Barnardo’s Scotland services working in partnership with schools have been in touch with head teachers and class teachers to check what support is needed. Lots of schools have requested we increase our reach so more families can access the practical and emotional supports from our Family Support Workers. This has meant more people are able to get help with essentials like; food, IT equipment, wellbeing activities, regular chats over the phone and video, doorstep visits, and support to access local hubs.
Emergency Payments and financial support...
Along with our partners at Action for Children, we were delighted to secure funding from the Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund to enable us to extend our support to children and families.
In addition to the provision of digital resources, technology, food parcels and other practical supports, our family support workers have delivered lots of telephone contact, facilitated online groups, undertaken doorstep visits, delivered essential medicines, had safe, socially distanced walks with young people to keep them physically and mentally healthy as well as giving parents a bit of respite.
Barnardos Edinburgh Community Support Services (BECSS) is a joint initiative between Barnardo’s and City of Edinburgh Council.
BECSS is a multi-disciplinary team providing direct support to children and families to ensure that as many primary-aged children with social, emotional and behavioural needs as possible can remain in their own schools, families and communities, wherever that is safe and appropriate.
The aim of BECSS
To ensure that as many primary aged children with emotional and behavioural problems as possible can remain in their own schools and families wherever safe and appropriate.
The objectives of BECSS
- To provide a community based multi-disciplinary assessment of children and their families, and recommended appropriate services to meet assessed needs.
- To assist children with behavioural difficulties to maintain their place in their own school.
- To provide assistance to parents/carers of children with behavioural difficulties at home, which enables them to gain confidence and promotes their parental responsibilities.
- To promote whole class and whole school approaches, working with others, towards including the child positively in school.
- To work collaboratively with external agencies, promoting a multi-disciplinary/multi-agency approach.
- To offer a range of help to parents through groupwork, family therapy, counselling, parenting skills, time-limited focused work and relationship therapy.
- To help individual children through a range of interventions including play therapy, groupwork including nurture/seasons for growth, managing feelings, playground support and peer relationships.
- To offer support to families out of school e.g. holiday play schemes, individual work with children, after-school clubs etc.
The team's role with families is crucial in working closely with teachers and parents to ensure consistency between school and home, and to enable parents to improve relationships and meet their children’s developmental needs. A strong multi-disciplinary approach greatly enhances the service received by the family and school. Community support workers are experienced in work within the school setting and also providing support in the community.
What we do
We believe that each area of the child’s life impacts on other areas and we therefore take a systemic approach to working with the child and the family. An important part of the child’s experience is their schooling and we therefore spend a lot of time supporting schools as well as the child and family to look at what changes are necessary to engage and maintain the child in mainstream education.
To do this we use a a variety of methods to achieve this aim including:
- Systemic family therapy.
- Counselling including sleep and g-map counselling.
- Family and individual work.
- Team teaching.
- Curricular support, volunteer befriending, playground support, sibling work, class support and whole classwork.
- Groupwork: self-esteem, anger management, social skills, peer negotiation, conflict resolution etc.
- Holiday and community activities.