POPARD’S approach to consultation has evolved over the past few years, with a vision of making our services consistent with evidence-based practices in effective consultation. Although old medical or “expert” models of consultation still do exist, the literature is clear that these models are less effective in inspiring change in the consultee and often leave the consultee and school team feeling less capable and in greater need of “expert” support. POPARD uses an empowerment model of consultation.

The goal of POPARD’s consultation model is to work with the team to develop a manageable implementation plan focusing on two to three priority concerns that can be realistically worked on with the resources and skill set of the team. Building greater skill and confidence in the team is more likely to lead to empowerment and increased local capacity, ultimately leading to positive long-term outcomes for the identified student and classroom.

POPARD uses an empowerment model of consultation

POPARD’s model of consultation includes 3 phases:


Pre-consultation involves completion of a Needs Assessment by both the parent and school team, describing the student’s strengths and concerns at home and school. The purpose is to encourage the team to think analytically about what may be contributing to any problem behaviours or concerns and identify what strategies have been in place and which ones are working.


Consultation includes a pre-observation meeting with the school team and an observation of the student in the school setting. The consultation phase culminates in a team meeting involving parents and school staff, facilitated by the consultant. At the meeting, a detailed Implementation Plan is developed with active participation and decision-making by the student’s school and home team.


Post-consultation includes an Implementation Plan and a detailed consultation report. An implementation support day can be scheduled to provide coaching and create resources with and for the team members.