SWW Report 2014

Student Welfare Worker Report
Wirreanda Secondary School
September 2014
Completed by: Scott Millar (Student Welfare Worker)

Current Activities and Completed Actions

Generalist counselling and student support service:
A large proportion of my time each week, is working directly with individual students. I am working with a number of students in an ongoing manner, with follow up appointments and the development of longer term goals and strategies. Other students I may only assist to either problem solve for that day, or be an appropriate person to listen to their concerns of the day and offer advice. I have made an effort to be as widely available to the students as possible and find they often drop in unannounced, and believe that this must have taken some pressure off the direct service provided by the counsellors. I have found that my experience in the youth sector as a Case Manager has been extremely useful and relevant in this role.

Referrals to specialist services where appropriate:
It has been extremely useful to have the services of a clinical psychologist on site Monday and Tuesday in Cara Crothers, and having the referral packs already developed for this service. Although the wellbeing team are referring many students to this service, and being in contact with parents, they do not always result in attendances with Cara. Students have also been generally agreeable to receiving information on many local services that may be suitable to their needs.

Case consultation with fellow staff including faculty, but particularly Counselling staff and year level co-ordinators:
I been provided the opportunity to assist and be assisted by other members of staff to work towards better outcomes for students. In particular Rebecca Cousins, the year 9 co-ordinator, has made regular contact and works with a very collaborative approach that I have appreciated as a new staff member.

Participation in Lunch Club and Parkour Group weekly:
Every Wednesday is ‘Lunch Club’ and is conducted in the Tute Room area. I have been assisting to facilitate this program each week, giving students a place to come and play board games, group role playing games or some quiet time on the computer. I interact with the students and encourage a positive and respectful environment for all students involved.

Every Friday lunch we have the “Vertical Freedom” Parkour group teach in our drama space. This is a group that I initially introduced to Wirreanda as a promotion for after school programs at local youth centres. In collaboration with Tash Thorton we have kept the Parkour group as a weekly occurrence since week 8 Term 2. Parkour group has not only been encouraging our male students to consider a role in performing arts but promoting knowledge of the human body and healthy nutrition intake.

Planning and organising Wellbeing Events
A large part of my time is spent on the organisation of awareness days such as IDAHOT, Wear it Purple, Daffodil Day, International Youth Day and Reconciliation Week. I often engage students in helping for the preparation of these days, finding that it helps the student feel like a solid part of the project and proud once the event has been successful. I believe these stand out days are crucial in the development of our students as it brings us together as a unified body that stands up for the mental health, ATSI and LGBT issues that are stigmatised and left in the dark. This holistic approach instils respect for the community and personal integrity in our students who when mature, are able to be positive, proactive and considerate members of society.

Arranging care packages for students weekly:
I believe that this is a very worthwhile service to have available within Wirreanda High School. The number of students willing to collect their package fluctuates from week to week, with attendance for those who need it most being a particular barrier. I have made an effort to offer food and material assistance to as many students as possible, and even do home visits for certain family’s when required. One student in particular is living under circumstances that require him to work and care for his mother on a full time basis. To support this student I often drive him home with care packages and on one instance transported him to the “Good Guys” so that he could purchase a heater for his mother out of his own money.

Liaising with other community organisations regarding potential partnerships:
I have been in contact with a number of other community organisations as to how we can work together, including the CARD’s (Centre for Anxiety and other Related Disorders), Headspace, Shine SA, Quit SA, Sammy D foundation, Cancer Council, Salvation Army, Youth Opportunities, Southern Youth Exchange and You Can Help among others.

Development of resources (including brochures and posters) for student wellbeing:
I have further developed the wide range of information available to students in the wellbeing area, including sourcing free posters and brochures from services such as Beyond Blue, Shine SA, emergency housing information and assistance to name a few.

Relationship building with staff and students:
As part of my role as Student Welfare Worker I have worked to develop a presence within the school promoting support in general, but in particular wellbeing. I believe that in the short time I have been at Wirreanda High School I have developed some significant working relationships with both staff and students, and evidence would suggest that more meaningful work is created through such connections.

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