Policy statement

Bright World Guardianships is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our students. Our aim is to promote a working culture that is supportive, caring, and respectful. Bright World has an ongoing Mental Health Champion Initiative to show our committment to training and awareness. We have regular training and supervision sessions with Kate Kay of KRD Training and Consultancy and we are Organisational Members of the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS).

We want our students to have a voice and to feel listened to. We know culture shock can affect international students, that everyone experiences different life challenges, and that each of us may need help to cope with them sometimes. We understand that anyone and everyone may need additional emotional support. We take responsibility for supporting the children under our care as does anyone who works with us as a member of our Head Office team, our Local Coordinators, Host Families and Drivers.

Reasons for this policy

This policy is a guide for overseas parents, schools, host families and Bright World staff. It outlines our approach to promoting student mental health and wellbeing. It should be read and understood alongside our other relevant policies such as our EDI Policy and Cultural Competence statement.

Policy aims

The aim of our policy is to demonstrate our commitment to the mental health of our staff, host families and students.

We pledge to:

• Ensure that our staff and host families have relevant training in Mental Health Awareness and easy access to information. This will include guidance on signs and symptoms as well as how to talk to students who are suffering with mental health issues. This training will be updated at least every two years.
• Ensure that our students know who to contact if they are struggling and feel comfortable sharing any concerns and worries.
• Respect our students as individuals and make them feel valued and listened to.
• Be available to support students who need our help in cooperation with their school.
• Work closely with relevant school staff to ensure any response to a mental health concern is in the best interest of the student.
• Promote an early response to signs of mental health issues amongst our students.

Bright World Mental Health Champions

If a member of staff, school, driver or host family is concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of a student, then in the first instance they should speak to: The Designated Safeguarding Lead and Mental Health Lead, Robbie Piper.

If a child presents a medical emergency then relevant procedures will be followed, including involving the emergency services. Here is a link to our Mental Health Emergency process.

Bright World Mental Health Champions

Bright World has a select number of host families and Local Coordinators who have received bespoke training from KRD Training and Consultancy which gives them an awareness of how to support students with mental health issues. These are called Bright World Mental Health Champions.

Staff and host family awareness training

ALL Head Office and Local Coordinator staff, and particularly those liaising with students and reading welfare reports, are given sufficient awareness training to recognise the signs of a Mental Health issue and know how to handle it and who to tell.

Working with schools, parents and medical professionals

We work an cooperate with schools, parents, host families and medical professionals to better support our students.

We send our Mental Health Support Booklet and our Emergency procedure flowchart to all DSL’s of schools and host families each year.

Where a school contacts us to report a mental health concern with a student, we follow our Mental Health Emergency Removal Procedure.

We will:

  • Ask if the student is in immediate danger of harm. In this case we will insist that the emergency services are called immediately.
    • Work together with the school to support the student in the best way possible.
  • Ask what level of risk that the student presents to themselves and others.
  • Insist that the student is taken to A and E and or CAHMS or MASH informed if the student is at high risk of harm.
  • Remember and take note that children and young people with special educational needs or an existing mental health diagnosis require more professional and immediate support as they are often more vulnerable to mental health issues.
  • To remember that only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health issue.
  • Inform the parents/carers of the child’s mental health issues (unless their is a child protection concern with the parent/carer that directly places the child at further risk of harm where it would not be appropriate)
  • Remind schools and parents that as guardians we are not medically trained and cannot replace the care of a medical professional or an NHS crisis team.
    • Ask relevant questions and seek the advice of or insist that a medical professional is consulted by the school, if we are asked to remove the student from school.
  • Ascertain that the student has been consulted and is happy to leave.
  • Request/insist that parents come to take care of their child if necessary.
    •If a student is to be removed from school, then we will ask school staff to follow our Risk Assessment and Procedure. This must be completed before a student is removed from the school setting. This is to ensure that we have enough information about the circumstances leading up to the removal of the student in order to support the student appropriately, and to ensure all appropriate steps have been taken up to that point. • Where it is decided that it would be in the students’ best interest to stay with a host family, we will risk assess the situation and find the most suitable host family for the student. In the first instance we will approach the student’s regular host family or a Bright World mental health champion host family. There may be situations where the usual host family is seen to be the most appropriate. In this situation we will check that the host family is prepared to take on this responsibility and is made aware of the situation before placing.
    • We will provide ongoing support to the student and the host family and keep in regular contact with the relevant school staff and overseas parents.

Working with medical professionals

We will also liaise with medical professionals to help support our students. This may be CAHMS, hospital staff, school or private therapists, including SEND professionals, the local MASH team and Social services, SENDCo, Educational Psychologists, GPs.

If a student discloses mental health issues

Mental health disclosures constitute Child Protection and Safeguarding issues.

Here is a copy of our Child Protection Procedure in the case of any disclosure.

Any disclosure should be reported to Robbie Piper, our DSL and Mental Health Lead immediately or in his absence, Lana Foster, Su Warren or James Foster. We will then follow our Child Protection procedure and liaise with the relevant parties confidentially. We can never promise confidentiality to a student.

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

This policy was last reviewed on: 24th October 2023

Signed: Lana Foster, Managing Director, DSL


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