From our extensive experience of working directly with children and young people we know that they are often most comfortable and more open to change when in a familiar, non-stigmatising environment. This is why we work with them in their schools and homes.
Family Action’s schools and education services are proven to achieve positive outcomes particularly if problems are identified at an early stage. Our services improve children’s emotional health and wellbeing, and parents and carers are empowered to feel confident in their parenting. All this contributes to children and young people succeeding at school, achieving their full potential and leading happy, fulfilled lives free from poverty and isolation.
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We work with:
- Children and families affected by mental health problems, substance misuse or domestic abuse.
- Families who have a poor relationship with school, which is affecting a child’s ability to learn.
- Children experiencing bereavement and loss.
- Children whose responsibilities at home (caring for a relative, for example) are affecting their ability to learn.
- Children with low self esteem or who appear isolated at school.
- Children being bullied at school.
- Children with special educational needs.
- Children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect or whose adoption is at risk of breakdown.
We provide a range of services which include:
Family Support in Schools
Our family support workers provide 1:1 help during school hours with children and young people referred to us by a school. Support workers engage with children to build confidence and self-esteem, establish routines and tackle behavioural issues. As well as 1:1 support we work with families to help them understand the school system, understand their child’s educational needs and develop ways to tackle why a child is not, or does not want to, attend school.
An internal evaluation of Family Action’s services showed that school attendance increased by an average of 4% from 84% at referral to 88% at closure. Also, our data showed that where education issues were a reason for referral, school attendance increased on average from 79% at referral to 85% at closure (85% school attendance being a key figure for success at school).
Our Space Service
Our Space is a self-referral, lunchtime support service for children in Years three to six. Focusing on social and emotional wellbeing at school, it provides a space for children to bring issues they are finding difficult – including sleeping problems, relationships and conflicts, self-confidence and learning worries – to a Family Action practitioner, who is trained in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). The support empowers children to discuss and deal with their issues quickly and effectively, applying communication and decision making techniques which enable them to define their own solutions.
Our six SENDIASS Services support parents of children with SEND aged 0-25 years during the school term time. The services also offer training to schools and governors and often support for parents to discuss issues relating to their child’s special needs (eg support in the classroom, investigating if further support is needed, exclusion, transition to a new school).
Childcare in Schools
Between 2013 and 2015 Family Action supported schools across England to set up affordable and flexible childcare. The following year we supported school-based early years settings to develop more inclusive childcare practices for children with special needs and disabilities (SEND). Learning and resources from both Department for Education funded projects can be found on The Learning Exchange website: www.learning-exchange.org.uk.
Targeted Mental Health in Schools Services
Family Action’s Targeted Mental Health in Schools Service (TaMHS) team have developed a range of strategies, resources and interventions to support schools in responding to the emotional wellbeing needs of their pupils. Developed by experienced practitioners, the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Toolkit for Schools, for instance, provides school staff with the knowledge and confidence to respond to concerns about children and young people’s emotional wellbeing. We provide full training in the use of the toolkit and can offer a tailored service if required.
Children’s Therapeutic Services
Family Action provides Children’s Therapeutic Services on a spot purchase basis. These services cover Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire and Derby. Do you know a child or young person who has experienced trauma through abuse, neglect or loss, or whose adoption is at risk of breakdown? Family Action can provide targeted support for individual children aged 5 to 18, including a wide range of creative and talking interventions, provided by highly experienced and well qualified social workers and therapists. To find out more, phone 07469 660503 or email Leicester@family-action.org.uk.
Support for Young Carers
Our Young Carers services link with schools to improve and provide support for young carers. We help schools develop action plans and policies through the use of the Young Carers Charter. We also offer 1:1 support for young carers in schools, and training and consultancy to teachers on recognising and understanding the needs of young carers.
School Health and Advice Service (SHAS)
Family Action’s School Health and Advice Service (SHAS) works in partnership with the School Health Advisory Service (School Nursing). A SHAS Worker will work with families/young people for up to six weeks within the home, school or clinic setting via telephone, text or face-to face contact to offer practical support and strategies to help manage children’s behaviour, encourage and support families to develop effective relationships with school, and signpost to services which can offer additional support – with the target of increasing school attendance. The service covers the Birmingham area and referrals are only accepted via a School Health Advisor. Phone 0121 427 9791 to find out more.
The East Midlands Adoption Support Service (EMASS) pilot is being funded by the Department for Education (DfE) until March 2018. EMASS is working in partnership with a number of local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to ensure adopted children and those with attachment-based difficulties and their families in the East Midlands receive the support they need. Visit www.learning-exchange.org.uk to find out more.
Our Families First project provides outreach support to all Islington primary schools through link workers who: attend Team Around the School meetings representing all Islington Early Help services; support planning around improving attendance together with the school’s attendance officers; attend coffee mornings and parents’ evenings to raise the profile of Families First; deliver tailored workshops on parenting and routines as agreed with each school.
The Lincolnshire Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS) works with schools and other partners to equip young people with the tools they need to be ready to learn and promote inclusion. To find out more, phone 01522 684769 or email Lincolnshireboss@family-action.org.uk
Download our training flyer, which highlights workshops for schools and academies across Lincolnshire. These focus on improving support for pupils that display behaviour that challenges. For details of free training events for schools, visit our Training page.
Training and Consultancy
Family Action offers a wide range of open workshops, in-house training and consultancy for schools. Examples include: Mental Health First Aid (Youth); Introduction to Emotional Wellbeing and Child Mental Health in Schools; Death, Grief and Bereavement; Pathological Demand Avoidance Awareness; Looking After Teachers. Please visit our Training and Consultancy page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
National Association of Head Teachers
Family Action was the charity of choice for the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) from May 2013-2015 and together we produced our Ready to Learn Every Day campaign. The campaign utilised Family Action’s parenting expertise and our experience of home-based support. It was disseminated through the NAHT’s 28,500 member schools – meaning together we have had a demonstrable impact on young people’s education. You can access all our leaflets and read more about the Ready to Learn Everyday campaign here.