The Welfare Coordinators Role
1. Provide Whole School Support
•Primary Prevention – To work closely with school staff, especially the Principal and Assistant Principal to develop a coordinated approach in identifying and assisting children and families.
•Early Intervention -To develop and implement a range of programs and interventions to meet the needs of the students that focus on social, emotional and education needs.
•Intervention – Case managed support with specialised services to at-risk children. When appropriate, assist families and children, offering referral to appropriate agencies.
•Restoring – Providing support to parents and children affected by trauma or crisis situations.
2. Work with teachers and students
•Increase teacher capacity to support the diverse needs of students
•To provide information and resources to teaching staff
•Provide individual support for at-risk children
•Provide group support for at-risk children
•Managing student referrals
3. Work with parents
•To provide information and resources to parents
4. Work with the Community
•Liaise with external welfare providers
•Contribute to the regional and local Primary Welfare Officer Network
•Develop community partnerships to draw on external welfare expertise
5. Child Safe leader
A school lead for child safety should have sufficient status and authority, including leadership support and the ability to direct other staff (where appropriate), to undertake the role effectively.
Broad areas of the role are to:
Provide authoritative advice
- act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of child safety
- liaise with the principal and school leaders to maintain the visibility of child safety
- lead the development of the school’s child safety culture, including being a child safety champion and providing coordination in communicating, implementing, monitoring, enhancing and reporting on strategies to embed a culture of child safety
- ensure the school’s policies are known and used appropriately
- ensure the school’s child safety policy is reviewed in the context of school self-evaluation undertaken as part of the school accountability framework
- ensure the child protection policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals bout suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the school in the school in this
- be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers
- encourage among all staff a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings in any measures to protect them.
- keeping their skills up to date with appropriate training carried out every two years
- having a working knowledge of how the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Community Service Organisations conduct a child protection case conference to be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so
- be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referral
- ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s child safety policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff
- make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest DHHS and DET policies and guidance.