The service is designed to be flexible so that we can tailor it to meet the specific needs of the school community. We know that a school serving a coastal population in Blackpool will have different needs to an urban school in Newham and our delivery model adapts to meet those varying needs. However, the following key features ensure we deliver a high-quality service to your school and community.
Whatever it takes
Our service is not time limited. Families are all different and we work with them to identify their needs and provide a personalised plan to overcome them. In some cases, only a short intervention is needed, whereas in other more complex cases, practitioners can be providing support over a longer period of time.
Our practitioners are trained to work within boundaries and casework supervision reinforces this. All cases are reviewed regularly to ensure that positive movement is happening. We also ensure the children and families do not become dependent on the support of the practitioner and instead are supported to increase their resilience and independence.
Building a bridge between school and home
We specialise in building effective relationships with parents who are not engaging with the school. SHS practitioners use a range of methods to build trust with families, including visiting parents at their home or in the community where they feel more comfortable. One of the key challenges is supporting parents to overcome their negative perceptions of school, which are often rooted in their own experiences at school.
Developing parenting skills
We recognise the vital role parents play in their child’s education. Some parents need help and encouragement to be able to give this support to their children. SHS practitioners work with parents to improve some of the key parenting skills they need to ensure their child is able to thrive and achieve at school. We continually reinforce the importance of education and the role that they need to play in it. This may include encouraging parents to take an active interest in what their child is learning at school and to read at home with their child, as well as delivering workshops on how parents can support their child’s literacy and numeracy.
“Best thing I ever did was employ SHS. I can sleep at night now knowing my most vulnerable children are being looked after brilliantly.”
Sue Harte, Headteacher, John Stainer Community Primary School
Tackling barriers to learning
There are many families who face a range of complex needs which prevents them from giving their child’s education the focus it needs and often results in their children having poor attendance and/or behaviour at school. This can include mental and physical health issues, poor or inadequate housing, domestic violence and poverty. SHS practitioners work with the whole family to identify and tackle these issues, working in partnership with a range of community services and agencies to ensure that children and families get the specialist support they need.
Developing character and resilience
We know that when a child is trying to cope with complex needs at home, it can cause issues at school, either through increased absence or behavioural issues in the classroom. SHS practitioners work closely with children to give them the skills to overcome these barriers and thrive at school. Practitioners run a variety of group sessions to build self-esteem and confidence, whilst also supporting children to develop positive relationships with friends and teachers. We also work hard to increase the aspirations of children and parents so that they see the full range of opportunities available to them.
SHS places the highest priority on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All our staff work closely with schools and local authorities to ensure that any safeguarding cases are delivered using best practice and SHS recognises that effective inter-agency work is key to safeguarding children. Read SHS’s safeguarding statement.