Who am I?
After Qualifying as a Counsellor in 2006 and moved into Mental Health services. Working as an Independent Mental Health Advocate, specialising under the Mental Health Act. I then progressed into the management of different specialist services.
I spent the last few years in a Children's Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, PICU, with 11 to 18-year old’s who were detained under the Mental Health Act, supporting them as their Advocate. While working with these children I trained in Child Counselling and Child Behavioural Therapy.
In 2017 my personal circumstances changed and I needed support from schools for my own children. This help wasn’t there as my children were 'academic' I was unable to get any support for their emotional needs. One of my children spent almost a full school year excluded from the playground. My eldest was 'off rolled' to study from home when he was sitting his GCSE's.
There is still no provision for an early intervention service at an early stage for children who were showing signs of emotional distress.
This led me to further my professional development by training in Child behavioural Therapy and Child Counselling. I began to create a wellbeing service alongside Advocacy for children who are struggling to express their emotions and who had been on fixed-term exclusions.
So here we are today......
Advocacy Safeguards will ensure that we tackle all forms of inequality, discrimination and social exclusion. With a non-judgmental approach that respects the child's views and wishes.
An advocate would listen to the child or young person and they would have a secure environment with someone they trust. An advocate would be Independent from all services and would support them by informing them of their rights.
This Outreach Service is to safeguard a child at the earliest stages of behavioural concerns. Safeguarding is everybody's responsibility. The service would give a child the additional support and resources needed at the earliest opportunity to prevent being excluded from school.
This safe and flexible response service will focus on the child's current circumstances by actively listening to their needs, assess the mental wellbeing and aim is to safeguard the pupil within their school environment.
If the child is on a fixed-term exclusion at home I would visit them and look at how to support this child
It costs £30 for an Advocate to go into a school and meet a child for an hour. Speak to them and understand their needs and wishes. The service needs to also be Outreach in order to meet with children already excluded. All help would give the child a voice and help them feel that they are not alone.
In Tameside, there were 1197 children given a fixed-term exclusion last year and 67 of those children were permanently excluded.
Below are the most recent reports from the local newspaper;
11 Jan 2020 ... Last September, just two days into the new school year, Rudi was permanently excluded from St Malachy's RC Primary in Miles Platting aged ...9-year -old by permanently excluded
14 Dec 2019 ... 'Bringing knives or other offensive weapons onto school premises can ... permanently excluded for taking a knife-shaped keyring into school.9-year-old boy how stated he was being bullied before the incident that lead to a permanent exclusion
24 Sep 2019 ... A mum claims her daughter has been unfairly excluded from school after handing a multi-tool containing a knife over to her teachers. My daughter handed in a knife to her teacher - now she could be expelled
How will this service help children?
All children have the right to Independent Advocacy support which is in line with statutory requirements. Whether the incident was an extreme case and the child had to be permanently excluded they would still need emotional support as they would be isolated.
Children receive 1 hour a day of educational support following exclusion from school.
Yet why would we not have to provide a child with emotional support and an advocate to help them speak out?
Your pledge will support an Advocate to met with a child. Attend meetings and speak to the relevant teachers/professionals on their behalf. £30 would give a child an hours support and also go towards building the service up to get to children most at need.
An advocate would attend meetings and empower the child to speak about concerns. They will also ensure the child has a greater understanding of the behavioural policies in place. Advocacy Safeguards will help a pupil to understand the process of the school's behavioural policy.
Advocacy will help a child or young person to understand the process of a school behavioural policy and the potential consequences of their actions. The service will adapt to the needs of the child and give them beneficial tools to speak up about any issues they feel in a warm safe environment.