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Supporting children and students with cancer

This page outlines how education staff, care services, parents, guardians, and health professionals work together to manage a child or student with cancer in education and care settings.

About cancer

Cancer is the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells which invade and destroy local tissues and eventually may spread to other parts of the body.

Find out more about cancer including:

  • identifying symptoms
  • what to do if symptoms appear
  • related links to further information.

Health support plans and agreements

If the child or student has cancer, the education or care service should refer to health support planning for children and students in education and care settings to ensure that the appropriate plans and agreements are in place. This is in addition to the cancer-specific plans and agreements listed on this page. 

Care plan

An oncology care plan – HSP350 (DOCX 218KB) should be completed by a health professional in consultation with parents or legal guardians, and accompanied by intravenous care instructions – HSP351 (DOC 590KB) to support staff and provide first aid strategies for children and young people with an IV. 

Emergency care and first aid procedures

An individual first aid plan – HSP124 (DOC 167KB) should be completed by a health professional where the first aid response is not the standard first aid response for cancer.

All education and care staff must provide first aid measures following any care plan or support agreement and contact emergency services if required.

Training for education and care staff

Schools, preschools and other care services must have at least one designated first aider trained in emergency first aid response available at all times.

Professional development programs

EDMed offers training for education and care services to support children with a diverse range of illnesses and develop strategies for a smooth transition back to school. 

To request a free face-to-face EDMed professional development session complete the online EDMed enquiry form.

Cancer education programs

Camp Quality offers a fun and free program to assist teachers to develop their students understanding of cancer. Education and care staff can book online by completing the request form

Training for parents and children

The Ronald McDonald Learning Program is a national program helping children with serious illness catch up on their missed education following hospital stays and absences from education services. For more information on the learning program complete the online request form.

How parents and caregivers can help

Parents or guardians must:

  • notify the school, preschool or care service if their child has cancer
  • complete health care plans and agreements with their health care professionals and provide them to the school, preschool or care service
  • provide required medication to the school, preschool or care service.

If a medication agreement is in place, parents and caregivers must fulfil the roles and responsibilities outlined on the medication management and care page.

How health professionals can help

Health professionals support schools, preschools, care services and families by helping to develop the care plans and supporting medication and care agreements mentioned on this page.

Disability advice and research

Phone: 8226 0515
Email: education.health [at] sa.gov.au