Authors: Rebecca Wilkinson, Jessica Fulcher, Rochelle Cox
Evaluator company/business: Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
Summary: The Refugee Student Counselling Support Team (RSCST) provides specialised support to NSW public schools that have refugee students enrolled. The process evaluation comprised 43 in-depth interviews with RSCST team members, school-based staff, Refugee Support Leaders and other providers of refugee services; development of four case studies to illustrate good practice; and review of activity data and self-evaluation data collected by the team. The study found that school staff consistently observed that the RSCST's work has led to improvements in refugee students' social and emotional skills, a reduced incidence and intensity of negative behaviours, and an increased readiness to learn. Further, many school staff felt more confident and supported to put into practice the skills and strategies learnt from the RSCST's capacity-building sessions and side-by-side counselling support. The report includes four case studies that showcase how the RSCST supports NSW public schools, including: complex case support and classroom teacher capacity building; the benefits of play therapy; supporting a new regional refugee settlement area, and RSCST's collaborative working relationship with STARTTS and the benefits for schools.