Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do we want to achieve for children and young people in our service?
Our aims are simple but fundamentally important. We wish to provide the highest quality, child friendly accommodation, which is safe, secure and responsive to our young people’s needs.
Q: How are these aims achieved?
This can be achieved by providing support which allows children to develop their self esteem and confidence by offering new opportunities and ways of looking at life style choices and options through new experiences and also by acknowledging the young person’s right to take risks in a carefully supported and assessed manner.
Q: How do you ensure that you provide a quality service to children in your care?
Evolution Children Services hope to create a real opportunity for growth and change. We recognise that for real change to occur then there must exist a real sense of participation, involvement and self direction. We will endeavour to offer real opportunities in this respect. As previously mentioned, we are strongly committed to the development of a Children’s Charter which outlines the expectations that we will all have of each other in relation to the day to day interactions that we will all share. Within this, will develop a clear sense of opportunity for all and indicate how we will all be heard and our input valued.
Development of the service is greatly dependent on young people helping shape the environment and the systems within the home and the organisation as a whole. All too often piecemeal approaches and lip service is made in this respect. We will implement genuine strategies which encourage this process. From a young person’s perspective the introduction of regular group meetings with both the staff team and young people present to discuss daily routines and systems, will be developed along with the traditional young people’s meetings.
Both forums will provide opportunities to share information and evaluate systems, and develop new working practices and ideas. Key working sessions will provide a more individualised way of offering a forum for change, particularly for those young people who may find group settings difficult to manage. Involvement of independent advocates will also afford opportunities for service development to occur.
The recording systems put in place will give valuable insights into the positive and negative aspects of systems and will be regularly monitored via section 33 inspection, carried out by an independent childcare professional, along with section 34 inspection and monitoring carried out by the registered person. Careful adherence will made in relation to the findings of Ofsted inspection and constant effort will be invested into the development of child friendly practices as a result. The importance of training cannot be overlooked. Opportunities for young people and staff needs to be ongoing. Staff will receive a minimum of 5 days training geared towards meeting the need of the young people in our care, and the updating of knowledge in respect of legislative and practice changes.
Through the use of supervision, personal development planning and appraisal systems, service and individual practice issues can be evaluated and improved upon thus, improving positive outcomes and development within the home, the individual and most importantly the service we offer to the young people in our care. Leaving care questionnaires which focus upon the overall experience that a young person has had within the home will be implemented to act as a tool to gain further understanding of the experience of the young person. This will also afford the young person another opportunity to suggest how systems may be improved upon further.
Q: How is your home supported and what qualities make your team different?
What do children want from care staff?
- Be able to look after their basic needs
- Keep them safe and happy
- Help, support and advise
- Be listened to
- Treated with respect
- Treated as equals
‘Children on Care Standards’ Children’s conference 2007.
The list above outlines the views of children/ young people in relation to what makes a carer a good carer. Careful consideration of these factors have been observed when selecting the staff for Wellesley Terrace. The team has been drawn together from a variety of backgrounds and have all been selected for their own individual skills and knowledge bases. All have shown the necessary personal qualities to enable them to provide support to children/young people, (and if appropriate their families) in relation to the often complex needs and challenging behaviors of individuals within the ‘looked after’ system. A rigorous and carefully planned recruitment process has been developed to ensure as far as possible that the team is able to support in a positive and proactive manner.
All new project workers will be subject to a six monthly probationary period. This will allow them to gain a greater understanding of the expectations within the home and the wider organisation as a whole. A clear set of benchmarks are in place to monitor and ensure that levels of expertise have been met and only then will a permanent working contract will be gained. Ongoing training and personal development is encouraged and clear career development pathways are designed to enable all staff members to continuously learn new skills and thus be able to offer a greater level of expertise to the children/young people in their care. A minimum of six days training a year is on offer to all staff, and further training of a more specific and specialised nature will be available in line with personal development plans for each individual staff member and the needs of the project as a whole.
Evolution Children’s Services recognises the need for appropriate, supportive staffing levels, not only in terms of health and safety requirements but also in relation to quality, purposeful, supportive and proactive childcare practices. With this in mind a team of ten staff has been recruited. These workers will be further supported by a manager and a deputy. Support will be provided on a 24/7 basis. As a basic guide, there will always be a minimum of three staff on duty. This level of cover will be constant at the point of the children rising in the morning until bedtime.
At all times staffing levels will be determined by individual support requirements of the young people in our care and can be increased accordingly by utilising staff from our relief pool of workers. All pool workers are subject to the same rigorous selection processes and are provided with the same levels of supervision and training as full time team members. Staffing cover during the night will consist of one waking night support worker and one residential worker providing sleep in cover. Night time staff will also have access to an on call system which will be either the manager or deputy manager on a rotational basis. The relief pool workers will also be available to cover holiday and sickness leave.
Q: How do I make a referral to your service?
Referrals can be made direct to the home, using the download here. Alternatively enquiries can be made by telephoning the home, emailing or faxing information to us. All relevant contact details and a full explanation of our referral process can be found on the download page of this website.
Q: Do you accept referrals from out of the area and if so do you offer a transportation service?
We do accept out of area placements and will happily discuss any transport issues at the initial planning stages of the placement including any financial implications that this may necessitate. However, the important issue should always be the need for a child to access contact with relevant people in their lives. Evolution has a commitment to enabling the development and strengthening of networks and relationships and will work imaginatively to ensure that these extremely important links are maintained.
Q: Do you offer any educational provision?
Education and the opportunity to enjoy and achieve through learning is a basic right of all children and an area we at Number 5 take very seriously. The role within the home is to support and maintain a level of learning and development for all of those in our care thus enhancing the likelihood of positive outcomes in the future. Supporting young people to remain within the mainstream system is our ultimate goal however we recognise that there may be some children who find the formal classroom setting a barrier to learning; indeed they can find the mainstream setting a distressing and wholly inappropriate environment.
We will strive to develop in partnership with other relevant professionals, alternative methods to aid learning. This may require home tuition or indeed more practical based or vocational routes. We are currently examining the implementation of ASDAN training within our service for the 14+ age range. This will allow more practical based training, along with a recognised qualification gained as a result. The development of a clear and unambiguous personal education plan for each young person is imperative and this must arrive at the time of the placement commencing or as soon as is possible. This will clearly define support needs required and those with responsibility for actioning all aspects of the plan. We have attempted to create within the home an environment which is conducive to learning; all bedrooms have built in desks which allow for personal study. There is also plenty of space for quiet time and study within the large living room areas on the ground floor.
We also have a large library of books available for young people to access, hopefully this will encourage them to view reading as an enjoyable pastime as well as an educational opportunity. All efforts to support young people within learning settings will be acted upon. Direct support within settings will be afforded if required as will support with transport to and from educational settings whether that be school or college. We will ensure that all items required to ensure that young people can take full advantage of the learning experience can be achieved. Provision of all equipment and appropriate attire will be our responsibility. This will ensure that the young person feels part of the whole experience and a valued person within the setting.
Q: Is it possible to visit your service?
At Evolution we recognise that prospective service users, social workers and associated agencies may wish to view our service prior to any decision making processes. We welcome such visits but only after agreed arrangement and discussion have taken place with the young people living at Number 5