Chape -Brasenose CollegeTHE OXFORD SYMPOSIUM is an annual, transnational forum of exchange and collaboration; it exists to bring together the diverse and international “invisible college” of practitioners, researchers and theorists in the emergent field of School-Based Family Counseling.

The model is a synthesis of mental health approaches used in schools and with families. School-Based Family Counseling emphasizes a family systems approach and is goal-defined by its focus on promoting the academic success and personal growth of children counseled in school and other settings. School-Based Family Counseling is practiced by: social workers, counselors, psychologists, marital and family therapists, psychiatrists, special educators, and (for some functions) teachers.


THE OXFORD SYMPOSIUM is an invited, residential conference limited to 15-20 members living together in community.
The intimate format provides for a friendly, informal “think-tank” atmosphere highly conducive to multi-level information exchange. While the Symposium’s home is in Oxford, England, an established international destination in innovation and the dissemination of knowledge, the intention of the International Council for School-Based Family Counseling is for the Symposium to travel across the globe.



THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL for School-Based Family Counseling is an outgrowth of the Oxford Symposium; the Council facilitates ongoing transnational collaboration between Symposium Members in teaching and in researching methodologies for improving the lived experience of children and families.


SCHOOL-BASED FAMILY COUNSELING presents a compelling vision of integration across the worlds in which our children live and across the disciplines within which helping professionals are categorized. However such an integration also presents complex challenges for professionals, both at a conceptual and a practical level. For example: what kind of helping professionals can best provide services and what kind of training do they require? What strategies of intervention are most effective and what rationale should underpin them? How does SBFC fit into different cultural and national contexts?

To best serve all stake holders, including at-risk children and families and also policymakers, it is necessary to articulate the vision of School-Based Family Counseling in an international context and to identify and highlight both the conceptual and practical challenges and the avenues for meeting these which can be demonstrated to offer most help and hope. SYMPOSIUM MEMBERS are eligible to join one of four International Research Divisions:

DIVISION MEMBERS work together to identify salient research issues in School-Based Family Counseling and to develop and seek funding for collaborative, transnational research projects drawing on perspectives and illustrative data from a variety of national and cultural contexts. Project results are intended for presentation at ensuing Oxford Symposia to provide focus and stimulus for deliberations and ongoing development of the model.