The Inclusion Social Work Service exists to ensure that every child and young person within the County of Flintshire is adequately cared for and receives maximum benefits from the educational opportunities provided, (including education otherwise than at school) in order that they may realise their maximum potential. The Service aims to offer, professional and quality welfare support to young people, their parents, their families and their schools.
The Inclusion Social Work Service is an integral part of Flintshire County Council’s Inclusion Service.
In 2004, it was decided that the IWO Service should be reviewed and we are currently undergoing this along with Secondary and Primary School Headteachers.
Flintshire’s Inclusion Social Work Service, (IWO’s) is part of the Authority’s provision of a full and flexible response to the welfare needs of children.
The Service has a duty under the 1996 Education Act and Children Act 1989 to consider the welfare of children and their families and support "children in need”. The Service focuses upon early intervention, with parents and schools, to prevent harm and disadvantage arising from a wide range of educational and social problems and it holds a responsibility to work with other agencies in the protection of children and young people from abuse.
The manager and administrative assistant are based at County Hall to ensure the maximum accessibility and responsiveness to schools, parents and pupils. The IWO’s are each based at the high schools, from which they deliver services to the feeder primary schools and children from the catchment area who attend special schools and Pupil Referral Units.
Referrals are accepted from school staff, other agencies or directly from pupils or parents.
Whole School Support
The IWO’s provide:
- Consultation, guidance and support re LEA and NAfW guidance and policies on promotion of the best levels of school attendance, punctuality and inclusion also an annual Attendance Survey is collected for analysis.
- Assistance in promoting a consistent ethos that values good school attendance and the development of the full potential for all pupils.
- Work in partnership with schools and other agencies to promote pupil welfare.
- Help and advice to schools in the implementation of their individual discipline policies.
- Assistance to schools in the implementation of Home - School Agreements, as outlined in the 1997 Education Act.
Individual Support and Direct Work with Parents and Pupils
Parents have the duty to ensure that their children receive education. The IWO role is to support them in any aspect of pupils’ welfare and attendance. The broad areas of operation are as follows;
Direct work with parents and pupils on problems affecting attendance
School strategies having failed to bring about an acceptable level of attendance, the IWO’s may intervene to advise, assist and befriend parents to remove personal or social problems at home or in school that may threaten an escalation in, or the development of, disaffection and poor attendance. Parents’ permission may be needed if an IWO is to work with pupils.
Interventions may include: home visits, facilitating meetings between parents, children and teaching staff, individual support to pupils and parents and empowerment of pupils and parents to access appropriate support from other agencies and services.
Court action is taken as part of a process rather than at “the end of the line”. The decision to prosecute is based on evidence and arises from IWO’s professional concern. The objective is to have children in school who are receptive to education and in a fit condition to learn. Court action is the LEA’s responsibility (ESWs and County Secretary).
Pupils with Special Educational Needs - help in identification and assessment of children who may have SEN and, where appropriate, support parents and pupils in the process of assessment and review.
Pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Problems - assist school staff, parents and pupils with the early recognition and/or management of behaviour problems.
Exclusion of Pupils -
- Help school staff, parents and pupils and LEA support services to prevent exclusion.
- Ensure school staff, governors, parents and pupils are aware of their duties, rights and responsibilities when exclusion from school is being considered and/or administered
- Help secure such temporary education as is deemed reasonable by the LEA and expedite permanent provision for pupils without a school place.
Bullying - support to schools, parents and pupils, whether they be victim or perpetrator.
Children Educated Otherwise than at School (EOTAS) by the LEA
- Provide advice and assistance to schools, parents, pupils and LEA on assessment and provision for children who cannot be maintained in a mainstream school because of exclusion, school refusal/phobia, sickness or in need of an assessment prior to placement.
- Give assistance to parents, home tutors, schools and LEA officers to reintegrate children in a full time placement as required.
- Provide advice, assistance and support for Looked After Children in accordance with Welsh National Assembly Circular 2/2001.
Welfare Benefits. To offer advice and assistance with:
LEA benefits such as; free school meals, transport, maintenance and clothing grants.
Housing, State benefits and local/charitable sources of assistance.
Employment of Pupils
- Advise pupils, parents and employers on the application for licences for pupils involved in performances and permits for those in employment.
- Investigate reports of illegal employment of pupils and take the appropriate action.
- Investigate applications for matrons licenses re children in entertainment.
Inter Agency Community Work
- To be involved in activities recognised by the LEA, which promote educational achievement and/or social well being amongst young people their parents and families.
- To participate in multidisciplinary working groups recognised by the LEA and promote strategies that benefit children and young people, e.g. young carers, juvenile crime, drug and solvent abusers.
Monitoring the Movement of Children Within and Between Counties
- Investigate the whereabouts of missing children and families in or outside the county.
- Advise and assist in the educational provision to children new to the County.
- Facilitate or assist the passing on of education or child protection information to other Authorities or the dissemination of such information from such Authorities.
- One half day per week is set aside for an IWO to work with Travellers.
Statutory Responsibilities include:
Children in Employment
The LEA ensures value for money and funding is made available for Inclusion Welfare Manager, 10 High School based IWO’s and 0.5 Admin Assistant.
- Help identify children who may be neglected or in need or at risk of abuse.
- Follow the All Wales and Flintshire Area Child Protection Committee's procedures. and assist child protection agencies in the protection of children who are “at risk” and attend at case conferences and reviews.
- Advise, help and support to school staff, parents and children before, during and after Children’s Services involvement and, when appropriate, act as an advocate for the child.
- To provide training as and when required.
- To follow National Assembly Guidance Circular 2000/2001 on the Education of children Looked After by the Authority.
- N.B Poor attendance is placed in the neglect or self harm continuum by the IWO’s.