The Shepherding Program at Collier works with students who struggle to attend school for a multitude of reasons. Our trained staff of fully licensed clinicians first conduct an assessment, then develop and implement a personalized treatment plan based on each student's unique needs. Shepherding is able to provide many services such as home visits for in-home sessions, individual therapy, family support, and run weekly anxiety management groups. For students who have school avoidance due to anxiety, an exposure plan will be utilized to gradually introduce them back into a school setting. Shepherding works with the student and family and does not view poor attendance as truancy, but rather a symptom of what the student is going through.
Another important aspect of the shepherding program is skills training and cognitive restructuring. During individual sessions and group therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills are taught to students to help manage their emotions and anxieties, in addition to using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to challenge negative thinking patterns.
There are different services for students based on the severity of their symptoms. Shepherding will work with students who have not attended school in many years as well as students who are going through a rough patch of time and need extra support. The Shepherding Program has grown into an integral part of the Collier community and continues to provide services for roughly 25% of the school's population.
To date, the Shepherding Program has seen significant results with a success rate of 82%.
To help mitigate this school avoidance, Collier School created the Shepherding program to help ease students back to school.