Student support services


​​​​Guidance officers

Guidance officers are specialist teachers who deliver a broad range of services to school community members. They contribute to the development of a comprehensive student support and wellbeing program that is responsive to the needs of the school community.

Guidance officers may work directly with students in addition to working with a student's teachers, school support personnel, family, other specialists or external support providers.

Support offered by guidance officers includes providing advice and counselling on educational, behavioural, vocational, personal, social, family, and mental health and wellbeing issues.

Guidance officers (with a counselling focus)

Guidance officers employed through the Student Wellbeing Package provide wellbeing support and counselling to students with mild to moderate mental health concerns, focusing on prevention and early intervention. They can provide individual and small group support for a range of mental health and wellbeing issues. They also work as part of the school team to develop strategies to support students with mental health concerns.


Psychologists employed through the Student Wellbeing Package use their professional knowledge of psychological interventions and treatments to deliver appropriate and tailored therapeutic intervention that supports students' mild to moderate mental health concerns. Applying their understanding of the mental health continuum, psychologists identify when students require additional mental health support outside of the school context, making referrals to external agencies and providing assistance to ensure students access this additional support. They also work with other wellbeing and school staff to develop strategies to support students in the classroom and wider school community.

Social workers

Social workers employed through the Student Wellbeing Package support students to improve their personal and social wellbeing through identifying issues that require change and connecting students and their families with support. Social workers address challenges experienced by students across a range of mental health and wellbeing concerns and apply evidence-based interventions through personal and family counselling, therapeutic support and group work. Using a strengths-based approach, they work to maximise students' engagement with education. Social workers also facilitate referrals to other allied health professionals and services and assist students and families in accessing this support.

Youth workers

Youth workers employed through the Student Wellbein​g Package work with students and their families to implement tailored strategies that support students to have a more positive educational experience. They use school attendance and other data to monitor students' wellbeing and engagement and intervene early by providing counselling and support to address concerns. Youth workers use a strengths-based approach when working with students to develop social skills and self-esteem and support connection with peers and social networks.

Chaplains and student welfare workers

Chaplaincy/student welfare services are optional and provide students and staff with social, emotional and spiritual support, provide an additional adult role model in the school and enhance engagement with the broader community including parents.

The chaplaincy and student welfare services policy statement and supporting documents provide assistance for schools implementing a chaplaincy/student welfare service (paid or voluntary).

Community education counsellors

Counsellors work closely with guidance officers and their local communities, and provide a significant service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. More than 100 community education counsellors are located generally in schools with significant numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, as well as in clusters of schools throughout the state.

District community education counsellors advocate on behalf of students where a community education counsellor is not available. Parents can contact the school or local district office for further information.

State schools registered nurses

The Department of Education provides a nursing service to state schools to assist with reasonable adjustments for students with health support needs to attend and safely participate in all aspects of school life. Nursing services may include support with risk assessments, development of individual (daily routine) and/or emergency school health plans, provision of training for staff to assist students with health support needs and ongoing support, including refresher training, as required.

Youth support coordinators

As part of the Youth Support Coordinator Initiative, Youth Support Coordinators (YSCs) work in selected secondary schools across the state to provide advice and support to students who are disengaged or at risk of disengaging from education. In their role, YSCs:

  • provide individual support, case management and group programs for students to maximise their engagement with education and training
  • refer students in need of additional support to relevant school and regional staff or to external support services.

School-based youth health nurses

The School Based Youth Health Nurse (SBYHN) service is funded and delivered by Queensland Health through the state's Hospital and Health Services. SBYHNs provide services to state secondary school students across Queensland, including secondary students at P–10/12 schools and Schools of Distance Education.

SBYHNs work with a preventative and health promotion focus. They are a point of contact for students seeking information, advice and support for a range of health and wellbeing matters.

Further information about the role of SBYHNs is provided in the guide for parents and carers: School Based Youth Health Nurse service​.

School based police officers

As part of the Queensland Police Service's School Based Policing Program, School Based Police Officers (SBPOs) work in selected secondary schools across the state to form partnerships with the school community. SBPOs identify and develop appropriate community safety and crime prevention strategies that address local issues and help ensure Queensland school communities are safe and secure.

Last updated 14 June 2023