Many schools in the Essex and East London area currently benefit from having a dedicated BCCS worker who delivers vital mental health services and emotional wellbeing services in the school setting. These workers are fully qualified and experienced mental health professionals and social workers who conduct thorough assessments and provide expert advice and support to school staff, parents and families.
Why is this important?
As we are a consistent and accessible presence in school, we can respond quickly and effectively should the need arise. Early intervention is key in alleviating a child’s emotional burden and allows them to access the curriculum and be a fully functioning member of the school environment.
We pride ourselves in working alongside school staff to support their understanding as to a pupil’s emotional wellbeing and our presence, not as a member of school staff, but as a counsellor or social worker, ensures our relationship with children is different.
We strive to be flexible enough to fit within the systems that the school already has in place and aim to support the ethos and principles of the school in doing this.
How does it work?
Often referred to as a Service Level Agreement (SLA), we have a formal commitment with many schools to provide weekly sessions in school to children and young people who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. These needs may be complex and have been previously identified by school staff and referred to us for our professional support. The school nominates a dedicated member of staff to liaise with the BCCS social worker or counsellor regarding the pupil’s development.
During these weekly sessions, the pupils are able to express themselves in a familiar space which is at the same time confidential and therapeutic. Our workers aim to empower students to make their own decisions and to build confidence, independence and resilience. We continue to work with students for as long as it is deemed professionally necessary.
Where necessary our worker will further liaise with the school, parents/carer and other professionals in order to plan the best way forward for the child. Our workers remain neutral and non-judgemental in all dealings with children and young people and offer advice and support to schools in relation to safeguarding matters.
Our team contains a wealth of experience and training. We have Child and Adolescent Therapists, Art Psychotherapists, Play Therapists, Parental Therapists, a Family Therapist and Clinical Supervisors. Our team is supported by our Head of School Services and Deputy Head of School Services.
All our social workers and counsellors receive regular supervision and training as part of their professional development. This allows us to provide the most effective service possible in the best interest of the child.
Our work is holistic
Our work evolves in line with demand and need. As such, the work we provide in schools is increasingly holistic in nature and includes:
- 1:1 therapy for students
- Process groups around identified themes
- Consultation for staff
- Classroom observations around behaviour
- Staff Supervision
- Staff Therapy
Please click here for an article from a former headteacher about the work of one of our counsellors in her school.
Should you require further information about having a dedicated BCCS worker in your school, please email Catherine Munns, our Head of School Services, for further information.
At all times, BCCS workers aim to adhere to the 1989 Children’s Act that states:
The welfare of the child is paramount and the wishes and feelings of the child must be taken into consideration.