Our statistics – work in schools.
During the year bccs, collates statistics on the number of referrals processed, sessions held with children, home visits and agency meetings. Last year, we increased the number of schools we were offering a service to and took on more workers. Consequently, the number of referrals leapt up along with the number of individual sessions with children and young people.
In discussion with the Social Workers and Counsellors, there is a general consensus that the work is steadily becoming more complex and intensive. With thresholds becoming ever higher in the statutory sector there is evidence to support that some children and family cases, that may have been dealt with by social care a couple of years ago, are now being supported and contained by the voluntary sector.
The increasing complexity of the work (an example is the number of ‘looked after’ children that are now referred to us for counselling and support) means that children spend longer periods with our workers. As an example, last year, the average number of sessions per child/young person was 8.5. This year the number of sessions increased to over 10 sessions per child/young person. The number of home visits increased by 31% and the number of professional meetings increased by 23%. We are having to find innovative ways of managing referrals that we cannot immediately allocate.
Our workers all have professional qualifications and over half of our workers have post-qualifying certificated qualifications in direct work with children and families, such as systemic working and cognitive behaviour therapy with young people. They have the experience and skills to work with children and families with multiple problems.
The pie chart below demonstrates the number of referrals, individual sessions, home visits and professional meetings.
The work undertaken with children and young people in our schools in Essex and East London is wide ranging and most of the time very complex. During the past year, we gathered data on the types of problems that are being referred to our Social Workers and Counsellors. We thought it might interest you to know the most commonly referred issues and concerns.
The bar graph below illustrates this and you can see that emotional health, behaviour, anxiety and family separation comprise nearly 70% of all referrals. It can be argued that these four concerns are inextricably linked. For example, family separation can have a detrimental effect on a child or young person’s behaviour, their emotional health and levels of anxiety.
Emotional health is a more encompassing issue as emotions play a central part of our daily lives. The way children think and feel and respond to life events and stresses, and their ability to succeed, learn and thrive are strongly influenced by their emotional responses. Emotional health impacts on all aspects of a child’s life and all that happens in school.
In partnership with the school, bccs should be able to pick up problems as they arise and offer the right kind of help. Signs that may need further investigation in terms of children’s emotional health include:
- Difficult behaviour (lack of interest, school avoidance, truanting or fluctuations in mood).
- Poor interactions with family and peers.
- Not achieving in school.
- Being upset a lot.
- Not sleeping well.