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The Role of School-Based Health Care in Preventing Dropout

School-based health clinics can be a powerful tool in preventing dropout. They provide comprehensive primary and preventive care in the setting most convenient to students, allowing parents to avoid the stress of making appointments outside of school hours.

Over the past twenty years, the number of SBHCs has increased nationwide. This growth may be attributed to state-level investments, the expansion of Medicaid coverage and advocacy efforts.

Access to Care

School-based health centers (SBHCs) are an important part of ensuring that students receive the care they need. They provide a convenient, cost-effective, and consistent source of health care for children in schools.

Having access to health care is essential for healthy development and learning. Without it, children may be less likely to take their medication, get sick, or receive medical services they need, causing them to miss school and potentially put their education at risk.

The availability of SBHCs, along with their ability to meet youth and community needs, is a critical element in preventing school dropout. As a result, it is crucial to ensure that these centers are adequately funded and provide the services their communities need.


A school-based health center (SBHC) is a medical clinic located in a school building or right next door. The centers often have a multidisciplinary team of health professionals that provides care for students and their families.

Most SBHCs are run by a local health care organization, such as a community health center or hospital. Many are also funded by government and charities.

Screening is the process of identifying individuals who have an increased chance of having a disease or condition. The screening provider then offers them information and further tests or treatments.

It is important that the benefits of a screening program outweigh the harms. The best way to assess whether this is the case is with a type of study called a randomized controlled trial.

This type of study has the advantage that it controls biases such as self-selection and lead time. It also takes into account age-specific mortality rates.


School-based health care (SBHC) clinics provide comprehensive health services to students in a setting that is familiar and convenient for them. This can reduce health care costs, transportation and trust barriers that traditionally prevent adolescents from accessing care.

In addition to providing physical health care, SBHCs can provide mental health services to students who may be less willing to go to a physician’s office. These services can help students stay on track with their academics by keeping them healthy and in the classroom.

For example, studies have found that adolescents who use school-based health care are able to access more mental health services than they would if they did not receive this care at SBHCs. These centers can also work with parents to help them manage chronic conditions and teach them about their child’s health condition.

Parents can support their child’s healthy behaviors and chronic conditions by participating in their child’s clinic visits, attending appointments or home visits with their children, and promoting health awareness. In addition, caregivers can enhance school health programs by providing feedback about their children’s needs and ensuring that clinic staff can connect with community resources.


School-based health care programs offer a range of preventive, acute and chronic services in school. They also link students to a doctor or other health center when the school is not in session.

Despite the success of these services, there is no evidence that they have prevented or reversed dropout among youth. Nevertheless, SBHCs have been successful at improving access to care for children and adolescents in high-poverty areas.

As a result, it is critical to conduct rigorous evaluations of SBHCs and their impact on school attendance. Strong data can be used to help identify ways to improve the model and increase its reach.

A significant unmet need for mental health services among young people, especially in minority communities, calls for effective planning for school referrals to community providers. This could involve partnerships between SBHCs and community-based mental health clinics to ensure continuity of care in the absence of SBHCs. In some communities, this may require additional funding streams.

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