Frequently Asked Questions

What can my SBHC do to create strong school partnerships?

Create buy-in, support, and promotion of your SBHC from school board members, district staff, school administration, and staff. Proven strategies for accomplishing this include:

  • Give members of the school administration, staff, and students a voice in SBHC operational decisions by asking them to join the SBHC advisory group.
  • Share your health expertise with school personnel, perhaps during teacher in-service days, by organizing in-services on employee wellness, stress management, mental health first aid, asthma triggers.
  • Offer employee wellness services and activities to school staff (e., the opportunity to receive an annual well care visit, immunizations, and fitness activities) as incentives to get them involved with your SBHC program.
  • Reach out routinely to school administrators, teachers, and other staff to inform them about the SBHC services, share how SBHC services support the academic goals of their students, specify what the SBHC can offer to students who may be struggling in the classroom, and encourage them to refer students to you.
  • Interact frequently with school staff – formally and informally – to build their confidence and comfort with the SBHC.
  • Conduct a satisfaction survey annually with school personnel. Use their feedback to make changes to improve services, and share them with school staff.
  • Integrate your SBHC staff and services into the daily life and operations of the school(s) it serves.
  • Increase your visibility by participating actively on school wide committees that address student health, wellness, and safety issues.
  • Collaborate with student assistance team to identify students experiencing attendance, discipline, and/or academic problems to ensure they complete annual well care visits, annual risk assessments, annual depression screenings, and early interventions as needed.

How can my SBHC program foster strong student and family engagement?

Create buy-in, support, and promotion of your SBHC from families and students by employing similar strategies to those recommended for creating strong school partnerships.

  • Invite student(s) and/or family member(s) to join the SBHC advisory group to give them a voice in operational decisions and marketing.
  • Conduct annual needs surveys and/or focus groups with students and families to clarify needs and co-design an optimal SBHC experience for them.
  • Administer a client care survey, also referred to as satisfaction survey, annually with students and families. Be proactive and use the information to improve services and communicate improvements to students and families.
  • Convene educational groups for students and families on wellness topics such as healthy cooking, community gardening, exercise, mindfulness, and peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Encourage students to come into the SBHC for important seminal visits like annual risk assessments and well-care visits by using incentives like drawing for a gift certificate or gym membership.
  • Engage with your school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to give families a voice in what they want for the health and safety of their children. Parents and guardians can be powerful champions for SBHC when opportunities arise to expand or enhance services.
  • Create a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) to give students an equitable role in the operational decisions that affect their use of health care and ensure reflection of students’ opinions in SBHC activities and outreach efforts. Forming a YAC is also a great strategy for nurturing student ambassadors who will advocate to their peers for your SBHC program.

What can my SBHC program do to increase awareness of SBHC services?

  • Capitalize on school enrollment season and initial school year events (e., open houses, school fairs, etc.) to educate students and families about the services your SBHC program provides and have the families sign SBHC consent forms and registration materials. At other times of the year, market your SBHC program students and families at school-sponsored events (e.g., freshman orientation, back-to-school nights, report card pick-up, clubs, sports events, plays, dances, craft fairs, PTA, student government, etc.).
  • Place SBHC program posters and brochures strategically around the school and in the community.
  • Design incentives to boost enrollment (g., a party for the classroom with most returned consent forms, homework pass, etc.).
  • Make periodic announcements about your SBHC services (g., the benefit of consent and enrollment, well child visits, sports physicals, immunizations, flu shots, cooking classes, etc.) via morning announcements, school website, robo-calls, and social media outlets.
  • Think outside of the box! Do community outreach in atypical venues such as churches and other trusted community institutions.