The School & Family Works
Mark Turner, Head of King's House School and Governer, Dr Katie Urch talk about finding the right charity to support and how they found The School and Family Works.
The School and Family Works are a team of experienced, fully qualified, practical therapists with an impressive track record of helping the families of children with additional needs.
Their aims are to increase the wellbeing of family members and to help their children succeed in school. They usually work in schools and childcare settings, often in areas of high deprivation – and they deliver long lasting change by providing insights into the problems our families are dealing with and by giving them the confidence that they need to face up to their challenges.
King’s House School has been providing bursaries for a number of years, but found that, due to its small catchment area in a very affluent area of West London, we were not reaching the most vulnerable members of society. We wanted to extend our outreach and were put in touch with The School and Family Works Organisation (SFW), whose principal service is known as Family Group (FG). We were impressed with the inspirational approach and the impact of the work of the organisation.
In order to raise awareness of the organisation’s work, a fundraising showcase event was recently held at St. Paul’s Girls’ School at which Mark Turner, Head of King’s House School, and Katie Urch, King’s House School Governor, addressed the guests to endorse the organisation’s work. They highlighted the need for a multi-year financial commitment to ensure the work of FG is given enough time to really make a difference to the families involved.
Working with each school directly, SFW create an FG community of up to eight families whose children are failing at school, because they are unable or unwilling to engage with the services that the school offers. In almost all cases, the children come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds and many of their families have experience of some trauma, poverty, mental/physical health issues, domestic violence, drugs/alcohol and involvement with the criminal justice system.
Each FG community meets weekly in school time for a structured session led by an experienced therapist and supported by a senior member of the school’s staff. All sessions are planned in accordance with the organisation’s Theory of Change and are designed to increase the confidence and skills of all community members (parents, children, school. Over time, significant positive outcomes are delivered in terms of enhanced wellbeing (parents and children, better behaviour (children), improved attainment (children), and more cohesive families.