The Birmingham Pathfinder is a collaborative approach to working with children and families through our schools. There are currently 13 Pathfinder schools in Birmingham (SEMH special schools, Pupil Referral Unit – City of Birmingham School and Lumen Christi Catholic Multi Academy Schools), working together towards a new kind of intensive, relational early help support supported by a core team of multi-agency professionals.
At the heart of the Pathfinder approach is the strength and quality of relationship between all Pathfinder staff and the family. It is a relationship characterised by a desire to understand the wider circumstances of a family and to enable them to use their strengths to overcome barriers affecting their lives. By demonstrating a more psychologically informed, collaborative approach to building stronger families, the Pathfinder is attempting to re-imagine the statutory service/client relationship.
Lumen Christi schools currently employ seven Pathfinder Family Support Workers. In St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School our workers are:
- Dennis Easy
- Michelle Patrick
- Jo Hughes
- Kyna Dixon
- Julie McLeod
- Jess McDonald
Rebecca Ryland currently works across a number of our primary schools.
The Core Team comprises:
- Rob McCabe (Senior Social Worker and Strategic Lead for the project)
- Gemma Cooney-Folk (Project Coordinator from City of Birmingham School)
- Hollie Parrish (Lumen Christi Development Officer)
- Helen Clark (Parent Engagement Coordinator)
- Tracey Selvester (Pathfinder Teacher)
- Claire Williams (Senior Practitioner, Aquarius)
- Lucy Hipwood (16+ Mentor, CGL)
- Stephen Hall (Post-16 Coordinator)
- Paul Moss (Post-16 Family Support Volunteer)
- Darren Sweeney (Sports Engagement Coordinator)
Pathfinder Associate staff are drawn from West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Forward Thinking Birmingham, Public Health England, St. Basil's, Birmingham Children's Trust, Birmingham Early Help & Think Family Support Teams and the Youth Offending Service.
The Pathfinder approach works to apply the values (Nurture, Shared Authority, Commitment to Social Justice) to pastoral work in our schools; we are seeing tremendous impact for our Lumen Christi families who have accessed support. If you would like to find out more about the Pathfinder approach or perhaps access support, please contact us here.
What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?
Download this infographic from Young Minds to find out more
The Birmingham Pathfinder was cited in 'Addressing Adversity' as an example of emerging national best practice. You can read the report here, please refer to PDF page 171 or book page number 336.