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Getting it right for Louise

A team of professionals, co-ordinated by a Named Person from her school, was able to help 11 year-old Louise and her family when they moved to Scotland recently.

Louise enrolled at a local primary school in 2011 after her family moved from England. She had been living abroad with an aunt and had only recently re-joined her parents and two new siblings.

Her Named Person was the school’s head teacher who quickly recognised that Louise had limited language and communication skills. Louise needed a lot of reassurance and her behaviour could be challenging. Her parents needed support with her, too, and didn’t know how to get in touch with the services they needed to get this help.

It became obvious to the head teacher that Louise had unmet needs in all of the eight areas of wellbeing which are at the heart of the GIRFEC approach. She recognised that the family needed to have a clear understanding of their daughter’s needs, and how to support her.

At this point she realised that a lot of specialist professional services like educational psychology, school nursing and speech and language didn’t know about Louise so she co-ordinated a ‘team around the child’, drawing in support from these and other services.

Realising that they needed more information before they could organise the right package of support, various members of the team were tasked with building up a picture of the family’s circumstances, background and needs.

The head teacher also took on the role of Lead Professional (a role that comes into play in more complex cases) and was given extra support by a senior project worker from Barnardo’s.

The process allowed everyone to get a better understanding of Louise’s world. Her parents were encouraged to get much more involved so that they too could support Louise’s needs.

Having recognised that those needs were complex, the team has been working together – along with Louise and her family – to ensure that the whole family gets a positive outcome. The family is now getting co-ordinated support from all relevant agencies  and professionals.