What is a 'drop-in'?
A multi-agency health and well-being ‘drop-in’ for young people is a confidential and safe place for young people to go to discuss issues to do with their health and well-being. ‘Drop-ins’ also provide access to information, advice and guidance and opportunities to access specialist services directly and/or receive signposting to these. Generally young people self-refer to ‘drop-ins’ or they can be signposted to them by a teacher or other professional.
Preferably ‘drop-ins’ are school-based, but can be in other local community venues such as the local youth centre.
There is no set model for how they should operate. They can take many forms and are always in partnership with other agencies, for example the School Nursing Service. Often they take place over a lunchtime or after school. Some target the older secondary age group; others are available to all secondary age pupils. Some operate in purpose-built premises with consulting rooms and a reception area and have a number of professionals available at the same time. Others operate from a classroom and manage a referral and appointment system to supporting professionals both on and off site and at various times throughout the week.
Services offered should be wide ranging as this offers not only a good variety of information for young people, but also anonymity, as their reason for attending is not obvious to others.
Below are some examples of how the range of advice, information and guidance can be provided in addition to face-to-face confidential discussions with visiting agencies:
- Leaflets and written information
- Posters and displays
- Referrals/signposting to other support agencies
- Internet access for online advice and information
Essentially, their nature and scope is for the school to determine in consultation with the students, parents, teachers, governors and partner agencies.
About this guidance
This guidance has been produced to help secondary schools in Wiltshire to set up and maintain multi-agency health and well-being drop-ins for young people.
It is aimed at staff and governors working in schools and is designed to provide the rationale and practical information to get the ‘drop-ins’ up and running.
It replaces guidance that was produced in 2011 in partnership with Wiltshire Council’s Extended Services and NHS Wiltshire Public Health.