1. Evidence for Program Improvement
  2. Social Skill Building
  3. Consider Providing Programming Within a School Setting

Consider Providing Programming Within a School Setting


Social Competence

Intervention Family

Skill-Building Interventions

Consider Providing Programming Within a School Setting

School settings have several advantages over community settings that may make them more effective for delivering skill-building interventions. Most children attend school every day, which means that there are greater opportunities for regular, structured skill-building than might occur in afternoon, evening, or weekend programs offered outside the structure of the school day. School-based programs also reduce barriers like transportation and thus increase the likelihood that youth will attend and receive the full benefits of an intervention if they attend school consistently.

Delivery staff in school settings, especially teachers and other school personnel, have greater opportunities to interact with students outside of the intervention itself and can serve as consistent and familiar faces to the youth. This proximity can also give delivery staff greater understanding of youth’s challenges and strengths. Additionally, teacher involvement means that lessons can be reinforced and skills practiced throughout the school day. Finally, interventions provided at school can benefit the school climate. In a school-based program, children with limited skills and those with more developed skills learn the same content, often together, which may help create a more positive school climate.

If you are not already working in schools, it can be a challenging and time-consuming process to develop the buy-in and trust necessary for access. Another drawback is that the youth you are trying to reach may not be in school regularly or at all. While the strong effects that we observed for interventions delivered in school settings may be due to intangible features of the school environment, some of the features of school-based interventions may be transferable to community settings. For example, community-based programs could work to ensure that delivery staff are consistently delivering the lessons and reduce practical barriers to attendance.