Optional Unit 16
UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN WHO ARE VULNERABLE AND EXPERIENCING POVERTY AND DISADVANTAGE
Understand the circumstances and factors that impact on the outcomes and life chances of children
Explain factors that impact on outcomes and life chances for children – 1.1
Many children live in homes where the income is very low, parents are unemployed, parental separation, illness or disability, drug addictions or criminal activities. In such situations, most children suffer malnutrition or poor diet because of their parents being unable to afford good quality food or clothing. This in turn results in the child not concentrating at school and lack of concentration leads to poor performance of the child. Sometimes children suffer from health-related issues due to all these reasons and probably misses out from future education. If there is a cost involved to educate the child, the parents may not be able to afford it due to their poverty. The main side effect of poverty is poor housing. People living on low income are often dependant on council houses or local authority housing. Sometimes this leads to overcrowding of people. There may be too many people staying in a house with few bedrooms resulting in many people adjusting to live in one bedroom. The condition of the house is another important effect on a child. If the house is damp and of poor quality, it can have a detrimental effect on the child’s health causing asthma or frequent colds and coughs. Children then begin to feel isolated from the others and parents also become fearful that their children may become involved in anti-social behaviour and criminal activities due to their poverty.
Many times, English is not the first language of many children and communication becomes a big problem for parents and their children. The child may not be able to communicate with other children at the setting and the parents in turn will not be able to understand how their child is progressing from the Key person or practitioner as a result of poor communication skills.
Social and community pressures
Children can sometimes feel lonely due to lack of social and community pressures. They need friends to help them to develop with their interaction and communication. Children who lack this tend to feel isolated and hence isolate themselves more from others. They may also suffer insecurities about themselves and be withdrawn from others and feel shy when socialising with people in public. This can lead them to struggle to communicate, share and understand the needs and feelings of others. As they grow older the insecurities may lead to self-harm.
Abuse and Neglect
Children can go astray if without guidance they do not learn the correct ways to behave. Sometimes they can misbehave at school because they do not know or understand their boundaries. They may be unaware of the dangers they face in life. Due to them being neglected or abused they may have a distorted view of their own abilities and may believe that they can do what they want because they are never corrected or prevented from doing the wrong things. Some children can even feel they are unwanted and not loved by their parents. Poor clothing could lead to bullying and teasing, causing them to withdraw and become isolated.
Violent and/or offending family or personal backgrounds
Children who experience violence are more likely to be frightened and isolated all the time. If the parents have some addictions, it can have an impact on children. They can suffer health problems, if their parents have a drug or alcohol problem. Children may suffer from neglect, abuse and/or violence. They may feel scared and find it difficult to speak to people for fear of getting in trouble or going into foster care. This could sometimes lead to them getting involved in crime and at school may be disruptive or withdrawn and have outbursts of violence.
Although dealt with separately, many of these factors are interconnected. Unemployment or low income can lead to poor housing and this can lead to health problems which can lead to frequent school absences. This not only affects the child’s present lifestyle and health but also their future leading to adulthood.
Explain how poverty affects outcomes and life chances – 1.2
Children living in very poor conditions or very poor countries face the biggest health problems. Due to their poor conditions, the living state is poor, toilets are not appropriate with roper sanitation and even basic food clothing and shelter is a very big problem for these families.
Poverty and poor health worldwide are together linked. Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor health. Poverty increases the chances of poor health. Poor health in turn traps communities in poverty. Studies have shown that poverty related problems always leads to poor nutrition. Children may be starving due to the family condition, this in turn leads to the child being sick and undernourished all the time. Poverty affects the nutrition of children and this has been a growing problem social problem. Poverty is a major factor that affects the child’s nutrition. This also prevents the child from developing well and growing well. This could lead to the child having some major or minor disabilities because of malnutrition.
Infectious and neglected diseases kill and weaken millions of the poorest and most vulnerable children each year. This could lead to children being at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases and health problems as the grow. Children living in poverty are more likely to become physically handicapped or even sometimes deaf. Many times, this leads to them being restricted in taking part in games and activities like the other children. Theses health problems can later become a risk factor for a growing child and later go on to their adulthood.
Children who live in poverty are bound to perform poor in school. This could be because of their ill-health they may have to miss school regularly and therefore not perform or achieve well as the other children. This could also affect their overall development and result in poor achievement in the academic year.
Many children could get bullied by other children because of their poverty. They may come to the nursery or school shabbily dressed and other children may make fun of them. This could affect them adversely and could cause emotional and behavioural problems later in life.
Analyse a strategic national or local policy that has positive impact on outcomes and life chance for children. – 1.3
The Child Poverty Act was obtained in 2010. This legislation ensures that appropriate action should be taken in order to tackle child poverty. The Act sets four challenging UK wide targets to be met by 2020. These targets are based on the proportion of children living in: relative low income (whether the incomes of the poorest families are keeping pace with the growth.. It explores the impact of new government policy on the future direction of children’s services both at the national and local levels.
The Department for Education (2010) – Tackling Child Poverty and Improving Life Chances
To protect children from significant harm and improve children’s social care tackling domestic violence, poverty and neglect, drug, alcohol and mental health problems in families.
To improve engagement in learning and achievement in educational skills (e.g. Improving school attendance, behaviour, curriculum and ethos, improving language, literacy and numeracy and social literacy.
To reduce health inequalities (for example reducing levels of infant mortality, childhood obesity, teenage conception and improving emotional health)
A New Approach to Child Poverty: Tackling the Cause of Disadvantage and Transforming Families Lives.
Summary of the Child Poverty Act 2010
The Bill would provide a statutory basis to the commitment made by the Government in 1999 to eradicate child poverty by 2020. Its stated purpose is to give new impetus to the Government’s commitment, and to drive action across departments. It also aims to define success in eradicating child poverty and create a framework to monitor progress at a national and local level.
places a duty on the Secretary of State to meet four United Kingdom-wide poverty targets by the end of the financial year 2020
requires the UK Government to publish a regular UK child poverty strategy
requires the Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers to publish child poverty strategies
establishes a Child Poverty Commission to provide advice
requires the UK Government to publish annual progress reports
places new duties on local authorities and other delivery partners in England to work together to tackle child poverty.
Department for Education (2013) ‘More Great Childcare’
Childcare is a major concern for many families. Parents often find it too difficult to arrange the right sort of care at the right price. For families where it makes sense for parents to go out to work, the government wants to make it easier for them to do so. For this to happen, parents must feel confident that the childcare they choose is right for their child, and makes financial sense.
In More Great Childcare, the government set out the steps they will take to improve the quality of children’s early education and childcare. That document set out the government’s plans to:
reform early years qualifications, introducing new Early Years Educators and Early Years Teachers;
strengthen the inspection regime, making Ofsted the sole arbiter of quality; and,
introduce new Childminder Agencies, to increase the number of childminders and improve the training and support they can access.
Improving quality is a critical part of improving early education and childcare and giving parents confidence. We want to do more to improve the affordability and accessibility of childcare so that parents have reliable, suitable childcare at the times they need it in order to work their preferred hours.
This document now sets out the government’s plan to:
help families to meet the costs of childcare;
increase the amount of affordable provision; and,
give parents the right information so they can make informed choices about childcare.
Explain why strategic direction from national and local policy is required to address factors impacting on outcomes and life chances for children – 1.4
Strategic direction from national and local policy is required to ensure every young child gets the early intervention that they need. All children should be offered the same opportunities. Children centres like Sure start compare statistics and report them into local government. Sure Start centres can then be identified to be located for the most disadvantaged children.
Many children are living in poverty and the main area affected by this is education. When children start school, if they are living in poor conditions they naturally lag behind in education from the other children. This can sometimes continue through the whole of the school life.
Every Child a Talker (ECat) is a national strategy designed to improve the skills of early years workforce in early language, increase practitioner’s knowledge and understand early language development. It aims to improve a practitioners knowledge in order to create an enriched language environment for children. It also helps parents to understand children’s language and get more involved in their development.
These Strategic directions help to tackle child poverty by giving them free meals at school, supporting their families by finding work for them, helping in child care costs, providing courses and programmes for parents which involve activities for children. Without these strategies and help vulnerable children living in poverty would only suffer more. Early intervention is essential to ensure children and their families get any extra support they need to further their development.
Understand how poverty and disadvantage affect children’s development
Analyse how poverty and disadvantage may affect children – 2.1
Physical Development – children who have some problems with their physical development can sometimes struggle with their social and emotional development. They may be much slower than other children in doing simple activities like even throwing a ball. Due to all these problems, they will naturally be slow in achievement which has an impact on their social skills. They may have mental health problems and this could lead them to be stressed. Physical development can also affect the child’s brain and muscle from growing healthy. This could reduce their self-esteem. They may have illness due to lack of enough of food in the family. This could cause a disability on their physical growth and development. Children living in poverty are more likely to develop ill health as well as face a wide range of poorer health outcomes in adulthood.
Social and Emotional development: Children who face poverty problems at home may not socialise as much as the other children. This is because they begin to feel that they ae poor and cannot match up to the living standard of other rich or well to do children. There is substantial evidence that poverty is linked to poorer social and emotional development outcomes for children, with the relationship appearing to be less strong in early childhood and gathering strength in middle childhood. Their communication skills are less than normal children. They try not to socialise and mix with other children because of their poverty. Social and emotional development also has an effect on their learning, reading and writing skills. They do not get enough of opportunities to explore their learning. Sometimes this could affect their mental health as well and these children are found to be slower in their achievement than other children.
Communication development- Children living in poor conditions have communication problems. They feel isolated and do not communicate as much as the other children. This leads to problems in their communication development. There is a significant association between children’s early cognitive development, intellectual development and communication development. The evidence is strong that growing up in poverty has detrimental impacts on cognitive development and that the length of time spent living in poverty.
Intellectual development involves the opportunity to discover new things from existing knowledge. If children are unwell due to their living environments or have responsibilities at home that makes attending school difficult their learning about the world, how it works and how they are part of all that is affected. They will have a lack of interaction with other children and thus not be willing to take up any challenges. If they are not given the right support and encouragement their communication skills will be very poor leading them to be less prepared for the future. They will seem very shy and less confident to talk in front of others because of their poor communication skills.
Learning how things can be different is about the opportunities that enable friends, family and children to communicate, be social, have emotional maturity, discover other cultures and be part of a local community. Poverty can be a major drawback for children to avoid learning due to circumstances at home. They may show slower achievement. If they lack resources due to poverty and they may also show disinterest and low motivation to learn new things.
Understand the importance of early intervention for children who are disadvantaged and vulnerable
Explain how to identify a child who is disadvantage/Vulnerable-3.1
Disadvantage is something that makes a person less likely to succeed than others. Disadvantage is a complex issue. It can affect children from birth and, if left unchecked, it can impact negatively on every aspect of a child’s life. Poverty is often the main reason why parents feel they cannot afford to give the best to their child. This sometimes makes the parents feel less likely to succeed in their child’s development than other parents. This can also affect the child in the same way. A child who is disadvantaged and knows that they are living in poverty will always feel they cannot compete with other children and feel they will never succeed in life because of their poverty.
Vulnerable could be classified as children who are in need of care or protection because of their age, disability or the risk of abuse or neglect. Vulnerable could also mean a child and their family who needs some additional support in order to reach best outcomes because of their social, economic, physical, emotional or family circumstances. Vulnerable children could also be at the risk of domestic violence or may have witnessed domestic violence at some point of time in their life, or living in a house where parents are taking drugs or have alcohol addiction. Vulnerable children will always be withdrawn and depressed. Vulnerable children may show signs of being isolated, inattentive and aggressive within their peers. These types of children may have sudden behaviour changes when triggered by certain things. They may get quite irritable at times and sometimes get angry over small little things.
Explain the importance of early intervention for disadvantaged and vulnerable children – 3.2
There are many different definitions of early intervention. Early interventions for disadvantaged or vulnerable children would mean ‘intervening as soon as possible to tackle problems that have already emerged for children and young people. Differentiating between prevention and early intervention is often quite hard. Although early intervention is much discussed at present it is not new: it has been suggested that its roots can even be traced back to Fröbel’s kindergarten movement in the early 18th century. The importance of early intervention for children has been widely recognised since at least the mid 1980s.
The importance of early intervention is to help and provide families who have children who are disadvantaged or vulnerable and at the same with who have developmental disabilities. It is meant to support these families with resources and t the same time respect the family decisions and cultures. This is also important in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the child. Children and young people who get help through early intervention at an early stage can even stop themselves from self-harm. They can be safeguarded and practitioners can help them with access to resources to encourage them.
Children who not do get help at the right time can also be at risk. Practitioners have a duty of care to help these children who are vulnerable. Practitioners need to look out for any signs that may indicate that a child is at risk of being vulnerable. This could be from alcoholic parents, relatives, or friends. It is the duty of the nursery, staff and practitioners to safeguard these children at all times. Practitioners should also consider the wellbeing of the child and take necessary action or appropriate steps without causing any harm to the child.
Evaluate the impact of early intervention for disadvantaged and vulnerable children – 3.3
If a child who is disadvantaged or vulnerable is left without any help, it may cause more harm and damage if early intervention is not carried out at the right time. Early intervention will help prevent more unnecessary deaths. Practitioners who have some information about a child who is vulnerable needs to inform the local social services who in turn could help the families cope with this. Social services, social workers and health professional can all work together to help these families and their children. This can also help the families with their well-being, motivate them and give them that extra confidence to achieve their goals. They can make better choices and with the help of appropriate resources and by working in partnership with practitioners and health professionals they can improve their standard of living. Health care professionals also play an important role in helping children and their families who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. A child’s health can deteriorate due to their poor conditions but early intervention by health visitors can help these children get better and stronger. The best interest of the child is always the priority, policies and guidance that must be followed when a referral is being made to an outside agency
Parents will be able to work and support their children, providing better homes, healthier food and a stable home life. They will be safer, healthier and hopefully happier. They will have access to facilities to improve their health and well-being as well as their physical, social ; emotional development. Services will be in place to provide support to families in need, helping families stay together and become more stable.
It is now known that early intervention has helped in many cases. Experts also agree that early intervention can be of enormous benefits to children. Lord Laming in his report on child protection which was commissioned by the Government following the sad death of Baby Peter, has remarked that “early intervention is vital – not only in in ensuring that fewer and fewer children grow up in abusive or neglectful homes, but also to help as many children as possible to reach their full potential.” He called for more to be done to put effective early intervention approaches in place and he observed that if this could be achieved it would not only help children to be safe, it would also help to keep them in education and learning well.
Assessment is pivotal to early intervention, being positioned in the middle of the process and thus acting as the essential link between early identification of children and young people’s emerging difficulties on the one hand, and the provision of support of various kinds to resolve or help manage them, on the other. High quality assessment undoubtedly makes a huge difference to children and young people’s outcomes.
Effective information sharing plays an important part both in the identification of vulnerable children and young people, and in the meeting of their needs. Working with children and young people and their families may sometimes require a determined and assertive approach on the part of the professional, because some children, young people and families need to be challenged as well as supported.
Effective early intervention requires professionals to be resilient and committed to achieving positive goals with and for children and young people. They need the skill and experience to approach children, young people and families in ways that win their trust, show commitment and care and encourage them to accept help when it is offered. They also require the communication skills and tenacity to keep trying to establish a good relationship.
If children and young people are given the appropriate help and guidance at the right time, they can progress further in life. This will motivate them to do more and have more confidence in themselves and others. They can become better achievers and make better choices for themselves.
Understand the importance of support and partnership in improving outcomes for children who are experiencing poverty and disadvantage.
Evaluate how policies and guidance which inform support services at national level operate at local level – 4.1
Local authorities are required by the Child Act 2006 to make ‘sufficient provision’ of children’s centres to meet local need. They are therefore the lead commissioner working with their Children’s Trust partners. In guiding local authority determination, as to what level of children’s centre provision is sufficient to meet local need, local authorities will want to take account of children’s centres outside their authority area, or which they expect to be provided outside their authority area, that local parents use on a regular basis.
Focus groups can help with the implementation to support services at national level. Health groups and social care services can all together provide services for parents of vulnerable children as well as parents-to-be and families with young children. Children’s centre can be a place where parents can come to have a chat about their child’s well-being and development. It is the first learning place for parents who need extra help to turn to. With resources available and proper guidance from professionals and social services parents begin to feel more confident in these groups. They can get help with funding and their basic needs can be taken care of. An evaluation and review can be made monitoring the child’s development and their progress and further planning can be done in partnership with the local authorities to help these parents. These groups not only help with the child’s development and learning but also helps parents get to know more about the neighbourhood, activities going on in the local area, play groups sessions and much more.
Sometimes these centres can be of help to parents in choosing the right Day care nursery for their child. It also promotes access to childcare and helps parents in supporting them and encouraging them if they decide on doing any training or thinking about getting back to work.. These centres support the improvement in the overall health and well-being of young children and their families. They promote a greater community understanding through early childhood services and support for parents and families from all backgrounds, income levels and ethnic groups.
Explain how parents and/or careers can be engaged in the strategic planning of services – 4.2
The parent and carer is vital in supporting a child’s development, they are often the child’s first experience and act as the child’s tole model in life. Parent/carers can help identify early on any learning needs. This will help to highlight any areas of learning difficulties. By doing this a plan of action e.g. permission given for additional observations, assessments and meetings can be agreed upon by all parties which will aid in supporting the child’s development.
To assist practitioners, courses and/or classes are available through support groups such as Sure Start for parents and carers help with understanding the importance of supporting services. This can be areas such as the importance of home learning and making positive relations between parents and their child, again of which will help in the planning and outcome of a child’s development.
It is important to note that to make partnerships successful clear and concise communication back to the parent is necessary. Practitioners and multi-agencies should share all relevant information. This can be done in forms of questionnaires, feedback forms, key worker appointment, group meetings etc. This plan will record what is working well for their child/family, signs of progress are the biggest motivator and will show parents/carers the importance of being in the strategic planning processes.
When parents enquire about their child’s development and have conversations with the practitioner, only then can effective parent participation happen and thus they can work along with other professionals in order to develop and improve services. This conversation benefits everyone. Working with parents helps professionals to understand what needs to happen to develop services that meet families’ needs. Working with professionals helps parents understand the complexities involved and the challenges faced by the professionals who have to bring about changes to services. Working together and sharing knowledge enables parents and professionals to find solutions that work.
Parent carer participation avoids waste. When parents get involved in service planning and decision making, services more effectively meet the needs of families with vulnerable, disadvantaged and disabled children. Resources are not wasted on services which parents and families do not take up or value.
Parents are invited to meet, usually on a regular basis, to discuss their experiences of services. This could be a large public meeting or a smaller group of parents who between them can represent other families’ experiences. The group may also be called a forum. It may be run by parents, a paid worker or a by a local voluntary organisation. Service managers and sometimes commissioners also attend meetings, either regularly or by invitation, so that parents can raise issues with them, and they in turn can ask for parents’ views on topics relevant to them.
Some areas have a constituted parent carers’ forum which is a parent membership group that consults with parent carers to get their views of services and raises issues with services at a strategic level.
Strategy for Information
The vision: Regardless of what service they use, parents receive essential information about all services and sources of support for families including health, social care, education, and local voluntary organisations.
What is needed?
A task group of parents and practitioners who work together to produce a central source of information and develop a programme to regularly update information and review whether it is effective.
Analyse how practitioners can encourage parents and/or carers to support children’s learning and development – 4.3
Parents give children all the care, education and attention they need to learn and develop. Parents are the first teachers who teach their children the basics and also give them their first learning experiences and help ensure that they reach important developmental milestones such as sitting, walking, talking, cycling, reading, and so on. In the same way when children come into a nursery they get trained by practitioners to do the similar things parents do at home. As children go on to spend more time in settings parents continue to support their learning and development. When a child has done something good or excellent, parents need to praise their child. In the same way when practitioners use this information from parents about their child’s interests, likes, dislikes and abilities to do things it will help as a starting point for new experiences.
Practitioners can give parents advice on how to help their child to learn at home and develop. If a certain child is lacking behind in any are from the other children, extra help and support is available. Sometimes when English is the second language, the nursery can help that child by arranging for special classes for that child. Practitioners can also guide parents as to what they can do at home to help their child. Activities and games can be played at home which could help the child develop.
Practitioners can involve parents by inviting them to come into the nursery and see how their child is progressing or even including them to participate in an activity with their child. This will not only be enjoyable for the child but the parents as well.
Meetings can be held to discuss the child’s progress with the Key person or Manager of the setting. This way the parents will feel involved in their child’s progress and development. Practitioners can also send home observations for parents to see and read about their child’s progress and development. The child could be the focus child for that week and practitioners could do observations and assessments on the child to decide on their level of learning and development. Practitioners also need to listen to the needs of parents and what exactly they want for their child to grow and develop.
There are a few things that practitioners could also ask parents and/or carers to do at home in order to help with children’s learning and development.
Involve their r child in everyday activities like cooking, shopping, and travelling on the bus.
Talk to their child about what he/she is doing, sees, and how he/she feels.
Give the child opportunities to use his/her senses—to see, smell, taste, touch, and hear different things.
Read to their child regularly by joining the local library. At the library parents could help their child to choose books to enjoy them together.
Sing songs, tell stories and play games with their child.
Talk to their child by encouraging them to ask questions.
Some of the things that practitioners could do at the nursery to help parents with their child’s development are :Share information about the child’s development with parents.
Use a notice-board to let parents know what activities children do on a particular day or a day-to-day basis
Send pictures of what the children have been learning and doing at nursery with captions describing the activity or incident
Let parents know about topics that interest their children.
Find out what their interests are at home and build on these.
Invite parents to share information about their culture and traditions that might be useful in supporting their children’s learning and development.
Organise information sessions for parents. These could be important especially when a child is about to start nursery.
Explain how the needs of children whose parents and/or carers are users of adult services can be met through collaborative working – 4.4
Young people and children should have more opportunities and they should get involved in all activities. There should be enough of resources and every child should be included and involved in all activities. In the same way parents should also be involved in adult services. There must be specific times for meetings taking into account the needs of parent and carers. Effective communication is essential between both parents and the staff. Getting children actively involved would then produce better outcomes in the local community. The purpose of this guidance is to
Provide departments with some early advice and background and with signposts to additional help, so that departments can develop effective plans and
Let departments know the broad timetable for action.
Some of the ways in way the needs of children whose parents or carers are users of adult services can be me through collaborative working are:
Identification/allocation of resources
Appropriate information sharing
Location of services
Management information tools.
Adult’s services should be structured and welcoming to parents. Children’s centre must be attractive with bright displays, and toys available for the children. Parents should feel comfortable and the area should generally be clean. Everyone should be friendly so that parents can enjoy the meetings. Mental health clinics, libraries, parent support groups all cater for children and young people as well as adults by having leaflets for parents to read, toys and books to entertain the children. Sure Start centres are structured for the needs of adults and children in their care and are often on the same grounds and are easily accessible to the community. The adults are often able to attend the practical courses that involve their children. They have wide range of resources and stimulating rooms that are centred around the children of early age year group.
Understand the role of the practitioner in supporting children who are vulnerable and experiencing poverty and disadvantage
Explain how positive practice with children who are experiencing poverty and disadvantage may increase resilience and self-confidence – 5.1
We know that according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs encouraging children do more than they can do, providing them with the right age appropriate activities that will help them explore their self-identity, giving them the choice and ability to try new things, building friendships and giving hem opportunities are some of the few practises that can help build resilience and self confidence in children experiencing poverty and disadvantage.
Encouraging children to try new things and providing them with the right resources to do activities that explore their self-identity are just some of the ways in which children who are experiencing poverty and disadvantage will increase their self-confidence. Children should be given preferences as to what activities or games they would like to do. They should be given challenging situations This would encourage them to do more and realise their value and get more self-confidence. When children are face with new challenges to try new things they always go a step further and achieve more than expected.
A child should have the ability to have a safe and nurturing attachment with their key person who gives them emotional warmth and security. This could increase their self-confidence and make them more confident about themselves This will not only offer security and safety to the young person as well as secure attachments. This will also make children and young people benefit from having positive relationships with family and friends. Positive practice can help children build friendships, increase their self esteem
Resilience is important for children and young people to grow and reach to their full potential, it gives them power to overcome difficulties and the ability to comfortably to communicate with others. It allows them to come out of their comfort zone and explore new things with confidence.
Children and young peoples should always be given enough of praise to motivate them. Praise on its own will not only improve their self-esteem and confidence but will also make them better individuals. Praise and encouragement plays a major role in increasing resilience and self-confidence. Believing in oneself makes a big difference in one’s self efficacy, it not only gives children the opportunities to achieve more than expected but also helps them begin to value that their own efforts make a difference. Children and young people who have previously had a very damaging childhood feel the ability to value how far they have overcome huge obstacles in their lives. With confidence, they can make decisions for themselves and take up responsibilities.
When children themselves are asked what helped them ‘succeed against the odds’, the most frequently mentioned factors are: help from practitioners, members of their extended family, neighbours or informal mentors, and positive peer relationships. The role of professionals must therefore be, where possible, to create and to nurture these relationships.Explain the importance of practitioners having high expectations of and ambitions for children – 5.2
In order to expect a child to perform well and have high ambitions, practitioners need to find different ways of helping children learn and value their own strengths. In order to support and help a child achieve this a practitioner needs to take responsibility in assessing and planning a child’s learning and development. This could also be finding new ways to provide support, giving the child opportunities and valuing their strengths and abilities.
Both parents and practitioners can enhance a child’s resilience, achievement motivation and self-esteem. When practitioners have low expectation of a child it impacts directly on the child’s self-confidence and belief in their own abilities to do something well. Practitioners should always have high expectations and recognise that each child is different and unique and every child will have a unique way of learning. Some children may need additional support in a particular activity while others may be quick at learning it. All children are different and learn at different levels and will require some support in order to reach their full potential. High expectations for children also means that children will have come from different backgrounds and cultures and will have different learning abilities, personalities and that each child can experience success in their own learning and development.
When children begin to believe that they can do something and can achieve results, they are more like to get the task completed with great results. They put in more time and effort with a better approach to get better results and outcomes thus improving their belief in their ability to make a change
In recognising each child’s unique learning practitioners can plan for children utilising their strengths. They can provide additional or different support for children in areas where they are experiencing difficulty. It is also important for practitioners to show respect for different ways of knowing and learning and be open to trying different strategies.
Practitioners should ensure that assessment gives each child the opportunity to succeed. This requires the practitioner to understand the strengths of the child they work with and assess them on their individual growth rather than a comparison against others. When an assessment is done for a child, the repost should be accurate and information given should clearly state how the child is being supported to reach their learning and accordingly the outcomes could be discussed with parents.
Analyse why practitioners supporting children who are vulnerable and/or experiencing poverty and disadvantage must act as facilitators of change in the work setting – 5.3
Practitioners act as agents and facilitators by accepting and understanding the need for change, this can be following partnership with parents/carers, revised and or/or new polices that need to be implemented, working with other professional agencies. It can also be done through professional development as a result of peer observations.
Practitioners need to help children who are vulnerable and or experiencing poverty and must act as facilitators of change in the work setting. Gathering evidence and speaking to local social services to help these children can prove beneficial for disadvantaged children and their families. It is the duty of practitioners to safeguard these children and liaison with local bodies to help these families and their children.
In order to effectively act as facilitators of change in a setting, practitioners need record all information and submit them to parents. Parents need to be well informed of any meetings and their responsibilities in their child’s learning and development. Changes may also be necessary due to interventions by local authorities or agencies. Practitioners and staff at the setting need to consider what more they can do in order to help a child who is vulnerable or disadvantaged. Roles and responsibilities need to be set out for each one in the setting. The key person plays a major role in the learning and development of vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Knowing the child well and bonding with them will not only help the child grow and develop but will also give the parents confidence to speak to the Key person about any problems they have or are facing with their child. Practitioners have a duty of care to look after a vulnerable child so that they do not feel they are living in poverty and do have the facilities like other children. Assuring them and supporting them at all times is vital for the upbringing of a vulnerable or disadvantaged child.