Master of Science
This research study is a descriptive study of the effectiveness of the psychiatric staffing as determined by a follow-up study of fifty-two Richmond Public School Pupils given such staffing during the l966-67 school year. The review of pertinent literature reveals what others have contributed to the knowledge of the nature and function of the school helping team. The teamwork approach, which involves the efforts of several professions and disciplines working closely together, is seen as the best present method to meet the complex, overlapping needs which have been found to affect students' learning.
As a means of establishing guidelines and limits for this study, five areas of concern were defined. The questions to be answered by this study were:
1. What are the socio-economic backgrounds represented by the sample?
2. Were the recommendations made by the school psychiatrist implemented?
3. Is the overall psychiatric staffing effective according to the improvement in pupils presenting problems and the extent to which the recommendations were carried out?
4. To what extent do the available records contain sufficient information for a follow-up study?
5. What are the attitudes of the key persons responsible for the psychiatric staffing toward the effective operation of these staffings?
The Pupil Personnel Services gave its approval to conduct this study. The sample numbered fifty-two.
The agency requested and it was agreed that no pupil, school, or agency be contacted and that information be obtained only from the files and employees of Pupil Personnel Services. An interview schedule was constructed to elicit information to determine the extent to which the recommendations made during the psychiatric staffing were initiated and carried out. This schedule was applied to the pupil records. Open ended questions were used in interview schedules to gather pertinent information from three key persons responsible for the effective operation of the psychiatric staffing.
The fifty-two pupil cases revealed the pupils to be largely from low income families, mostly males with acting-out behavior problems, and with no significant concentration from any one school. A larger percentage of the recommendations that were initiated involved the use of school resources rather than community resources. In nearly half of the pupil cases the recommendations were completely carried out, with a remaining few being carried out to a lesser extent. The findings suggested that, if the recommendations were carried out, the pupil would show behavior improvement. To a large extent the statements made by the key persons generally reflected that methods of record keeping be improved within the Department of Visiting Teachers; that there be an increase in the number and quality of the visiting teachers, especially for elementary and Junior high school placements; that parents of the pupils given psychiatric staffings become involved in the staffings and be included in the treatment process themselves; and that the visiting teacher exercise more responsibility for follow-up on the pupils given psychiatric staffing.
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