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Community Around the School (CASO) Offer

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 outlines the ways in which organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004. We know that when we can identify problems early rather than reacting later it is more effective in promoting the welfare of children. This is more easily done when we work together with a multi-agency approach.

The Locality and Community Support Service (LCSS) offers a named link worker to schools. School Health Nurses (SHN) are based in secondary schools and CAMHS offer Mental Health Support Teams & In Reach Workers to Secondary Schools. There will be CAMHS In Reach Workers provided for primary schools aligned with the SHN primary model.

LCSS, SHN and CAMHS and additional partner agencies are working closely together to avoid duplication and to ensure schools know who to contact and when. This offer pulls together the resources already available to your schools within the local community, with LCSS leading on the co-ordination of any Community around your Schools meeting as and when required.

The following agencies have agreed to contribute to this offer when there is a need:

  • Police
  • Learner Engagement
  • Special Educational Needs Support Services (SENSS)
  • Oxfordshire School Inclusion Team (OXSIT)
  • Informed PSHE support service for schools
  • Education, Employment and Training (EET) service
  • Phoenix Team (Looked after Children’s Health team)
  • Youth Justice and Exploitation Service (YJES)

The purpose of the Community Around the School Offer is to:

  • Develop strong relationships across the agencies who are working with and within schools to provide clarity of roles and avoid duplication.
  • Offer coordinated multiagency support, consultation and training to schools with a view to supporting schools to identify and manage emerging concerns around safeguarding, mental health and wellbeing of young people, thus preventing escalation and developing resilience in children, young people and families.

Schools can use this offer in a variety of ways. We want to be flexible in this approach and the following can be considered:

Issues with Individual children

If there are emerging concerns for an individual child, you can contact the relevant agencies/link workers for advice and initial conversations about options/next steps.

Issues involving several children

Sometimes problems facing schools are very complex and themes may occur which are affecting several different children and a more strategic multi-agency approach is required. Where themed issues are identified e.g. numbers of children involved in exploitation, to ensure information is shared, work is co-ordinated, and a clear action plan is established, schools can ask LCSS to co-ordinate meetings with the relevant agencies to support this process. On occasion these issues can affect a few schools within a particular area or school partnership. Where this is the case LCSS can work with the schools and agencies involved to ensure information is shared, work co-ordinated and a clear action plan established.

Recording Community Around the School Meetings

LCSS will minute the meetings and distribute the minutes to relevant agencies.

Should you require a CASO then please contact your local area LCSS team who can connect you to your link worker.