Suppose you are a counselor working in a middle school attended by a high number of new students from military families. In the cafeteria during lunch, you observe tension between the new students and students whose parents have permanent ties to the community. Some of the new students are isolating themselves by eating alone. You are aware that some of the students sitting in isolation have parents who have been deployed to the war.
As one of only two school counselors in the building, you know it is going to be impossible to call all of the new students into your office and meet with them individually.
Greg, an outgoing eighth-grade student with many friends from several social groups, seems to be making an attempt to bring some of the newer students together with his lunch group. Recognizing that school counselors provide leadership to develop leadership among students, you begin to think about peer helper programs.
As a school counselor, where do you begin to develop a peer helping program?
What stakeholders would you want to involve or consult with in developing the program?
How could Greg fit into your program?
1. As a school counselor there are many liaisons and opportunities at your disposal to work with in developing peer support groups. In some schools, there is an actual class, which students can take, who wish to provide help and peer assistance to students who need help. This is a credit bearing class where upper classmen can get elective credit in social studies and study the psychology of social work while at the same time helping their younger peers in their high school work and school life.
Another activity which the counselor can initiate is weekly or bi-monthly meetings of all children of military parents. This can start as a 'meet and greet' session where he/she has everyone tell a little bit about themselves and serve light refreshments, where these children can get acquainted with each other, thereby informally forming their own military support group of students within the school.
An excellent way to solicit help is to contact the military Ombudsmen who is on the local ...
A peer helping program is assessed.