I am doing my placement with the earlyhelp team in one of the Boroughs of london .
The Early Help Service works in partnership with other professionals, parents and carers to intervene early when families need more support. The aim is to address problems at the earliest opportunity – before they can escalate – and to enable families to support their children to reach their full potential.
Early intervention may occur at any point. The Early Help approach is underpinned by an Early Help assessment and a team around the family meeting. Early Help supports families with children and young people aged 0 to 19 and up to 25 with a disability.
I worked with a headteacher to support a child who doesn’t like going in to school according to mum . This service user is always late to school . The service user is 7 years old and parents are divorced but they do share custody .
After thorough investigation I found out that the service user is only late when she is at moms place. And never late when she’s with Dad .
When I contacted the school to inform them that the case has been allocated to me i was very nervous initially. I contemplated on saying I am a student social worker on placement with the early help team , I wanted to just mention my name and say I am working with the early help team . but I did mention that I am a student social worker and explaind that in will be working with the family .
The headteacher was very accommodating, she explained to me in details about their concerns that the service user Is mostly late to school and miss a lot of morning lessons which is affecting her performance academically . They tried to speak to her but she isn’t saying anything. The headteacher also confirmed to me that sometimes she doesn’t even come to school and mum gives no reason which they have told mum that they will give her a fine if that continues . Under the law every child in Uk ages 5-16 is required by law to attend school .
The headteacher also informed me that the child sometimes doesn’t come to school with lunch and she isn’t entitled to school dinners . I was really concerned about this because I had to make sure that it was not a Children act Section 47 case because of its section 47 I would I have report the case .
After being allocated the case I got consent from the parents to work with them and also to speak to the daughter. In early help there is what we call voice of the child . In every assessment you will need voice of the child also the Voice of the Child is a very important part of every assessment as children need to be clearly heard in decisions about their future. When working with children or young people it is essential to gain a clear picture of their wishes, thoughts and feelings.
the right of a child or young person to be heard is included in the UN Convention of Rights
the Children’s Act 2004 emphasises the importance of speaking to the child or young person as part of any assessment
the importance of speaking to a child or young person and gathering their views has been consistently highlighted in lessons learned from serious case reviews.
It was hard to get her to open up to me . But at last she told me that she’s always scared at moms place because mom sleeps down stairs and she’s the only one that sleeps upstairs . It takes her along time to fall as sleep and she finds it difficult to wake up in the morning and go to school .
The technique I used for the service user is to open up is called the “three Houses” .
We came up with a plan on how to help the service user address the lateness and not coming with lunch .
The headteacher and I worked with the family to see how the service user can catch up on missing lessons . the headteacher acknowledged my role as a social work student and even though she had lots of experience she didn’t make me feel like I am just a student .