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Outreach counselling service

Counselling services provides a confidential space where students can work through difficulties and explore changes they would like to make. Counselling could be in person or through Telepractice depending on a student’s location and/or if the student was eligible for an In-reach or a local visit, after initial Telepractice work.

For students who may be too young for talk therapy, Ko Taku Reo can contract a local Play Therapist that would work through difficulties through play. Play Therapy allows students to explore difficult feelings in a number of different ways – through imaginative play, role play, art, puppets, sand, music or however the child chooses.

Counselling is often short term and can focus on stress, anxiety, anger, life decisions, relationships and a range of other emotions or situation. At times the counsellor may refer a student to other services for support such as mental health services or Psychology. This would be discussed with the student and their whanau, where appropriate, before a referral was made.


Our practice is guided by:

  • The values from the New Zealand Association of Counsellors
  • Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education new Zealand school values
  • Respect for human dignity
  • Partnership
  • Autonomy
  • Responsible caring
  • Personal integrity
  • Social justice

New Zealand Association of Counsellors

  • A strong commitment to Deaf bi-lingual and bi-cultural practice
  • Valuing Deaf cultural norms
  • Provide students with an environment where they can Belong, Grow, Choose, Excel
  • Access to resources and services students need to be happy and engaged learners
  • To have opportunities to be their best and become confident leaders of their own lives

Ko Taku Reo School Values

How to access this service

  • If anyone from a learner’s existing team has noticed that they need support around emotional, mental health or well-being, they can refer to our counselling service. This can be done by filling in a referral form and sending it to the Integrated Services referral email:
    It is preferable that referrals have whānau consent. However if this is not possible for safety concerns or the student does not want whanau to know, referrals can be made without parental consent. Students can also self-refer to this service.

    If this referral is an emergency and cannot wait for a referral form to be responded to, please email directly to Paul Scammell, Integrated Services Lead at

  • You will receive an email receipt of your referral and a team member may contact you to gather more information if needed. The referral will be accepted or declined, and this will be communicated to the referrer and their team.

  • A team member will contact the learner’s team, (including whanau if appropriate), the learner, teachers and other professionals.

  • Assessment will be carried out using formal (e.g. tests) and/or informal (e.g. observation) methods. When appropriate, Whānau and team members are central to this process.

  • Assessment findings will be used to determine the level of support for the learner and their team. The counsellor, when appropriate, will then work with the learner’s team, including teaching staff, their whānau and the learner, to co-construct a Support Plan. The Support Plan will have clear learning goals and an agreed time frame. The time frame will include review points for the support being given.

  • At review meetings, the team will decide on criteria that will show that the learner’s Support Plan is complete.

    When the criteria have been met, or the team has agreed that the Support Plan is complete for a different reason, then the team will organise a Next Steps meeting.

    At the Next Steps meeting, progress will be reviewed, and final recommendations will be discussed before the learner’s Support Plan is closed.

    The learner may be re-referred to the Ko Taku Reo Counselling service in the future, if anyone from the learner’s team (existing or new) identifies further need.