Family Support

My name is Vicky House and I am in the privileged position to work with all our families in the role of Family Support Worker at Willow Dene School. I endeavour to work with parents and carers to have a positive impact on the lives of children, young people and our families.

I am here to offer support to Willow Dene familes through1-1appointments, telephone advice, community appointments, meetings with support agencies as well as multi-agency meetings in the school.

I can also offer direct support with referrals to appropriate agencies –voluntary and charitable organisations as well as local authority provisions, grant applications and help with form filling.

As the family support worker I offer practical help and emotional support to families experiencing short or long-term difficulties, with the aim of empowering parents to address difficult situations, wide-ranging challenges, reduce problems and risks with a range of social and personal issues. These can range from benefit and grant applications to support around domestic abuse, bereavement, isolation and depression, debt or homelessness.

Families are usually referred by a teacher but you are also able to contact me directly via school reception to arrange a meeting. My diary does get very busy so please be aware that I may not be able to see you straight away. We will then work together to assess and hopefully solve the issues affecting your family.

I also facilitate a regular coffee morning held here at Willow Dene. This is a great opportunity for parents to meet up, chat, and share information and experiences. This coffee morning is called the ‘Speakeasy’ coffee morning.  It is held on a Wednesday between 10.30 -11.30am and every parent at Willow Dene is welcome. Throughout the year we invite representatives from different agencies and organisations local and nationwide to join us for a coffee. This is an opportunity for parents to find out what’s available to them in an informal and familiar setting, ask questions and discover more about the many different services and how they might access them.

Please look out for the ‘Speakeasy’ flyers that are sent home in your child’s bag so you know when these visits are happening.

Throughout the year I look to identify training opportunities and workshops for our parents these are hopefully useful, interesting and fun. I will liaise with the appropriate colleges or charities and arrange for them to deliver to our parents in school. These are often free or at a minimal cost to ensure all parents/carers are able to access and enjoy these courses. I will send flyers home so please look out for these.  

I will also help facilitate specific workshops run in school by Willow Dene staff, our ASD lead, our Sensory Processing Coordinator and CAMHS.

My work with parents is confidential and I work to build a trusting relationship with all parents and carers however should I have any concerns about any child’s welfare I have a duty to safeguard the welfare of all children according to Willow Dene’s safeguarding and child protection policy.

If you would like to arrange a meeting with me or just fancy a chat, please don’t hesitate to call on 0208 854 9841.

I look forward to meeting you!

 

Vicky

 

Useful Links

Library Lending Service
Free book lending service for families

Expert Patients Programme
Free course supporting parents of children with disabilities

Youth Services for Disabled Young People
Advertising services from the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Cinema Exhibitors Association Card Website
Information on how a disabled child/adult can apply for a National Cinema Card that entitles the person accompanying them to the cinema to a free ticket

Taxicard
Information about Taxicard, how to apply and who is eligible for this benefit

Family Information Service
The Families Information and Outreach Service at the Royal Borough of Greenwich gives advice on childcare and children's activities to parents and carers

Greenwich Toy Library
Enables children with profound disabilities the opportunity to access play equipment and specially adapted toys. Plus provides short breaks and respite opportunities.

Contact a Family
They provide information, advice and support for families with disabled children.

Greenwich Parent Voice
An independent group of parents who have a child with special educational needs or a disability, ranging from the most profound and complex to young people without a statement. They are committed to giving a voice to all carers of disabled children in government.

Greenwich Welfare Rights Service – 0208 921 6375
Benefits advice in Greenwich. Contact them to get a free benefit check and make sure you are not missing out on relevant benefits and tax credits

Disability Living Allowance – Helpline 08457 123456