School Refusal Who contribute to the problem? Who solve the problem?Who solve the problem? Shirley Ng (Supervisor HKFWS )Shirley Ng (Supervisor HKFWS ) Vickie Yau (Social Worker HKFWS)Vickie Yau (Social Worker HKFWS)
School refusal is a problem that is stressful for children, families, and school personnel.
Some adolescents have trouble going back to school after weekends or vacation. Some children leave home in the morning and develop difficulties, as they get closer to school, then are unable to proceed
School phobia : generally refers to fear-based absenteeism, but youths are rarely phobic of school and so this term has been de-emphasized in recent research literature Truancy : generally refers to unexcused, illegal, surreptitious absences, non-anxiety-based absenteeism, absenteeism linked to delinquency or academic problems
School refusal : generally refers to condition involving persistent non-attendance at school, excessive anxiety and somatic complaints
Statistics from the Census & Statistics department (2006) 20012006 0-14 age group1,109,417 16.5% 939,200 13.7% 15-24 age group 920,455 13.7% 908,600 13.3% Total2,029,862 30.2% 1,847,800 27.0%
Figures from the Hong Kong EMB, reveal that the number of habitual truancy and non-attendance cases Year 2000-012005-06 No.of cases17902117
From the figure of Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) 2007, the school dropout rate of 6-15 age group was 0.186% (1,200).
School refusal is a problem that is stressful for children, families, and school personnel !!!
Disengagement from education decreases the life opportunities of individual Increase the likelihood of unemployment, poverty and homelessness society burden
Short-term impacts : poor academic performance, family difficulties, and problems with peer relationships. Long-term consequences: academic underachievement, employment difficulties, increased risk for psychiatric illness drug-abuse
Adolescents are vulnerable numerous risk factors that have an impact on youth’s behavior. Those risk factors are located in a range of interrelated contexts within adolescents’ life – family, school, peers and community.
Functions that maintain school refusal behaviour: (Kearney & Silverman1993, 2003) 1) Avoidance of stimuli which provoke specific fearfulness 2) Escape from aversive social situation 3) Attention/ concern seeking 4) Positive tangible reinforcement
Suggested Problem Solving Method: 1.Contact parents to reduce positive reinforcement at home Let parents dig out why children refuse to go to school Empowered parents the rights to urge children to school Equip parents the knowledge of positive reinforcement. Share parents the authoritative and consistent way to discipline the children
2. Cultivate Caring School Environment DEET (1999:11) observe: “School culture appears to be an important factor in combating truancy, with some schools having higher truancy levels than other, even in situations where the background characteristics of students are very similar.” Suggested Problem Solving Method:
Cultivate Caring School Environment a)Don’t try to alienate the students b)Set up Tutoring Team assist students with learning difficulties or low study motivation c)Dig out students’ interest, offer opportunities to give positive reinforcement d)Train up peer mentors – focus friendship and peers e)Teachers and prefects reach out to lonely students f)Empower students way of protecting themselves coping self-statement (RET Therapy)
Collaborative with other parties: a) Referral to clinical psychologists and doctors for dealing the hard-core problems b)Referrals to “Community Psychiatrists Team” for reaching students with suspected mental health problems c)Referral to other schools which fit for students’ ability and interest d)If need, call Multi-disciplinary Conference