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Enhancing safety and well-being of children and young people at school Denise Lynch and Fran Waugh Social Work and Policy Studies Programs Faculty of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing safety and well-being of children and young people at school Denise Lynch and Fran Waugh Social Work and Policy Studies Programs Faculty of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing safety and well-being of children and young people at school Denise Lynch and Fran Waugh Social Work and Policy Studies Programs Faculty of Education and Social Work The University of Sydney

2 Presentation outline Why this paper? The focus of this paper Creating a safe school space Strategies

3 Why this paper ? Child protection in 21 st century:  complex  multi-layered  informed government and non-government policy  relies on variety of flexible and strategic interventions at different levels to assist children and families in a multi-cultural society Responsibility of practitioners, policy makers, researchers, academics and educators to address child protection and child well-being in its broader sense Requires collaborative interagency response Experience as academics in Faculty of Education and Social Work

4 Focus of this paper What is the role of school education in enhancing children’s protection and well-being? Wholistic approach:  Embedded in human rights and  Ecological perspective Concepts:  Risk, protection and resilience Inclusive pedagogy

5 Definitions Ecological : views the influence of events that occur in the lives of children, young people within their family, peer, school, and community settings Risk factors Relates to any event, condition, or experience that increases the probability that a problem will be firmed, maintained, or exacerbated (Fraser and Terzian, 2006, p.5) Risk in relation to child abuse and neglect Indicators of child abuse and neglect (Protecting and supporting children and young people (DET, 2008)

6 Definitions Protective factors are attributes or characteristics that lower the probability of an undesirable outcome (Rutter 1987 in Jenson and Fraser, 2006, p.8) are resources – individual or environmental- that minimise the impact of risk (Jenson and Fraser, 2006, p.5) Resilience Is one’s capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity (Jenson and Fraser, 2006, p.8)

7 Education in schools Premise: to learn, children need to feel safe and nurtured Inclusive education is about a school culture which welcomes and celebrates difference and recognises individual needs Inclusive pedagogy  Common vision  Responding to difficult behaviour  Consistent, cohesive response  Positive behaviours reinforced  Develop empathy and respect  Importance of relevance of teaching and learning Corbett, J (2001) Supporting Inclusive education. A connective pedagogy. School Concern Series. Electronic

8 Inclusive pedagogy Balanced perspective in which:  individual learning styles are recognised  barriers to learning and participation are identified and minimized  resources enhanced to support learning and participation Corbett, J (2001) Supporting Inclusive education. A connective pedagogy. School Concern Series. Electronic

9 Creating a safe school space Principles of inclusive school environment Communicating effectively with children and young people Aware of developmental considerations Consider the cultural background and special needs Knowledge about child abuse, neglect and domestic violence Knowledge about psycho-social effects of trauma and separation Ethical decision making framework given roles and responsibilities Support systems for staff Similar principles underpin the SMART program in South Australia

10 Strategies Multiple levels which are centred on children and young people Legislation Policy and procedures Professional accreditation requirements Training – pre-service, ongoing professional development Barriers and opportunities in day to day teaching Understanding of academic risk, promotive and protective factors

11 Risk factors for academic failure Individual factors  Learning related social skills (listening, participating in groups, staying on task, organizational skills)  Social behaviour  Limited intelligence  Presence of a disability Family factors  Parent-child conflict, abuse, domestic violence and neglect  Lack of connectedness with peers, family, school and community  Poor health Frey and Walker in Jenson and Fraser (2006)

12 Risk factors for academic failure School  Large school size  Limited resources  High staff turn-over  Inconsistent classroom management  Percentage of low SES students  School and classroom climate  School violence  Overcrowding  High student/teachers ratios  Insufficient curricula and course relevance  Weak, inconsistent adult leadership  Poor building design Community  Poverty and economic deprivation  Low economic opportunity Frey and Walker in Jenson and Fraser, 2006

13 Promotive factors for academic engagement Individual factors  Cognitive skills (eg. Intelligence, the ability to work collaboratively with others and the capacity to focus in the face of distraction)  High socioemotional functioning  Ability to adapt to change at school  Effective and efficient communication skills  Social skills  Understanding and accepting capabilities and limitations  Maintaining a positive outlook Frey and Walker in Jenson and Fraser, 2006

14 Promotive factors for academic engagement School  Positive and safe environment  Setting high academic and social expectations  Positive relationships with teachers  School bonding  Positive and open school climate Community  Well resourced  Economic opportunity Frey and Walker in Jenson and Fraser, 2006

15 Protective factors for academic engagement School  School climate  Classroom management strategies that reduce classroom disruption and increase learning  School bonding  Consistent and firm rules for students Peers  Acceptance by pro-social peers  Involvement in positive peer groups Frey and Walker in Jenson and Fraser, 2006

16 Elements of a safe….. SchoolClassroomChild School culture of respect Teacher briefed and debriefed Strengths based: respected and valued Good communication systems Clear communication with other school personnel and parents/carers Normalising: What are the child’s abilities, aptitudes and preferences Negotiate with teacher Consistent, clear focus, provided choice, expectation of respectful behaviour Understand: expectations, rules, choice and consequences of actions

17 Elements of a safe….. SchoolClassroomChild Whole of school approach: establish effective support strategies Community of learners. Educational plan Understand how this is fostered. eg no bullying Sharing of information on a case by case basis Child protection information for all children Understand their rights Education about privacy CurriculumRelevant learning opportunities Ongoing professional development Responsiveness during distress Know where to get help Interagency collaboration - DET, DoCS, Health, Police Appropriate involvement in decisions related to child’s education Meaningful participation

18 Strategies FocusPromotingMeans Teacher/childClear communication Connection Empathy with peers Understanding Strengths based Normalising Consistency – clear rules, expectations Teacher/parent/carerClear communicationNeed to report child’s progress School/communityReport Engaging NGO Clear policy about bullying State policy and implementation Interagency guidelines: Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People DET, DoCS, Health, Police

19 Bibliography Arnold, L and Maio-Taddeo, C. (2007) Professionals Protecting Children. Child Protection and Teacher Education in Australia. Adelaide:Australian Centre for Child Protection Baginsky, M (ed.) (2008)Safeguarding Children and Schools. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Corbett, J (2001) Supporting Inclusive education. A connective pedagogy. School Concern Series. Electronic copy Fawcett, B. and Waugh, F. (eds.)(2008) Addressing Violence, Abuse and Oppression. London: Routledge Fletcher-Campbell, F. (2008) ‘Pupils Who are ‘In Care’. What can schools Do?’ in M. Baginsky (ed.) Safeguarding Children and Schools. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Frey, A. and Walker, H. (2006) ‘Education Policy for Children, Youth and Families’ in J. Jenson and M. Fraser (eds.) Social Policy for Children and Families. A Risk and Resilience Perspective. London: Sage Publication Howe, D. (2008) The Emotionally Intelligent Social Worker. New York: Palgrave Macmillan Jenson, J. and Fraser, M (eds.) (2006) Social Policy for Children and Families. A Risk and Resilience Perspective. London: Sage Publication Taylor, J and Daniel, B. (eds.) (2005) Child Neglect. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers SMART (Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma) Australian Childhood Foundation program


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