Norwood and JFS have announced an “innovative and transformative” collaboration that, for the first time, sees a dedicated Norwood social worker placed at the school for two days a week.
The move is part of a wider, long-term initiative driven by JFS that focuses on pupil wellbeing and safety. Norwood social worker Susie Moss joins a multi-disciplinary wellbeing team recently initiated at the school; this team includes dedicated staff in the fields of psychotherapy, educational psychology, and counselling.
It is the first time Norwood has placed a dedicated social worker in a school, having previously done so with counsellors and psychotherapists.
JFS Executive Headteacher Deborah Lipkin, said she was delighted that “two venerable institutions that have looked after the Jewish community for many hundreds of years have entered into this historic partnership”.
“This innovative and transformative collaboration will promote the safety, health and wellbeing of the children in our community,” she continued. “Co-location of services is a key part of JFS’s vision. We have the community here, so rather than the children having to go out to seek crucial services such as social work, we provide those services and more right here at the school.”
Mrs Lipkin’s vision for the emotional health and wellbeing of the entire school community is important as “schools are increasingly challenged by the realities of modern day society and must provide a safe environment for young people. Enabling them to gain early access to these services is vital”.
Mrs Lipkin went onto say that Norwood was the natural choice when it came to selecting a partner for this particular venture. “To me it seemed obvious to go to the experts in the field, and Norwood was very responsive to our approach.”
Dolyanna Mordohai, Norwood Head of Children’s Services, said: “I believe this partnership can be used as a model for other schools”.
“What is special about JFS is that their approach, which we at Norwood share, is about more than just ticking boxes with pastoral care. With the multi-disciplinary team in place, emotional wellbeing becomes part of the DNA of the school. We are excited about the possibilities that this way of working can open up for students, teachers and parents in the school,” she continued.
“Children and young people’s safety and wellbeing are at the heart of the work our Norwood social workers do every day, providing serviced such as: individual support, parent support, crisis intervention, home visits, advocacy, group work and skills training. Our partnership with JFS enables us to reach more young people earlier and to work closely with teachers, parents and other school staff to ensure children are safe and enabled to live a full life.”
Norwood social worker Susie Moss’s main aim in her new role is to “promote the wellbeing of children and families”.
“It’s about supporting the parents and making sure their children’s own holistic needs are met,” she said. “I’ll be working transparently with the school to ensure the children can get the best out of their education and their time here.”