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    Student Teacher Assistance Referral Team (START)

    What is the Student Assistance Program? 

    For over 25 years the Student Assistance Program has worked in Pennsylvania to help troubled students. We are in some situations a first line of support for students dealing with any family issues, drug & alcohol issues, suicidal issues, sadness issues, peer drama or bullying issues.

    We work to not only support students in school, but to connect students and families to the much needed resources to help them succeed in negotiating some of life’s most tumultuous storms.

    We believe that relationships are the key to helping those in need. We take our roles in student’s lives very seriously. We are more than just teachers, administrators, and school personnel… we are mentors, examples, and in some cases another shoulder to lean on. We are the Student Assistance Program, and we can help.

    Who is on the SAP Team? 

    The core of the program is a professionally trained team, including school staff and liaisons from community drug & alcohol and mental health agencies. When the problem lies beyond the scope of the school, the Student Teacher Assistance Referral Team will assist the parent and student so they may access services within the community. The Student Teacher Assistance Referral Team members do not diagnose, treat or refer to treatment; but they may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment.

    How do you make a referral?

    Anyone can refer a student to START when they are concerned about a student’s behavior, attitudes, or performance: any school staff, a student’s friend, a family member or community member. The students themselves can even go directly to the START team to ask for help. A member of the START team may then contact a parent for permission to proceed with the START process.

    What interventions are used?

    The plan is put into action. The team assists in linking the student to in-school and/or community-based services and activities. The team might also recommend a drug & alcohol or mental health screening or assessment with a SAP trained liaison from Healthy Communities Partnership. The liaison can offer support at school and connect your student to any additional resources they may need.  The START team will continue to work with and support referred students and their families. Follow-up includes monitoring, mentoring, motivating, or connecting students in various groups for personal and academic success.