Raf Di Cecco; Lorenzo E Di Cecco
An unacceptable number of students appear to be at great risk of not attaining the education levels essential to become successful, contributing members of society. An array of agencies at community levels receive funding from various levels of governments to provide support services to address the various elements of risk. Yet the problem of at-risk students persists, and both schools and communities feel increasingly powerless to solve the problems. The literature clearly emphasizes the benefits of a more holistic approach: one that is integrated with schools to meet the complex problems of students at risk. Essentially, many agencies serve the same client, who usually attends a neighborhood school. There is an urgent need to recast the relationships between service providers, both across functional lines and with educators. This paper examines the needs of students at risk, the arguments for greater integration at the school level, the issues in the networking and integration of support services, the models that have been successful, and the mechanisms required to bring about a more integrated approach.