Ways of Working
EPSS works with children and young people using a graduated response which fits with the local authority’s Local Offer and other Early Help agendas. This approach aims to provide early, preventative support which empowers children, young people and those who live and work with them to find sustainable solutions. Effective graduated responses and early help approaches promote equality of service and resource access within and between communities.
Graduated responses are not necessarily linear and are used with flexibility to meet presenting need at any given time. For example, it may be appropriate to move back and forth along the graduated response. Here is the EPSS team’s graduated response and the kind of activities you could expect from each:
1. Awareness raising: providing opportunities for reflective practice and skill development. It may include leaflets and training or drop-in services for school staff and parents.
2. Systemic development: supporting schools, families and others to consider different ways of working, identify areas of strength and areas for development. It may include internal skills audits and observations of whole school practice, review of policies and planning meetings.
3. Group consultation: aimed at drawing out strengths amongst the group of people most relevant to the child or young person’s life or the presenting situation (i.e. behaviour management). This might include whole school staff, parents, governors and other professionals. It may include solution circles or circle of adults for example, and school consultation meetings.
4. Distance individual consultation: relating to a specific child or young person. It could include contact with the team through telephone or email for example, or a written response following in-setting consultation.
5. In-school individual consultation: relating to case work will involve discussion of an individual child/young person and their presenting circumstances. The team will use a range of consultation approaches suitable to the situation. It may include discussion with class teacher or other relevant professional(s), parents/carers, or attendance at an annual review.
6. General assessment: the term ‘assessment’ is broad and varied and may include a wide range of approaches. For example, it may utilise cognitive and attainment assessment, dynamic assessment, drawing, talking, observation, ongoing consultation, file reviews and many other forms of involvement. The purpose will be to gather information to formulate ideas about the underlying cause of the presenting problem and help the child/young person and adults move forward.
7. Specialist assessment/intervention: this is an extension of point six, but includes more detailed investigation often using specialist assessment tools and interventions to support those working and living with the child or young person. This might include therapeutic input (e.g. CBT, systemic approaches, teaching assertiveness skills to vulnerable children, management of stress and anxiety); literacy intervention (e.g. assessment and identification of specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, including specialist teaching, interventions and strategies for support); assessment and intervention for language development, processing skills and emotional wellbeing amongst others.