Elementary school parents'/guardians' perceptions of school health service personnel and the services they provide.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The school nurse, the school social worker, and the school counselor play an important role in promoting the health of children. Health services in the school setting provide opportunities to appraise, protect, and promote student health. The purpose of this study was to identify parents' or caregivers' perceptions and beliefs regarding the importance of schools providing various health services to their elementary school-aged children. In addition, the study examined the levels of parental support for, perceptions of, and contact with school health service personnel. METHODS In 2005, a nationally representative random sample of 369 (51% return rate) parents of elementary school-aged children completed the questionnaire developed for this study. RESULTS A majority of parents/caregivers reported that their child's school had a school nurse (78.8%) and counselor (60.5%), but only 22.6% reported their school had a social worker. A majority of parents/caregivers perceived full-time school nurses (86.3%), school counselors (78.6%), and school social workers (56.3%) as important or extremely important and that schools should be held responsible for having each in their child's elementary school. A majority of parents/caregivers were willing to pay an increase in yearly tax dollars to have full-time school health personnel. CONCLUSIONS This study established a level of parental support for, perceptions of, and contact with school health service personnel. Parents were most supportive of school nurses and should be perceived as allies in ensuring job security.

Cite this paper

@article{Kirchofer2007ElementarySP, title={Elementary school parents'/guardians' perceptions of school health service personnel and the services they provide.}, author={Gregg Kirchofer and Susan K. Telljohann and James Price and Joseph A. Dake and Martin Ritchie}, journal={The Journal of school health}, year={2007}, volume={77 9}, pages={607-14; quiz 645-6} }