Whilst most schools see the value of professional emotional support, it can be difficult to know where to start. At Child in Time we will guide you through the start-up process, and find a therapist who best suits the needs of your school.
- Our start up pack includes guidance on:
- Setting up a counselling room and suggested resources.
- The referral process including referral form.
- Contacting parents including template letter requesting consent.
- Types of problems or concerns and common indicators.
- Information for staff and what to expect when a child starts counselling.
- Information for children/young people to be adapted for class discussion.
Ten Steps to Go
- Room: Allocate a small room, preferably not in a busy area where the session won’t be disturbed. If the room has a dual purpose it will need to be re-set by your therapist whenever they arrive. It then becomes a safe place for the child, predictable and welcoming. It is as if it belongs to them.
- Appoint a link person in the school: Consider whether they will be the SENCO or the person responsible for child protection. Make sure they will be in the same day as the therapist.
- Meet with Chloe at Child in Time: Discuss how many days and what kind of service you might need. Long-term therapy has extremely positive outcomes and would constitute a minimum of two terms. Consider a lunch-time drop service in to reach more children.
- Meet your therapist and receive start-up pack: Order resources for room with guidance from your therapist. This is not a huge out-lay. Discuss children you have in mind.
- Referral process begins: Introduce the service to the staff. Referral forms completed by members of staff and given to link person to add to waiting list (consider whether to include self-referrals and/or parental referrals).
- Evaluation and Prioritising: Meeting between Link Person/any other relevant staff to decide on who is next to be seen.
- Parental Consent and Meeting: Letter of consent is signed by parent/carer and they are invited in for meeting with counsellor (depending on age of young person).
- Take-up: Child/young person is offered counselling by teacher/member of staff they are comfortable with.
- Pre-session Observation/Teacher Meeting (Primary only): Observation of child in class by counsellor. Meeting between counsellor and teacher to discuss child. Child is given note with details of time and place in advance of session.
- First session: Child is expecting counsellor when they are collected (Primary) or young person makes their own way to the allocated room with prior permission to leave their class (secondary).