Early Help

Early Help

At Dormston we understand that from time to time family life can have its complications. These may be the times when you need some extra help and support.

To support and advise you at such times we have an Early Help Offer.

What support do we offer?

The Behaviour and Welfare Team at Dormston School can offer advice on a range of concerns or can signpost parents/carers to other sources of information, help and support.

What sort of concerns might parents/carers share with our team?

A wide range of issues such as behaviour management, financial worries and debts, domestic abuse, housing concerns, mobility difficulties, parents in prison, bereavement and loss, cyber bullying – in fact any concerns which you are worried might be having a negative impact on your children.

What might we offer in response to your concerns?

We have specialist staff trained in numerous areas and bespoke intervention packages are run to support pupils on an individual and group basis.  These range from Early Interventions to Early Help. Two of our staff are Mental Health First Aiders and will be supportive in recognising that mental health concerns may underpin some social, emotional and behavioural issues and will help families to seek appropriate support. One of our team is a bereavement mentor and will support pupils who experience bereavement and loss. School mentors are also in place to offer regular support and guidance to pupils who are vulnerable or finding school or home life a challenge. Triple P parenting courses, which offer support and guidance for parents struggling with challenging behaviour at home, have also been run and can be commissioned again if parents express an interest in accessing this at school.

For attendance concerns support through school will be offered and if required the Educational Welfare Officer will be brought in for further help.

Outside counsellors are referred to for additional support.

How might the support be managed?

There are a range of ways of delivering support. Informal pastoral support meetings with a record of conversation might be all that is required. Character Development and Behaviour Support Plans and /or Risk Assessments can be used to support individual pupils. For pupils at risk of exclusion a Pastoral Support Plan could also be initiated which involves frequent meetings between school, home and pupils to work together on agreed targets.

If referral to the Early Help team is requested the school will complete the referral with the parents/carers and if accepted there will be Team Around the Child meeting set up to plan and action the support required through a multi- agency team.

How will safeguarding procedures be effective in supporting families?

Dormston has three trained Designated Safeguarding Leads. All staff are trained to identify and report safeguarding concerns. Where concerns are raised the school will follow the reporting procedures. Behaviour and Welfare Team will work with families and all relevant agencies through Child in Need or Child Protection teams to reduce and remove identified risks to children. Support will be given to families by social workers and other relevant agencies including school.

How will our pupils learn to keep themselves safe?

Curriculum provision and additional work from outside agencies provide education for pupils on how to recognise signs of potential abuse and keeping themselves safe.  Bespoke safeguarding issues will also be covered as part of your child’s PSHE provision and regular safeguarding assemblies and the weekly power point will also remind children of how to identify risk and keep themselves safe. Children are also made aware of the role of the Pastoral Team in supporting them.

Drop in sessions are also run by our Anti Bullying Ambassadors and Stay Student Safe Committee for children who wish to talk to a peer in the first instance.

A safeguarding noticeboard is situated in the atrium containing useful information, guidance and contact numbers.  Pupils can also find safeguarding reminders in their student planner.

Who might the school refer to?

The Early Help Team

Children and Young People’s Services

Counselling services

School Nurse

Speech and Language Therapist

Educational Psychologist

Phase Trust

Banardos

Switch

WHAT centre

Base25

Young Carers

SENCO Team

Navigate

Sendias

Local Authority Family Services team

Educational Welfare Officer

Signposting: agencies the school might suggest as sources of further support

Citizens Advice Bureau

GP

Occupational Therapists

Paediatricians

Children and Young People’s Services

The Early Help Team

Speech and Language Therapist

School Nurse

Young Carers

Freedom Project

Housing Associations

Food Bank

Sendias – formerly known as parent partnership

Children’s Centre

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service

When should I contact the school?

Parents/carers should contact their child’s Head of House as soon as they have a concern which is affecting their child(ren). We will always try to see you quickly or to give you a call to find out what the problem is and arrange to meet and discuss it with you.

Policies

School policies are available on our website or paper copies can be requested from the school office.

Relevant policies include:

Special Education Needs and Disability Policy

Positive Behaviour Policy