School Based Support Services

School Based Support Services (SBSS) is a unique, innovative programme facilitated by Parkerville Children and Youth Care (inc). This preventative programme was developed in 2006 in consultation with local schools and key community members in the Armadale and surrounding regions. In partnerships with schools, Parkerville Children and Youth Care provide a range of targeted and easily accessible services for children and families within the school campus.  These School Based Support Services (SBSS) aim to provide support to families, increase the resilience of children and strengthen links between schools and their local communities, both north and south of the river.

2009 Results from the Australian Early Developmental Index indicate that 31.2% of children in the Armadale region were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domain and 17.1% were developmentally vulnerable on two or more domains (AEDI National Report 2009).  Research indicates that providing support and education to parents and children within a familiar environment (such as the school) produces benefits on a personal, familial and societal level.  In vulnerable communities the need for approachable and holistic services are particularly paramount in reducing the prevalence of child abuse (Blakester, 2006).

School Community Engagement Programme (SCEP)

The School Community Engagement Programme (SCEP) is a Communicare Communities for Children Armadale Activity funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs delivered by Parkerville Children and Youth Care.

Services are currently based in the following state primary schools:

  • Westfield Park Primary School
  • Grovelands Primary School

If your child attends either of these schools or you simply live close by, you can join in the activities organised at the school such as healthy living programmes, adult literacy, morning teas or after school sports.

You can talk to our school-based staff about any concerns you have in regards to:

  • your child's physical health and development,
  • your child fitting in and making friends at school,
  • concerns about bullying or other personal safety issues,
  • how you could help your child to get the most out of school, and
  • looking for other services or activities outside of school that could help your child.

You might also appreciate someone to talk to about your own difficulties regarding:

  • your stresses from being a parent,
  • wanting to meet other parents at school,
  • wanting to improve your own education, and
  • feeling like you are not really part of your child's school community.

The School Community Engagement Program is run by Parkerville Children and Youth Care, and so their staff are not employed by the Education Department or any other government department.
For more information on SCEP call Parkerville's Armadale Office on 9399 1022, or ask at your school. For more information on Communicare visit www.communicare.org.au

Activities available to participating schools

In consultation with the school, SBSS are able to provide a range of services within a school.  These may include

  • Information and assistance: provided to ensure families feel supported within the school community and to link parents to relevant community and support services.
  • Individual Support and Counselling: providing parents and children with an accessible, family friendly environment in which to discuss individual issues. 
  • Protective Behaviours ‘Keeping Kids Safe’ programme: a living skills programme which provides children with a range of skills aimed at helping them to identify potentially unsafe situations and empowering them with strategies to respond appropriately and effectively to preserve their physical and emotional well-being.  The programme also enhances problem-solving and communication skills and encourages openness between children and parents about issues that may be worrying them. The programme may contain:
  1. whole class or small group programmes for students;
  2. workshops for parents to enable them to support their child's learning in the programme and promote open communication with their children;
  3. training of school staff to deliver the programme, building the capacity of the school to sustain learning across the school years;
  4. Workshops for teachers to:  (1) increase their awareness of the signs and symptoms of child abuse, (2) skills in responding appropriately to any disclosures and (3) increase their capctiy to discuss safety, wellbeing and protection concerns with students.
  5. Facilitating activities that build positive relationships between school and parents;
  6. Supporting the development of parent groups;
  7. Activities for children and parents outside standard school hours focused on providing healthy lifestyles, self esteem, communication skills, etc.

New group programmes now available:

  • Managing strong emotions
  • Healthy Relationships

Parkerville is now registered with DEEWER for the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Programme, which means schools may access this funding if they are eligible and do not already have a Chaplain employed through this funding.

Funding arrangements

This Communities for Children activity is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, through Communicare Inc., and delivered by Parkerville Children and Youth Care (inc). The service is provided free of charge to identified schools.  Schools who are able to receive the service at no cost will be identified by Communicare as the facilitating partner for Communities for Children in conjunction with schools and Parkerville Children and Youth Care.

SBSS activities are also available to schools on a fee for service arrangement. If you would like more information on the programme please contact Armadale office on 9399 1022.


Quote from child:

“I found it difficult at first because I could not find anyone to listen and then I finally found someone. I found it hard to believe there was someone listening. Now I know there are people that listen”.  – 10 year old female, 2009

 

References:

Centre for Community Child Health and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.  A snapshot of early Childhood Development in Australia - AEDI National Report 2009, Australian Government Canberra.

Blakester, A 2006.  Practical child Abuse Prevention In Child Abuse Prevention Newsletter, Vol 14 no. 2 Winter 2006 retrieved from, http://www.aifs.gov.au/nch/pubs/newsletters/n12006/winter.html.