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Family support

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Father Hudson’s provides Family Support in 36 schools in the Archdiocese. Our intensive, tailored mentoring and advocacy supports over 400 children and their families every year, improves outcomes for children living in adversity. This adversity has a negative impact on children’s emotional wellbeing, mental health and educational achievement.

What is Family Support? 

/media/children_families/library/f-support2.jpgFamily Support workers engage and work directly with children and young people who are experiencing difficulties at school or at home. These difficulties may present in children’s challenging behaviour, poor attendance, low self-esteem and poor educational achievement. Family Support workers aim to identify and address the underlying causes of these. The families they support can experience a wide range of issues, such as poor parenting, parental neglect and abuse, parental separation, poor mental health and substance misuse. They work as part of the school team yet maintain an independence from statutory agencies, which is crucial to building positive relationships with parents, children and young people. Support is child-centred and needs-led. Features of the service include:

  • One-to-one mentoring support for vulnerable children and young people
  • Structured group work with children and young people
  • One-to-one and group work with parents developing and supporting parenting skills
  • Mentoring and advocacy support to families
  • Facilitating family meetings to support and improve communication between parents and children and the family
    and school
  • Working closely with school staff, particularly specials needs and pastoral staff, to ensure that children and young people receive the support most appropriate to their needs and circumstances
  • Information, signposting and working in partnership with statutory and voluntary agencies to address issues such as benefits, housing, children’s and parental mental health, substance misuse, safeguarding and domestic abuse.

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Benefits to schools

Vulnerable or challenging children and young people can take up a significant amount of staff time and impact adversely on school targets for attendance, behaviour and student attainment. Even experienced pastoral support staff may struggle to deal with the range and complexity of issues they present. Further, teachers with pastoral responsibilities may on occasion be unavailable because of teaching commitments. Father Hudson’s Family Support workers are a dedicated, experienced, professional resource. The intervention of our Family Support workers has been proven to:

  • Improve school attendance
  • Improve behaviour in school
  • Raise pupil attainment
  • Improve relationships within and between families and schools
  • Ensure a smoother transition from primary to secondary school
  • Reduce the amount of time school staff spend dealing with disengaged families

Testimony from Theresa Madden and Vicky Hulme of St John Fisher Catholic College

Case study - 'interview with a young person'

Below you will find an interview with a young person who received support for over 12 months from Father Hudson’s Family Support Service. This young lady was finding life quite difficult due to her sister's behaviour both at home and school. She was emotionally fragile and would cry a lot of the time as she found the circumstances impacted on her own life.

She wanted to give her own testimony of the support that she had and the difference this made to her life. 

Case study – parents speak about how they were able to overcome the challenges in their lives

The second interview below hears from parents who received extensive support with a range of problems. They were supported with mental health issues, finance and welfare rights, employment, understanding the children’s needs and managing behaviour.

Their primary-aged child received specialist emotional support, and the school was helped to address his needs, leading to a more confident relationship with school and staff, friendships and an improved attitude to learning. Other siblings also received support with school issues, further education, youth activities and looking for employment.

Over the course of two years, the family circumstances improved vastly. Here they talk about how they feel better equipped to deal with life’s difficulties.

Contact us

To find out more about our Family Support Service contact
Rita Nag, Schools' Family Support Team Manager
Tel: 01675 434000
Email: ritanag@fatherhudsons.org.uk 

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