Toolkit for school nurses
Working with other professionals
School nurses can and do refer children to other health and welfare professionals. They could, for example, request a home visit by a health visitor which, if there were concerns, could help to understand a child’s situation and gather important information about how that child could be supported.
They might equally consult with professionals concerned about school attendance, or be consulted by them. As erratic attendance, or regular non-attendance, are potential signs of difficulty where parental alcohol misuse may be a factor, school nurses’ knowledge could be useful in assessing a particular case or situation of this nature.
In addition to other generic professionals, school nurses might in some areas have the opportunity to work with alcohol specialists in addressing the needs of pupils. Developing this sort of relationship can be hugely beneficial to the school, the alcohol agency and, of course the children involved. Although there are, currently, very few such services dedicated to the needs of children, those that do exist may have some valuable lessons for the future development of collaborative working.
Set out here is an interview with a specialist children and families worker in an alcohol advisory service, in which she discusses both her role and some of the issues that arise in working in partnership with schools and young people’s organisations.