Why talk about play when thinking about meeting the needs of troubled or hard to reach families?
If you have read ‘Better Play: Practical Strategies for Supporting Play in Schools for Children of All Ages‘ then you will know that play is always part of the answer when human relationships and well-being are in question. All of us face trials and troubles in life; according to Stuart Brown how we respond to and manage testing times varies:
For the well-versed player, life in all its challenges can be experienced as a complex playground. For the play-deprived, life is too often seen as a battleground.
(In Crenshaw & Stewart’s 2015 ‘Play Therapy. A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice‘)
Better Play training and Consultancy Supervision support and develop staff in schools- often the most significant adults outside of the home in the lives of children from hard to reach families.
When families are unable for many reasons to engage in interventions; and when they do not have the resilience or support systems in place to support change, the need for insightful, self-aware and resilient staff with powerful techniques for connecting with disaffected pupils is paramount.
Understanding the dynamics of attachment relationships in school, which includes the ways adults think, feel and behave, as well as needs and behaviours of pupils can shift patterns that we have not recognised or have not thought of as in need of change.
Better Play training and Consultancy Supervision support schools working with Troubled Families. It takes a community (village) to raise a child- schools are hopefully at the centre of communities and must be a part of the expansion of the Government programme. Schools are the best placed people to support families who are working to make a change; but they can also provide an alternative ‘good enough’ relationship for pupils with families not able to engage or to make the shift in their lives.