“Enhancing young people’s mental health and wellbeing is fundamental
to their overall development and supports the achievement of positive life outcomes
including educational attainment, employment and health.”
Durlak et al., 2011; Guerra & Bradshaw, 2008; OECD, 2015
Switch Midlands is committed to supporting ‘at-risk’ young people in schools. To achieve this we believe that cost-effective, targeted early interventions are vital and we have several options available to referring organisations.
At its heart, our service works towards preventing the exclusion and isolation of pupils from their schools, families or communities. We achieve this by offering support both in our centre and as outreach through our Switch Coaches Programme.
Our programmes help young people understand how situations and issues arise and then develop the skills to approach concerns in a more reflective way, allowing them to be more effective in solving their own problems and feel more in control.
Our emphasis is placed on supporting young people to make good choices in both their educational and personal lives, giving them the ability to recognise and respond to their own emotions, form effective peer and adult relationships and to persevere through difficulties.
Our programmes aim to positively impact on 5 key development areas:
Our support delivers a structured intervention that uses the recognised SAFE principles at the core. This means our Switch Coaches provide pupils with a Sequenced set of activities that use Active forms of learning through Focused time to develop skills and Explicit targeting setting to monitor progress.
We are able to support pupils using our own evidence-based learning programmes, designed and delivered by our extremely experienced and trained staff, all of which hold enhanced DBS checks and safeguarding qualifications, plus a range of therapeutic intervention specialisms.Meet the Team
Our Switch Centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday (9.30am-2.30pm) during term time. This support is designed for students who may benefit from a more intensive intervention package to help identify and reflect on issues that are negatively impacting on their education. The essential component of our support is values-based, placing emphasis on the building, repairing and maintaining of positive relationships. This enables pupils to develop new skills and guides conduct so that they respond appropriately, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others.
Every pupil that participates receives The Open Awards Badge of Excellence accreditation.
We also offer outreach via our qualified Switch Coaches, who will visit schools to work 1:1 with individual pupils or deliver small groups sessions. We use a coaching and mentoring approach, as we believe this is an effective way to unlock pupil potential. It helps to develop improved behaviour, wellbeing and problem-solving techniques, prompting reflection and selecting appropriate strategies for positive change.
These coaching and mentoring sessions can be offered to pupils as standalone support, or as an extension of a placement in our centre, often providing a successful strategy for reintegration.