4 Steps to Address Students’ Social, Emotional, Physical and Mental Health Needs

This blog recaps a recent webinar in which educational equity expert Curtis Linton and The Safeguarding Company Directors Martin Baker and Mike Glanville, discussed four key steps to effective Safeguarding practice.

The disruption, stress and isolation of the pandemic led to a spike in behavioral and mental health issues among children—and schools are feeling the impact.

To ease the burden on teachers, counselors and other overworked staff, districts can turn to Safeguarding—the intentional practice of proactively responding to the social, emotional, physical and mental health needs of students.

With Safeguarding, districts implement a deliberate process that enables a team of educators, administrators, and outside service providers to intervene before student concerns reach a level of crisis.

In a webinar hosted by The Safeguarding Company, educational equity expert Curtis Linton joins Safeguarding gurus Martin Baker and Mike Glanville to cover four steps districts can take to address students’ social, emotional, physical and mental health needs.

View the webinar: 4 steps to address student SEL, trauma & other concerns

During the conversation, Linton, Baker and Glanville discuss four key steps to effective Safeguarding practice—here are the highlights.

 

Step 1: Begin with the end in mind

Every school has a unique setting, and with it, unique needs. To understand the full context and scope of any issues within an institution, district and school leaders must gather all available information.

  • Tip: Implement a structured assessment, delivered in partnership with staff and in collaboration with students, to collect relevant info.

 

Step 2: Streamline process of recording and reporting data 

It is important that districts make it as easy as possible for stakeholders to note and share student concerns. One way to achieve this is by implementing a practical, accessible process for tracking and reporting Safeguarding data.

  • Tip: With Safeguarding Company’s MyConcern software, all staff members—teachers, administrators, counselors, bus drivers and more—can easily report and document student concerns.

 

Step 3: Identify the problem and assess risk

Once a student concern is identified, school staff will need to determine what action should be taken, and what level of support is needed. This requires a deep, well-rounded understanding of the student—including any issues that may be occurring inside and outside of school.

  • Tip: Identifying potential intrinsic, internal and external concerns is essential for accurately assessing risk and providing needed support.

 

Step 4: Adopt a culture of Safeguarding

To ensure student concerns are addressed before they reach crisis level, districts must put tools and processes in place to ensure staff members can proactively and equitably attend to students’ needs. Adopting a culture of Safeguarding requires system-wide involvement.

  • Tip: When properly implemented, Safeguarding as a practice significantly reduces the time and cost of reporting student concerns, documenting evidence, managing tasks and follow-ups, assigning referrals, auditing paper trails and assembling reports.

 

Meet the pressing needs of students and staff

Districts have a basic responsibility to protect students and ensure they are set up for success. With a proactive approach, streamlined processes and the right technology, supporting the non-academic needs of every student is possible.

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