SEMH and safeguarding

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Gail 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    I’ve recently got a new job working with teenagers with SEMH and high functioning autism. These young people are obviously extremely vulnerable to many safeguarding issues and I wondered if anyone had any tips/experience to share in terms of spotting signs?


    Abigail Clay

    Hi, I don’t think you are working directly with schools but the organisation below is a really valuable resource for working with / supporting young people like those you describe. It might be a useful place to start.

    Welcome to NASS



    Autism and are also a really good resource for information on these topics and Annie (CEO) is always happy to help:



    Hi Gail
    I also work with young people (11-19) who have high functioning ASC and SEMH.
    I am also the schools DSL.
    I agree with you that these students are extremely vulnerable to lots of safeguarding issues.
    I am currently experiencing a rise in safeguarding issues around on-line activity which is stuff going on outside of school, but continues in school due to the impact and nature of it. We have some students who belong to online self harm forums where they post photos of their injuries etc.

    We currently run a programme for this particular cohort of young people. They all have access to bespoke packages which includes very individualised timetables , and each student has access to a 1:1 learning mentor. We work holistically with the young person and the families.
    When dealing with concerns , everything is recorded, the initial concern, communications with parents/ carers and with multiagency partners. We also record Student voice, this is very important to get their views as to what is going on. We use TED – Tell me , Explain, Describe , when capturing student voice as this avoids leading questions and allows the young person to just talk in his/ her own words which we record on a student voice form and read back to them what they have said and if they are happy, they sign the form. This is also very useful when making referrals to social care or CAMHS etc.

    As well as each student having a chronology, we also have a central record where we record all concerns , communications, headline events and outcomes. This is very useful for picking up on patterns and in identifying those concerns that are deemed as low level on their own , but are cumulative and meet thresholds over time. It’s all done on a spreadsheet which I have access to and I monitor.

    What we as a school have found really invaluable , is that 3 times a year ( every old term) we meet with other multiagency professionals such as social care , disabled Childrens team , CAMHS , LD CAMHS, Educational Psychologists, clinical psychologists, the school nurse, physio , OT etc. We call it our joint planning meeting. What we do is we bring to the table 6 cases where we have young people with mental health issues who we are concerned about.
    Each agency that is involved with the young person and family will feedback as to what they are already doing to support them, additional concerns and we create an action plan ( it informs the early help record in some cases) . Sometimes it is identified that referrals to one of the agencies need to be made and that a bespoke support package needs putting in place.

    We get a lot from these meetings and some really good work is done to get the right agency involved to provide the most appropriate support package with these young people without overlap in terms of the work that other professionals are doing.
    We review each case during the next meetings etc. and monitor the actions and impact.

    It’s a great example of how information sharing and multiagency working can have such an impact leading to positive outcomes for the young person and families involved.

    I hope this helps . Let me know if there is anything more specific that I can help you with .




    Thank you all for your advice and taking the time to comment and reply – it’s always really helpful and really interesting to hear how other people and teams work!

    Abigail – the school I am going to be working at is part of the NASS so that is a really useful link and not one I had heard of.

    Lorna – it’s really reassuring to know such robust safeguarding procedures exist, esp around the MDT. The online aspect is one which is going to become a greater and greater concern, thank you for raising it. I like the idea of TED – I think I will take that forwards into my practise.

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