What is a community service intervention?
A community service intervention is an early intervention strategy that may be used by a school principal in consultation with students and parents to address behaviour concerns. A community service intervention is intended to provide students with exposure to a new environment that is challenging, encourages team work, self-respect, commitment and confidence.
A community service intervention is a positive, productive alternative to other disciplinary actions such as detention, suspension or exclusion and requires a student to perform tasks outside of school hours that are beneficial to the community.
What does a community service intervention involve?
The community service intervention process will generally involve the following steps:
- The principal or a delegated staff member identifies a community service intervention as a potential option for a student to address disciplinary or behaviour concerns in consultation with teachers and other support staff.
- The principal or a delegated staff member contacts the student's parents to discuss the option of a community service intervention. Parents should be provided with all relevant details of activity proposed, including responsibilities for the student, parent and the school, in order to inform their decision.
- Parents consent to the student participating in the community service intervention.
- School staff take on coordination and supervision roles for community service intervention activities, as part of normal duties within current industrial frameworks.
- The student completes the community service intervention.
Can the student still attend school during a community service intervention?
Yes, community service interventions must occur outside of school hours as the ultimate goal is to keep the student at school so that he/she doesn't miss out on classes or school activities. The community service intervention is organised before or after school, or on the weekend.
Where would a student complete a community service intervention?
A community service intervention takes place in the local community either as a school organised activity or sponsored by a host organisation. The location and type of activity undertaken as part of a community service intervention will depend on the age of the student.
Students of any age can participate in a community service intervention directly supervised by a school staff member. Students aged 14 years and over may participate in community service intervention activities at a host organisation, for example, local council, charity or nongovernment group. This activity would be undertaken via the same procedures used for work experience students.
What are the departmental procedures for community service interventions?
Principals and school staff follow the Work experience placements for school students procedure for students aged 14 years and over participating in a community service intervention through a host organisation.
Students under 14 years and all school-led community service interventions are implemented according to the school's Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students. Guidance about the procedures that must be followed can be found in the Safe, supportive and disciplined school environment procedure.
What is the process for risk assessment for community service intervention?
Similar to all school-based activities, the school completes a risk assessment before an activity is undertaken to determine possible hazards and precautions. Appropriate measures are identified and implemented to ensure the activity can continue in a safe manner. School staff should ensure they are aware of the department's procedures and processes for risk management.