COPE (Community Outreach of Pediatrics and Psychiatry in Education) is a partnership between the Calgary Board of Education, Alberta Health Services, Children’s Services and the families we serve. The overarching goal of COPE is to provide support to families through a process that identifies and addresses the students’ health needs (i.e., social, emotional, developmental, behavioural) that are impacting their learning needs. Throughout COPE involvement, the COPE team works to ensure that the student is able to access all of the necessary community supports required for a successful outcome.
The COPE team facilitates a school-based consultation led by physician specialists (pediatricians and child psychiatrists). Hull employees (Family Liaisons) provide services to Calgary Board of Education (CBE) students and work in conjunction with pediatricians, child psychiatrists, psychologists and family therapists, acting as a key support for the family by facilitating physician meetings and connecting the families to services which best meet the family’s needs.
A key defining characteristic of COPE is that the students are identified, prioritized and referred by school personnel. As an outreach service, COPE goes into the schools to see these students. This increases both the likelihood that the family will attend the initial meeting (their child’s school is a familiar setting and within their community) as well as helps to support follow through for subsequent meetings.