Establish a Mechanism for Coordination of Services Between Agencies
Often, various community partners work with a single school: for example, a community clinic may provide medical services; a community mental health agency may deliver behavioral health services; and a school nurse may perform school wide health screenings. In order to effectively coordinate services, there must be strong collaboration between provider organizations, especially the sponsoring agency. Whether your health organization will sponsor the SBHC or deliver clinical services, you should determine how you will share information and space with school personnel and other onsite community providers, handle case management, and raise funds, among other considerations.
It is important to develop a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) between community health services providers and the school district, outlining your roles and responsibilities, services, hours of operation, and protocols for sharing information. In addition, many schools have found it helpful to establish a Coordination of Services Team that brings partners together regularly for collaborative planning and to make sure that individual student needs are being met.
From Vision to Reality: How to Build a School Health Center from the Ground Up has tips and tools, including MOUs.
Key Stakeholders to Engage in Service Coordination
- District Student Support and Health Staff (e.g., School Nurse, Counselor, Special Education Personnel)
- Other Community Health Services Provider(s)
- County Mental Health and Public Health Department Staff
Case Study – Kennedy Health Center in Richmond
Read about the coordination of services at Kennedy Health Center in Richmond.