Case Studies

Identifying a family’s needs helps improve attendance

Children’s names have been changed

Frank, Year 2, was referred to the WPA Education Welfare Officer because he and his sister Jenny had a number of unauthorised absences.

Frank is hearing impaired and his mother has schizophrenia. Frank’s attendance was 90% in March 2017 and the school felt the family needed extra support.

The family was living in a one-bedroom flat given to the mother by the local authority before she had children. The local authority had never rehoused her despite her marrying and having two children. The children shared a bed and the parents slept in the living room.

As Jenny reached puberty things had become more and more difficult. Her mother also suffered severe mood swings which were made worse by the strain of their living conditions.

The Education Welfare Officer completed an Early Help Referral Form and also informed a local housing association of the situation. After over a year of supporting the family both formally and informally (through conversations in the school reception and phone calls) the family were moved to a three-bedroom house and are now very happy.

Franks attendance today is at 97% and Jenny’s is 98%. By identifying the family’s needs and providing extra support, particularly in relation to the mother’s mental ill health, we were able to work with the housing association to improve their situation.

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