Mrs A Carter
All parents have the responsibility of helping their children to grow and develop.
Children may need help with their problems and worries. Sometimes, no matter how well they get on with their parents, they may find it hard to talk to them. Children often get help and support by talking to someone they trust. Maybe a friend, a teacher, a relative or neighbour can help. Often having a problem or concern can affect a child’s behaviour and school-work, and the School Counsellor may be able to help.
How can school Counsellors help?
School counsellors are carefully selected for their experience and counselling qualifications.
Counsellors are good at relating to children and are trained to listen without judging. They can help people sort out their thoughts and feelings about what is worrying them. Counsellors usually provide short-term counselling, up to six sessions, on school premises, and usually in school time. The length of the sessions varies. What is discussed during the sessions is confidential, but the child is told that the Counsellor may discuss their problems with other people and agencies and get help from them if he or she thinks the child is at risk or in danger. The Counsellor understands the school and works with teachers and other staff to help your child, while at the same time keeping confidentiality.
How does my son or daughter get to see a school counsellor?
Your child may ask to see the Counsellor or you or a teacher may recommend it.
Counselling needs to be a voluntary process. When counselling is offered to younger children, you will be asked to sign a form to say that you agree to your child having counselling. Older children who ask for counselling and are capable of fully understanding what is involved may get counselling in their own right, without permission from a parent.
What issues can school Counsellors help with?
There can be lots of pressures on young people growing up, for example friendships, teasing and bullying; exams and school work; family relationships, separations and changes; as well as illness, loss or death of someone close. Young people also have to cope with adolescence and the strong feelings and physical changes that go with it. Even quite young children can find that the time and space they get from counselling helps them feel better, and cope better at home and in school.
How can a parent or carer support the Counselling?
It will help your young person if you accept counselling as a normal and useful activity, and show an interest if they want to talk to you about it, without pushing it if they prefer not to discuss it. Counselling is not a magic solution, and sometimes it takes a while to feel the benefits.
Sometimes life can be tough, and people growing up can be under pressure. Having someone you can really talk to may be a help – perhaps a friend, a teacher, your parents, or someone in the family. At times, everyone feels worried or has problems that may be hard to talk about with the people close to you. You may worry about whether they will understand, whether you can trust them, whether they will blame you, or ignore your feelings. That is when you may think about talking to the school counsellor.
How are counsellors different?
- We don’t blame or judge you.
- We don’t tell you what to do.
- We are there for you – whatever the problem.
- We are good at listening carefully.
- We can see you in school time.
- We help you sort things out in a way which suits you.
- We understand how your school works and can get you more help and information if you need it.
- We can give you the time and space you need.
- We have had plenty of training and practice to help us do our job well.
Will the counsellor tell anyone about what I say?
We don’t ordinarily tell other people about you or your situation without your permission, but if we think that you or someone else may be at risk or in danger, there may need to get help from others to keep you safe. We will talk with you about this and together we will try to find the best thing to do for you.
What kind of things can I tell the counsellor about?
Whatever is on your mind, problems, decisions, worries, and changes. It could be lots of different things – making friends and relationships, parents separating, losing your temper and getting into trouble at home and at school, teasing and bullying, losing someone special, mixed-up feelings, health worries, exams and coursework. All these things can affect how you feel and how you behave. Talking with you about your worries and problems is the start of helping you sort them out.
How does it work?
Seeing a counsellor might be your idea, or your parents or a teacher might suggest it.
Counselling is voluntary – it’s your choice, and whatever you decide is OK. You are likely to be offered appointments for regular sessions for several weeks at a room in school where you won’t be disturbed. The school would like to contact your parents/carers to let them know you are seeing a counsellor, but will not go into details. It may still be possible to come to counselling without your parents being told, and you can discuss this with the counsellor.
Young Carers generally care for and support members of their immediate family who may be:
- A parent with an illness, disability, mental health problem or dependency on alcohol or drugs
- A brother or sister who has a health problem or disability
When a young person helps to look after someone in their family, they may need a little extra support to help them get the most out of school. We raise awareness throughout Carterton Community College of the particular needs that young carers may have. In this way we aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for those students who may have more responsibility at home than their peers.
Our objective is to understand the issues faced by young carers and to support any student who helps to look after or support somebody at home. For example:
- We have allocated staff members (Mrs Carter School Counsellor) and the School Health Nurse who have a special responsibility for young carers.
- We can provide students with confidential support and advice in school
- We work closely with Spurgeons young carers service and can put students and their families in touch with them and other support services
- We respect students’ right to privacy as a young carer and will only share information about them and their family with people who need to know so they can help the student
- All young carers are invited to join our young carers group which is held termly at lunchtimes. This gives them the chance to meet other young carers in similar situations and share experiences.
- Where possible we can help negotiate deadlines for homework, controlled assessments etc. (We are unable to change certain things which are part of an externally moderated module)
At Carterton Community College we appreciate that there are many impacts on students who provide care or support and we do our best to meet the needs of our young carers in school. We encourage parents to let us know if their child is or may be a young carer.
Please contact Mrs Carter our School Counsellor on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the school on 01993 841611 if you would like to discuss this. We welcome any young person, parent or family member who wishes to discuss their family circumstances so that we can help their child in achieving their potential.