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Lisa Gabriel Family Support Officer – Attendance

Lisa Gabriel works across the schools within MKET – New Chapter, Heronsgate and Walton High, working with head teachers, support staff, parents, Children’s Social Services and MK Council to ensure good attendance.
The role of Family Support Officer is varied and involves meeting with parents to discuss their children’s attendance levels and any issues within or outside school which may be impacting on their learning. As part of this, she is in regular contact with the Senior Attendance Officer (Legal Interventions) at Milton Keynes council, who facilitates meetings with parents once a pupil’s attendance falls below the expected level.
The role is very flexible and sometimes requires home visits to families whose children are poor attendees or late arrivals. This provides an opportunity for Lisa Gabriel to meet parents face-to-face and to discuss their situation and other matters the school may not be fully aware of, e.g. major changes in the family’s circumstances. Often these discussions lead to “sign-posting” services and/or support for families. Where professional help may already be in place the aim is to work in partnership with other agencies; sharing information to ensure the very best outcomes for children and young people.

Experience

Before taking up the post of Family Support Officer, Lisa Gabriel had experience of working within the voluntary sector and with Bedfordshire Youth Offending Service, challenging anti-social behaviour and raising self-esteem.
She has worked for NCH (now known as Action for Children), working with families in crisis, delivering Brief Solution Focused Therapy – a method of encouraging positive behaviours and positive communication between family members, mainly parents and their children. The work relied on very small changes making deep positive impacts on those involved.
Lisa Gabriel has also worked for Thames Valley Police – first as a Community and Diversity Officer, working across different communities within Milton Keynes, and as a Youth Justice Officer, making decisions about young people who had committed offences such as shoplifting, assault and criminal damage.