‘Key Working’ as a way to support children, young, people and families.

This article is a report from the NYCC Conference: The biggest change in special education in 30 years: Preparing for the Children and Families Act 2014. You can find more articles on the conference here.

This workshop was run by ‘Achievement for All’, a charity which has introduced key working as a scheme in schools.

If schools want to participate in the scheme they have to buy it in.

The idea of key working is to create improvement in outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.

Staff within schools are trained to become key workers for young people and their families. The key worker’s role is to listen to the families and young people and to develop a relationship with them. They then ascertain the needs of the young people and their family and take action and coordinate all the services involved with the family. The aim is to raise achievement by assisting families to overcome challenges and to enable them to raise concerns at an earlier stage. Action plans can be introduced as a tool to assist achievement – by identifying challenges and looking at what is aimed to be achieved – the plan can then work on ways to overcome the challenges in order to try to meet achievement goals.

This would be a good service for families who are dealing with a lot of different agencies and are finding it hard to draw everything together. However as the scheme needs to be bought in and staff need to be willing to take on the extra responsibilities associated with being a key worker it may not become readily available within schools. It does not necessarily have to be implemented by schools but would require other agencies to engage.


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