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Barnes Children’s Home – statement of purpose
Barnes Children’s Home is managed by Devon County Council:
Devon County Council Children’s Services
This statement of purpose has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 16 and schedule 1 of the Children’s Homes (England) regulations 2015.
Barnes Children’s Home is maintained as part of a range of provisions that enable Devon County Council to support families with children who have complex health, physical or behavioural needs and who may have other additional needs. Overnight short breaks aim to support parents/carers, children from birth to 18 years who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities and complex medical needs.
- The home and surroundings
Our home has three individual bedrooms with both genders accessing the service. This is achieved by providing planned breaks for children following discussions with schools, families and other professionals supporting the individual, to be sure we can meet their needs.
Barnes Children’s Home blends into the heart of Tiverton and is within walking distance to the town, local supermarket, schools and parks. Barnes comprises of two single storey bungalows which form one home, set back from the road with gates securing the grounds to protect children’s privacy. Children benefit from amenities that are accessible locally such as cinemas, eating out, canal walks, swimming and gym facilities. Further afield we have access to local beaches, countryside, sporting activities, amusement parks and more, giving great opportunities to children to socialise and exercise. Barnes has a seven-seat car to support exploring the beautiful surroundings. Tiverton has great transport links throughout Devon and beyond. These are utilised as both a leisure activity and as a part of training for young people. The area is risk assessed at least once a year to safeguard young people.
Tiverton has access to a wide variety of places of worship catering to many faiths within a 30-minute journey. We will support all children’s religious and cultural needs at all times, working within the local communities where appropriate, to ensure all young people’s needs are met.
We support children with a range of needs, aged 0-18. There may be a time when through joint planning and mutual agreement that a child may be able to stay beyond their 18th birthday, this will be evaluated on a case by case basis to ensure we are able to meet the needs of the young person at all times while ensuring the views, wishes and feelings of other children in the home are not compromised
Children have access to all areas of the home which has a kitchen, lounge, lounge/diner, wet room and shower room. We have a laundry room which can be used to teach children home based skills. The grounds wrap around the home and children benefit from a variety of activities including a trampoline, basket swing, go kart, ride on toys, water play, musical and sensory toys. We also encourage eating and creative play outside in warmer weather.
- Care planning
Children are encouraged to take as much part in their care as they are able to. Children can’t always tell us directly what their needs and wishes are. Staff use a wide range of strategies to help children communicate and support children’s choices, to include them in making choices about their every day care; and bigger life decisions. We gather feedback in ways tailored to individual’s communication abilities and preferences. This may take the form of a paper easy read sheet, communication mats, technological aids or verbal feedback. Feedback is used to shape the way we deliver our services.
Positive outcomes for children are promoted at all times. This includes outcomes relating to their health, safety and well-being, development, enjoyment and experience. We do this by working together with other agencies to deliver individualised plans of care to children, incorporating therapeutic assessments and programs, delivering and evaluating treatment plans, and gathering evidence to support children’s progression.
Barnes delivers a mixture of overnight and day care stays. Longer breaks can be arranged to support assessment and implement agreed strategies, families in crisis, or to accommodate family holidays. Children generally come to the home from their school during the week or their family home on weekends. We meet with parents and carers, providers, schools and other professionals involved in the child’s care to aid the completion of assessment, making certain we can meet the child’s needs. Children are introduced to the home at a pace that suits them, starting with short visits to the home to meet the staff, have tea and spend time getting used to the home. We do offer emergency placements to support the needs of families however this is on a case by case basis and involves careful assessment and planning, using an emergency placement tool and taking into account the needs of children already staying in the home. Emergency admissions are usually restricted to children who are known to Barnes. Other children may be admitted in very exceptional circumstances to avoid family breakdown and will be agreed by the home manager/on call manager following an impact assessment.
- Health and Education
Staff work alongside parents, children and other professionals to ensure all young people’s health needs are met during stays. This includes training in clinical skills and administering medications prescribed to children. We require parents and carers to provide enough medication for each stay in pharmacy labelled packaging, which should match a completed authorisation sheet detailing the medication, strength, dose, time of administration and any special administration notes. A new authorisation sheet must be completed for any changes to medication before administration can take place. On occasions where medication is changed during a clinic or phone consultation, we will endeavour to contact the prescriber for verification, requesting a corrected label for the next visit.
Staff may contact Devon Doctors or emergency services the event of ill health or a medical emergency. Parents will be contacted and required to meet staff and their child at the hospital to support the child. Consent to medical treatment in such circumstances is sought prior to a child’s initial admission to the home and is sought annually. Staff would not expect to attend general health appointments as these remain the responsibility of parents and carers, unless a child in care requires support to attend. We liaise with a wide range of health professionals to maintain the health and well-being of children in our service.
We are actively involved in supporting children to thrive and achieve educationally. We attend annual education healthcare plan reviews, multi-agency meetings and communicate with teachers regularly to promote consistent approaches and maximise positive educational outcomes for children. Staff visit schools during assessment processes and maintain those links throughout the child’s journey with us. We communicate well with schools by email, phone and through children’s home/school books, sharing information and achievements and ensuring each child is central to working practices.
We are able to provide a suitable environment for study and to help children with homework or school projects. We incorporate natural learning in all our activities, embedding essential life skills to promote independence for children and young people.
- Staff and Training
Barnes’ registered manager’s experience and training meets with the requirements of regulation 28 of the Children’s Home Regulations 2015. The home’s manager holds level 5 diplomas in Leadership and Management in Social Care for Children, and has experience in supporting the children accessing the home. The manager’s role and responsibilities are outlined in their job description, including a responsibility for ensuring that the home adheres to all Devon County Council policies and procedures. The manager is accountable to and supervised by the Service Manager for Countywide Services.
Our staff are recruited according to Devon County Council recruitment policies and procedures, which follow safer recruitment principles and all staff meet the requirements of the Children’s Home Regulations 2015. All our staff have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and work-related references including the most recent employer. Each staff member has a staff file in the home, which is kept secure at all times. The home is open for 52 weeks of the year, but may close on Christmas day, New Year’s Day and staff training days.
Staff numbers are based upon the needs of the children accessing the home and reviewed when required. At night the home is staffed by at least one waking night member of staff, a sleep-in member of staff, with the support of an on-call manager.
Barnes has a manager, deputy manager, assistant team leaders and care and support assistants. Our manager is accountable to the Service Manager for Countywide Services. Our deputy manager and assistant team leaders have responsibility for management of the care and support assistants. Assistant team leaders oversee day to day activities in the home. Bank and agency staff are available to support staffing levels during holidays and unavoidable absence. All staff receive regular supervision, including bank and agency staff. The team are committed to development of themselves and the service through personal development plans and appraisals.
As the majority of our staff are female it is acknowledged that there is an imbalance of gender role models. However, as this is a children’s home providing a short breaks service, the children will have opportunities to access to appropriate male role models in their home, school and social life. Our recruitment of staff is designed to encourage a diverse workforce.
All staff attend mandatory training including areas such as induction, paediatric first aid, seizure control, conflict resolution, medicines management, safeguarding levels 1-3, equality and diversity, fire safety; and have access to peg feeding, pump training, gastronomy training, deliver oxygen, ventilation and suction equipment, manual handling, CPR training, basic food hygiene, risk assessment and writing skills. Staff training is tailored and focused on the individual needs of the child accessing the home. Additional training to support specific needs for an individual can be sourced as required. The manager attends group 6 safeguarding training.
All staff receive monthly supervision, an annual appraisal, and a six-monthly review, by a named supervisor within the home. The home manager is supervised by the Service Manager for Countywide Services. Supervisions for all staff will include a discussion and or review of any safeguarding concerns. Support and specific supervision around safeguarding is available to the staff where required via safeguarding leads.
- Protection of Children
It is the aim of the home to ensure that every child feels relaxed and safe at all times. Any safeguarding disclosure will be treated sensitively and supportively, as per children’s homes policies and procedures. All disclosures are treated seriously and reported immediately to the disabled childrens social work team or the emergency duty team should it be out of hours.
Our staff are required to provide written reports and contemporaneous notes of any allegation or disclosure within 24 hours. If abuse occurs, or is alleged to have occurred within the home, the Service Manager for Countywide Services and a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will be informed; they will investigate the incident and take appropriate action. Reporting processes will be followed as above.
All those involved with the provision of services for children in the children’s home settings must be alert to the possibility of abuse by other children, visitors and members of staff. Our staff attend relevant training provided by the Devon Children and Families Partnership and have access to supervision on safeguarding issues. All the home staff have access to training and information of the most current safeguarding policies and procedures.
The registered manager reviews the suitability of the location of the home with local bodies such as the local safeguarding children board, the local council, and the police, at least annually to ensure the area does not pose a safeguarding risk to children and young people.
The home promotes an atmosphere where bullying is not acceptable. If bullying is found to occur, effective strategies will be implemented to counter it. The service is committed to quality care and anti-discriminatory practice, fully embracing the principles of the Children Act 1989, as laid out in the Bill of Rights for Children and Every Child Matters 2004, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005 and Equality Act 2010.
Our staff are aware that children need privacy; however, this must be balanced with issues of protection and safety. The privacy and dignity of the children are respected at all times, where appropriate. Any boundaries or barriers regarding the child’s privacy and confidentiality will be discussed with their parents/carers, lead professional, home manager and recorded in their care plan and/or risk assessment. This includes the use of monitoring devices in the home to counter identified risks when no other alternative is possible. Access into the building is restricted by use of number pads at the main entrances. Visitors must provide identification and records of visitors are kept. Staff from the Children’s Homes team are involved in local safeguarding forums which enable them to keep our service up to date with the most recent developments and practice.
At times children present behaviour that is challenging. This may be due to their disability, other medical conditions or as part of growing up. If this becomes dangerous for either themselves or others, staff may need to intervene to maintain the safety of the child. Where required, any use of intervention by our trained staff will follow the guidelines set by Devon County Council and the Department of Health. This is used only as a last resort and reflects the presenting behaviour, as well as following current guidelines. All children that use our service will have a care plan which includes a risk assessment and behaviour management plan. Staff attend positive behaviour support training. De-escalation of behaviours is supported with positive strategies. Details of any physical restraint and/or intervention will be recorded, and details shared with parents/carers and relevant professionals. Records are reviewed regularly with the staff team and steps taken to minimise incidents wherever possible. Current legislation always underpins and support good practice.
- Complaints Procedure
A copy of the complaints form is part of the information given to children and their families at the first point of contact with the home. The home also provides a child’s handbook which includes how to access an advocate to raise any concerns or compliments. The complaints policy can be accessed at any time by contacting the home to make a request.
Children, their parents/carers, members of the public, agencies or professionals can all raise compliments or concerns to staff, lead professionals, or go directly to Devon Children’s Homes or Ofsted. Children who make a complaint will be protected from any reprisal for doing so and are supported to understand their rights.
Compliments, concerns and complaints can be made to:
Glenn Lobb – Service Manager for Countywide Services
One Capital Court
Telephone: 01392 38 3000