What was the situation?
13 year old Fleur was referred to School-Home Support because her attendance was just 49%. This means she was classed as severely absent and was missing more than half of her education. Fleur was being severely bullied and this had had a significant impact on her mental health. She was having panic attacks, self-harming, and when she reached crisis point, she attempted suicide. Fleur didn’t go back to school for a couple of months after her attempted suicide, and she had struggled to regularly attend school ever since.
How did School-Home Support help?
School-Home Support practitioner Lee worked with Fleur to build her resilience and start spending more time in school again. Lee made sure that Fleur was accessing all of the mental health support that she needed, including support through CAMHS, counselling, and support from the school nurse.
By providing regular one-to-one support to Fleur, Lee supported her to develop coping strategies for when she felt low or unable to attend school. As well as this, Lee kept regular contact with Fleur’s mum over the phone, and kept school updated on how Fleur was doing.
Lee applied to Buttle UK, an external charity which makes grants to young people in crisis, to secure funding for items and activities that would support Fleur’s mental wellbeing. This included family days out, leisure centre passes and bikes for her and her brothers. Not only this, but through the grant, Lee was able to purchase Fleur a laptop for her to do her homework and keep engaged with school even if she didn’t always feel she was able to attend.
Lee has also been supporting Fleur to move to a new school, so she can have a fresh start away from the setting she was bullied in.
In the two months that Lee has been supporting Fleur so far, her attendance has already increased to 52% and she is starting to feel more confident in school, knowing she has someone to go to when she is having a difficult time. Lee will continue to support Fleur to get her attendance back up and make the most of her education, and we expect to see Fleur’s attendance improve even more over the rest of the school year.
Fleur’s Mum said: “You have come at the right time for my family. It’s good to have someone on our side who isn’t judging us but listens and reacts to our needs.”