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New pod helps care for pupils
A SCHEME that allows social workers, schools and other professionals to work together to support families has been piloted at a Kidderminster school.
Worcestershire County Council’s children’s social care team has launched the initiative in a bid to help keep youngsters safe.
The scheme, which was started at Birchen Coppice Primary School, creates a pod where social workers, headteachers and family workers are all based at the same location.
Teams supporting families can work closely together in the pod to improve communication between professionals and share knowledge.
Two social workers are currently based at Birchen Coppice under the scheme and the county council said the pod allowed them to get involved in school activities, support children within the school and made it easier for professionals to meet and discuss issues as they arose.
Rachel Higgins, acting headteacher at Birchen Coppice, said: “We’re extremely pleased with the way the two social workers have integrated into our school.
“It’s reassuring for teachers to have professionals at hand who can support us in meeting the needs of our children.
“The children themselves just treat our social workers like any other member of staff.”
The scheme, set up before the case of tragic four-year-old Daniel Pelka, of Coventry, who was murdered by his mother and her partner, in March, 2012, after an ordeal of starvation and abuse, also allows families and school staff get to know and work with one team of social workers.
Conservative councillor Liz Eyre, cabinet member for children and families, explained: “This is a really good news story.
The pilot scheme which we started at Birchen Coppice has already shown improved outcomes for children and families in the area.
“We have been able to engage with families who previously had been difficult to engage with, families have easier access to the same social worker and our social workers are integrated into the school. Social workers and school teams are able to share their knowledge about families, helping us to keep children and young people safe.”
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