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What to expect from Outreach workers


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Hi! This (using an Outreach worker from a LA) will be a new area for us in September so I'm just starting to think about how we can help them settle in and feel part of the team as well as best supporting the child so I have questions~:

*what will they likely want to know/see - about the child/our setting, routine etc

*for safeguarding purposes what will we need from them DBS number, ID, first aid cert...?

*If you are an OW - what helps you feel included/involved?

*what to expect day to day in terms of them working either with our children to release the child's KP or, if they have better experience of the child's SEN, them working with the child (they'll be new in Sept so no-one will know them)

*Do they take photos for the LJ's - from experience do OW bring a camera and we supply a memory card; will they write up daily obs/significant events or do this weekly - any hints and tips/ways of working would be appreciated

...any other ideas/suggestions for a smooth time! apologies for anything obvious asked, it all seems cloudy at the minute!

thank you x

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Have you been given any information about their role? Outreach Workers roles usually vary considerably. In the past, I've worked with Outreach Workers whose role was to:

  • Gather further information about the child's development which then became part of a multi disciplinary assessment
  • Work with all the setting staff to help them develop further strategies to support and include the child
  • Support the child at home and at the setting
  • Offer training to setting staff
  • Work alongside the child's Key Person to help them develop further skills and confidence

Will the Outreach Worker only be with you when the child they're supporting is attending? I would expect them to meet with the Manager or SENCO on the first session and explain their role and expectations, making sure this fits in with your routines and needs. If they haven't already arranged this, it might be worth contacting them to ask what they'd like to do on their first session so if they want a meeting you've got some time to organise an extra member of staff. (This might not be practical at the beginning of term when you need all hands on deck!)


Some Outreach Workers will bring their own resources, others will use yours. I presume they've got written parental permission to work with the child so it would make sense for them to take photos and complete paperwork if it's relevant but again, it depends on their role.


You'd ask to see ID as you would with any other professional. If they work for the LA they'll have an identification badge and will have been cleared by DBS but you can always ask to see the paperwork. I got asked to leave a copy of my DBS paperwork at a few of the settings I visited and I was just impressed with their procedures.


They wouldn't be counted in your ratios as they're there for a specific purpose and you'd need to be clear about their role in supporting other child with things like toileting, handwashing etc When I visited settings as an Area SENCO it was second nature for me to lend an extra pair of hands but I'd always check first that this was OK.


To make them feel welcome, smiles (in my opinion) are most important, photos and names/roles of all the staff are very helpful, a brief overview of what happens during the session, toilets, where to keep personal belongings, tea/coffee fund etc If you've got parental permission, any observations and records of the child they're supporting would be helpful for them to look at.


It might be a good idea to have a 10 minute meeting each week to chat about how everything is going. This is much easier than arranging a meeting when one of you might not be happy with things - although I'm sure this won't happen!


As for them having "better experience of the child's SEN," they might already know the child but they probably don't know what they're like in a setting and you do so remember you've got lots of information and skills to share with them.


Good luck, I hope it goes well for you all.

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this is great - thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply :-)


We've had no information at all as yet about who the OW is or from which setting so we feel a bit :blink: but looking forward to the experience

I'm going to ring County to try and find out more so we can get the ball rolling


Thanks again!

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