Family Support, Well Being & Safeguarding
We take safeguarding very seriously. If you have any concerns about a child's safety, please contact us immediately.
Mrs McGregor - Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mr Abbey - Safeguarding Officer/Deputy DSL
Mr Heather and Mrs Dearn - Deputy DSL
Family Support, Well Being and Safeguarding
St James Church of England Primary School remains fully committed to the health and well being of our children. Staff at St James endeavour to deliver these shared values:
- All children and young people need to be, and have a right to be safe from abuse and neglect.
- All work will be underpinned by the principles of the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child.
- Agencies and their staff have a shared responsibility to work together and safeguard children and young people, and to promote their welfare.
- Children and young people’s well being and safety will be at the heart of all our work.
- The views of children, young people and their families will be utilised to influence our work.
- All children and young people are unique and all our work will consider and address issues, diversity and vulnerability.
- Prevention, proactive and promotion strategies will be an important aspect of our work to safeguard children and young people.
The aim of the Well Being Team at St James C.E. Primary School is to work with children, parents/carers and external agencies to overcome barriers to learning by offering support through Family Support and Mentoring. Positive mental health is vitally important to children's development and success later in life. At St James, we place great emphasis on supporting children and families in a number of ways as it is vitally important to work in partnership to get the best possible outcomes for all. All of the hard work and dedication has resulted in school earning the Sandwell Well-Being Charter Mark.
Contextual Safeguarding (our approach)
Our well-being practice is very much shaped by our approach to understanding contextual safeguarding, and how these issues can impact on our children and their wider families.
Through our long established relationship with West Midlands Police, we receive information regarding the current contextual issues presenting themselves within our local area. This allows us to communicate these concerns to our parents via parent workshops, face to face or through links to eLearning opportunities.
Linda Bains – Child & Family Support Worker
Craig Abbey – Lead Parent Support & Safeguarding Officer
To contact our Family Support Team call 0121 552 5491
Linda Bains is a key member of the Well-Being team, offering family support where needed to overcome barriers for children and their families.
The Well-Being team are able to signpost to a large variety of agencies. Referrals to external agencies are completed on behalf of families where needed. Here are a few examples of the key agencies the Well-Being Team are able to offer support via:
- financial support through Wellfare Rights
- housing support through well-established links with the local neighbourhood officers
- targeted family support and parenting support through the local children’s centres and Citizens Advice
- support through Black Country Women’s Aid
- links with local after school provision via the Lion Farm Action Centre
- Black Country Food Bank and Citizens Advice
Linda is also an integral part of our attendance team, working to ensure that all of our children have access to their education. Safe and well home visits are completed on the second day of unauthorised absence. Uniform support is also available through contact with the Well-Being Team. Please feel free to make contact with our Well-Being Team. We are able to support with a large variety of issues impacting on family life and preventing consistent school attendance. Life comes with lots of challenges and we will endeavour to do all we can to support and assist you to overcome yours.
Changes is Sandwell's 'home grown' successful parenting programme. Its value is in providing an appropriate, flexible and imaginative framework to support parents to cope with the challenges of raising their children. It has been further developed to ensure that it is up-to-date and responsive to the needs of Sandwell parents.
The Changes Programme has been delivered within school by Craig Abbey—Lead Parent Support & Safeguarding Officer and Linda Bains—Child & Family Support Worker. This programme was initially designed to cover the core units of the programme with a small group of four parents. However due to parents' requests, this has now been extended to cover four additional units of the programme.
Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme)
The Triple P programme is for parents with 2 to 10 year olds.
Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) is one of the most effective evidence-based parenting programs in the world, backed up by more than 30 years of ongoing research.
Triple P gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them confidently manage their children’s behaviour, prevent problems developing and build strong, healthy relationships.
It gives parents simple tips to help manage the big and small problems of family life. Problems like toddler tantrums or teenage rebellion, self-esteem issues, bedtime battles, disobedience, aggression.
The Triple P Programme has been delivered several times in school through our working partnership with Action For Children.
Solihull Approach (Parenting Programme)
Solihull Approach supports emotional health and well-being in the Early Years and up to adulthood. The course is for 10 weeks for parents of children aged 6 months to 18 years.
The course will help parents:
To think about their thoughts and feelings and what is being communicated through behaviour
Tune into their child's development needs
How to respond to their childs feelings
Acknowledge that we are not always in tune with each other and how to recover when things go wrong
Referrals are made for our parents to access the Solihull Approach via Action For Children. The Solihull Approach Programme takes place across various venues in Sandwell.
Mentoring sessions are provided by Mrs Hadley and Mrs Dooley. Targeting a wide variety of issues such as self-esteem, social skills, bereavement, attitude towards learning/behaviour. These sessions are structured with set targets to overcome barriers to both learning and social, emotional and mental health. As a school, we are extremely fortunate to have two well-being rooms along with our log cabin classroom that is used for Forest School mentoring sessions.
Black Country Women’s Aid
The Well-Being Team at St James have an in-depth of knowledge regarding domestic abuse, offering referrals in to BCWA for victims of domestic violence. Contact is made with victims upon school receiving Operation Encompass Domestic Abuse Notifications.
Linda Bains – Child & Family Support Worker – reaches out to victims of abuse to signpost them to the relevant programmes available through BCWA.
If you or someone you care about is the victim of domestic abuse, don’t suffer in silence. Call and speak to Linda Bains or Craig Abbey 0121 552 5491
Black Country Women’s Aid - Our Futures
BCWA have engaged with our Well-Being Team for a number of years via the Our Futures programme.
Our Future is our brand new project, supported by funding from the Home Office Children Affected by Domestic Abuse fund. It will work with schools and colleges to support children and young people aged 5-18 who are affected by domestic abuse at home.
Our Future will support a new police operation called Encompass, which notifies schools when police have attended a domestic abuse incident at a child’s home. We will offer advice and support for both school and child to create a safe space and ensure children are supported during a very difficult time.
Living in a home where there is domestic abuse can cause trauma which lasts a lifetime. In 90% of cases, children are in the same or the next room when violence occurs. Even where children do not directly witness violence, coercive and controlling behaviour in the home can cause very serious emotional, social and even physical effects. These include anxiety, depression, behaviour problems, difficulty forming relationships, and difficulty achieving at school.
What Our Future offers:
Our Future will be available to all schools and colleges across Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton, and the service offers:
Advice and training for schools staff on domestic abuse and supporting children, including safety planning;
Direct one to one support for children, aiming to help them cope, build their self-esteem, improve their safety and help them engage at school;
Group support to help children express their emotions and understand healthy relationships.
Multi Agency Approach
The Well-Being Team at St James work closely with Sandwell Children’s Trust and our local Community Operating Groups to ensure that we’re able to meet the needs of our vulnerable families.
Early Help Assessments are offered to parents and subsequently submitted with their consent. Early intervention is key in preventing low level issues becoming significant safeguarding concerns.
Mental Health First Aid
We have a number of staff in school that are qualified Mental Health First Aiders. They are, Linda Bains – Child & Family Support Worker, Cheryl Hadley – Behaviour Mentor, Yvette Dooley – Well-Being Mentor and Chris Sale - Chair of Governors.
The Safeguarding Day has been delivered in school to years 5 and 6 for the last six years. Children benefit from interaction with members of key agencies such as Police, Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Rewind, DECCA and Black Country Women’s Aid.
Rewind – The aim of the session is to educate young people around issues of identity, belonging and racism. The session looks at what their identity is and why it is important and touches upon the subject of extremism.
Sandwell ASB - The ASB Team deliver a presentation covering the definition and examples of anti-social behaviour, the consequences and feelings for the victim and perpetrator. It also includes a group exercise where the students design a dream park which they then destroy with ASB.
Police - The police will tailor the session for the young people and schools need. But will often explore social media and the online world, as well as issues like theft, robbery and knife crime, plus some safety tips and advice for keeping themselves safer.
DECCA - The DECCA session for year 6 looks at alcohol and cannabis. It explores what the two drugs are, what the effects are, what the risks are and also what the law says about both drugs. The session also looks at what to do in an emergency and where someone may go for help and support.
Women’s Aid – The Women’s Aid session covers the topic of Healthy Relationships. It looks at understanding different relationships, recognising healthy and unhealthy traits in relationships and also looks at what consent is.
Operation Encompass is a police and Education early intervention safeguarding partnership that supports children and young people exposed to Domestic Abuse. It aims to ensure Schools are notified in a timely manner of any Domestic Abuse incident where child/ren are present or registered at the address. This early notification should mean that, in the majority of cases, schools are alerted in readiness for the children arriving at school the first working day following an incident.
Operation Encompass went live week commencing 1 October 2018 and the aim is that schools will know as close as possible to the start of the school day that the child has been or may have been exposed to a domestic abuse incident.
Please click here for more information.
Sandwell CAMHS is a specialist mental health service commissioned to provide interventions to those children, young people and their families who are experiencing/most vulnerable to mental health problems and present with concerns that are severe and/or complex in nature. CAMHS support young people aged between 5-18 years of age with a GP registered in the Sandwell area.
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group - Primary Mental Health Workers
Primary Mental Health Workers (PMHWs) work with children and young people, families and carers and professionals providing support where there are emotional or mental health concerns.
Murray Hall - Creative Therapeutic Services (CTS)
CTS works directly with children and young people in need of support using a range of Creative Therapeutic Services (CTS) inclusive of traditional intervention types such as Psychotherapy, Art, Music, Dance and Drama therapy, Hypnotherapy and Counselling. CTS will offer a range of interventions which are structured upon each beneficiaries’ requirements to formulate change. Additional interventions shall encompass; mindfulness, CBT, play and arts based interventions.
CTS have a wide range of highly skilled therapists and facilitators who create a safe creative space to support children and young people to feel at ease and to explore their experiences and feelings.
Other Helpful Mental Health Support Services
- Black Country Healthcare NHS 24/7 Mental Health Helpline for advice, Crisis Support or Mental Health Service signposting for Adults or CYP Services - 0800 008 6516
- Specialist CAMHS – 0121 612 6620 (Sandwell) or 01902 444021 (Wolverhampton)
- Samaritans – www.samaritans.org - Call 116123 open 24/7
- Sandwell Healthy Minds (16+) Call 0303 033 9903 or www.sandwellhealthyminds.nhs.uk
- Wolverhampton Healthy Minds (16+) Call 0800 923 0222 or www.wolverhamptonhealthyminds.nhs.uk
- Kooth – www.kooth.com
- Shout - https://giveusashout.org/ - Text SHOUT to 85258 open 24/7
- Winston’s Wish Child Bereavement Support - www.winstonswish.org – Helpline for Parents and School Staff call 08088 020 021 Mon-Fri 9-5pm
- Beat (Eating Disorders) - www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk – Various Helplines, WebChat and Support Groups available (including for Students, Young People and Parents)
- Young Minds – www.youngminds.org.uk
Advice for Parents
For more really helpful resources about key topics like emotional behaviour, understanding self harm, serious youth violence, please click here to access online resources.