Student Assistance Program


What is the Student Assistance Program?
The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is designed to help students who are experiencing academic difficulty due to mental health issues or substance abuse.  The goal is to remove non-academic barriers that prevent achievement. SAP services are available for students in all grades, K-12.

Who are the SAP team members?
School counselors
School nurses
Counselors from the Caron Foundation and the Reading Hospital  Center for Mental Health 
Social Worker
All SAP team members have received intensive training from the state.  SAP team members understand and respect the importance of confidentiality.  

What types of behaviors might prompt a student’s referral to SAP?
Withdrawing from family/friends
Changing friends
Unexplained physical injuries
Talking about suicide
Change in mood
Defying authority (at home or school)
Aggressive actions
Sudden drop in academic success
Experimentation with drugs/alcohol

How does the SAP process begin?
1. Confidential referrals are made to the SAP team.  Referrals may come from teachers, administrators, counselors, other school personnel, a student’s peers or a parent.  In some cases, SAP referrals come directly from the student seeking assistance.
2. Team members discuss the nature of the referral and how to proceed.
3. Teachers and other school personnel complete observation forms to provide a complete picture of the student regarding observable behaviors. 
4. Team members discuss the results of the observation forms and determine if the SAP process should be continued. 

Continuation of the SAP process:
1. When warranted, the SAP process proceeds with a phone call to the parent from one of the team members.  During this phone call, team members will share data from the observation forms.  Team members will also discuss how parents can continue the SAP process.  Written permission to continue will be requested.  
2. Upon receiving written parent permission, a representative from either Caron or the Reading Hospital Center for Mental Health will meet with the student to complete an assessment.  The assessment is not complete without parent input.  
3. Once the assessment has been completed, the representative will contact the parent with his/her recommendation.  While the representative will certainly help to coordinate additional services, follow-through with the recommendation is the responsibility of the parent.

How can I make a referral to SAP?
Contact your son’s or daughter’s guidance counselor to request the SAP process.  Be prepared to share concerns and a reason for desiring SAP services with the guidance counselor.  The guidance counselor will follow through with the referral.