Family and Child Support Services (FaCSS)
FaCSS works to support the wellbeing of the pupils within our Multi Academy Trust, believing that positive mental health is fundamental in helping our children to be the best that they can be. We work with our children to help them recognise and understand their social and emotional needs and then support them in the very best ways that we are able.
Services include child counselling, family support, music therapy and play therapy.
If your child’s school feels that any of our services might benefit your child or your family, they will discuss this with you to see whether you would like to start working with one of our team. With your consent, the school will then work with you in completing a referral form to gather all the necessary information that will ensure the most appropriate support is given.
Sarah HurwoodHead of the Wellbeing Service
A Headteacher for over 20 years, I recognise the absolute need for schools to have good and positive relationships with their children and their families. Communication between home and school is key to helping our young people thrive, because by understanding what is happening for them and getting a sense of how they are feeling, we are more able to identify what we can do to make their world feel a little better.
In order for our children to flourish and be the best that they can be, we need to nurture, care for and support them as best as we are able and sometimes, to do this, we need to look a little beyond what our schools are able to deliver themselves.
Our work, if wanted, can extend beyond that of just the child, to that of the family unit, where sometimes supporting parents with some of the challenges they face helps family life feel easier to manage.
My role as Head of FaCSS, is to liaise with schools and our therapists and counsellors to try to ensure we are able to join up and provide specialist support to any children, parents and families that might need some additional help or guidance.
Schools work directly with the children, parents and family to determine what might help and with parental consent, make a referral into FaCSS. These referrals are then carefully considered to ensure that the right need is addressed in the right way and by the right person.
FaCSS overriding aim and ambition is to make life feel a little bit easier for our children and their families. We hope that by listening, supporting and caring we can lessen worry, stress and anxiety and make things feel a little more ok.
All our work is in confidence and carried out with the utmost sensitivity and discretion.
Melissa MayWellbeing Service Administrator
After graduating I completed a post-graduate Diploma in Management Studies before starting work within the University of London. I took a career break to raise my children and then returned to a support role within education as I enjoy facilitating an organisation to run smoothly and efficiently, especially when I know how much its services can benefit others. At FaCSS it is fulfilling to be able to contribute to a team that makes a real difference to the lives of children and their families.
Karen BowdenWellbeing Service Family Support Worker
I have been working in this role with FaCSS since 1997. I have nearly 30 years' experience working with children and families both within a residential social care and education setting. I hold a City and Guilds Certificate in Health and Social Care and have attended numerous training courses through the years.
My role is to support vulnerable children and families and those families needing additional support. This help can cover a wide range of issues that impact the family including debt, housing, parenting, SEN and mental health.
My aim is to improve outcomes for families and give them opportunities to build on their strengths.
Jackie ClarkeChild Counsellor
I am a qualified integrative counsellor and life coach and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
I have worked in social services and primary, secondary and special education for over 35 years, and have volunteered with the children's mental health charity Place2Be, the childhood bereavement charity Winston's Wish and the NSPCC.
I specialise in supporting children and families facing anxiety, addictions, bereavement, domestic abuse, depression, divorce/separation, parenting issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-esteem issues, self-harm, suicidal ideation and trauma. I provide a non-judgemental, confidential and empathic therapeutic relationship so that self-awareness and inner resourcefulness can emerge and bring transformation. My training enables me to draw on varied approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness, to foster emotional intelligence, wellbeing and healthy patterns of behaviour.
Helping people overcome challenges and reach their full potential is my passion.
Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling (DipHE at Level 5); University of Roehampton
Sue FaheyChild Counsellor
I am a qualified therapeutic counsellor and a member of the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS), a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
I have worked in mainstream and special education for over 20 years, alongside work in the voluntary sector.
The therapeutic relationship I build with a child is unique and special and founded on trust and confidentiality. I believe that by offering an empathic, non-judgmental and authentic relationship, healing can take place. I provide a warm, supportive, and safe space where thoughts, feelings and emotions can be explored.
My training is integrative so I tailor therapy to the needs of each individual. I also offer person-centred art and play sessions, to help children explore and make sense of their inner world, whilst building confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
I am passionate about my work and feel privileged to witness each child's story.
Certificate in Counselling Skills in the Development of Learning; Royal Society of Arts Examinations Board
Certificate in Counselling Theory; Assessment and Qualifications Alliance
Advanced Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory; Assessment and Qualifications Alliance
Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (TC-L4); Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body
Induction Training Programme for Level 3/4 Children's Workforce Practitioners (Generic Modules and Learning Mentor Role Specific Modules); Children's Workforce Development Council
Bernadette LetchfordPlay Therapist
I am a qualified Play Therapist and a member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT), a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
I have been working with children and families for over 25 years, in various educational and therapeutic settings. I have Qualified Teacher Status and taught in primary schools in Hungary and England for several years before completing a master's degree in Non-Directive Play Therapy.
I have been part of the FaCSS team and its predecessor, Epping Forest South Local Delivery Group, since 2013, and helped establish school-based play therapy in many of the schools within the Trust.
I am fully committed to helping children and their families gain a better understanding of themselves and how to relate to each other more positively. I really love my job!
BA (Honours) in Education and Early Childhood Education; Anglia Polytechnic University
Qualified Teacher Status; General Teaching Council for England
MA in Non-Directive Play Therapy; University of York
Juhi NeylandPlay Therapist
I am a qualified Child-Centred Play and Filial Therapist and a member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT), a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
I am able to communicate in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Russian and Urdu.
My practice of Child-Centred Play Therapy is enhanced by the knowledge and experience I have gained from my other specialisms, which are Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, Filial Therapy and an Integrated Therapy Approach for Children with Disabilities.
I have enjoyed working with children and their families across a spectrum of professional settings for over 20 years.
The focus of my work is relationships, and my desire is to see children and their families thrive. I love to support people on their journey of self-discovery.
MA in Play Therapy; University of Roehampton
Intensive Training in Filial Therapy; with Virginia Ryan and Geraldine Thomas
Child Parent Relationship Therapy; with Garry L. Landreth
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy; London
Therapists and Counsellors engaged by FaCSS undergo professional and safeguarding checks in line with Safer Recruitment practice prior to employment to ensure that they can safely and ethically work with your child. These include:
> DBS Enhanced Certificate with Barred List Check
> Childcare Disqualification Declaration, where appropriate
> Suitable qualifications to practice, and the belonging to an appropriate professional organisation meaning that they are bound to abide by its code of conduct and ethical guidelines, and receive the recommended amount of clinical supervision
> Registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and have a Privacy Notice
> Have valid third party public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance
Therapists and Counsellors engaged by FaCSS undergo professional and safeguarding checks, in line with Safer Recruitment practice, to ensure that they can work safely and ethically with your child. These include:
- a DBS Enhanced Certificate with Barred List check
- a Childcare Disqualification Declaration, where appropriate
- suitable qualifications to practise, and membership of an appropriate professional organisation so that they are bound by its code of conduct and ethical guidelines, and receive a stipulated amount of clinical supervision and continuous professional development
- a Privacy Notice, and registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office
- valid third party public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance