What is the Birmingham SEMH Pathfinder Model?   


  • A Tri-Partite model of Social Work, Education and Health collaborative approach (through schools) to supporting families with additional and complex needs.
  • The Pathfinder recognises the correlation between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) such as: domestic abuse, substance misuse, mental health, parental separation, physical and sexual abuse etc.; disproportionately high instances of Children’s Services involvement, Criminality, SEND and Exclusions. The Pathfinder prioritises schools with such levels of disproportionality to be a part of the model.
  • Offers sustained working (no cases are closed) creating a ‘live-line’ into the family, maintaining a ‘continuum’ of support and communication.
  • Relational Model: the same school-based support worker retains case responsibility and can work with a family through the course of the young person’s statutory school life (5-7 years-and beyond), acting as the lead contact and a ‘conduit’ to introduce and help sustain intervention from other professionals and agencies.
  • Longer periods of working and relationship building increases the likelihood of identifying the underlying causal factors of family’s difficulties, allowing the opportunity for sustained positive change.
  • The Pathfinder is offered to the families on a voluntary basis through school, as opposed to an obligatory statutory referral.



We believe that our approach to pastoral care is second to none and have evidence to show that the impact from the work undertaken in school has had outstanding success and contributed significantly to the progress made by our children. The development of this work will be on-going and we will continue to celebrate our success on a daily basis, by watching our children learn, succeed and become inspirational citizens.




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