17. A Secondary Young Person with Challenging Behaviour and Child Protection Issues

Background This secondary non-native young person arrived in secondary with indications of physical abuse in his previous country when younger, because of cultural differences. His father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but this information only became known to the school when emotional and behavioural problems were investigated. Child Protection concerns became evident through the boy’s behaviour which caused upset to fellow pupils. The boy also began to talk about committing suicide. Solution Focused Approach The school Child Protection Officer and Year Head worked closely with the child’s parents, Guidance teacher, District Nurse, and Marie Curie/McMillan nurses. Social Work Child Protection duty staff were also involved in initial consultation. Strategies included: • contact and consultation with primary school staff; • 1 – 1 counselling and support; • school and health staff making home visits; • daily support and monitoring of young person’s behaviour and demeanour; • involvement of School Chaplain and Minister; • consultation with Community Link staff; • regular involvement/ consultation with the Mental Health team. Partnership Working School and health staff worked together very closely. The school used its staff development budget to train its Chaplaincy team in the ‘Seasons for Growth’ programme enabling them to work jointly with school staff in supporting children through bereavement and loss. The young person’s progress and welfare was discussed regularly at the Integrated team and further work is being undertaken with the Mental Health team, the boy and Support staff. Successful Outcomes included:
  • the young person and family was supported through the trauma of bereavement;
  • he attends school full-time;
  • he knows where to seek support in school and self-refers appropriately;
  • although behaviour issues continue, relationships with staff and peers are good;
  • partnership work continues to help promote the young person’s resilience and positive mental health.
back to top