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Description of activity
Funded by the Public Health team, Young People’s Health Link Workers provide universal, early intervention and prevention support to improve health outcomes for adolescents in Kingston.
The team are predominantly based in secondary schools and in Kingston College and play a key role in four areas:
1. Support the development and delivery of an effective PHSE curriculum (or other curricula where appropriate), offer training, support and advice to school/college staff and external agencies providing services.
2. Provide advice to young people using a variety of styles, eg in taught lessons, delivering assemblies, awareness days, targeted group sessions and on occasion, one-to-one. If a young person is found to be in need of higher intensity work they will be referred on to appropriate services for this. All 1:1 conversations are governed by the Children’s Act (1989) and Fraser Guidelines (1985), which state that all young people have a right to confidential advice and guidance in relation to their health.
3. Provide advice to parents, carers and wider school community members, about young people’s health and wellbeing issues and concerns, and their role in supporting young people through this phase of life.
4. Assisting schools/college in their approach to health, eg reviewing school policies, advising on healthy eating, physical activity including travelling to and from school and working towards achieving Healthy Schools London Status.
The delivery of this function requires innovative and multi-agency working and the post-holders possess a high level of initiative and motivation. The workers have the knowledge and expertise to be able to review curriculum content, review taught content and policy delivery within schools, train and peer support teachers in health related areas, as well as to work effectively with young people, with their parents and other community members.
The posts are employed by RBK and work to RBK policies. They also hold honorary contracts with their host school/college and are part of the staff team, with a link manager to oversee and support the delivery of their role. There are joint meetings between the school/college and RBK at termly intervals. These meetings include monitoring delivery against individual Health Link School Action Plans, agreed in partnership with the individual school/college and based on identified need.
The service is accessed through either contacting the Early Intervention Adolescent Health Coordinator or through the student at school speaking to us directly or a member of staff asking to see us.