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Care

The residential provision is in a fully converted 1920s house, which helps to maintain a welcoming and homely atmosphere.

The extensive grounds, formally an orchard, provide for all manner of outdoor activities, giving our young people access to a patio area, work shed, vegetable and fruit patch, play equipment, all weather paths.



Care & Support


Individual Care

It is the stated aim of Our Place to provide individual care for all of our children and young people. This is implemented through:

  • Continuous assessment and developmental planning, taking all needs into account and used to assist learning

  • A designated Key Worker who will have been chosen for that position taking into account the child or young person’s preferences alongside the employees skills and suitability

  • Individual Care Plans identifying the child or young person’s needs. These are then implemented and monitored by the Key Worker with support from the child or young person’s teacher, and in consultation with all involved professionals

  • Diet and nutritional needs monitored by the Cook

  • Recording the child or young person’s daily intake in their daily diary so as to assist in the planning of meals to allow children to have a good choice of food

  • Taking children’s views, preferences and consent fully into account in carrying out personal care including the timing and preference of staff to assist with particular tasks. The child or young person’s dignity and privacy are to be maintained at all times

  • Keeping each child or young person’s daily diary. This document is used to keep records of all the activities that the child or young person does during the day, their diet, their moods and level of cooperation to help assist with analysing situations and informing staff as to the child or young person’s preferences

  • Keeping an individual permanent file in a safe place. This holds all relevant information and is maintained by the Key Worker

  • Having the Key Worker review the daily diary, permanent file and Care Plan at least monthly by the Key Worker to ensure that they hold current information. Out of date information is transferred to the child or young person’s confidential file and stored in a locked storage area. The permanent files and Care Plans are reviewed quarterly as part of the quality assurance system

Advocacy and Self Expression

This policy will guide staff in the provision of an environment in which there are fair and equitable services and opportunities for all those cared for within the home. As the children live in a group home it is even more important that their individual needs are recognised. Staff will support the children to make their desires and requests known.

This will be done through a variety of methods from teaching basic communication skills – like/don’t like, yes/no, good/not good – provision of a Key Worker for each of our children through to the provision of an external advocate service.

Self Expression

Our Place encourages self expression and to support this provides the following:

  • Access to computers with web cams, email, internet with nanny service, letters, phone calls and photos or videos to their parents subject to written parental authority

  • Careful induction planning and preparation e.g. visits, sleepovers, personalised information packs

  • Access to on-site qualified staff and external therapists including Mental Health nurse, psychologist, psychiatrist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, music, art, dance, drama therapy and other health or psychiatric services as required as well as local NHS services

Our Place provides its children and young people with a first class home and first class care, combined with a first class, relevant and fulfilling education.

Staff


We have a robust hierarchy of support within the Our Place Group allowing us here at Our Place Schools with professionals and experts in their field on site and brought in when required.

The Senior Strategic Team is made up of experienced experts:

Lena Graham

Resident Director and Responsible Individual

Lena has worked in the Independent Residential and Educational sector for over 10 years, and brings a wealth of senior leadership experience to the Group. Lena has completed her Level 7 in Strategic Management

Joanne Edrop

Commercial and HR Director

Jo has been working in the HR arena for over 15 years, 2 of which she has been with the Our Place Group, before joining us Jo worked in a large national retail organisation in a senior HR role. Jo is a qualified CIPD Member, brings a demonstrable experience in HR leadership and copious amounts of experience in managing complex employee relation caseloads, she is also well versed in coaching and mentoring employees and managers on HR issues, policies and practices. Jo has been in the HR arena for over 13 years, working in a large ployees and managers on HR issues, policies and practices.

Sarah Davies

Safeguarding and Compliance Director

Sarah has 22 years’ experience working in Children social care with 11 years in leadership and management, Sarah has achieved Outstanding in many provisions, and is passionate and committed to the safeguarding of children to enable Children to flourish and achieve their maximum potential.

Sarah Is a skilled designated safeguarding officer and has strong knowledge of regulations and statutory guidance.

Sarah has previously held the position of Independent Complaints Advisor for a local authority in the children’s and family team and has been an independent Regulation 33 visitor for two services. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Health & Social Care Level 3, a Diploma in Health & Social Care Level 4 and a Diploma in Leadership and Management Level 4.

Sally Colbourne

Finance Director

Care Staff

The care home is staffed to accommodate the agreed needs and requirements of our young people, which will be set out in 1-1 hours, shared care hours, independence and night support.

We currently run a number of shift patterns that operate across the sitewith 3 teams of day staff and 2 teams of night staff. Each team consists of Duty Manager, Deputy Duty Manager and Support Workers. We also have staff who work fixed shifts who complement the teams.

We run a 3 tier on-call system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there are always 3 members of management who can be called upon in the event of a serious incident or in the event of staff absence.

Following satisfactory completion of their probationary period, all care staff who are not already qualified are enrolled on a Diploma in Health and Social Care (residential care setting, Level 3) course. Those with equivalent qualifications yet no formal child focused qualification are asked to complete the following units from the Diploma in Health and Social Care (residential care setting, Level 3):

  • Understand the Development of children and young people in residential childcare F/506/7653

  • Understand residential childcare for children and young people with complex disabilities or conditions R/506/8502

  • Understand how to support positive outcomes for children and young people in residential childcare A/506/7618

Accommodation


The residential provision is in a 1920s house. The home has been converted to make it suitable for the provision of care whilst maintaining a homely feel. There are ten single bedrooms, three of which are en suite, with another two being built, all on ground floor level – decorated and personalised to individual’s choice.

There are two bathrooms and one wet room with showers. These are fully equipped to meet the young people’s needs.

The lounge area is bright and spacious giving children the opportunity to play and do activities they like. It is fully equipped to meet their needs and double-glazed door lead to a beautiful outdoor space including playground, sensory garden football pitch and quite coppice at the bottom of the garden.

The dining area is situated next to a full catering kitchen that is providing children with nutritious meals every day. This also includes learner’s kitchen where children can practice their cooking skills. We have the ability to provide separate dining rooms for those children and young people who are hyper sensitive to sounds and crowded areas.

Other facilities include a sensory room accessible within the grounds to enable sensory play, intensive interaction and sensory diets and a Library to encourage reading.

We have six acres of land for the children and young people to play and explore, with a playground that was designed by our MDT team to support the therapeutic input. We have pond area that is fitted with a safety grid, with a pontoon and pagoda.

Safeguarding


Our Place School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Our Place School believes that it is always unacceptable for a child to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children.

  • We will provide staff and volunteers with guidance to follow when they suspect a child may be experiencing abuse or at risk of harm

  • We will work co-operatively with other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children

  • We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with Parents/Carers first - unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare

We have several policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Child Protection Policy

Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child's welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with his/her parents/carers first unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child's welfare. We make no apologies for being extremely vigilant and may cause offence, but the safety and well-being of our pupils is our number one priority.

We actively support the Government's Prevent Agenda to counter radicalism and extremism (Educate Against Hate) and all staff undergo Prevent training.

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Lauren Tallis

Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Vaughan Clark

Our safeguarding team meets weekly to ensure we are all aware of current practice, case studies and issues within our school. Supervision of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Safeguarding Lead takes place half termly.

Staff are trained in child protection, positive handling (MAPA), Prevent, FGM, CSE and receive annual refresher courses. All staff also must read and sign to say they understand the relevant policies and the document, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education - Part 1’.

Early Help

At Our Place School we recognise the challenges that families face in bringing up children. There may be times when you need extra help and support. If this is the case, please come and talk to us. There are many ways in which we can help as outlined in this offer of early help.

View our Early Help Offer

Therapies


We commission the services of experienced occupational and speech & language therapists who can be accessed by the young people following an assessment of their needs in this area.

The assessment is carried out by those involved in their care and support. When commissioned our therapists receive support from the head of care & education along with input from the team. Our therapists access clinical supervision from a trained and qualified external supervisor.

All Therapists have the required qualifications, DBS checks and appropriate insurances.

The therapists produce a report and recommendation that are discussed with the senior management and the direct care staff and put in to action; these are reviewed every six month by the therapist to measure the outcomes. All reports will be shared with the placing authority allocated social worker and where appropriate the parents or guardian.

The Mutli disciplinary team all meet monthly to review the therapeutic input, assessment the effectiveness of these recommendation and offer support to our children to ensure we meet they individualise needs.

Frequently asked Questions


HOW WILL MY CHILD BE CARED FOR?

We always take children’s views, preferences and consent fully into account in carrying out personal care including the timing and preference of staff to assist with particular tasks. A designated Key Worker is specially selected for your child. This selection is based on your child’s preferences matched to the Key Worker’s skills and suitability. Each child has an individual daily diary and permanent file which is kept in a secure place. This holds all relevant information needed to ensure the child’s needs are met. It is maintained by the Key Worker. The child or young person’s dignity and privacy are maintained at all times. We believe trust is more important than obedience. It is also important that the child gradually learns to feel safe with the other children he/she lives or works with. Your child is continuously assessed and monitored using an Individual Care Plan by the Key Worker with support from the child’s teacher. Consultation is carried out with professionals. Dietary requirements will have been discussed at induction and nutritional needs are monitored and controlled by the Cook through a daily diary.

HOW WILL I BE KEPT UP-TO-DATE WITH MY CHILD’S PROGRESS?

Every effort will be made by the school to maintain the parent/child or young person relationship. We welcome regular letters and photos from parents so that we can keep the children up to date with what is happening at home. All parents, Social Workers and carers will be kept up to date with their child or young person’s progress through monthly reports. The report starts with a general overview of activity and progress for the month and goes on to provide further detail on aspects such as interaction with staff and other children, educational achievements, external visits, behaviour and incidents. You will be able to maintain contact with your child or young person through a computer and web cam facility in a dedicated facility in our new extension. Parents also receive regular letters home from their child or young person and the Key Worker and from time to time you may get a postcard with a special message when you child has done something exceptional. The Key Worker and the Teacher will be available for phone calls at times convenient to both sides, and protected time can be made available for parents to speak to their child.

WHAT CONTACT WILL MY CHILD HAVE WITH THE COMMUNITY?

Regular days out and excursions form an important part of scheduled activity at Our Place. We encourage the children to interact with the general public on supervised visits to local places of interest, visitor centres, tourist attractions as well as shops and cafes. They may also experience travel on public transport. We have excellent relationships with members of the local community who help to make outside activity a fulfilling and enjoyable experience for all of our young people.

WHAT WILL MY CHILD’S ACCOMMODATION BE LIKE?

The residential provision is in a 1920s house. The home has been converted to make it suitable for the provision of care whilst maintaining a homely feel. There are eight single bedrooms which can be personalised to the needs and preferences of the young person and provide a comforting and private environment. We employ full time cleaning staff to ensure the children’s rooms are always kept to the highest standards of cleanliness. For day to day activity, there is one large dining room, two living rooms – one for family type activities and one for children who have visitors or want to sit in a quiet area. There is a variety of equipment provided to suit differing relaxation styles - T.V, CD and DVD players and a Wii for fun and games. If required we can locate the young person in a separate dining area for those who are hyper sensitive to sounds. Children are able to use the sensory room, craft centre, kitchen and a playroom outside of school hours.

WHAT HAPPENS IN AN EMERGENCY?

We ask you to sign an emergency medical treatment form on admission which gives our trained staff the responsibility to treat your child in case of an emergency. In the case of a medical emergency, this could be in the form of first aid, administering of emergency medication, calling out a GP or, if necessary, admitting them to hospital. Depending on the type of incident / accident you will be informed at the most appropriate time according to your child’s contract management plan which is agreed at time of placement. Every such incident is fully recorded and logged.

HOW CAN I BE SURE MY CHILD WILL REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL?

This is a candid question we are asked many times by parents and guardians. ‘Potential’ is a relative term; however our burning desire is to give the children in our care as fulfilling and happy a life as we can within the constraints of their special needs. Among other things, this means integration with the outside world, taking part in activities in which other young people of their age would partake and nurturing their interest in national events such as sport and news. We have excellent relationships with members of the local community who help to make outside activity a fulfilling and enjoyable experience for all of our young people. We can provide testimonials from parents, guardians and social workers to indicate the progress that has been achieved and continues to be achieved with young people who have been or are still in our care. We have delivered some notable outcomes and believe that this is a result of our open approach and recognition that each child is unique and has to be treated according to their individual needs and preferences.

WHAT IS THE OUR PLACE ENVIRONMENT LIKE?

We have created a home from home atmosphere at Our Place. The children in our care live in a secure and friendly environment and our rural location provide them with space to enjoy and learn at the same time. We are constantly improving our facilities so as to provide more space and extra activities, and everything we plan and do is single mindedly aimed at making life better and more fulfilling for the children.

HOW MUCH CONTINUITY IS THERE IN THE STAFF COMPLEMENT AY OUR PLACE?

Like every operation, Our Place sees changes in staff from time to time, however most of the senior management team have been with us for over 5 years or more and at carer level, 75% of staff have been consistently with us for 3 years or more. From time to time, when we need cover for issues such as sick leave, we employ agency staff. These are always selected on a strict assessment of their suitability for Our Place and the needs of the children and whenever possible we retain consistency in the individuals employed.

CAN I VISIT TO SEE FOR MYSELF?

Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, direct contact with our young people is being limited. Please check with us on what access is available by emailing or calling the contact information below.

We welcome a visit from prospective parents or guardians. You’ll notice from the first time you step across our door what a friendly and welcoming home we provide. You will be given a tour of the facilities and we encourage you to talk to as many members of staff as you wish. After your tour you’ll be provided with a delicious lunch with our senior staff at which time you will be able to ask questions and find out about the best way of getting your child into Our Place. To arrange a visit please email us at: meetus@ourplaceschools.com or telephone 01886 833378