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Meadowpark Children’s Home – statement of purpose
Meadowpark 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.
Meadowpark 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.
- The home and surroundings
The home is a four bedded facility, with ceiling hoists within the bedrooms, lounge, sensory room, bathroom and shower room. The young people are encouraged to choose their own bedding design and personalise their rooms with any pictures, toys or soft furnishings of their choice.
There are two bathrooms, one of which is a wet room. Bath/shower
The sensory room has sensory toys, lights and music. A stimulation of senses can be encouraged or the room can be used as a place to relax and stretch out, in a peaceful and calm environment.
The lounge area is large and includes an activity area where various art and craft activities take place. We have different topics and themed weeks which can incorporate trips into the community.
The young people have access to the kitchen; we support the young people to devise and choose from a healthy and varied menu. Where possible we encourage fun activities in the kitchen such as baking, chopping vegetables and helping with meal or snack preparation.
There is a large garden which has two separate areas: one area has a sensory garden with a wheelchair trampoline and swing with access to a mobile hoist; the other area is for the young people to grow vegetables, do some gardening and relax.
Our home is set on the outskirts of Exeter in a village called Shillingford Abbot, amongst a setting of beautiful natural countryside. A short drive away there is a horse-riding centre, multiple sandy beaches, supermarkets and the city centre. There are also some outdoor adventure parks and ice cream parlours. The local hospital is within 5 miles of Meadowpark, incorporating an A and E department and an option of open access to the children’s ward.
A location risk assessment has been completed and this is updated at least annually.
At Meadowpark we support children from birth to 18 years who have learning and/ or physical disabilities, complex medical needs, autism and multi-sensory needs. We undertake comprehensive assessments of their needs and introduce young people to the home in a way that is right for them.
The support is provided within a framework that is agreed through the young person’s annual review and care planning process. We provide short breaks and accommodate for longer allocation, if requested, to support a family and the young person.
Emergency placements will be considered on an individual basis. A risk assessment will be carried out, assessing the impact on the young people already accessing the home.
There may be times when, through joint planning and mutual agreement, a young person may be able to stay beyond their 18 birthday. This will be evaluated on an individual basis to ensure we are always able to meet the needs of the young person. If this were to occur, there would be a review of any plans in place to support the young person to ensure we meet their changing needs as they move into adulthood.
We can be commissioned to implement assessments and treatment plans for individual young people as appropriate; in liaison with other relevant persons, ensuring a multi-agency approach that values the young person and puts their welfare at the centre of all decision-making processes.
- Quality and purpose of care
The staff team at Meadowpark are skilled in adapting their approach to suit the particular needs of the young people they support. Regular staff training is provided to develop and maintain individual’s skills.
Our aims are to provide enjoyable stays that expand the opportunities and experiences available for young people, whilst also supporting them to learn skills appropriate to their age, ability and understanding by encouraging natural progression within a home environment. We do this by working closely with the young person, families, key professionals, schools and others that are key to the young person, to provide consistency and support in ways that are in the best interest of each individual.
The ethos of the home is to provide a home from home environment where young people can grow and develop through a nurturing process that caters to their individuality. We are committed to providing a caring environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
We provide activities and opportunities to enhance the young people’s experiences and outcomes. We complete a ‘My Story’ with each young person to celebrate all of their experiences and achievements, detailing their outcomes and reviewing when these are met or changed.
- Caring for children
The team at Meadowpark value the feedback we receive about the service. This is sought from a variety of sources and any learning is embedded into our practice.
Young people are supported to complete feedback forms; this enables them to be involved in the shaping of the care they receive and the development of the service. We are committed to gathering feedback in ways that suit the individuals preferred communication methods – which may include verbal, written, pictorial, behavioural or making use of technological aids such as the Eye-Gaze. Young people are given the opportunity to express their views in a way appropriate to their individual communication abilities. They are encouraged to participate in the review and development of services, both in general and in relation to themselves.
We work in a young person-focused manner, to provide a safe environment where they are supported, offered a variety of stimulation and benefit from life experiences and opportunities to access a variety of in house and community-based activities. We review and design outcomes which the young people can work towards whilst attending a range of activities.
Our staff support and respect individual beliefs and wishes. We treat each young person as an individual and, in so doing, we recognise that religious beliefs may influence every area of a young person’s life from philosophy and morality, to diet, preparation of food and choice of clothing. These beliefs and wishes will be incorporated into an individual’s care plan and will shape the support and care they receive whilst at Meadowpark.
The young people come in for each stay with their own clothes, personal belongings, equipment and medication. Young people and families often leave some personal belongings to allow us to prepare their room with their own things. Young people are supported to choose items when out in the community to enable them to add personal touches for their stay. They have the option to lock their room if they wish, although staff carry a key to open the door if they deem the young person to be at risk.
At Meadowpark we provide outings and in-house activities. Young people do not come to the home with pocket money, but we do encourage money skills and safe handling of money when we go shopping and so on.
- Safeguarding children
It is the aim of the home to ensure that every young person always feels relaxed and safe . Any safeguarding disclosures will be treated sensitively and supportively, as per Devon County Council and Devon Children’s and Families Partnership policies and procedures. All disclosures will be treated seriously and reported as appropriate.
All those involved with the provision of services for the children’s home settings must be alert to the possibility of abuse by other young people, visitors and members of staff. Staff attend relevant training in line with Devon County Council policies. We also have level 6 safeguarding supervisions which are updated 3 yearly. The staff team working at Meadowpark always have access to the management team on-call for advice and guidance as well as regular supervision/safeguarding supervision in which they can discuss any concerns they may have.
Staff from the Devon County Council Children’s Homes team are involved in local safeguarding forums which enables us to keep up to date with the most recent developments and practice.
All compliments, concerns and complaints are taken seriously. Young people are encouraged to share compliments, concerns and complaints with their parents and carers, staff, managers or the Service Manager for Countywide Services. Meadowpark adheres to Devon County Council complaints policies and procedures. These are reviewed monthly by the manager.
Young people, parents/carers, members of the public, agencies or professionals can all raise compliments or concerns. These can be raised directly with the staff team or by going directly to MASH, LADO, Disabled Children’s Service, or Ofsted.
Requests to see the homes policies and procedures can be made to Meadowpark or Devon County Council Children’s Homes.
Compliments, concerns and complaints can be made to:
Glenn Lobb – Service Manager for Countywide Services
One Capital Court
Telephone: 01392 38 3000
The home promotes an environment in which bullying is not acceptable. If bullying is found to occur, effective strategies will be implemented to manage the situation safely and promptly. We support young people to actively come forward with their concerns in any area.
Staff at Meadowpark are aware that the young people need privacy. However, this must be balanced with issues of protection and safety. The privacy and dignity of the young people are respected at all times. There may be exceptions to this if monitoring is required due to individual needs for health and safety reasons. This monitoring is agreed by the Registered Manager, with the support of multi-agency working, where appropriate.
The need for supervision, checks and the use of audio or visual monitors during the night is assessed on an individual basis. Night-time monitoring will only take place where there is an identified need, which will be detailed in the individuals care plan and consented to by the parent and/or their placing authority.
Access into and out of the building is restricted by keypads; these doors remain locked at all times. If a young person wishes to leave the building they would be supported to do so with a staff member.
At Meadowpark we support multi-disciplinary working with professionals and are happy to facilitate visits from known education, health and social care professionals. There are procedures in place to ensure the individuals identity is known and recorded. Any visits that take place will be organised by the parents or carer and/or lead professional, except in an emergency situation.
In the event of a young person going missing from the home (or during outings away from the home), immediate action will be taken. The member of staff supporting the young person will carry an emergency card, which holds emergency contact details and a photograph. We will inform the police and contact families and lead professionals, as appropriate. Full risk assessments are put in place for young people who have behaviours that increase the likelihood of them going missing from care – we will link with the local police where necessary.
- Young people's behaviour
At Meadowpark we promote positive behaviour and relationships. Young people have staff members supporting them that they are familiar with. Wherever possible the young person will be supported by their link staff member.
We are aware that, at times, young people may present behaviours of concern. This may be due to their disability, environmental factors, other medical conditions or as part of growing up. We support young people with behaviours of concern using the Positive Behaviour Management ethos. The valuing of individual rights, opinions and wishes of young people and working in partnership with them and their families is seen as paramount. Positive Behaviour Management Plan.
In the case of a young person displaying behaviours of concern, we have close links with external professionals who can provide support and advice for the staff team. Any concerns over a young person’s behaviour are discussed in supervision or within the wider staff team, if needed. If necessary, we would use a physical intervention or restraint but follow the guidelines set by the Department of Health and Devon County Council. This would only be used as a last resort and reflects the presenting behaviour, using the least restrictive intervention for the shortest time possible, to keep people safe. All young people who use our service will have a care plan which includes a risk assessment, behaviour plan and a positive handling plan where applicable; the use of de-escalation techniques would be our chosen method of intervention if required.
At Meadowpark we support young people to make progress towards achieving their educational potential. EHCPs and Individual Education Plans are incorporated into the outcome and support plan where applicable. We provide suitable facilities and support to enable young people to complete homework tasks where needed.
The staff team at Meadowpark have close working relationships with the schools. We are able, by arrangement with school and home, to visit the young people and see them in their school environment. Staff are able to liaise with the class teacher and teaching assistants to provide continuity of care with regard to any educational and behaviour plans. Meadowpark staff members consult with the speech and language team so as to provide the necessary resources to aid communication – such as Makaton, sign language, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems) books and symbols, and yes/no symbols for the young people that are only able to eye point.
A representative from Meadowpark will attend the annual EHCP reviews and provide a written report where required. The ‘My Story’ that are completed will be taken to the reviews and staff complete Meadowpark/school/home books to maintain effective communication.
At Meadowpark we aim to provide a good level of educational support. However, we also make necessary adjustments to ensure we meet the additional responsibilities for young people in care. We do this by liaising with key professionals and families and adjusting the support we provide as required meeting the individual’s needs.
As part of the individual care plan at Meadowpark, each young person has identified outcomes that are regularly monitored; identifying progress and adaptations to support that may be required for each individual. These will be evidenced in the ‘My Story’, so that the young person and family can celebrate their achievements.
- Young people's health
The health needs of all the young people are determined in consultation with the young person, their parents or carers and lead professionals, prior to admission and throughout their time at Meadowpark.
Where the young person has long term health conditions, staff are trained in the clinical skills necessary to deliver the care safely. The Children’s Home has responsibility for ensuring correct and appropriate training of staff. Where it is necessary to utilise the skills of other individuals, their credentials and identity will be checked thoroughly and, if they require access to the child, it will be with parental consent and supervised.
Some of the young people require specialised equipment and follow specialist physiotherapy programmes. Staff members liaise with the relevant professionals to provide these services – consulting with parents, carers and the specialist school, often accessing these environments to provide continuity of care during their stay. This is then incorporated into the young person’s outcome and support plan.
Some of the young people have specific dietary requirements. Regular discussions with the parents or carers and the dietician, Paediatrician and GP are necessary in order to meet the health needs of individuals, whilst also taking into consideration the young person’s wishes.
Families will retain parental responsibility and take their child for regular health, dental and optical checks. Families should inform the home of these so a record can be kept. Where a young person is a child in care we recognise our increased responsibility and will provide support for individuals and their families, where required. Staff will support parents at visits if requested. If any concerns arise about the health of a young person during their stay, parents or carers are contacted and, if necessary, the allocated GP or Devon Doctors. If necessary, we will either call an ambulance or take the young person to the local Accident and Emergency department for medical attention. If this occurs, families will be required to meet and support the young person at the hospital unless specific arrangements have been agreed prior to the young person’s stay. Consent forms regarding individual young people receiving medical treatments will be completed prior to them accessing the home.
Parents and carers are required to supply the correct dosage of medication for the duration of the stay, in pharmacy labelled containers, containing all information to enable administration. Any changes in medication should be in written form on the medication authorisation sheet, signed and dated by the parents or carers and by a senior staff member of the home.
At times, medication is changed on a regular basis and a repeat prescription with the new dose on it may be delayed: for example, if the medication is changed by the paediatrician the same day as the visit. In these circumstances we will seek, where possible, confirmation from the paediatrician or GP over the phone or preferably in writing. We insist that a correct label is sent in on their next visit.
Meadowpark adheres to Devon County Council policies regarding food hygiene; follows the Food Standard’s Agency Registration and Compliance, and follows the local authority’s “Better standards, safer food” policies. The meals prepared take into account the individual needs of the young people accessing the home. The home supports the staff in accessing basic food hygiene training and relevant training in areas such as health and safety and infection control. There is a level 3 food hygiene trained member of staff within the team.
At Meadowpark the staff team support with cooking a variety of meals with the young people. These include a range of culturally themed evenings in which the young people can enjoy food, music and cultural interests from different countries.
Meadowpark provides an environment where healthy living is promoted. We aim to provide a varied healthy diet, opportunities for physical activities and promote good personal hygiene and cleanliness.
Meadowpark is a non-smoking site. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the site by the young people, staff or visitors.
- Staff team and recruitment
Meadowpark staff are recruited according to Devon County Council safer recruitment policies and procedures as recommended in the Warner Report: Choosing with Care (1992). All our staff meet the requirements of the Children’s Home Regulations 2015.
All our staff have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service and meet the Schedule 2 requirements set out in the Children’s Home Regulations 2015.
Appropriate levels of staff are reviewed based upon the needs of the young people at any given time.
Meadowpark has a Registered Manager, Deputy Manager, Team Leaders, Assistant Team Leaders, Care and Support Assistants and a housekeeper. Our manager is accountable to the Service Manager for Countywide Services. Bank and agency staff are available to support staffing levels during holidays and to cover staff absence, if required.
Our manager regularly meets with the Service Manager for Countywide Services for supervision. All our Team Leaders deliver in house medical training to the staff team at Meadowpark. They also assess the individual staff members’ competence for each procedure they are trained in including medication, oxygen therapy, gastrostomy, etc.
The majority of care staff at Meadowpark are female and 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 young people will have opportunities to access appropriate male role models in their home, school and social life. Our recruitment of staff is designed to encourage a diverse workforce.
All staff members employed at Meadowpark complete mandatory and professional training in line with policies, procedures and appraisals. All staff receive regular supervision. Staff training is tailored and focused on the individual needs of the young people accessing the home. A training matrix is available, detailing all the training needs of each role within the home.
Mandatory training includes areas such as induction, basic life support, epilepsy awareness, conflict resolution, medicines management, safeguarding levels 1- 6, equality and diversity, gastrostomy training, manual handling, basic food hygiene, infection control, and Information Governance. All staff attend the required annual fire safety updates, and fire drills will occur at intervals throughout the year with the details recorded.
The Registered Manager will hold or be completing a Diploma level 5 qualification in Managing a Health and Social Care Setting. All other staff will hold or be working towards a minimum of a diploma level 3. The housekeeper completes mandatory training to meet the requirements of her role.
The home complies with Devon County Council human resources policies and procedures. Devon County Council have union reps which are widely available to staff at any time for advice and support. Devon County Council also provides occupation health support for all staff and this is a confidential process where required.