Collaboration of a school counselling service with individuals and Institutions in a community Dr. Petra Mrvar Gregorčič and dr. Jasna Mažgon
Summary: School counselling, as conceptualised in our educational system, was never meant solely as counselling, i.e. helping students in their personal development and learning. It also provides indirect help in terms of collaboration on the creation of an adequate school environment as well as educational work and processes. When looking after a child’s holistic development, it is necessary to take care of appropriate conditions and provide a suitable school environment. In order to do that, school counsellors have to work closely with classes, the school’s staff, management, parents and the external environment. In the first part of the article, we present some basis for the collaboration of the school counselling service with individuals and institutions in the community. In the second part, we present results of the empirical study on this collaboration, which we carried out among school counsellors in the autumn of 2014. Our research findings confirm that the school counsellors have an important role in collaboration with various individuals and institutions in the community. Some school counsellors stated that, without the help of external institutions or individuals, they would not be able to carry out specific activities or projects in the school and successfully solve students’ and families’ problems. Furthermore, the counsellors pointed out various obstacles to mutual collaboration, which require more attention in future efforts for good-quality mutual collaboration. This fact requires all partners to master interpersonal, communication, organisational and collaborative skills together with reflection on their work and ways to cooperate.