The Carers Education Group

working with Jofli and Buddies4fc

Hope to pilot the use of Jofli Bear in two areas

Education and Emotional support (attachment).

 The proposed project aims to pilot the use of Jofli bear in two contexts, as follows:

 

a)            Educational Development – Creative & General Writing Skills

b)            Emotional Support & Life Story Work

 

Educational Development – Creative and General Writing Skills

The improvement of both creative and general writing skills is a core element of school curriculum throughout the UK. As in all local authority areas, schools within Staffordshire are seeking to improve the ability of pupils to write both using their imaginations and in various contexts, such as diary keeping, reporting factual events and using photographic evidence to explain situations.

 

Evidence from the Department of Education shows that, of the Looked After Children in England (2016-2017), only 39% of children (30% of boys and 45% of girls) achieved the expected standard nationally. In Staffordshire, preliminary data (yet to be confirmed) shows that 36.8% of LAC children achieved the standard in writing in 2018. Whilst this is a small improvement on 2017 it is still extremely low and requires further support and action.

Emotional Support & Life Story Work

Studies into the development of children’s brains highlight the impact of poor emotional, dietary and environmental early upbringing - as well as language and fine motor skill issues, areas such as empathy (relationship/friendship forming), executive functioning skills (planning, attention, remembering instructions, juggling multiple tasks) and self-regulation skills are either not developed or underdeveloped. As a result, these children are unable to use their working memory, have poor mental flexibility and lack self-control. The large majority of LAC fall into this category of children, which impacts directly on self-esteem, attachment and their ability to manage school life (including their willingness to participate in activities that require memory recall/imagination, writing and reading).

 

For those expressing an interest in the writing/educational pilot activities, Carers will need to have accessed ePEP training and will be supported to update ePEP with their views on their LACs progress. Carers will be provided with support materials which will a) make suggestions as to how the Bear can be used, including the provision of  journals to support the child/young person  and b) explain the purpose of the project, its actions and the input anticipated from each carer (and their young person/child where appropriate) as part of the review and results expected throughout the project journey.

For those expressing an interest in a Bear for emotional support/attachment for their young person/child, there will be a requirement that they have completed the Part I Attachment training prior to receiving the Bear. They will then be provided with the same information regarding the project as the carers involved in the education pilot, alongside ideas as to how the Bear might be used with the young person/child.

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