Rocio Barnes is the Home School Link Worker for Queen Eleanor’s School. She works within QE on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you would like to contact the HSLW please email the school office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your message will be delivered to Rocio.
What does a Home School Link Worker do?
At Queen Eleanor’s our aim is for all children to be happy and secure and fulfilling their potential. Sometimes however there are barriers to this happening which are outside the school’s usual remit. Situations at home can often impact on how a child feels and functions at school, friendship and security issues can sometimes become a block to learning and inappropriate behaviour (for whatever reason) will often prevent children from making progress.
The role of the HSLW is to work with individual children and their families to try to break down some of these barriers to learning and wellbeing. The range of needs that may need addressing are huge and so the support that is given will be different for every child. However it usually involves regular one to one sessions with a child, with the regularity depending upon the need. During the sessions the HSLW identifies the issues with the child and then works towards implementing strategies which will help them to overcome these barriers. It is important for the HSLW to work closely with a child’s family to ensure that everyone is able to work together towards a solution.
Sometimes a child will only need a few sessions before they feel the issue has been dealt with, but for other children the support is longer term.
Who might benefit from the work of the Home School Link Worker?
The list below is not exhaustive but most of the children and families that the HSLW works with would fall into one of these categories.
• Children who are withdrawn or anxious.
• Parents/carers experiencing difficulties in managing their child’s behaviour.
• Parents/carers whose children are not attending school or who have been excluded.
• Parents/carers and children who are reacting to change, such as parental separation or bereavement.
• Parents/carers who may need support on a wide range of issues impacting on their family life eg. illness, separation, domestic violence, bereavement, unemployment.
What can a Home School Link Worker do to help?
• One to one support and advice.
• Therapeutic sessions with children and families.
• Helping families to access other resources and agencies that might be able to help.
• Support groups for parents/carers.
How can pupils and families get this help?
There are many ways a child can be referred to the Home School Link Worker:
• Children themselves can ask to see the Home School Link Worker by speaking to their teacher, speaking to the Home School Link Worker if they see them in school, or by filling in one of the HSLW message forms that are available in the school office.
• Parents and carers can ask to see the Home School Link Worker by filling in the HSLW message form in the school office.
• Members of staff at the school can refer a child to the HSLW.
The HSLW aims to make contact within 10 days of receiving a message form.
They will always seek parental permission before they start working regularly with a child.
The HSLW is often involved in running Parenting workshops for parents and carers of the children at Onslow Infants, Queen Eleanor’s and Guildford County School. Parents who have attended these sessions have found them extremely helpful as both a source of good ideas and strategies, and an opportunity to discuss with other parents the parenting issues that they face.
Look out for dates of parenting workshops on the school newsletters.