Continuing Education

School Avoidance and Refusal

Facing the Challenges of School Avoidance, School Refusal, and Truancy

Social Work Education

About The Course

Course Title: School Avoidance and Refusal

Learning Method: Record asynchronous distance (non-interactive). This course includes a recorded video and access to the presented resources.

Amount of CE Credit Offered: 1 credit (general)

Fees: This course can be purchased individually for $25 or as part of an annual unlimited continuing education subscription available for $99/year.

Posttest: Following the course, the participant will take a 10 question posttest. A score of 70% correct is required to pass and obtain a certificate. If you do not pass the posttest, it can be re-taken after fully reviewing the materials again. 

Certificate of CompletionIn order to receive a certificate of completion, you must indicate that you’ve watched the entire video portion of the course, earn a passing grade on the test, and complete the requested course evaluation.

Description of the Course:

This course dives into the complex issues surrounding school avoidance and school refusal. Participants will gain insights into the reasons students might avoid or refuse school, ranging from anxiety to depression to behavioral issues.

The course emphasizes the critical role of parents and caregivers in collaborating with professionals to address these challenges. Through real-life scenarios and expert discussions, attendees will explore therapeutic modalities like DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and SPACE, which focuses on parent accommodations.

By the end of the course, participants will be equipped with strategies and knowledge to support students experiencing school avoidance or refusal, ensuring their well-being and academic success.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the psychological, social, and academic factors contributing to school avoidance, school refusal, and truancy.

  2. Define school avoidance, school refusal, and truancy.

  3. Generate 3-5 strategies to help students experiencing school avoidance, refusal, and truancy transition back into the school setting.

Target Audience: 

Masters and Clinical level licensees pursuing continuing education.

Content Level:

Both beginning and intermediate-level content are included in this course.

Instructor Bio(s):

Meagan Mitchell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been providing individualized and group instruction for over 5 years.

Meagan is currently a Child and Adolescent Therapist with The Sibley Group in Washington, DC. She is working towards her Play Therapy credential. Meagan is also the founder of Agents of Change Social Work Test Prep – a learning platform and community designed for social workers preparing for their licensing exams.

She loves combining her passion for learning and sharing her knowledge with the social work community. Meagan has a strong interest in tech & and innovation, specifically exploring the intersection of technology with social work practices. She is also passionate about multicultural supervision & and ethics; ensuring diverse voices are heard, understood, and supported in supervision and consultation.

Lastly, Meagan is currently a DSW student at SUNY Buffalo.

Maeve McMahon, LMSW

Maeve McMahon is a Licensed Social Worker specializing in Pediatric Behavioral Health.

Maeve currently works at the Cleveland Clinic as a Pediatric Behavioral Health Social Worker and graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Work from Case Western University.

Course Outline:


  • Definition of School Avoidance and School Refusal
  • Importance of addressing the issue

Understanding the Causes

  • Appearance-related anxieties
  • Behavioral challenges
  • Emotional and psychological factors
  • Fear of ridicule or mockery
  • Social or evaluative situation avoidance

Impact of School Avoidance

  • Academic consequences
  • Social consequences
  • Isolation and lack of peer interaction
  • Emotional consequences

Role of Parents and Caregivers

  • Importance of active involvement
  • Collaboration with professionals
  • Addressing accommodations and reinforcements

Therapeutic Modalities and Interventions

  • Introduction to DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
  • Regular skills practice for students
  • SPACE: Focusing on Parent Accommodations
  • Importance of psychoeducation for parents

Practical Strategies and Solutions

  • Addressing the negative outcomes of excessive social media use
  • Encouraging alternative journaling methods (e.g., voice-to-text)
  • Emphasizing the difference between discomfort and danger

Course Creation Date: 10/22/23 

Requesting Accessibility Accommodations:

Please email [email protected] to request accessibility accommodations.

ACE Approval Statement: 

Agents of Change, #1919, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 7/26/2023 – 7/26/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1 continuing education credit.

System Requirements:

  • The most recent version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge browser
  • Javascript enabled
  • PDF plugin
  • Graphic and audio output capability
  • Broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 5Mbps (recommended)
  • TLS 1.2 supported by your web browser

Refund PolicyIn general, refunds will not be provided. However, if you do have any concerns or grievances, please contact us at the email address below. Registrants who do not complete their course(s) will not receive a refund. Registrants who purchased the course but did not achieve a passing grade will not receive a refund. The Agents of Change Grievance Policy can be viewed here.

Cancellation Policy: If an Agents of Change Continuing Education course is canceled, a full refund will be provided to all participants.

Please email [email protected] with any questions about the course.

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