The Relational Care Process© aims to change relational care practices within educational communities at every level.
Relational Care refers to the way in which we recognise and support the emotional needs of children and young people through positive, authentic, relational connections. Relational care practices are built on an understanding of each individual's differing lived experiences of people and the world around them with a focus on trauma and attachment needs, and neurodiversity.
What are the aims of the Relational Care Process?
The Relational Care Process helps educational communities to review and reflect on their core knowledge, leadership, organisational systems, policy, and applied practice through a lens of relational care. Through the process we support in identifying strengths, contradictions, and areas for further development to implement good relational care practice so that they can be built on and incorporated throughout the educational setting.
To establish a Relational Care Team © within the setting we use these strengths and existing skill sets as a foundation to build a fully relational care aware approach and apply this in practice.
Why Relational Care?
Schools are facing challenges from the increasing demands of the emotional needs of their pupils. This puts the whole school community under pressure and can lead to increased reliance on key staff to support children outside of the classroom, use managed moves, alternative provision, or to fixed term and permanently exclude. The result? Overload for pastoral staff and increased exclusionary experiences of children and young people.
This quite often does not sit easy with staff and leadership and can conflict with the values and ethos of schools. Our Relational Care Process© represents a new, more effective approach to supporting the emotional needs of pupils. It shifts the focus away from external provision, and exclusive support provided by key specialist staff outside of the classroom, towards supporting key members of staff to model and systemically develop relational care practices in every classroom and across the whole educational community. This is the focus of the Relational Care Team©.
Relational Care Teams©
In this part of the process, schools are supported to train and bring together key staff with the skills to form the Relational Care Team© (RCT). A monthly Reflexive Support Group© (RSG) is used to help the team to develop from the bottom up. They focus on sustainable support of children and young people, sharing practice, knowledge, and skills across the school. It is here that Summit Psychology Services brings a systemic approach (common in clinical settings) into the education setting to enable the RCT to step outside of their daily roles and reflect on their practice, knowledge, skills and how to operationalise these in applied practice to create positive impact for children, young people, and for the wider practice of teaching teams.
The reflexive process creates space for change, for development and embedding of the relational approaches across the school from senior leadership and school policy, to classroom practitioners, and lunchtime supervisors. It empowers the RCT to change the whole school approach, ethos, and practices, and equips them to continue this process long after Summit have left.
The RCT is an essential component of the Relational Care Process©. However the process is bespoke to suit your school's current position and requirements. We offer several other selected components such as a process evaluation with our own pupil experience survey. Please get in touch to arrange a free consultation to discuss beginning the Relational Care Process and the bespoke elements that we offer and which would be best suited to your school.