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If it is not essential for a home visit to be made consider holding the meeting in school.
Consider who would be the most appropriate member of staff to undertake the visit. Differences in class, age, colour or sex can provoke behaviour in certain people. There may be a greater risk sending members of staff on a visit to a household where members are known to be racist or sexist.
Similarly, some staff may have a past history of difficulties with the particular family members and it may be helpful to reallocate the visit to another member of staff. Staff may require additional support in dealing with such situations.
Ensure an itinerary of home visits is left with a designated member of staff. Request the member of staff carry out the visits to report periodically back to school and / or to the responsible person. If the visit becomes prolonged and the member of staff carrying out the visit expects to arrive back significantly later, the individual should make contact with the school or a colleague and advise of the delay.
If the member of staff does not return or call in as arranged, an attempt should be made to contact the last address on the itinerary to determine whether the visit was made. If this visit was not been made then the itinerary should be tracked back to last known location.
Prior to the visit check whether there is any information on whether the person to be visited or someone else in the household has a history of violent behaviour.
A mobile phone or personal attack alarm should be provided for home visits.
In conclusion, because of the potential and safety issues associated with home visiting it may be appropriate to establish a policy whereby these are only carried out if absolutely necessary.
Help and support
For further advice on this issue, ATL members can speak to their school rep, their branch secretary or their regional official. They can also call the London (020 7930 6441), Cardiff (029 2046 5000), Belfast (028 9078 2020) or Edinburgh (0131 272 2748) offices or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For out of hours enquiries, call the out of office hours helpline on 020 7782 1612 (Monday-Friday, 5-8pm during term time).
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