13-year old Laura lives at home with her parents, two younger brothers, and her paternal grandparents. She was referred to a School-Home Support Practitioner, Danielle, in November 2019 because she was being regularly excluded from school. She had also refused to move to another school on a trial basis, and was also going missing from home. Her parents were very worried about her.
Our holistic approach in practice
Laura’s School-Home Support Practitioner Danielle, started off by getting to know the young girl. They started to work together to identify the issues that were presenting in her behaviour. Laura revealed that her relationship with her family had broken down, and she was struggling to manage her behaviour in school. She had been suffering from panic attacks. There were also concerns about the friendships and sexual relationships that she had.
Laura’s safety was the first port of call for Danielle. She worked with Laura on assessing risks and gave guidance on how to stay safe outside of the home. Our support prioritised discussions and advice on friendships and relationships. Advice was also given to Laura’s parents on who to contact when she went missing, including external agencies.
Danielle gave Laura opportunities to share her thoughts and feelings. They also assessed Laura’s exclusions from school – and discussed how this could be prevented in the future, both from how Laura could approach it as well as the support she needs in such situations.
Over time Laura began to feel more comfortable around Danielle, and discussed her mental health. Danielle encouraged Laura to get additional help, and supported Laura and her Mum attending appointments as and when needed. They also completed work on the risks of smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Over the course of a year, Laura’s work with Danielle has really paid off. Laura has seen huge improvements both in school and at home. Her relationships at home with her family have got better, and she’s much more receptive to the boundaries her Mum and Dad set for her. She is also much more willing to help herself, and knows where and how to get support when she needs it.
Laura is also much more selective of who she makes friends with, and understands the risks associated with certain behaviours (such as smoking, drinking or taking drugs). She engaged really well in school between September and December 2020 and was not excluded once. Danielle is very pleased with the progress Laura has made.
When her relationship with School-Home Support came to an end, Laura was sad, but she realises how much progress she has made. She wants to continue the work she started with School-Home Support and we cannot wait to see where her progress leads her.
How can you help?
There are lots of children out there like Laura who could really benefit from the help of a School-Home Support Practitioner like Danielle. School is a safe space for so many children in this country. With schools shut for so many due to the latest COVID-19 lockdown, this means children are not being seen. This worries us more than ever before.
We want to make sure that vulnerable children continue to be seen, and to remove the barriers they face in accessing their education. In order to do that we need your help today. Please consider donating to our urgent appeal with HELLO! Magazine here.