Students and Families Support Office
The main goals of the Students and Families Support Office in Portugal are prevention of early school leaving, absenteeism and indiscipline, and promotion of inclusion of students and their families in order to achieve educational success. The involvement of families in their children?s educational path plays a key role in this process.
A social worker and two mediators work closely with teachers and families of all the schools of the cluster, according to the needs identified and priorities defined. Students are directed to the Support Office by teachers (there is an indication sheet), parents or guardians, partners at the Local Child and Youth Protection Commission, for example, or the students themselves.
The Support Office Team meets bi-weekly to discuss the cases and define strategies (i.e. an Intervention Plan focused on the student). Afterwards the staff articulates this with the family and teachers.
The main activities of the Support office are: home visits, parental training sessions, support to parents in order to help them with issues other institutions, personal and social skills development sessions for students, individual tutorships of students, among others.