05 Dec 2020
Academics from UNSW’s Special and Inclusive Research Group (SIERG) were engaged by the Gonski Institute of Education to conduct the research project:
A Wraparound Approach to ‘Whole of Student’ Issues: Education, Health, and Community Services. Yudi Gunyi School had an established model of wraparound in the Ngaramadhi Space and were interested in having the program evaluated to ensure that it was meeting the outcomes it was designed to meet. Students with complex support needs are vulnerable youth who experience social marginalisation and social issues, including:
(a) mental health issues,
(b) cognitive disability,
(c) physical disability,
(d) behavioural difficulties,
(e) family dysfunction often resulting in involvement with out of home care (OOHC) or juvenile justice,
(f) social isolation,
(g) drug or alcohol misuse, or
(h) early disengagement from education (Dowse, Cumming, Strnadová, Lee, & Trofimovs, 2014).
As wraparound models of support are designed to address any and all of these needs for each individual student, their application is not reserved solely to students with identified emotional/behavioural disorders, but to any student presenting with the complex support needs listed above. The NSW Department of Education provides support based on a student’s needs rather than a diagnosis or label, and this includes the provision of services for students requiring behavioural support.
Data from the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE, 2015) identified that in 2015, 557 students with ‘behaviour disorder’ were enrolled in support classes and Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs) and 1,758 students with ‘emotional disturbance’ were enrolled in support classes and SSPs in the NSW public schools.