Date of Submission

6-30-2018

Embargo

6-30-2018

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Education

Keywords

Transitions, Alternative classes, Children's Mental Health, Kindergarten students, Inclusive leadership, Integrative leadership, Systemic thought

Abstract

This OIP identifies a need to focus on the process of transitioning children from alternative classes at a children’s mental health agency back to mainstream classes. The agency’s current focus is on providing best practice treatment to clients while they receive services. However, treatment is temporary, as clients must eventually be transitioned back to a mainstream education system. Expanding this focus on treatment to include transitions from services; specifically, from alternative kindergarten classes back to regular classes, will reinforce the recognition of the significance of transitions, and reflection on how to improve this process for clients. The agency’s systemic view of treatment can be extended to how services are provided. This is particularly relevant, as the Auditor-General (2016) recommended that children’s mental health agencies examine the process of referring to other community services following discharge. Transitions are a crucial and often overlooked factor in positive change, especially when shifting from one system to another. Children require safe and secure relationships to learn effectively, and they struggle with change. Strategies that are effective and relationship-based do not necessarily transfer well into a different system until these critical relationships are built. The change plan benefits students by leveraging the transition process as a way of integrating transitions between systems. This problem of practice (PoP) is viewed through a systemic, inclusive, and integrative leadership lens. The OIP includes all stakeholders in an inclusive process of developing transition policies and protocols. Fisher’s (2016) integrative leadership framework is utilized to plan the process of change.

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