We would like to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and working with the government and NHS.
For guidance on coronavirus and the latest information for Devon, visit Devon County Council’s coronavirus (COVID-19) advice pages.
Devon Children’s Homes – family handbook
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to our Children’s Homes
Devon County Council provide four children’s homes for children and young people aged 0 to 18 years who have additional needs. Our homes have between three and five beds and are registered with the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), and comply with the Children’s Homes Regulations 2015. The homes are subject to regular unannounced inspections which are carried out by an Ofsted inspector. The inspections are based on the following areas:
- Overall experience and progress of children and young people, taking into account:
- how well children and young people are helped and protected;
- the effectiveness of leaders and managers.
Reports are made available to families. We also have an independent visitor who visits monthly to ensure we are meeting these standards.
Below are the contact details for each of our homes:
Barnes Children’s Home
Manager: Melanie Powell
Telephone: 01884 242060
Address: 37 Perreyman Square, Tiverton, EX16 6GY
Hillcrest Children’s Home
Manager: Tracey Wilson
Telephone: 01404 41676
Address: Awliscombe, Honiton, EX14 3NU
Meadowpark Children’s Home
Manager: Clare Gilmour
Telephone: 01392 495515
Address: Markham Lane, Shillingford Abbot, Exeter, EX2 9QJ
Welland House Children’s Home
Manager: Louise Davey
Telephone: 01271 345692
Address: 76 Chaddiford Lane, Barnstaple, EX31 1RF
We are working towards creatively involving children and their parents/carers in shaping how their services are run. We are working to increase their participation by adopting the nationally recognised ‘Hear by Right’ standards. Participation with parent carers is through the county parent carer’s voice networks and forums. Your home manager, or social worker from the Disabled Children’s Service, can provide you with more information on this.
- What can your child expect from us?
- A safe and stimulating environment based on a homely feel.
- A staff team who have current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and up-to-date training.
- Information will only be shared on a need to know basis and wherever possible with your prior knowledge and consent.
- An allocated link worker within the home.
- Attendance of staff at reviews and meetings regarding your child whenever possible.
- Up-to-date/current information about your child held on our home records.
- Care provided will be documented in your child’s care plan and other relevant forms. The allocation of stay will be specified in your child’s integrated assessment plan and review care which adheres to Ofsted Standards and Care Standards Quality Commission.
- Staff who adhere to our policies, protocols and procedures.
- A service that respects equality and diversity and meets individual needs.
- Working with you
We endeavour to work closely with you and your child and this includes good communication. Your lead professional (the person who referred your child to our service) will arrange a planning meeting to discuss your child’s stay in the home before agreeing a placement there.
We will arrange to visit you at home to discuss your child’s care needs and to meet with you before your child’s first visit to the home. We will keep you up-to-date with information about the home through regular communications both in person and through letters.
Please provide comforters (teddies and twiddles), toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, shower gel, hairbrushes etc), continence pads (please inform us of the daily allocation of pads), pyjamas and appropriately labelled clothing for your child, and any other personal effects that your child wishes to bring. We can supply general electrical equipment if requested.
The home will try to wash clothing, especially any stained or soiled clothing, before returning home. Please let us know if you would prefer to do this at home. All worn clothing will be returned to you in a laundry bag, please send this bag on each visit. We would advise that you may wish to label your child’s clothes to ensure all clothing can be identified.
You will need to supply all the medication that your child will require whilst staying at the home. This includes prescribed and self-purchased medication. You will also need to provide the home with an up-to-date medication authorisation sheet. All medication must be in the original packaging and, if prescribed, have a clear legible dispensary label stating your child’s name, the medication name, dosage instructions, expiry date, and dispensing pharmacist details.
Please inform the home of all changes to your child’s medication and send in an updated medication authorisation sheet. Medication cannot be stored at the home and will have to arrive with your child and be returned when discharged.
Please supply sun cream for your child when appropriate.
Please inform the home of any significant changes in your child’s care, including illnesses and allergies. We request that your child does not attend if they are unwell; both for their benefit and to avoid spreading illnesses to other children.
We do need to have up-to-date emergency contact numbers, in case we need to get hold of you, so please keep the home informed of all changes. It is also important for us to know who will be collecting your child, particularly if this is a person not known to the home staff. We require confirmation of who can collect the child through their care plan. We request that you also keep us informed of anyone who is not allowed contact with your child.
We encourage families and friends of the young person to visit them whilst they are at the home, where appropriate. We request that you inform us of any visit to the home whilst your child is staying with us, and ensure these visits are between 9am and 5pm. We can arrange a visit outside of these times in certain circumstances which will need to be agreed with the home manager in advance. This will help us plan the visit, taking on board the needs of the other young people that may be in the home at the same time.
- What you can expect from us
- We will inform you of any incident, illness or injury which your child experiences. We will telephone you as soon as possible and will discuss the incident, or when you arrive to collect your child if you request us too.
- We will remind you when your child is running low on toiletries.
- We will discuss your child’s progress, and activities they have undertaken within the home, during their stay.
- We are supported by Devon Doctors for out of hours medical needs. If they are called we will provide Devon Doctors with information about your child’s overarching needs to enable them to have a full understanding of your child.
- Allocation of care
Allocation of support are determined through your child’s annual review by a Social Care professional from the Disabled Children’s Service.
Your child will be allocated a number of overnight/day care stays, and you will receive notification outlining your child’s allocation from their social care worker. You will have the opportunity to request a particular pattern and/or specific dates. We will endeavour to meet these requests however it may not always be possible as we need to take into account the needs of all service users.
There may also be circumstances when your child’s stay may need to be cancelled at short notice. This decision is only taken in extreme situations and we will try and rearrange a suitable alternative stay for your child as soon as possible. If you wish to cancel your child’s allocation, please contact the home at the earliest opportunity. We will reorganise alternative dates and times with you. We advise you to contact the home and give at least 48 hours’ notice of the cancellation to enable the home to rearrange the allocation. If 48 hours’ notice is not provided we may not be able to replace this allocation.
- Illness and sickness
So that we can ensure all children are safe and not subjected to unnecessary illness during their stay, we ask that you do not send your child into the home if they have any illness or condition which may be infectious to other children. If your child becomes ill whilst at the home, we will contact you as soon as possible and may request that you come and collect them.
If you have any queries we are happy to discuss this with you. Please note the list below is not an exhaustive list.
Illness Minimum duration of absence Chickenpox One week after onset, or until lesions are dry (whichever is the latter) Conjunctivitis 24 hours after treatment commenced or improved Diarrhoea Minimum of 48 hours from last symptoms Impetigo 48 hours from commencement of treatment antibiotics Headlice Until clear Worms Maintain basic hygiene standards Influenza (all variants) One week from when symptoms first show Mumps Nine days after onset Parvo virus (slapped cheek) Until symptoms improve Rubella Four days after onset of rash Streptococcal (group A) infections including sore throat and scarlet fever 48 hours from commencement of treatment antibiotics Vomiting Minimum of 48 hours from last symptoms
If you have any doubts, please telephone the home and we may be able to rearrange your allocation.
In certain cases, children can be discharged from hospital straight to the home depending on medications being in place.
Qualified first aiders provide first aid as required, and within their capabilities, should your child require it during their stay. We may also seek further advice or support from a medical practitioner or hospital if required. We will contact you prior to this if possible (or as soon as possible so that treatment is not delayed).
- Individual needs
We are committed to providing equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice for all children, young people, families and staff.
We aim to provide a service that encourages children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from themselves and include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and equal opportunities.
Our aim is to ensure children feel valued and good about themselves. We create an environment of mutual respect and tolerance, and help children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are unacceptable.
We value the contribution from all families, including those who have a first language other than English. We work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure that individual medical, cultural, and dietary needs of children are met.
We also aim to help children to learn about a range of cultural approaches to respect and value any differences.
We promote and support healthy eating for all children. We try to follow any dietary plans/requirements that your child has at home and are happy for you to supply particular food or drink for your child if this is highlighted and agreed in your child’s care plan. We provide a packed lunch for children going on to an activity or club.
- Information we require
We request that you help us to update, or contribute to, assessments, reviews and other documentation as required. We ask that you sign your child’s care plan to record that you are in agreement with the plan. We would also ask that you let us know if there is anything which you disagree with, or are unsure of, so that we can discuss this with you and come to suitable agreement.
- Incident reporting
A low-level occurrence may be a very minor injury such as a superficial scrape or a minor bruise that may have arisen through a play situation or minor accident. An incident is anything that is not covered within low level occurrence reporting.
The safety of your child is very important. We record all low-level occurrences, accidents, incidents and near misses according to Devon County Council policies and Ofsted requirements, and they are reviewed by the appropriate managers. In all cases you will be informed of any incident involving your child as soon as possible and reasonable.
- Restrictive physical interventions
Any child who requires any form of restrictive physical intervention to keep them and others safe will have detailed behaviour management and positive handling plans. These will be discussed and agreed with you and, where possible, with your child. Staff who carry out any agreed form of restrictive physical intervention will receive training in the relevant techniques.
We work in conjunction with you, and your child’s EHCP, to ensure that educational needs of your child are met in line with their care plan.
We promote active partnerships with schools by:
- maintaining regular contact as required
- appropriate involvement in school activities
- supporting your child in completing homework tasks where appropriate
- taking a positive interest in your child’s education inside and outside school
- contributing to EHCPs which are reviewed annually as part of the review process.
Transport is provided by parents/carers unless agreed and arranged by the Social Worker.
We will support your child moving on from the home to other services. Transition could include moving to adult services, to other services for children and young people, or leaving all services.
We will the support transition of your child by discussion with you and your lead professional. Link workers from the home will identify ways in which your child can be supported through transition and this will be detailed in individual care plans, taking your child’s wishes into account at all times.
- Service development
We value your feedback and we will seek your views about the service we provide so we can improve and develop. In order to ensure that our services are the best they can be we ask users and/or parents or carers of service users to feedback at any point via our customer services team.
We also ask for qualitative feedback so we can identify more specifically what is, or is not, working within the services we provide so changes and improvements can be made to ensure the very best care. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any comments about the service we provide.
- Complaints procedure
If you have any reason to raise a concern, complaint or compliment about the service you or your child is receiving, you may discuss this matter with the home manager. If this is not possible or you would prefer not to, you may also contact the Service Manager for Countywide Services, either by phone or in writing, our Customer Relations Team, and/or Ofsted using the following contact information:
Glenn Lobb – Service Manager for Countywide Services
One Capital Court
Telephone: 01392 38 3000