The FSW role inclusive and it isimportant to remember that inclusion is a belief system that can be impactedupon by negative comments such as “theserious and socially desirable aims of offering all children good chances inlife, and helping them learn how to respect one another and live in harmony,are derided as trivial and unimportant” (Griffen, 2008, p. 12). When practitioners are facedwith these negative comments, this can undermine inclusive practice. Childrenand young people may not get the level of support they deserve. Language mustbe positive; it is important not to give the impression that one group ofpeople or individual is superior to another. Staff must take this thisseriously as “it important that reportteachers and teachers reflect on theextent to which their positive values permeate their daily teaching, so thatthey routinely guide and change their practice.” (Cole, 2008)The MunroReport (DfE, 2011) highlights that effective professional relationships make areal difference in improving outcomes for children and young people; for thatreason, it is the human relationships that are at the heart of the delivery ofeffective services. However, researchhas shown that Practitioners require a range of skills, knowledge andexperience to achieve this.
According to the Office for Standards inEducation (Ofsted,2016) “Safeguardingis not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults fromdeliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It relates to broader aspects ofcare and education including health and wellbeing and mental health” which iswhere the role of the FSW becomes vital.It is important thatthe FSW is sensitive to the needs of parents and pupils as there may be a needfor difficult and challenging conversations. Harris & Goodall (DCFS, 2007,p.5) states, “Parental engagement is a powerful lever for raising achievementin schools.
Jacqueline Robinson Page2 StudentNumber 1630481 When parents andteachers work together to improve learning, the gains in achievement aresignificant”. Professional IssuesDue to the lack oftraining available to the FSW, there is a need to provide training once the in role.Many FSW’s begin their roles by completing a Teaching Assistant qualificationand although their involvement with pupils can prepare them for the position,the engagement with parents is very limited and the need for Continued ProfessionalDevelopment (CPD) to improve skills is required. It can be challenging with CPDbut with a well-developed programme of learning can be fulfilled over time.With the provision of opportunity, support and guidance practitioners candevelop their own skills to fully engage with the role.
For effectiveprofessional development to take place their need to be a partnership betweenthe FSW, head teachers and other members of the school leadership team,teachers, outside agencies and providers of professional development expertise.(DfE, 2016) Five areas that have been emphasised as being intrinsic toprofessional development are that there should be a focus on improving andevaluating outcomes: there should be an underpinning of evidence and expertise,collaboration and challenge must be included; the development must besustainable over time; and finally, all of this should be underpinned by theschool leadership team prioritising the development. (ASCL, no date) “Effective professional development forteachers is a core part of securing effective teaching. It cannot exist inisolation, rather it requires a pervasive culture of scholarship with a sharedcommitment for teachers to support one another to develop so that pupilsbenefit from the highest quality teaching.
” (DfE, 2016, p. 4) Although mostlegislation is centred around the need for the CPD of teachers in schools,there is still a need for ‘support staff’ development. However, theavailability of courses and training available is very limited. One integralpart of the FSW is the need to visit families in their own homes and thereappears to be little or no training available for this leaving the FSW to buildupon their own knowledge and experience in their own lives as a basis for theirrole. Many children andfamilies become disengaged with schools for many different reasons. It could beanything from a difference of opinion to the need to take safeguarding measuresto ‘protect the welfare of children and protect them from harm’. (HM Government,2015) Parental engagement is vital within the role of the Family Support Workerand combining this with the role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer whichincorporates the Working Together to Safeguard Children t the o identify theneed to: protect children and young people from maltreatment; preventingimpairment of children and young people’s health or development; ensurechildren and young people grow up in circumstances consistent with theprovision of safe and effective care; and take action to enable all childrenand young people to have the best outcomes.
Point 5 of NationalOccupational Standards to Work with Parents (Lifelong Learning UK, 2011, p.5) states that “Work withparents should value and build on parents existing strengths, knowledge andexperience.” Manyfamilies come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and there is a need torespect them all. Often parents who disagree with what is being suggested mayfeel it is because of their culture, religion, background or family circumstances. Whilst undertaking the role of the FamilySupport Worker, there will be times when challenging families will contradicteverything that is being discussed. In these cases, it is vital to build thoserelationships, gaining t trust, showing an understanding to issues and collaboratingto break down barriers arriving at solutions with the best possible outcomesfor everyone but more importantly, the child involved.
Jacqueline Robinson Page3 StudentNumber 1630481 There is a need to remain professional always to build uponthe trust of the parent Usefulinformation from the Parent Teachers Association (2017) website states that “85% ofparents tell us they want to do more to support their child’s school and have asay in how their child is educated” which shows that the parents do want toengage with a school but do not always have the capacity, knowledge orexperience to do this.