Consultation is a collaborative process for assessing a child’s wellbeing and learning needs. Educational Psychologists use psychology and their knowledge of child development to facilitate the process of Consultation alongside those who know the child best.
Through Consultation a shared understanding of a child’s needs is created and an intervention plan produced.
There are three parts to Consultation in Aberdeenshire
- Professional Consultation
A Professional Consultation is a problem-solving discussion with an early years professional, a teacher or other professional. The concern raised may be about an individual, a group, a class or an issue at school level. Together the professionals will identify strategies and solutions that can be used within their setting.
The aim of the Professional Consultation is to support the professional rather than to give support directly to the child and therefore their name is not disclosed, no casefile is opened, and no information is stored by the educational psychology service. In many cases the discussion is enough to move things on and there will be no further involvement of the Educational Psychology Service.
In some cases, there will be a need to have a more in-depth exploration of the concerns and a Formal Consultation will be arranged.
- Formal Consultation
Before arranging a Formal Consultation, the school will always obtain permission from parents/carers for an Educational Psychologist to be involved.
A Formal Consultation is a collaborative meeting facilitated and recorded by the Educational Psychologist.
Consultation is our principle tool for assessment and intervention and the aim of the consultation is to create a shared understanding of the child’s strengths, additional support needs and ways to support these needs. During the Consultation the psychologist will contribute from their psychological knowledge, to help all involved have a deeper understanding and help to come up with a realistic action plan which all agreed and implemented by all present.
Consultation is the least intrusive approach to assessment. More intrusive forms of assessment/intervention such as observation or direct work are only used when the information cannot be obtained from those who know the child best.
Please click here to find out more about Assessment.
Please click here to find out more about Intervention.
- Formal Consultation Follow-Up
A Formal Consultation Follow-Up usually takes place between 6 weeks and 3 months after the Formal Consultation. The purpose of this meeting is to review and evaluate the actions agreed at the Formal Consultation.
Next steps will be agreed at the Follow-Up meeting. This may be the end of Educational Psychology involvement, or it may be agreed that the Educational Psychologists will contributes to future single or multi-agency Child’s Planning meetings.
Please click here if you are a parent and would like to find out more about what to expect in a Consultation meeting.
Please click here for a short video about what Educational Psychologists do in Aberdeenshire
The Educational Psychology Service continues to improve the way that a child or young person can contribute to the Consultation process. Children and young people are encouraged to attend the Consultation meetings. They may like to do a drawing or fill in “My Voice” questionnaire. Some children prefer to speak to a teacher or parent/carer to share their views, others will share their views through a Person-Centred Planning meeting which can then feed into the Consultation meetings.
Click here to learn more about Person Centred Planning meetings