Family Support and Early Help
Family Support and Early Help
Early help refers to the offer of any information, advice or support to children, young people and their families as soon as possible in their lives, or when issues emerge, to help prevent problems from escalating.
At Our Lady & St Gerard's, we aim to provide the highest quality pastoral support for our children and families to reduce any barriers to learning and ensure that children achieve their full potential.
Our Pastoral Support team is made up of Mrs Berry (our Pupil & Family Support Worker) and Mrs Halsall. Miss Harvey (Deputy Headteacher & Inclusion Manager) and Mrs McNally (Headteacher & Safeguarding Lead) work closely with the Pastoral Team to ensure that any child, who may need pastoral support, gets the help and support they need.
The aims of pastoral support and Early Help at OLSG:
To support children to address social, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical needs.
To maintain an atmosphere in which children feel secure, are encouraged in their learning, growth and social development and know that they are valued within a healthy and safe environment.
To reassure parents/carers their children are being given additional support in a safe and nurturing environment.
To encourage pupils to recognise and reflect upon their own personal wellbeing and teach them ways that they can make positive steps to deal with difficult situations.
- To work with a range of stakeholders, parents, support staff, outreach agencies and other schools to ensure the continuity and progress of individual pupils.
The role of the Pastoral Support Team:
To support and work alongside parents in addressing pastoral concerns impacting on their child’s learning and development.
To work with staff in ensuring good pupil support and build upon the caring and respectful relationships that exist between staff, pupils and families.
To provide support to individual children - listening and talking to children who may need support with pastoral issues e.g. self-esteem and confidence, bereavement, managing feelings, anxieties/worries, separation and developing social and friendships skills.
Responding to situations as they arise within school.
Meeting with parents/carers to discuss issues relating to their child.
To ‘signpost’ families to outside services for appropriate provision and support.
How does the Pastoral Support Team work?
Sessions can be individual or in small groups and tailored to the child’s individual needs.
Sessions might include role-play, puppets, board games, art and craft, therapeutic or social stories and of course time to talk.
- A pupil’s progress will be reviewed regularly. Regular feedback will be shared with parents/carers and there will be elements of self-review to allow the child to reflect on their own progress.
Referrals for Pastoral Support:
Pupils – pupils can share worries with our Worry Monsters in class and can speak to their own class teacher. Any child in the school can ask to speak to our Pastoral Team if they have a problem or a worry at school or at home. They can do this by either approaching the team or by asking a member of staff. A suitable time will then be arranged to meet.
Parents/carers – if you have a pastoral concern regarding your child then you can phone the school, speak to your child’s class teacher or make an appointment to see a member of the Pastoral Team via the school office. Please call the School office on 01772 335025 or email: email@example.com to arrange an appointment.
School staff – a Pastoral Support Referral can be made and then a meeting with the pupil will be arranged depending on particular needs.
Our Early Help Offer at Our Lady and St Gerard’s
Parent/carer appointments – these can be face to face or over the phone.
Emotional support for children – 1:1 or small group sessions in school which could be a single session or a planned programme. Consent from parent/carers and the child is needed for these.
Early Help Assessment – An Early Help Assessment involves listening to parents/carers and the child/ren, to find out what is working well and what support may be needed. A plan is formulated in conjunction with the child and family, in order for professionals to work together and provide a package of support.
Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings or Multi-Agency Meetings (if no Early Help is open) – after an Early Help Assessment is completed, regular TAF meetings will be held with the family and other professionals to monitor the progress of support and to ensure the family are fully informed.
Referrals and signposting to outside agencies – for example, Child and Family Wellbeing Service, Children’s Social Care, CAMHS, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapy, Play therapy/counselling, Special Educational Needs support services etc.
Mrs Berry is in school full-time and you can contact her by ringing the school office on 01772 335025. She will always get back to you as quickly as she can, however during busy times this may take longer.
Advice and support provided to families by Mrs Berry is confidential, however, any safeguarding concerns will be managed in accordance with our school’s safeguarding policy. A copy of this is available on our website.
If you are experiencing a safeguarding emergency, please call Children’s or Adult Social Care 0300 1236720, or contact the police on 999.
Child Bereavement UK "Child Bereavement UK supports families when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement."
Samaritans "Offering a safe place for you to talk, any time you like, in your own way about whatever is going on in your life."
Youngminds "YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people."
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) "CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS are the NHS services that assesses and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties."
Gingerbread "We provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents."
Children and Family Wellbeing service - The Children and Family Wellbeing Service provide early help on a whole range of issues affecting you and your family. They provide targeted services for children and young people across the age range 0-19+. Working together with key partners, they aim to ensure that we have maximum impact on achieving positive outcomes for your family.
Domestic Abuse: Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. Witnessing domestic abuse can have lasting effects on children. If you are an adult experiencing domestic abuse, there are organisations that can help.
National Domestic Violence helpline: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
Men's advice line: https://mensadviceline.org.uk/
Anna Freud - The overarching aim of our services is to build resilience and to help children, young people and families who are in distress.