3191.2 School-based Health Centers and Drop-out Prevention: An Integrated Approach to Policy Advocacy

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:30 PM
The W. K. Kellogg Foundation believes that school-based health centers (SBHCs) are uniquely situated to provide integrated and preventative services to children and youth in their schools while simultaneously advocating for supportive shifts in policy. Presumptions guiding the ecological framework of the School-based Health Care Policy Program (SBHCPP) were two fold. First, there is ample evidence of the links between health and learning readiness, which has fueled calls for multidisciplinary interventions on behalf of children. Secondly, interventions at multiple levels (personal, family, community, institutional, and broader society) take place concurrently and impact the short- and long-term well-being of children and youth. This panel examines the ways in which lessons learned from applying an integrated approach to policy advocacy on behalf of SBHCs is also instructive as the health and educational communities struggle to reduce alarming high school dropout rates. Leaving school early is increasingly understood as one of the social determinants of health. Dropping out is more common among students of color, lower income families and is associated with greater risks for negative health outcomes. Analysis of emerging strategies in drop-out prevention demonstrates the potential contribution of the growing movement to institutionalize school-based health centers as a key component in both healthcare and educational policy and practice. As such, the SBHCPP domains of community engagement, partnering with the educational community, applying strategic use of communications, meaningful engagement of diverse populations, and using evaluation as a tool for organizational planning are instructive not only to SBHCs but to the larger health community.
Session Objectives: Develop an integrated approach to policy change that includes community and youth engagement, bridging health and educational policy, applying strategic communications, applying a multicultural lens to all aspects of the work, and using evaluation findings to inform strategies. Identify the ways in which school-based health centers can advocate for practices and policies that proactively intervene on behalf of children and youth using the issue of high school drop outs as lever for change. List the correlates between socially determined health status and school dropout.

12:30 PM
School-based health centers and drop-out prevention: An integrated approach to policy advocacy
Jeanita W. Richardson, PhD, Douglas Taylor, PhD, Karen Saverino, Janet Zimmerman, PhD and Valerie Batts, PhD

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