Call for Emotional Support for Children in Deprived Areas

News - 10 Apr 2019

Senior professionals in children’s development have called for more emotional support services for children from deprived communities to prevent longer-term health and well-being issues developing. The call was made following a meeting held at Emosi, a new children’s therapy centre in Sheffield.

Emosi is based at the multi-award-winning Ellesmere Children’s Centre in Burngreave, Sheffield.
The meeting was attended by nationally recognised leaders in early years development, including Dr.  Adam Boddison, CEO of the National Association of Special Educational Needs, Dr. Sharon Curtis, Manager of Emosi, Dr. Pat Broadhead, former Sheffield Early Years’ Champion and Professor of Playful Learning at Leeds Metropolitan University, Penny Borkett, author and Senior Lecturer in Early Years at Sheffield Hallam University and Marie McGreavy, Strategic Commissioning Manager for Sheffield City Council.
The call comes as Kevin Courtney, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said support for children and young people with SEND was “woefully inadequate” and a report by the thinktank IPPR North found that Government financial support for children with special educational needs has been cut by 17% across England since 2015, with children in the north of England worst affected, with cuts of 22% per pupil.
Opening the discussion, Dr. Boddison, who had travelled from London to attend the meeting said; “It’s quite often that children from low economic backgrounds are impacted on when there are changes in educational delivery. There is an opportunity with the establishing of Emosi in Burngeave, to bring together agencies to create a centre of excellence that focusses on the emotional and developmental issues of early years children.”
Dr. Curtis then reflected on her more than 20 years’ experience of running Ellesmere Children’s Centre in one of England’s poorest wards and said; “It seems to be that the emotional development of very young children is easily overlooked, but it underpins everything in terms of their mental health and well-being. We need to change the way we look at how practitioners, education providers and parents or carers engage on the subject of children’s emotional well-being, particularly in transcultural and deprived areas such as Burngreave.”
Emosi has been designed to host specialist play and filial therapies for children with emotional and behavioural needs. The new centre is located in the former Caretaker’s house of Ellesmere School and was converted at a cost of nearly £185,000. Ellesmere Children’s Centre has been providing pre-school care and education for children for more than 23 years and has been recognised internationally for the approach it takes in developing children.
Dr. Broadhead welcomed the idea of Emosi being a focus for child development that can engage with a wide range of cultures in our communities and said; “We need to address the challenges around supporting children living with trauma as they move between home and early years settings. Children’s rights, parental support and staff development are all key to effective communication.”
For further information on Emosi or to arrange interviews with Dr. Curtis please call Graham Parker at Parker PR on 07977 448 306

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