Our support team develop students' social and emotional wellbeing by providing appropriate assistance to students experiencing difficulties at school and at home. The team also develops and fosters relationships between the school, students and the families of students to assist at risk students to remain engaged with education.
Hi everyone my name is Gavin and I'm the school based social worker at Bellbird Park SSC. I'm grateful to be part of the Bellbird Park community. I'm located in H Block (H.04) Mon-Fri.
School Social Worker Role
The school-based social work role is part of a new Queensland Government program that is increasing the number of wellbeing professionals in schools across the state. School social workers have specialist knowledge in relation to working with children, young people and families.
The school social worker provides tailored therapeutic services to students experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns. The support may include assessment, case management, counselling (family/individual) and groupwork. Social workers also provide indirect services, for example, contributing to school policy, provide psychoeducation across the school community, participate in school wide meetings and or external stakeholder meetings.
The school social worker works holistically with the whole family (carer/s) to increase student wellbeing whilst also supporting the reduction of societal, personal, familial and school challenges, and where possible, removes barriers or inequities impacting wellbeing and learning. They work collaboratively with community support agencies and the school support team including administration, teachers, Guidance Officers, Chaplain, Youth Support Coordinators, Community Liaison Officers and the School-based Youth Health Nurse.
Referrals to the school social worker can be made via Heads of Year from caregivers/parents, teaching staff, external agencies/services or the young person can directly self-refer. Parents may also phone to either make an appointment or to speak to the social worker by phone. Our school social worker is onsite every day and appointments with parents (and student) can take place at school, local café or somewhere closer to home.
TAKE 5 with Gavin
- Name: Gavin Bonke
- Role: Social worker
- What do you love about your job?
Challenging question as I love many aspects of my role. One highlight is genuinely connecting with so many different people of all ages and backgrounds. It's a privilege every day to be included in people's lives, this includes the good times through to the more challenging times.
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
As my partner and I welcomed our first child in 2021, majority of my spare time is taken up learning and growing as a new parent. With any other spare time, I enjoy family bush walks (this includes our fur child) and or playing as much touch football as possible.
- Advice to your younger self:
What's most important isn't materialistic, it's connection to oneself, others and the world around you. Also, life is a rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it.
Martha Mika (Monday and Tuesday)
The chaplain provides support and pastoral care to the school community; including students, staff, and parents.
The chaplaincy role involves walking with people through their journey, providing a listening ear and caring presence for those facing challenges. With parental consent, the chaplain can provide ongoing emotional and spiritual support in the form of one-on-one appointments. The chaplain plays a vital role within the holistic support team and compliments other services such as those offered by the Guidance Officer or Youth Support Coordinator.
Youth Support Coordinator
The purpose of the Youth Support Coordinator is to support retention and attainment of young people in Years 10 to 12 who have disengaged, or who are at risk of disengaging from education. The YSC enhances opportunities for further education and sustainable future employment.
The YSC can provide information, support, and referrals for young people, and their families, who are at risk of disengaging from school early. They also assist around school issues, social and emotional concerns, family and peer relationships, financial concerns, and accommodation needs.
School Based Youth Health Nurse
Justine Coulson (Thursday & Friday)
School based Youth Health Nurses (SBYHN) are employed by Queensland Health to deliver an accessible, and youth 'user friendly' Health service within the school setting. The service is available for all students. The SBYHN maintains a preventative rather than treatment focus and works in partnership with schools to promote health and wellbeing for secondary school aged young people.