How we help children and families

How we help children and families

This page is about how we help children, young people and families through our settings-based work. If you’re a family member looking for support, and SHS is not currently working with your school or education setting, please click here to recommend us.

We are the only charity in England that works holistically with the entire family to improve a child’s education and life chances. We understand that problems beyond the classroom affect a child’s ability to be in school and ready to learn. Working with the family around a child is the most effective way to make tangible, sustainable, positive change.

To ensure children can do their best in education, SHS practitioners are there to support the whole family with any issues they are facing. This could include issues with housing, concerns about money, or support with family relationships. SHS Practitioners listen so that they understand the full picture, and then work with families to get a personalised plan in place. The plan might include:

  • Providing support with housing or benefits issues
  • Helping to improve family relationships and enhance parenting skills
  • Attending classes or groups 
  • Helping parents/carers work more closely with other staff at school including their children’s teachers
  • Actively engaging the family to access other useful services
  • Providing support to the children in school
  • Providing financial support through the SHS Welfare Fund to buy essential items such as school uniforms, travel tickets, cookers or washing machines.

 

‘Working with my SHS Practitioner Wendy has helped me a lot. She is someone I can trust and talk all my bad problems away. I’ve started to come to school more because I know if something’s wrong I can trust Wendy. If it wasn’t for SHS, I wouldn’t be here.’
– Jonathan, aged 17, who improved their attendance by 30.6%

Our support is not time-limited

Every family is different. Therefore, support lasts for as long as the family needs it. We work with parents/carers to equip them with the information and skills required to ensure their children are in school, ready to learn, with the whole family back on track.

How we help families with complex needs

Our person-centred model is based on our expertise in engaging families. We know that in order to transform the lives of vulnerable families, we need to understand the root causes of their concerns. We provide joined-up support alongside community services and agencies so that families get the specialised support they need. We don’t just signpost families to other services, but actively support them to engage and make the most of every referral.

SHS Practitioners: a reliable source of support

Our expert SHS practitioners work on the frontline with vulnerable families. We base them in schools and communities around the UK. They develop a family’s resilience and use resourcefulness, persistence and tenacity to build trust with even the hardest of families to engage. Practitioners are often the one consistent, reliable source of support for families who have dealt with multiple professionals with varying success. The trust we build with families who are initially hostile to school and authority figures is a testament to the positive, lasting differences we make in the lives of those we support.

Other ways we support families:

SHS Welfare Fund
Providing fast, practical support to families in desperate need of essential items.

Corporate engagement
Including raising aspirations and support with employment.

DIY SHS
Transforming the homes of families we support with our corporate volunteers.

Summer support
The summer holidays can be extremely stressful, so we continue to support families even during the long school breaks.

Transition support
Our innovative Ready for School programme works with families to make sure that they are fully prepared for their children to start at school.

‘Troubled Families’ government programme
Working in communities, practitioners work with families to solve a range of complex issues, from health issues to school attendance and anti-social behaviour.

 

This varied and valuable support for families is made possible when a child’s school opts for the SHS Practitioner service.

Are you a family member looking for help from SHS?

Are you a school interested in SHS services?