Place 2 be
Place2Be at Salmestone Primary School
Place2Be is a leading children’s mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff. Founded in 1994, we have school-based teams across England, Scotland and Wales and are now working in over 250 schools reaching a school population of approximately 100,000 children across some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK.
We provide a ‘whole school’ approach with a flexible menu of services that support pupils, families, teachers and school staff. This includes one-to-one counselling, a self-referral service and group work to meet the individual needs of children aged 4-11, helping them to cope with wide-ranging and often complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.
We also provide a range of high quality professional qualifications for those seeking to enhance their skills or to become a children’s counsellor as well as high quality training for professionals working with children and families.
PLACE2BE SERVICES at Salmestone Primary School
Our universal service, Place2Talk, is open to all pupils. Children can refer themselves, come alone or with their friends to speak to a counsellor during lunch or break times. Because Place2Talk is offered to all children, counselling is destigmatised. This solution-focused service is used by an average of one third of children in schools each year.
Targeted support – the referral and counselling process
Children and young people at risk or showing higher levels of mental health or emotional need are referred by teachers, their parents or carers or professionals to Place2Be’s School Project Manager for an assessment. Place2Be only works with children for whom we have written consent from the parents or carers. Because counselling takes place within the safe, familiar and trusted environment of the school, the attendance rate is exceptionally high.
Once it is determined that a child would benefit from counselling, One of our FIVE Counsellors on Placement (COP) meets with the child for weekly one-to-one sessions. Individual sessions may continue over a school term or as long as a whole academic year. Place2Be’s trained counsellors work in the way that is most appropriate for each child. For younger children, this involves therapeutic approaches which encourage the child to express her or himself in non-verbal ways, for example through artwork and play.
Group Work and Whole Class Work at Salmestone Primary School
Place2Be provides short-term Group work and Whole Class work undertaken by the School Project Manager (SPM) on particular issues such as transition, bereavement, friendship, self-esteem and managing feelings. Our aim is to help each child build a personal TOOLBOX, developing a common supportive language to help build resilience enabling children to better manage their feelings. This work positively affects children’s behaviour, attendance and general wellbeing.
School Project Managers support parents and carers in the safe and non-stigmatising environment of the school through Parent Partnership. The aim is to help build parents’ understanding of their child’s needs or behaviour, improve confidence and the quality of the parents’ relationship with their child.
Free and confidential individual counselling is available to parents, grandparents and carers of children who are supported by Place2Be. A Place for Parents is delivered in the child’s school by a Place2Be Parent Counsellor, an experienced clinician who works across schools in the local areas. By helping parents to address their own issues – from domestic abuse, to drug and alcohol issues in the family, to depression, Place2Be helps parents and carers to become more self-aware, more at ease in their parenting roles and better able to develop positive and supportive relationships with their children and the school. By supporting the parents of a distressed child, and better equipping the adults to cope, the wellbeing of the whole family can be improved.
Place2Think – consultation time and support for school staff
Based day-to-day in the school, School Project Managers provide professional support, guidance and input for school staff to build their understanding of children’s mental health and assistance with children and classroom behaviours that school staff may find challenging. This support is provided in a structured or flexible informal way, depending on the needs and culture of each individual school
We continue to develop our professional pathway in children’s counselling training. We offer a portfolio of open courses accredited/validated by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB), the University of East London (UEL), and the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP):
We offer teachers and school staff training on a range of topics as well as bespoke training packages for clusters of schools and allied organisations.
Recognising the important role of teachers, our Talented Teacher Programme provides a unique programme of training and consultation/support for Newly Qualified Teachers.
COMMITMENT TO QUALITY AND BEST PRACTICE
Place2Be has a clear process for responding to child protection concerns that arise in the course of the therapeutic work with children. It is not unusual for children to make disclosures in therapeutic work, or for staff and volunteers to identify signs that children are at risk. Place2Be follows schools’ child protection procedures, and we work closely with the management team in a school to ensure that safeguarding issues are responded to appropriately and quickly. Volunteer Counsellors have supervision on a daily basis, enabling them to raise concerns. Any child protection issues are overseen by Place2Be’s Head of Safeguarding.
Special educational needs and disability (SEND)
Place2Be ensures that our services are wholly responsive to the needs of children and young people with SEND. We have two Principal Educational Psychologists who have a key role in training our School Project Managers and counsellors. For our partner schools we offer Educational Psychology-led consultation and standalone sessions.
Research and Evaluation
From our inception, Place2Be has gathered and evaluated data to validate and improve the effectiveness of interventions and to ensure that we deliver value for money. We use primarily Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for our work with children; the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure to evaluate our dedicated support service for parents; with qualitative techniques such as interviews, focus groups and case studies to capture outcomes. We look at our impact on a child’s mental health and wellbeing as well as their academic progress, attitude to learning and behaviour in class. Benchmarking our outcomes is also important, and we are a long-standing member of CORC (Child Outcomes Research Consortium).
Place2Be is committed to working in partnership with other organisations – particularly where we share an ethos and approach with a commitment to quality and evidence-based practice, and where a combined effort can result in improved outcomes for children and families. Within our local areas we have extensive experience of partnering successfully with schools, statutory agencies, a range of voluntary sector partners and community groups to ensure that we deliver effective services to those who need them. Nationally we are building a set of alliances and collaborations with experts in their fields to enhance, improve and inform our work.
M-PACT Plus is a joint project between Place2Be and Action on Addiction which involves training school staff to identify children affected by parental drug and alcohol misuse and supporting them through an eight week programme delivered in schools by Action on Addiction trained Place2Be practitioners who are also trained therapists. The project is funded by The Royal Foundation and Comic Relief.
We value highly our professional and skilled people, and encourage staff to grow and develop their skills. We employ over 320 staff across the organisation. In addition around 1000 skilled Counsellors on Placement are working in schools across the UK. Our commitment to professional development has to date enabled many former Volunteer Counsellors to move into paid positions within Place2Be. 47% of our staff started with Place2Be as volunteers.