Day to day management of the ‘drop-in’
‘Drop-In’ sessions should be managed in a way that young people are welcomed and feel that they are in a safe environment.
A dedicated receptionist who is the first contact point and operates a triage system is an effective way to manage the sessions, although this may not be possible initially.
The receptionist will ensure that the young person gets to speak to the most appropriate professional and is not left in a situation where they feel vulnerable because of explaining details to the wrong person and having to repeat themselves. The receptionist can make appointments, supply information and signpost young people. A further task can also be to gather the information needed to monitor the use of the service, by gathering basic information about the young person and explaining the confidentiality position to them.
Good practice would be for the multi-agency professionals to have a quick briefing session before the ‘drop-in’ opens, and also briefly at the end to consolidate any issues raised.
The range of provision by visiting professionals offering services will vary from venue to venue. It will depend on the availability of professionals in the area as well as the needs of the school.
Schools should seek to involve at least the support of the following services:
School nursing service
School nurses can provide help, advice and support on a wide range of issues including, bullying, relationships and sexual health and advice on stopping smoking. They can also signpost to other relevant agencies. Some school nurses are able to provide more in-depth sexual health services, for example pregnancy testing and condom demonstrations. All consultations are confidential with the information being shared only with the consent of the pupil, or when there is deemed to be a risk of significant harm to the pupil or other persons.
All schools have a named school nurse employed by GWR Wiltshire Community Health Services.
In most secondary schools, the school nurse will offer a stand-alone weekly ‘drop-in’ service when students can talk in confidence about health issues. In some of the schools, the school nurse drop-ins are by appointment, but the nurse can usually be contacted at other times.
A school wishing to set up a multi-agency ‘drop-in’ should work with the school nurse to run the ‘drop-in’ services together.
Integrated Youth Service
Youth workers from the Integrated Youth Service will promote the ‘drop-in’ and facilitate young people’s involvement. They will use their expertise to help create an appropriately relaxed, friendly environment to enable young people to influence how the provision is shaped and developed. Youth workers will enhance the work’s developmental content through engaging young people in reflective discussion and group work to address any issues which are of concern or interest to those young people at that time. They will work in ways which empower young people; they can assist them to find ‘places to go and things to do’, support them in resolving any concerns or problems which they are encountering and sign-post them, with support, to those agencies which can offer specialist provision, such as counselling or medical services.
Click here to see contact details of other professionals who may be involved in ‘drop-ins.’