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Edinburgh Community Support Services

Barnardo's Edinburgh Community Support Services

Parents holding children

Edinburgh Community Support Services (BECSS) is a joint initiative between Barnardo’s and City of Edinburgh Council.

BECSS is a multi-disciplinary team providing direct support to children and families to ensure that as many Primary to Secondary children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural needs as possible can remain in their own schools, families and communities, wherever that is safe and appropriate.

This service is provided in close co-operation with City of Edinburgh's own Additional Support for Learning Services. BECSS has moved from a limited neighbourhood role in the WHEC and Craigroyston clusters to one that is Edinburgh wide. Referrals to the Service are made following a Child's Planning Meeting, minutes of the meeting should be forwarded to maureen.mcpheely@edinburgh.gov.uk with a request for support. This will then be forwarded to the Additional Support Access Point (ASAP) Group for discussion and allocation if appropriate.

BECSS also provides consultancy and more direct family support to children who attend Rowanfield School.

The aim of BECSS

To ensure that as many primary aged children with emotional and behavioural problems as possible can remain in their own schools and families wherever safe and appropriate.

The objectives of BECSS

  • to provide a community based multi-disciplinary assessment of children and their families, and recommended appropriate services to meet assessed needs
  • to assist  children with behavioural difficulties to maintain their place in their own school
  • to provide assistance to parents/carers of children with behavioural difficulties at home, which enables them to gain confidence and promotes their parental responsibilities
  • to promote whole class and whole school approaches, working with others, towards including the child positively in school
  • to work collaboratively with external agencies, promoting a multi-disciplinary/multi-agency approach
  • to offer a range of help to parents through groupwork, family therapy, counselling, parenting skills, time-limited focused work and relationship therapy
  • to help individual children through a range of interventions including play therapy, groupwork including nurture/seasons for growth, managing feelings, playground support and peer relationships.
  • to offer support to families out of school e.g. holiday play schemes, individual work with children, after-school clubs etc.

The team has been fully operational since February 1999, and consists of a Children's Service Manager, 2 Team Leaders, teachers, qualified child and family workers, support workers and a volunteer co-ordinator.

The team's role with families is crucial in working closely with teachers and parents to ensure consistency between school and home, and to enable parents to improve relationships and meet their children’s developmental needs. A strong multi-disciplinary approach greatly enhances the service received by the family and school. Community support workers are experienced in work within the school setting and also providing support in the community.

From the beginning of our involvement with schools and families, the team has monitored their work by asking parents, teachers, children and keyworkers to complete brief questionnaires. The evaluation sheets seek the individuals’ views on the work done, and provide different perspectives on whether there have been any measurable improvements for the child at school and at home.