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Strengthening support to families: basing a family support worker at a primary school in Melbourne, Australia

Senior, Elizabeth, Carr, Sarah and Gold, Lisa 2016, Strengthening support to families: basing a family support worker at a primary school in Melbourne, Australia, Child and adolescent social work journal, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 499-511, doi: 10.1007/s10560-016-0445-5.

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Title Strengthening support to families: basing a family support worker at a primary school in Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) Senior, Elizabeth
Carr, Sarah
Gold, LisaORCID iD for Gold, Lisa orcid.org/0000-0002-2733-900X
Journal name Child and adolescent social work journal
Volume number 33
Issue number 6
Start page 499
End page 511
Total pages 13
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016-12
ISSN 0738-0151
Keyword(s) schools
cost-effectiveness
teachers
families
vulnerable children
Summary This mixed methods study examines the benefits of basing a family support worker (FSW) at a primary school in Melbourne, Australia. The school has a number of high needs families requiring extensive support from school staff. Pre and post intervention data was collected on the time spent on social problems in the school community. These included managing students with behavioural and emotional issues, providing support and practical assistance to parents with problems and liaising with agencies to access support for students and families. Pre and post intervention Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires were completed by teachers whose students and families were clients of the FSW (n = 8) and compared with non clients (n = 10). Semi-structured interviews were held with FSW clients (n = 6), class teachers (n = 3) the assistant principal, principal and the FSW. Employing a FSW showed a reduction in the amount of time spent on welfare cases for teachers, and therefore a monetary saving for the school. Qualitative data collected from school staff and FSW clients was overwhelmingly positive. Having a FSW based at a primary school provides savings in teacher time, and expenses to the school. Teachers are freed to concentrate on education and the parents valued the relationship provided by the FSW.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10560-016-0445-5
Field of Research 111707 Family Care
1607 Social Work
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30087024

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Population Health
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