What is SAP?
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program
(SAP), which is administered by the PA Department of Education’s Safe
Schools Office in partnership with the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol
Programs’ Division of Prevention and Intervention, and the PA Department of
Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is
designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol,
tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a
student’s success. The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program
(SAP) is to help students overcome these barriers in order that they may
achieve, remain in school, and advance. While Student Assistance Programs
exist in other areas of the country, the structure and operation of the
program in Pennsylvania is a unique expression of an integrated model
serving the needs of Pennsylvania families and their students.
SAP is a systemic process using techniques to mobilize school
resources to remove barriers to learning. The core of the program is a
professionally trained team, including school staff and liaisons from
community alcohol and drug and mental health agencies. SAP team
members are trained to identify problems, determine whether or not the
presenting problem lies within the responsibility of the school and to make
recommendations to assist the student and the parent. When the problem
lies beyond the scope of the school, the SAP team will assist the parent and
student so they may access services within the community. The student
assistance team members do not diagnose, treat or refer to treatment; but
they may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment.
If you think your child may benefit from SAP, please click here for additional information.