It has only taken six months for staff at Templeton Primary School to see the significant difference being made by CMM's Community Response Team.
Templeton Primary is one of 15 schools in the Greater Christchurch area that the team has a weekly presence in. A team member has been based at the school for half a day per week since the start of the year. The wrap-around support that they provide to the children and families has had a huge positive impact and is vital given that it is not available in the community.
Deputy Principal Penny McCauley has found the school-based worker very responsive and critical to meeting the needs of families at the school. "Having someone to link families to a wide range of support services, provide assistance such as food parcels and being adaptable to the unique needs of pupils and families makes a huge difference," says Penny. "It really helps to reduce barriers that many of our families face. The worker meets with pupils and families at the school or at their home and can either provide one to one or group support."
The teachers also highly value the support offered. With someone based at the school to provide social work support it means that teachers can get on with their core role of teaching. "Having someone that can have those hard conversations with parents means that our teachers can focus on teaching and not have to worry about being a social worker as well," adds Penny. "The Community Response team fulfil a role of critical importance to the children and families of our school."
For the 2016-17 year the Community Response team received 349 referrals from schools and had a weekly presence in 15 schools in Christchurch and Selwyn.