor establishes and maintains an ongoing professional, collaborative relationship with school staff, clinicians, and other service providers who work with students in the school. Colleagues and professional associates are consulted and provided with professional information related to the educational success and well-being of students who are also in their care.
Educational planning and services are coordinated in the best interest of the student. Information is shared with adherence to appropriate guidelines for confidentiality. School counsellors must work within the limits of the law, within the policies and procedures of school divisions and schools, as well as within the ethical requirements of the association of which they may be members.
School counsellors serve a dual role of educator (through guidance education activities) and counsellor (through counselling services) merging when the counsellor is involved in prevention work. All of life’s situations interact with each other. For instance, by addressing a student’s personal/social needs through counselling, the school counsellor simultaneously teaches resiliency skills and affects the student’s readiness for educational challenges. As a result of such interrelationships, the school counsellor supports the integration of guidance and counselling services to address school and community needs.
The school counsellor develops a comprehensive, developmental guidance and counselling program with their school team to meet the needs for their context and specific school population. This development process includes identifying needs, implementing and monitoring programs, as well as adjusting plans based on the developmental needs of students. Regular evaluation of the plan and its implementation are important to ensure the school and community are being served.
School counsellors are staff members who work together with other certified teachers and clinical professionals to increase opportunities for success in the lives of all learners. School counsellors provide education, guidance, and counselling to all students in the school through activities
Workshops are available upon request on a variety of topics related to guidance and counselling services. A sample of topics includes:
Program and Student Services
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