The Breakthrough Family Conference is an "indicated prevention" (educational intervention) strategy that incorporates one staff person facilitating a family conference using a specific interview instrument and developing a Family Service Plan in collaboration with the student and their parent/guardian. This plan is based upon willingness without coercion and utilizes resources within the family, school district and community to address identified barriers to learning and other student needs. The Breakthrough Family Service Plan includes four areas: 1) student responsibilities; 2) parent responsibilities; 3) Breakthrough staff responsibilities; and 4) Breakthrough staff recommendations and referrals.
The Breakthrough Model of Student Assistance is similar to site-based models of Student Assistance Programs (SAP): it addresses Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education and has a variety of educational and support services, such as, small support groups for “at risk” students and a variety of parent support and education groups and provides referrals to community-based agencies as appropriate.
There are four important differences from other SAP's: 1) it is centralized and provides direct service to all students and families within a school district from pre-school through high school graduation and beyond; 2) it addresses any and all barriers to learning; 3) it is supported by district policy; and 4) it incorporates a structured 90-minute Family Conference that is the “heart” of this strategy.
This Breakthrough Family Conference intends to increase school bonding for the student and their parents and emphasizes the concept that there can be 100% support for the student and 100% support for the school system.