Identification of Need, Early Intervention and Prevention Strategies are considered key components to supporting children for whom there are concerns, including those who experiencing homelessness. The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) works with schools through the DES Continuum of Support framework. The NEPS Model of Service works through a problem solving and solution oriented consultative approach to support school to meet the needs of individual pupils.
NEPS psychologists can provide advice and guidance to Principals and teachers in relation to individual students needs and in the development of whole school approaches to support inclusion, participation and integration.
In addition, NEPS psychologists support schools to implement early-intervention and prevention programmes, such as The Incredible Years Programme in Primary Schools and resilience building programmes, such as the FRIENDS Programmes at Primary and Post Primary levels.
NEPS supports the role of the school in identifying individual needs and at a systems level in the development of a culture and environment which supports connectedness and provides structure and stability, key elements which underpin learning and opportunity.
My Department is strongly supportive of the promotion of positive mental health awareness in schools. The Department adopts a holistic and integrated approach to supporting schools in promoting positive mental health and to supporting those with a broad range of problems including behavioural, emotional and social.
To support this holistic approach my Department has published a Wellbeing Policy and Framework for Practice (2018-2023) for all schools which will inform how schools can promote student wellbeing. The initiatives planned will provide schools with a framework to develop and promote the wellbeing of all children and young people in our schools, including those experiencing homelessness. The implementation of the framework for practice in schools is and will be supported by my Department and include a roll-out of comprehensive CPD programme for teachers at primary and post-primary levels currently in planning.