WHAT IS THE HOPE PROJECT?
“Hope” is a school based emotional support project which helps children and their families.
The project offers early intervention for emotional need and promotes a whole school approach for emotional health & well-being. A child or young person may need someone to talk to about emotional, behavioural or social difficulties. Hope aims to provide this support and the space for listening and talking to a child/young person.
THE KIND OF PROBLEMS HOPE CAN HELP WITH ARE:
- Any aspect of family life that may be affecting your child’s emotional well-being
- School refusal
- Low self-esteem
WHO PROVIDES THE SERVICE?
At your school there is a team who support children and young people, that includes the Head Teacher, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and a Hope mentor.
There will be other services that link with Hope such as Educational Psychology, School Nurse, Local Support Team (LST) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
EXAMPLES OF APPROPRIATE EMOTIONAL NEED: (ALL EVIDENCED THROUGH A CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR)
- Unusual, prolonged grief reaction
- Unhappy appearance
- Irritable responses
- Avoidance of people/situations
- Withdrawn or social isolation
- Comments reflecting hopelessness
- Drop in attainment
- Change in personal appearance
HOW TO RECOGNISE NEED FOR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
- It will be a recent change and not a long-standing problem/concern
- There will be something different in the behaviour that is causing concern
- What has changed in the pupils’ behaviour?
- Is anything different in their family/classroom/self?
This support is for emotional need first and foremost. If emotional need has prompted unhelpful/challenging behaviours then emotional support would be able to assist. If the behaviour is in response to poor boundaries or ineffective behaviour management then this should be addressed through alternative interventions such as parenting advice/support.
It is important for all the adults in the child/young person’s life to think carefully about what the behaviour might be demonstrating. Without this understanding any intervention will be ineffective at best and harmful at worst, especially if it “labels” the child/young person.
HELPING NOT CURING!
This is a low-level, (also described as “low-intensity”) early intervention for problems that are mild and in early onset. This level of emotional support cannot change a pupils’ home/classroom environment. The mentors develop an empathetic, non-judgemental relationship with the child/young person from which they listen and offer choices where appropriate. The time together offers a space to talk, think and feel emotions in safety with a trusted adult. Helping skills are used such as active listening, open questioning, goal setting, solution-finding and use of outcome measures to help the child/young person reflect on their situation and explore possible solutions.
This is NOT a counselling nor therapy service
The needs of a child/young person (CYP) will be discussed with the CYP’s parent/carer and school staff. These conversations will inform the intervention and goal-setting.
The interventions aim to:
- help the pupil build emotional resilience
- develop coping strategies
- improve social skills
Interventions do not aim to solve all the pupils’ difficulties. It will target the priority need at the time and utilise other services to help where and when necessary.
Hope is time-limited intervention to help pupils’ manage and cope with their difficulties. This would typically be up to 8 sessions and more. This is to allow support to help the child/young person consolidate their new skills. Each session lasts from 20 minutes to an hour dependent on the need.