Sharing our relational approach and its impact

We know that it’s really important for us to share our insight and practice within our sector. So, this March, we were pleased to have the opportunity to receive the Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, on a visit to view our delivery in two schools in Brent: Capital City Academy and Donnington Primary School.

At Capital City, young people on the WLZ programme hosted a tour of the school before having a conversation with School leaders and our Link Workers Fatima and Jilna. The principal at Capital City commented on the relational qualities of our Link Workers:

“Fatima has made the time to see students when and where they need it. She is at the school gate, in the playground, at key events - ready for the incidental conversations.”

Following this we went to Donnington Primary School, where the Commissioner observed and participated in a woodworking session courtesy of our delivery partner Reclaimed. Here she learned about how these sessions combine practical and therapeutic elements.

We also wanted to ensure the Commissioner had the opportunity to speak to a number of families on the WLZ programme as she has recently launched the Family Review on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The aim of the review is to gain an understanding of the state and place of family in modern childhood, and also to explore how families feel about the support they are offered by public and charitable services.

WLZ’s relational approach with families differs from other programmes or interventions by initially focusing on building a strong relationship with families and children over a 2-3 month period of time. WLZ Link Workers are then able to facilitate more effective engagement with specialist support interventions as the programme progresses. The Children’s Commissioner was able to view the benefits this strong connection brings in conversations with WLZ parents and children.

Ewan Edwards, External Affairs Officer

together, every child and young person can flourish.