Pennsylvania - Early Identification and Referral: Programs and Services

Area: 
Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State law encourages or requires districts to implement identification and referral processes to link students and families with needed resources.

The Pennsylvania Code § 12.41 Student services.

(b) Though the variety of student services offered will differ from school to school depending upon its size and the needs of its students, the following categories of services shall be provided by each school entity in planning its student services:

  • (2) Diagnostic, intervention and referral services for students who are experiencing problems attaining educational achievement appropriate to their learning potential.
    • (i) Student services staff use diagnostic services to identify barriers that limit a student's success in school. Intervention services actively engage student services staff in activities planned to reduce or eliminate specific barriers to student success.
    • (ii) Student services staff may arrange for referrals to other school-based or school-linked professionals or may refer parents and guardians to appropriate community-based services for assistance.
  • (3) Consultation and coordination services for students who are experiencing chronic problems that require multiple services by teams or specialists.
    • (i) Consultation services are used by student services staff, in partnership with parents or guardians, to obtain assistance to address barriers and issues that are outside the scope of the student services professional.
    • (ii) Consultation and coordination services may be used to assist in the diagnosis, intervention or referral of students who face barriers to success.
    • (iii) Coordination services connect school resources with other available resources to assist students in meeting their educational objectives.

(c) Student services must:

  • (1) Be an integral part of the instructional program at all levels of the school system.
  • (2) Provide information to students and parents or guardians about educational opportunities of the school's instructional program and how to access these opportunities.
  • (3) Provide career information and assessments so that students and parents or guardians might become aware of the world of work and of a variety of career options available to individual students.
  • (4) Provide basic health services outlined in Article XIV of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 14-1401 -- 14-1423) for students and information to parents or guardians about the health needs of their children.

(d) When student assessments using individual surveys are administered, parents or guardians shall be informed of the nature and scope of the surveys and of their relationship to the educational program of their child, consistent with section 445 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C.A. § 1232h) regarding protection of pupil rights. Parents or guardians, or the student if the student is 18 years of age or older, shall have the right to refuse to participate in the survey by means of procedures established by the school entity.

(e) Persons delivering student services shall be specifically licensed or certified as required by statute or regulation.

(f) The Department will provide guidelines and technical assistance to local education agencies in planning student services.


Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 2014 Act 71. Section 1526. Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention.

(c) The model policy developed by the department under subsection (b)(1) and any policy adopted by a school entity under subsection (a)(1) shall include the following:

  • (1) A statement on youth suicide awareness and prevention.
  • (2) Protocols for administering youth suicide awareness and prevention education to staff and students.
  • (3) Methods of prevention, including procedures for early identification and referral of students at risk of suicide.
  • (4) Methods of intervention, including procedures that address an emotional or mental health safety plan for students identified as being at increased risk of suicide.
  • (5) Methods of responding to a student or staff suicide or suicide attempt.
    Pennsylvania General Assembly
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